Best of Perpignan - North Catalonia 2016 Petit Futé (avec photos et avis des lecteurs)

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Edition for English-speaking people looking for the best addresses and good deals in Perpignan. An essential guidebook to find an accommodation, a restaurant, to organize your visits, outings and shopping. A selection of addresses gathering the must-sees as the hidden treasures for a successful stay in the City of Perpignan. Welcome to Perpignan!
Publié le : mercredi 1 juillet 2015
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Best of
Perpignan
North Catalonia
www.petitfute.uk.comWelcome to Perpignan
PUBLISHING
Collection Directors and Authors: Dominique AUZIAS
and Jean‑Paul LABOURDETTE
With the cooperation of Gérard MARION & North Catalonia
Authors: Sarah MASFERRER, Emilie LENNOZ,
Maria Cristina CRIVELLONE, Sandrine YOUKNOVSKI,
Véronique DARDOIZE, Jean‑Paul LABOURDETTE, Dominique AUZIAS
and alter he marriage of the Pyrenees and the
Publishing Director: Stéphan SZEREMETA Mediterranean...
Publishing Team: François TOURNIE, Perrine GALAZKA, Talatah T
FAVREAU, Bénédicte PETIT, Patrick MARINGE, Caroline MICHELOT, Each year, many of you go on vacation in the Eastern Pyrenees.Morgane VESLIN, Pierre‑Yves SOUCHET, Leena BRISACQ
Then be welcome in our department, land of splendor,
STUDIO contrasts, exceptional natural spaces, breathtaking scenery,
Studio Manager: Sophie LECHERTIER assisted by Romain AUDREN traditions and lively culture.
Layout: Julie BORDES, Élodie CLAVIER, Sandrine MECKING, The Eastern Pyrennes include 17 protected areas, 11 of which
Delphine PAGANO and Laurie PILLOIS are natural reserves and among them, the marine reserve
Pictures Management and Mapping: Audrey LALOY of Cerbère‑Banyuls which extends on 650 acres of sea and
WEB highlights the beauty of our Mediterranean so well, the cove
Web Director: Louis GENEAU de LAMARLIERE of Paulilles, one of the most beautiful jewels of the Catalan
Technical Director: Lionel CAZAUMAYOU coast, our pic du Canigó, classified «Great Site of France» or
Web Management and Development: Jean‑Marc REYMUND, the site of Bouillouses and its 27 lakes and ponds that attract
Cédric MAILLOUX, Florian FAZER and Anthony GUYOT more 155 000 visitors each year. It is also 2 natural parks, the
Community Manager: Cyprien de CANSON Parc Naturel Régional des Pyrénées Catalanes and the Parc
Naturel Marin du Golfe du Lion which extends over more PUBLICITY TEAM
Publicity Director: Caroline CHOLLET than 100 kilometers of coastline, from Leucate to Cerbère,
Local Publicity Manager: Michel GRANSEIGNE and covers more than 4000 km² of marine space.
Customer Relationship Management: Vimla MEETTOO As you can see, this department answers all your dreams of
and Sandra RUFFIEUX evasion and freedom, also being calls to relaxation and discovery.
To be convinced, one just needs to open the door to our historic NATIONAL PUBLICITY TEAM
patrimony. The fortresses of Mont‑Louis and Villefranche Advertising Managers: Caroline AUBRY,
François BRIANCON‑MARJOLLET, Perrine DE CARNE MARCEIN, de Confient, both classified as UNESCO World Heritage Site,
Caroline GENTELET, Florian MEYBERGER and Caroline PREAU the Palais des Rois de Majorque, 700 years old, contemplating
the Roussillon, the Prieuré de Serrabona, masterpiece of roman INTERNATIONAL PUBLICITY TEAM
art, or even the beauty at sea of the Château Royal de Collioure, Advertising Managers: Jean‑Marc FARAGUET,
Guillaume LABOUREUR assisted by Elisa MORLAND welcomes visitors from around the world every year and are
the national and international hallmarks of our destination.CIRCULATION AND PROMOTION
Finally, you will undoubtedly be conquered by the grand Sales Promotion Director: Bénédicte MOULET
assisted by Aissatou DIOP and Alicia FILANKEMBO expositions of the Modern Art Museums of Céret and Collioure.
