The Region - Languedoc Roussillon

The beautiful Argeles-sur-Mer is nearby

 

Introduction

Roussillon has some of the finest French beaches, a warm climate and clear waters that are thought to promote health: a perfect combination for family vacations.

A mix of family holiday resorts, health spas and ancient fishing villages cluster along the coast, backed by a hinterland of untouched natural beauty.

Roussillon is a land of coastal plains, mountains, valleys and plateaux. The rich variety of the region’s landscapes has strongly influenced the architecture, lifestyle and culture of its people.

Roussillon’s countryside is unspoiled and its coastline protected, but its historic and cultural riches are also stunning. The region is littered with historical monuments, abbeys and castles and boasts several UNESCO World Heritage sites: the Pont du Gard, the Canal du Midi, the medieval city of Carcassonne.

Collioure

Culture

The Roussillon also known as Catalonia is blessed with 300 days of sunshine per year, this most southerly region of French Catalonia nestling on the Spanish border is one that continues to delight and charm every visitor. 'La Cote Vermeille' in the region of Languedoc-Roussillon offers a great deal for the discerning holidaymaker and or property investor looking for a second-home or permanent home aboard.

You will discover an incomparable variety of scenery and many fascinating towns, mountains, plains ancient cities and modern resorts with a dry climate so characteristic of Mediterranean countries.

The coast has long, wide, flat sandy beaches with a complete range of water-sports, golf at St Cyprien and marvellous walking country in the Catalan foothills of the Pyrenees. Along the coast at such old ports as Collioure, Port Vendres and Banyuls, the coast eventually becomes high and rocky as the Pyrenees reaches the sea.

Banyuls

It is a land of many influences and a rich heritage, having been colonised by the Phoenician sea traders and later by the Romans who occupied Narbonne and Perpignan. This has been well restored and is beautifully presented, giving an impressive picture of the local history. Perpignan, 10 miles away is the second Catalan city after Barcelona. A lively city built on the banks of the river Tet, the Old Town has the Palace of the Kings of Majorca. Set in the foothills of the Pyrenees, Ceret is a beautiful market town with a modern art museum exhibiting paintings and works by Picasso, Matisse, Chagall and Dali.

The countryside here is a mass of green vineyards, scattered with small sleepy villages with pastel coloured houses of red and orange. This is France's market garden, producing the earliest cherries, peaches and apricots from as early as April, and is now one of the most highly regarded "new" wine regions of France - supplying one in ten bottles of the worlds wine and famous for its Côtes de Roussillon, Banyuls, Byrrh, Muscat, and Rivesaltes.

Canet-Plage

Places to Visit

This area of Roussillon has an array of local attractions and sight seeing opportunities, all on its doorstep and easily accessible. A selection of these are detailed below:

Beaches & the Coast Argeles-Sur-Mer, Collioure, La Racou-Plage, St. Cyprien-Plage and Canet-Plage. These beaches are all are favourites for families, providing safe bathing zones, showers, sun beds, parasols and toilets. Most beaches have large free car parking and a selection of cafe bars and restaurants for lunch etc. The beaches at Argeles-sur-Mer are groomed and cleaned each evening to the European Blue Flag standard of quality and have day-time beach patrols.

From Argeles Port and St Cyprien, yacht and powerboats can be hired or chartered. Scuba diving training and classes sail from Port d'Argeles off the coast to the rocky headlands and inaccessible coves only reached by boat.

There are boat trips and fishing expeditions from Port D' Argeles along the coast and into Spain.

Spain For those who wish to visit Spain, then the nearby Costa Brava is within 60 minutes drive to places such as Rosas, Cadaques, L'Escala and Estartit.

Sports & Activities

Aqua Land Fun for the family all day. Equipped with the usual range of water slides and tunnels it is located near to St Cyprien.

Aqualand

Boules You can play any where in France or simply watch the locals.

Boules

Cycling This is an ideal region to explore around the country lanes on bicycle. We can provide both cycle and Mountain Bike hire – see Mountain Biking below.

Golf There is an 18-hole golf course in St Cyprien. Several others within a range of 30 miles.

Mountain Biking We can provide both cycle and Mountain Bike hire, together with an experienced and qualified Guide. For those who may wish to mountain bike there are various tracks and routes to explore amongst the foothills of the Pyrenees and Forest des Alberes. For those bringing their own bikes and or requiring off-road 4 x 4 transport, this can be arranged as part of the package.

