Site de Paulilles


Part industrial relic, part nature walk, this 35-hectare coastal site is remote, as you'd expect of a one-time dynamite factory. It was set up by Nobel Prize founder Alfred Nobel in 1870 and subsequently abandoned in 1984. Haunting photos inside the former director’s house depict the hard lives and close community of Catalan workers, whose explosives helped to blast the Panama Canal, Trans-Siberian Railway and Mont Blanc Tunnel. It's 3.2km north of Banyuls-sur-Mer.

The main path leads to a lovely shingle-sand beach.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Roussillon attractions

1. Biodiversarium

1.68 MILES

At the southern end of Banyuls’ seafront promenade, this aquarium, which was modernised in 2017, houses an intriguing collection of Mediterranean marine…

2. Fort St-Elme

1.86 MILES

Built in 1552 by Spanish king Charles V between Collioure and Port-Vendre, this hilltop fort was designed as a key piece of the coastal defence system. It…

4. Moulin de la Cortina

2.22 MILES

The most scenic way to reach this 14th-century windmill is a 950m walk through olive and almond groves from Fort St-Elme along the Cami del Port de Sant…

5. Musée d’Art Moderne

2.32 MILES

Boat sketches by Matisse and Edouard Pignon along with coastal canvases by Henri Martin and Henri Marre are among the highlights of this small but…

6. Château Royal

2.51 MILES

Collioure’s seaside castle was mostly built between 1276 and 1344 by the counts of Roussillon and the kings of Aragon, and was later occupied by the…

7. Église Notre-Dame des Anges

2.54 MILES

At the northern end of the harbour, the medieval belfry of this church once doubled as a lighthouse, although its pink dome – the signature feature of…