Sales Manager: Jean‑Pierre GHEZ assisted by Nathalie GONCALVES This will to enhance our natural and cultural assets, is also
Press-Sponsors Partnership Management: characterized by our craftsmanship and our local productions.
Jean‑Mary MARCHAL With 13 names issued from 15 different varieties, the wines
of Roussillon are very rich: Natural Sweet wines such as the ADMINISTRATION
Muscats, Rivesaltes, Banyuls, Maury and of course the Collioure, Chairman: Jean‑Paul LABOURDETTE
Côtes du Roussillon or Côtes du Roussillon Villages, dry white Financial Director: Gérard BRODIN
Human Resources Director: Dina BOURDEAU wines, red, rosé... our wineries pleasantly offer many choices.
assisted by Sandra MORAIS and Naommi CHOQUET This authenticity is our strength and greatly embodies our Eastern
Information Technology Manager: Pascal LE GOFF Pyrenees lifestyle. Whatever the season, for a stay, a weekend,
Accounting: Valérie DECOTTIGNIES for a week or more, the Eastern Pyrenees invite you to travel,
assisted by Jeannine DEMIRDJIAN, Oumy DIOUF on a tour of all these treasures to be seen time and time again.and Christelle MANEBARD
Collection: Fabien BONNAN assisted by Sandra BRIJLALL Come and join us!
Switchboard: Jehanne AOUMEUR The President of the General Council
President of the Agency for Touristic Development of
PETIT FUTE BEST OF PERPIGNAN Eastern Pyrenees
NORTH CATALONIA 2016

DOMINIQUE AUZIAS FOUNDED LE PETIT FUTÉ.
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Completion date: 17/09/2015 PRINTED IN FRANCE
ISBN: 9782746982956
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‑Contents
Banyuls-sur-Mer –
Banyuls de la Marenda ......................65Knowing More
Bélesta – Belestar ..............................69About Perpignan
Canet-en-Roussillon – & North Catalonia
Canet de Rosello ................................70
Céret ...................................................78
Record Sheet ........................................ 4 Collioure – Cotlliur ...........................e 80
Not to be missed .................................. 4 Elne – Elna ..........................................85
Nature ................................................... 8 Font-Romeu .......................................88
Histor ................................................y 12 In the surroundings .................................. 92
Heritage & Traditions ........................13 Ille-sur-Têt – Illa 94
Gastronomy .......................................15 In the surroundings 96
Sports & Leisur .................................e 20 Le Barcarès – El Barcares ...................98
Festivals & Even ..............................ts 23 In the surroundings ............................... 101
Le Boulou – El Volo ..........................102
In the surroundings 106
Maury – Mauri ..................................107Perpignan
Mont-Louis – Montlluis ...................108
Port-Vendres ....................................109Tourist Oic ......................................e 30
How to get there ................................31 Prades – Prada .................................112
Sightseeing ........................................31 In the surroundings ............................... 114
Restaurants35 Prats-de-Mollo116
Sleeping..............................................38 Rivesaltes – Ribesalt ....................es 118
Going Out ...........................................41 Saint-Cyprien – Sant-Cebria............121
Shopping ............................................42 In the surroundings ............................... 124
Sainte-Marie – 
Santa Maria la M ...........................ar 124
In the surroundings ............................... 126
North Catalonia Salses ................................................127
Tautavel – Talteüll ............................129
Les Angles – Els Angles ...................... 46
In the surroundings ............................... 131
In the surroundings .................................. 49
Thuir – Tuïr .......................................132
Argelès-sur-Mer –
In the surroundings 136Argelers de la Marenda .....................51
Villefranche-de-Conlen ................t 139In the surroundings .................................. 60
Arles-sur-Tech – Arles de Tec .............61 In the surroundings ............................... 141
In the surroundings 63 Index .................................................143
The best of Petit Futé addresses from round the corner
to all over the world! www.petitfute.uk.comKnowing More About Perpignan
& North Catalonia
The village of Eus
© NICOLAS RUNG – AUTHOR’S IMAGE
Record Sheet 4
Not to be missed 4
Nature 8
History 12
Heritage & Traditions 13
Gastronomy 15
Sports & Leisure 20
Festivals & Events 234 RECORD SHEET
Record Sheet
Flag – Shield
«Golden with four pallets of gules» the Senyera,
name of the Catalan flag, is one of the oldest in
Europe. They are the armorial bearings of the
counts of Roussillon, old province of Roussillon. It
consists of four horizontal yellow and red bands.
