Friday 30th August 2013 at 18h


“Et si j’étais une chauve-souris…”

In celebration of the  ‘Nuit Internationale de la Chauve-souris’ (Bat night), the company Encima will put on a show to help people to discover the world of the bat.

Jardin Méditerranéen du Biodiversarium.
More info: 04 68 97 05 56


BIODIVERSARIUM – Biological diversity in Banyuls


Orange tree, Maclura
A day is never long enough for a visit to Banyuls sur Mer. You can take the tourist train for a visit to the Chapelle de la Salette ending with a tasting at the impressive Cave de Templiers. You can learn to sail, windsurf, dive or kayak, you can relax in one of the many cafés along the pretty little horseshoe shaped bay, enjoy local produce in street markets, and music in Place Reig. And now, to add to all the other attractions, the “Jardin Mediterranéen” will open on April 15th.

A combined “Biodiversarium” ticket allows you to visit both the garden hanging from the cliffs above the valley of the Baillaury and the fascinating Aquarium in the Laboratoire Arago. Both sites offer opportunities for discovering, observing and learning about the spectacularly diverse natural world that surrounds Banyuls and forms la Cote Vermeille.

Bumblebee on Opuntia flower
The Mediterranean Garden, a park of three hectares overlooking the vine-covered mountains leading up to the Col de Banyuls, reflects the richness and variety of plants that survive and flourish in a Mediterranean climate. The many species, both local and from zones with similar climates such as California, Australia, South Africa, are thriving in the sheltered, south facing garden. You may notice the fruits of a rare “Oranger des Osages” lying on the ground like so many petanque balls. American Indians extract their dye to tattoo their faces and colour their clothes.They use the wood for making bows for their arrows.

There are picnic spots, sunny tables with spectacular views. Guided visits are available or you can wander at will and enjoy the peaceful beauty and, if you are very lucky, you may spot a tiny little musaregne, a minute shrew that lives in the cracks in the walls. There is an ant chalet where the activity inside an antheap can be observed. Throughout the year lectures, and workshops are available for all ages to enjoy in conjunction with the Aquarium. Whether your preference is to plunge yourself in the sub-marine world or to discover the surface richness of the Alberes mountainsides, the Biodiversarium ticket guarantees a fascinating insight into both facets of Banyuls’ natural wealth. Check
04 68 88 73 39 or call at the Tourist Office for details.


A star still shining


Pacal BorrellMichelin stars are awarded to “restaurants offering the finest cooking, regardless of cuisine style” so why did Pascal Borrell, talented former chef of the much talked of Maison du terroir in Maury, voluntarily give up the hard earned star awarded to the restaurant?

Out of the five restaurants in the department awarded Michelin stars, only two remain.

Jean-Paul Hartmann lost his star at the Almandin in Saint Cyprien,  Bart Thoelen gave up the  Palmier in Laroque-des-Albères and in September 2012, Pascal Borrell surrendered his star on the Maison du terroir in Maury. However, whilst a restaurant can lose, or  voluntarily surrender its star,  a Michelin-starred chef remains a Michelin star holder for life.

Pascal explained that, economically, a Michelin starred restaurant could simply not survive in the little village of Maury. The need to drive there cut out long liquid lunches, the lack of other entertainment or activities along with acceptably higher prices for gourmet grub ruled out families, few local companies within a wide radius meant no group business lunches or dinners…so with great sadness, Pascal jumped before he was pushed!

However, his star continues to shine as brightly as ever in the newly opened Le Fanal in Banyuls-sur-Mer.

Fresh and creative vegetables,  foie gras ‘maison’, fish and seafood straight out of the sea onto your plate, delicious and inventively prepared meat dishes such as lamb ‘en croute’, grilled rabbit with snails, desserts to melt for … And of course, all the wines on the wine list are exclusively local!

Pascal invites you ‘à table’ to sample his mouth-watering creations overlooking the port in Banyuls-sur-Mer, with menus starting from 19 euros for 2 courses.

A warm welcome awaits!

Le Fanal 
17 avenue du Fontaulé,
Phone: 04 68 98 65 88
Web site:

Leave a Comment