Skiing A 90 minute car drive enables you to access the ski resort of Font Romeu / Pyrenees 2000, which has some excellent pistes for all levels. Show canons provide for an extended season from early December until early April and prices are less expensive than the Alps.

Swimming Pool There is an out door swimming pool in Argeles Ville next to the tennis courts.

Tennis There are numerous tennis courts in the area, virtually every village, however small, has a tennis club and most are open to non-members.

Walking The area is famous for its 'Randonee' walking paths some of which are marked out. For those who are more adventurous, there are various challenging routes amongst the nearby Alberes hills. Qualified guides are available for those wishing to explore the area.

Wine Tasting There are numerous caves and vine-yards offering tasting ('degustation'). We can recommend Chateau Valmy on the outskirts of Argeles, near the exit for Racou.

Chateau Valmy

Shopping

Supermarkets There are a range of supermarkets, such as Champion or Intermarche in most of the principal towns, most are ideally located close to the network of express roads stretching from Le Boulou to Argeles and from Argeles to Perpignan.

Hypermarket For a more comprehensive shop, including electrical and house-hold goods there is an Auchan in Perpignan.

Boutiques There are several boutiques in Argeles-Ville, Port Argeles, Collioure, Port Vendres and St Cyprien.

Markets The region is famous for its local Catalan styled morning markets. These can be visited in Argeles, Sorede, Ceret, Elne, and Le Perthus. Evening markets are staged at Argeles-Plage, St. Cyprien and Collioure.

Interesting Towns / Cities

Amelie-les-Bains - beautiful spa and market town in the Vallespir.

Amelie-les-Bains

Arles sur Tech - the religious centre of the Vallespir with stone coffin oozing mysterious and miraculous powers.

Andorra - Is a three-hour drive along twisting roads, but the reward is shopping at tax-free prices for designer clothes, luxury goods and perfumes.

Banyuls-sur-Mer - An attractive town situated in a small Mediterranean bay, famous for the production of the aperitif wine of the same name, Banyuls.

Barcelona - Just two hours away, Spain’s second city vastly improved since the Olympic games in 1992. Breeze down the Ramblas, shop or visit the Picasso museum.

Carcassonne - Europe's largest medieval fortress, one of the best preserved. Take a guided tour or wander freely around La Cité admiring the elaborate fortifications, 54 tower and two gates, craft boutiques and shops.

Carcassonne

Castelnou - One of the most photographed villages in SW France, a wonderful example of a medieval fortified village

Ceret - Old walled market town famous for its art, culture and bullfighting (July), live music, street bars and sardana dancing. Lively local produce market each Saturday.

Collioure - Picturesque fishing village was the favourite town for artists such as Picasso. Well worth a stroll around the bars, restaurants, street stalls, fortified castle and quayside.

Elne - 11th century cathedral set in typical Catalan town.

Figueres - A short drive from the Spanish border, the cultural art town hosting the Salvador Dali Museum.

Le Perthus - Duty free shopping at the French / Spanish border town, full of supermarkets and bazaars.

Perpignan - Once the capital of Catalonia where the Palace of the Kings of Mallorca stands. Today, there are many cafes and boutiques located behind the Castillet.

Port Vendres - Fishing harbour and yachting centre overlooked by bars, restaurants and shops.

Prades - Known for its summer music festival, founded by Pablo Casals, it has one of the largest street markets in the area, every Tuesday morning.

Saint Genis-des-Fontaines - famous for the most ancient Roman sculpture, the lintel above the door of the church of St Michel dating 1020. Market every Tuesday and Friday.

Villefranche-de-Conflent - The Yellow Train runs from this 11th century fortified town up and over the mountain to Mont Louis at 1600m.

Evening Entertainment

In addition to the many restaurants and bars, there is evening entertainment in many of the villages and coastal resorts during the evening.

Argeles - Street markets, Street shows, circus etc. Whilst there look out for the adverts for other traditional events, such as open air 'Bals' - dancing and fetes ie. 14 July and 15 August.

Collioure - Artists, Catalan Dancing in the square, Street shows, markets etc.

Sorede - Every summer Thursday evening traditional Catalan sardana dancing in the centre ville.

St Cyprien - Restaurants, late night shopping or a stroll around the marina.

 

Climate

 

Climate: "300 days of sunshine per year"

Introduction | Culture | Places to Visit | Sports and Activities | Shopping | Interesting Towns / Cities | Evening Entertainment | Climate