The history of the blazon, then becoming the
Catalan flag, is quite obscure, varying between
historic hypotheses and legendary accounts.
Among the different versions, it is said that in the
9th century, in a battle against the Normans, Louis
the Pious requested for help for his army from his
vassal, the count of Barcelona, Guifred el Pelut.
After a bloody battle, the count of Barcelone is seriously injured. Louis the Pious, to immortalise the bravery
of Guifred, soaks his hand in the blood of his vassal and marks his golden shield with his fingers, making
four red traces. There heraldic weapons later became those of the Catalan counts. This flag endures on both
sides of the border as emblem of Catalonia under the flag name «Blood and Gold».
w Number: 66. w Number of towns: 226 divided into 31 townships.
w Region Membership –  Composing w Population: 461,282 inhabitants (legal population
Departments: Languedoc‑roussillon – Aude (11), on January 1st, 2014).
Gard (30), Lozère (48), Hérault (34) and Pyrénées‑ w Demography: an annual average of + 1,3%, mainly
Orientales (66).due to the migratory flux.
w Highest Point: the Pic du Carlit (2921 m).w Density: 112.06 habitants/km ².
w Main Watercourses: the department of Pyrénées‑
w Size: 4 116.2 km ². Orientales is crossed by three main watercourses;
w Prefecture – Sub prefectures: Perpignan – Céret the Têt, Tech and Agly. To be noted that none of them
and Prades. are navigable.
Not to be missed
every day. Free for under 12-year-olds. Adult: E6. Child (from Abbey of Saint-Martin- 12 to 18 years old): E4. Group (20 people): E5.50 (booking
required above 10). In season, service of Jeep at the beginning du-Canigou
of casteil (& +33 (0) 6 46 36 23 15). Guided tour (10am,
11am, 12pm (10am and 12.30pm Sunday and festivals), L’ABBAYE SAINT-MARTIN DU CANIGOU
2pm, 3pm, 4pm – also at 5pm from June to September). Casteil
Picnic area. Toilets. Shop. Pets are not allowed.VERNET-LES-BAINS & +33 (0) 4 68 05 50 03
It is from the village of Casteil that you climb up to the www.stmartinducanigou.org
abbey. The trail is very steep, wooded... and without visitezabbayestmartin@wanadoo.fr
Sud de France. Annual closing in January. Closed every water (bring supplies). After a good small power walking
Monday from October 1st to May 31st. Closed on Friday – 300 meters of elevation gain – the building is finally
saint. Low season: open Tuesday to Sunday. High season: revealed at almost 1090 meters of altitude, clinging to a KNOWING MORE ABOUT PERPIGNAN & NORTH CATALONIA
Musée d’Art moderne de Céret ‑ NOT TO BE MISSED 5
rocky spur, on a grandiose site. Saint‑Martin‑du‑Canigou young and old. And if your children are exhausted, they
is an architectural ensemble of the first meridional can enjoy a beautiful playground. For those who want to
Romanesque. The church whose construction began have an extraordinary experience, it is possible to spend
around 997, was consecrated in 1009 by the Bishop of a night in the watching hut (designed for 2 adults and
Elne, and a second building campaign was held, followed 2 children over 5 years old) in front of the wolves’ enclosure.
