Walking In The Pyrénées Orientales

As you can imagine, there are hundreds of walks available here, depending on what you want to achieve. We have a selection of recommended walks for those not yet familiar with the area. They vary in distance, difficulty and time required. All are great fun and offer spectacular views across the mountains, plains and coast.

image de une WPP6

One of our favourites is up to the peak of Fonfrède starting and finishing in Céret. Near the top, you can watch the hang gliders launch themselves into space and then zig-zag their way over to Spain or back into France. If you want to try it yourself, I’m sure it could easily be arranged !

Getting Around On 2 Wheels

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Inspired by our good friend, author and long distance cyclist Andrew Sykes, we have acquired a couple of bikes and are exploring our new surroundings.

If you want to be inspired too, you can follow Andrew’s blog (at the time of writing he is just over half way between Spain & Scandinavia) by following this link

www.cyclingeurope.org

Thanks to Andrew’s previous travels (entertainingly recounted in his 2 books, “Crossing Europe On A Bike Called Reggie” and “Crossing The Med On A Bike Called Reggie” which you can download from Amazon) we were alerted to the existence not only of the EuroVelo cycle ways which criss-cross the continent but also to the excellent Voies Vertes which are found commonly in France and Spain. It must be said, the French certainly know how to develop eco-tourism through cycling. The routes are superbly maintained and by and large, well signed.

So far we have been concentrating on EuroVelo 8 here in the Pyrénées Orientales, cycling between Saint Jean Pla De Corts, Amélie Les Bains, Céret, Le Boulou and Maureillas. In the coming days we intend stretching ourselves and cycling the 22km down to the coastDSC_0919 at Argelès Plage. We’ll let you know how we get on.

More about our village. Info for guests & visitors

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Saint Jean Pla De Corts

 

This growing, vibrant, working, village is split into 4 distinct parts:

  • The Roundabout. Arriving by road from the A9 motorway exit at Le Boulou and heading in the direction of Amélie Les Bains and Céret, you will arrive at Saint Jean Pla De Corts after a few minutes. You will turn left here to head towards the Centre Ville (signposted also to Maureillas). Your first point of reference will be a large, green, illuminated “Pharmacie” sign. Opposite the Pharmacie is a small parade of shops, as well as a Cashpoint machine. There is a greengrocer, a fresh fish merchant, a butcher, a flower shop, a boulangerie/café and most recently, a Thai/Vietnamese restaurant. All are highly recommended.
  • Arriving in the Centre Ville, you will notice on your left, a large square which has the Mairie, a Doctors/Dentists surgery, a post office, boulangerie, supermarket, hairdressers, newsagent, Catalan butchers and the ever popular Bar/Restaurant “Les Abeilles”.
  • The old town is the original settlement, built around the Château. It is here where you will find La Casa De La Vigne. It offers the most picturesque views, to the south, towards Spain and the Pic De Fontfrède (1093m) and to the west towards the iconic Pyrénéen peak of Mt. Canigou (2784m), much beloved by the Catalans.
  • Le Plan D’Eau (the lakes). This is an incredible leisure facility which
     Mountains

    Mountains

    combines outdoor adventure activities such as watersports and tree top walks, with peace and relaxation, including barbecue areas and a couple of bars and restaurants.

In short there is everything you could possibly need, right on your doorstep.

 

St Jean Pla De Corts

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St. Jean Pla De Corts

And here is where we live………

This lively village of some 1800 inhabitants, sits on the banks of the River Tech looking across to the Pyrénées. To the south lies the foothills and the gateway to Spain: to the west lies the iconic Canigou mountain, rising some 2700m above sea level. The village has its full complement of shops and amenities, including 2 highly recommended restaurants: Les Abeilles is open all year round and serves traditional French and Catalan fayre. The tapas bar La Cova, is open from May to October and often features local musicians showcasing their traditional, acoustic repertoire.

For a more in-depth guide, follow the link below (and practise your French at the same time).

The Galerie Photos – Les Lacs de St Jean, show just some of the recreational facilities on offer.

http://www.stjeanpladecorts.fr/galerie.php

There is also a highly recommended bar and restaurant by the lakes, both open during the Summer months.

Barcelona

One of the great world cities, Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, needs little introduction. It is easily reached from La Casa De La Vigne and is well worth a day trip or even a long weekend.

Barcelona SignBarcelona, the Port Vell and the city

Journey time by car is about 1 hour 40 minutes and by train from Perpignan 1 hour 20 minutes (due to be reduced to 55 minutes during 2015).

Prats de Mollo-La Preste

Round and round we went until we finally arrived at La Réserve Naturelle, a chalet on the top of the mountain giving views of the surrounding hills and valleys (but, sadly, not of Le Canigou without a hike. A great starting point for a long walk on a Summer’s day. Chalet with refreshments open in high season. Quite close to the border with Spain.

Meanwhile back in town, the biggest prat was the bloke who lit the bonfire, filling the whole town with dense smoke.

Another micro-climate:- warm, no wind, despite the altitude.

 

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