by a new consecration in 1014 or 1026. For the record,
it is said that Count Wilfred II of Cerdagne, who had Musée d’Art moderne initiated its construction, retreated there in 1035, and
spent the last years of his life digging his grave in the de Céret
rock. The ruined abbey was restored in two phases, from
1902 to 1932 and then from 1952 to 1982. It consists MUSÉE D’ART MODERNE DE CÉRET
of two superimposed churches, the lower church being 8, boulevard du Maréchal-Joffre
half buried. The square tower houses a chapel dedicated CÉRET
to Saint Michel. Today, the abbey is inhabited by the & +33 (0) 4 68 87 27 76
Catholic Community of the Beatitudes to whom it was www.musee-ceret.com
entrusted by the Bishop of Perpignan. It goes without Closed on January 1st, May 1st, November 1st and
saying that proper attire and respect for the place are December 25th. Low season: open every day from 10am
recommended when visiting the site.See Discovery to 6pm. High season: every day from 10am to 7pm. Closed
– Not to be missed – Saint Martin du Canigou Abbey. on Tuesday from October to April. Free for under
12-yearolds. Adult: E5.50. Reduced rate: E3.50. In period of
temporary exhibition: E8. Reduced rate: E6. Children The Casteil Wildlife Park
welcome (extra-curricular visits and school activities
and for groups). Guided tour. Shop. Activities. Library. PARC ANIMALIER DE CASTEIL
As the premier art museum of the Pyrénées‑Orientales, Casteil, Rue du Cady
the modern art museum of Céret is one of the 100 largest VERNET-LES-BAINS & +33 (0) 4 68 05 67 54
modern art museums in France. Céret was formerly named www.parcanimaliercasteil.com
«Mecca of Cubism» by André Salmon and this was born cases.ju@gmail.com
from the passages and stays of the 20th century greatest Sud de France. Closed in Christmas, 1st from the Year and
artists in the city and its surroundings. It displays works of 4 to 5 weeks over January/February. High season: open
Picasso, Grey, Soutine, Herbin, Chagall, Matisse, Masson, every day from 9.30am to 8pm (last visit at 6pm). From
Krémègne, Miró, Tàpies, Viallat, Toni Grand Bioulès,... April to end of June and from September to end of October:
Cubism at the school of Paris, New Realism in Support‑10am-7pm (last visit at 5pm). The rest of the year open
Surface, the collection offers visitors an thourough view weekends and school holidays: 1pm-6pm (last visit 4pm).
of the art of the 20th and 21st century. Created in 1950 by Free for under 3-year-olds. Adult: E12. Child (from 3 to
two protagonists of this artistic adventure, Pierre Brune 12 years old): E9. Special prices for the adult groups and
and Frank Burty Haviland, the museum has reached an pupils of 15 people minimum. Picnic area, parking, bus
parking, water supply point, toilets. international scale these twenty years. It was a municipal
At the foot of the Canigou, in a green nature, the animal museum until 2004 then became a public institution of
park Casteil welcomes guests in a 20 ha site. Over the course cultural cooperation in January 2005 managed by the city
of 3.5 km (beware it’s a hard climb... bring good shoes and of Céret, the General Council of the Pyrénées‑Orientales
forget strollers!), you can see more than 200 animals: and the Languedoc‑Roussillon Region. The temporary
izards, mouflons, deer, reindeer, wallabies, lynx... but exhibitions alternate modern and contemporary art: they
also very impressive lions, bears and wolves evolving in provide a better understanding of the artistic journey
huge enclosures mountainside. This pleasant park, which in the south of France and Catalonia, and also open
complete tours can be done in about 2 hours, will captivate on global level.
Saint-Martin-du-Canigou abbey
© OLIVER-ONE – FOTOLIA6 NOT TO BE MISSED ‑ The Odeillo solar furnace
The Odeillo solar furnace The Canigou
Visible throughout the entire department, from the
LE GRAND FOUR SOLAIRE D’ODEILLO- Ariège to the province of Gérone, the pic du Canigou
HELIODYSSEE (from the Catalan Canigó) is the sacred mountain of the
7, rue du Four-Solaire Catalans. At the heart of an area, protected by the beauty
FONT-ROMEU-ODEILLO-VIA of its exceptional site, labelled ‘Grand Site de France’ since
& +33 (0) 4 68 30 77 86 July 13th, 2012. At the summit, 2784,66 metres high, a
www.foursolaire-fontromeu.fr forged cross was built during the Second World War by
soleil@promes.cnrs.fr the scouts of Notre‑Dame Réal de Perpignan. Ascension
Open all year. Closed on January 1st and December is possible on sunny days by most hikers in good physical
25th. Low season: every day from 10am to shape. It is nevertheless necessary to inquire about the
12.30pm and from 2pm to 6pm. High season: weather at the Tourism Offices. The fastest route begins
every day from 9.30am to 7pm. Free for under at the refuge of Cortalets (2150 m high), accessible from
7-year-olds. Adult: E7. Child (from 7 to 17 years old): Fillols. From the refuge of Mariailles (1700 m high) in
E3.50. Reduced rate for student and unemployed: the town of Casteil, the ascension is absolutely splendid
E6. Rate structures of teaching: E2.50 to E3.60 by and ends with an impressive chimney, climbed like on
pupil. Tourism label & Disability. Guided tour a stairway. In any case, whatever the chosen route, the
(1am). landscapes are fabulous. At the top, the imposing view
It is the largest high power solar furnace in the offered will make short work of your aches. If the weather
world. With its counterpart in Parkent (Uzbekistan), is clear, you can see the whole Roussillon plain, up to
this technological jewel of 40 metres high and the sea and even up to Barcelone. Note that, due to the
54 metres wide remains one of the largest solar phenomena of refraction, you can see the Canigou from
furnaces in the world today. Classified as a Historical Marseille! Incredible, isn’t it?
Monument and European Research Infrastructure; it
was designed from accumulated knowledge and the The protected area demonstrative experiences practised on its «papa»
of Mont‑Louis in the early 1960s and it was turned on of Paulilles in Port-Vendres
in 1969. This gigantic mirror still houses a laboratory
of CNRS in full operation with programmes of world LE GRAND SITE CLASSÉ DE PAULILLES
importance. Its sphere or activity is part of scientific 24, quai Sadi-Carnot
and industrial tourism and broadcasts the scientific PORT-VENDRES
culture and technique. Fun and rewarding, the visit & +33 (0) 4 68 95 23 40
of the site is suitable for children as for adults. It www.cg66.fr
consists partly of a guided tour by a scientific guide Open all year. Closed on December 25th, on January 1st
who shows the capacity of the concentrated light. and on November 1st. Opening hours of the site: June, July,
In the showroom, a film presents the activity of the August from 9am to 8pm. From November to March from
oven. It is a flagship stopover of the department 9am to 5pm. April, May, September, October from 9am
(75 000 visitors a year). to 7pm. Free. A snack bar is open from May to October.
Mount Canigou
© YVANN K – FOTOLIAKNOWING MORE ABOUT PERPIGNAN & NORTH CATALONIA
Cellars of Byrrh in Thuir ‑ NOT TO BE MISSED 7
Palace of the Kings of Majorca
Listed as «Grand Site» since 2011, Anse des Paulilles Residence of the Majorca’s rulers in the 13th century, this
is the symbol of the Côte Vermeille’s wild beauty. This stately palace overlooks the city. Square, with six towers,
Grande Anse area, set in greenery, has 3 beautiful it opens onto a huge central courtyard overlooking the
beaches separated by rocky promontories. This idyllic royal apartments. The austere architecture is enhanced by
place, classified Natura 2000, is home to a rich fauna... some Gothic and Mediterranean elements. The dynasty
With this view, it is certainly hard to imagine that this ended in 1349 but the palace was still habited. During
magical setting housed a dynamite factory until 1984, the Great Schism, the pope Benedict XIII took refuge
and this since the 19th century. A dangerous factory there in 1408 and during the occupation of Roussillon,
that has partly rhythmed the life of the littoral for Louis XI besieges the city. Two centuries later, after the
over a century. Free guided tours will allow you to annexation of Roussillon, Vauban must strengthen
discover the industrial past of Paulilles and to enjoy the citadel. Today, the lower part is still occupied by
the landscaped rehabilitation of this outstanding site. the soldiers. As for the oldest part, it is the setting for
A museum presents the history of this old dynamite many cultural events throughout the year, the hanging
factory. After a few private property projects and gardens are exceptional setting for many concerts held
finally the ranking of the site, the Conservatoire Du each summer.
Littoral became its owner in 1998 and refurbished it in
partnership with the General Council. Get through the Cellars of Byrrh in ThuirL’atelier des Barques, and boat‑builders will present you
An aperitif of international renown, now a flagship of the restoration work of Catalan boats (04 68 95 23 47).
From the watchtower, enjoy a 360 degrees view on Catalan patrimony! Created by Simon and Pallade Violet
in 1866, three generations of the same family have Paulilles.
successively taken the lead of Byrrh for the company
to thrive and export a drink with revitalizing virtues, The Palace of the Kings initially sold in pharmacies! This health centre anecdote
is quite reminiscent of another famous soda, but the of Majorca
comparison ends here. The bittersweet flavours of the
Byrrh and the advertising claims of its health benefits PALAIS DES ROIS DE MAJORQUE
soon seduced a large crowd, first from the Hexagon, and 2, rue des Archers
& +33 (0) 4 68 34 64 93 the world shortly after, to such an extent that in order
to cope with demand, it was necessary to extend the Closed it: January 1st, May 1st, November 1st and December
25th. Low season: open every day from 9am to 5pm. High factory, modernise the bottling chains (30,000 bottles
season: every day from 10am to 6pm. Free for under per hour) and improve logistics by implementing
train transportation at the production site. Today, the 11-year-olds. Adult: E4. Child: E2. Group (15 people): E2.
Toilets for disabled people but the palace is not accessible cellar is a real historical and architectural curiosity,
in its entirety for the disabled guests. Pets are not allowed. especially with the glass roof in the old export hall of
the station built by Gustave Eiffel and the largest oak Guided tour. Distributor of drinks, water supply point,
toilets. Shop. Specific activities sets of themes, conferences, reservoir with a capacity of 1,000,200 litres, world record
conferences, temporary exhibitions, sound and light. at the time.
© NICOLAS RUNG – AUTHOR’S IMAGE8 NATURE ‑ Geography
Nature
w  Temperatures: On the plains, summers are hot and Geography dry and winters generally mild, with only a few days of
The total surface area of the department is 4116 km². frost on the coastline. The Eastern Pyrenees temperatures
Its highest points are the Pic du Carlit, 2921 metres, are among the sweetest of France. However, in the
the Canigou (Canigó), 2784 metres, and the Costabona, mountainous areas, temperatures are relatively low in
2465 metres. Forests cover 106000 acres of the territory winter, whereas summers stay quite warm. The number
and one can find tree species such as oak, beech and, in of frost days is twelve on average in Perpignan, yet
altitude, all kinds of conifers. The climate of the Eastern Capcir and Cerdagne remain under snow for four to five
Pyrenees, one of the more lenient of france, is a major months per year. The average daytime temperatures of
asset. This microclimate, due to the extreme diversity the department lie, from December to March, between
of its geography, is realized on the weather chart as 5 °C and 12 °C: after which they quickly rise and remain
warm, dry and sunny in summer, and mild in winter. above 20 °C from June to September, with peaks at 37 °C
This results in about 300 days of sunlight per year, and more in July and August.
thus a minimum of 2500 hours of sunlight. Of course
w Sunshine: the department has experienced it rains sometimes! The annual rainfall average ranges
2396 hours of sunshine in 2013, against a national between 600 mm and 1500 mm. In spring or autumn,
department average of 1819 hours of sunshine. The the Roussillon sometimes experiences torrential storms.
Eastern Pyrenees have benefited from the equivalent The department partly owes its intense blue sky to the
of 300 days of sunshine in 2013 and are ranked eleventh Tramontana, this wind that the elders often describe
among the sunniest departments.as making you crazy. At certain times of the year, it can
blow at speeds up to 110km/h, and sometimes for two w Wind: In the department, the dominant winds are
full weeks, with peaks at 140 km/h. the Tramontana, north‑western wind, which frequently
reaches speeds above 100km/h and the sea wind (the
Climate Marinade), south to south‑east, bringing greyness
The Eastern Pyrenees climate is mainly a Mediterranean and rain along. Less frequent, the wind of Spain,
one, altered at high altitude by the mountainous blowing from the South, is drier and warmer than
influences dominating the west of the department. the Tramontana.
Côte Radieuse
© NICOLAS RUNG – AUTHOR’S IMAGEKNOWING MORE ABOUT PERPIGNAN & NORTH CATALONIA
Fauna & Flora ‑ NATURE 9
w Rainfall: the department of Eastern Pyrenees regis‑ Torreilles: North, South and Centre Beaches.
tered 578 mm of rain in 2013, against a national depart‑ Canet‑en‑Roussillon:  Plages Sardinal shore, Roussillon,
ment average of 895 mm. The rain, which often falls in Centrale, Grand Large, Marenda et Mar Estang.
intense stormy episodes, are mainly concentrated in Argelès: the Port and MarendaTamariguer shores,
Autumn and Spring, with a period of drought in summer. centre‑Pins, southern beach, Racou.
Port‑Vendres: the port and beaches of Paulilles and w Natural Phenomena: the department is subjected
the Usine.to intense rainy episodes which can cause a rising
from the rivers. In summer the main risk remains the w  Beaches of Character
fires, with the vegetation being deprived of water  The beach of Boromar in Collioure: you cannot resist
and severely weakened. The Eastern Pyrenees know the timeless beauty of Miramar beach in the centre of
Collioure. A small sandy bay and pebbles that stretches significant amounts of seismic activity, the latest major
jolt recorded was in 1996, with a magnitude of 5.2 on its arch between the royal castle and the Notre‑Dame‑
the Richter scale. des‑Anges church.
The Cove of Paulilles in Port‑Vendres: it is one of the
most popular sites in the department. This large cove Coastline
which houses in the foothills of the Albères Mountains, The Eastern Pyrenees are, from Barcarès to Cerbère,
opens onto the Mediterranean. Dominated by vineyards 72 km of Mediterranean coastline where a sandy coast,
in terrace and surrounded by lush vegetation, its clear dotted with ponds extends into long sandy beaches, is
waters are enchanting.transformed in the south of the port of Argelès‑sur‑Mer
The beach of Racou in ArgelèssurMer: between sea into a rocky coast. From there, many charming coves
and mountain, in the south of Argelès, it stretches over follow each other over 35 km and this landscape extends
7 km away. Authentic, simple and welcoming, the racou beyond the Spanish border. Vineyards, orchards, large
meaning recess in Catalan, and is a unique spot with plains with a background of mountains topped by the
turquoise water and rocky sea bed.Canigou and steep and rugged cliffs ending in the Big
The beach of Troc in Banyuls‑sur‑Mer: very intimate Blue. This is no dreamy illusion, but what is actually
and known to the locals, this small cove made of rocks given for us to see.
and pebbles, is only about fifty metres long. Nestled From North to South, 10 resorts welcome us:  Port‑
in the rocks, it provides a wonderful setting. Quite Barcarès, Torreilles, Sainte‑Marie‑la‑Mer, Canet‑en‑
difficult to find, the inhabitants will be happy to direct Roussillon, Saint‑Cyprien, Argelès‑sur‑Mer, Collioure,
you towards it.Port‑Vendres, Banyuls‑sur‑Mer and Cerbère. The resorts
The beach of Cerberus: located in the city centre, just a from Barcarès to Argelès‑sur‑Mer are of relatively recent
stone’s throw from the Spanish border and at the foot of construction and were designed in rational and functional
the Pyrenees, this pebble beach in an enchanting setting ways so as to accommodate large numbers of tourists.
is great for relaxation and endless bathing.If one could sometimes reproach a lack of architectural
research, we can still greatly appreciate the efforts made
in the plantation of multiple tree species – including many Fauna & Flora
palm trees – as well as the presence of a great number The Eastern Pyrenees have retained vast natural areas.
of shops, restaurants and pleasant places that give off a The marine reserve of Banyuls‑Cerbère is certainly beautiful and dynamic feel and, after all, great charm. As the finest example. Going up the Tech valley, you for the stations on the rocky coast which retained their will arrive at Pratsde‑Mollola‑Preste. Nearby, the
original character – few terrains were conceded to deve‑ southern coast of Canigou shelters a natural reserve of
lopers – they offer an environment much sought after by 2300 acres with majestic scenery. The nearby valley, the
amateurs of authenticity as human patrimony, grandiose Têt, accommodates a large number of reserves. As from
landscapes and artistic references are to be expected. 700 metres high, you can enjoy the botanical wealth
w The «Pavillons Bleus» 2014 of Catalan Coasts of the forests in the vicinity of Nohèdes (Noedes in
This label, created by the French Office of the Foundation Catalan) and of mount Coronat. Eighty species of birds
for Education on Environment in Europe (of‑FEEE) rewards and a great number of animals form the fauna of this
good environmental management. It is the safeguard vegetal temple. Even higher, where the scots pines
ensuring an «excellent» quality of water with five controls challenge the beech, begins the domain of the Izards
per season. It particularly targets the procedures of and eagles. Above the small village of Olette, this is
sustainable development and awareness to the coastal the territory of the small sheepfolds isolated from the
environment and marinas set by tourist towns. natural reserve of Jujols. Nyer, Py, Mantet, Conat all have
Seven cities of the Eastern Pyrenees have again this year beautiful walks in store between the massif du Canigou
received their «Pavillon Bleu» label for the cleanliness and the massif du Costabona. In Cerdagne, do not miss
of their beaches and ports: the excursion in the valley of Eyne. This reserve is famous
The Barcarès: The port and beaches of the Lydia, southern for the great diversity of its mountain flora, including
dam of the port and village. some rare species. An impetuous torrent sprinkles this
Saint‑Cyprien: The port and Art PS1, Art PS2, Port PS3, valley remained wild. The listed site of Bouillouses opens
Capellans PS4 et Lagune PS6 beaches. the path to the high mountain lakes. The routes at the
eSainte‑Marie‑la‑Mer: Municipal Camping beaches, 4 heart of the Pyrenees are many, to escape and recharge
e e erépi, 3 épi, 2 épi, 1 épi and central beach. in peace on grandiose sites!
‑‑‑‑‑10 NATURE ‑ Fauna & Flora
is also known under the name «Forest of Couloumates». Parks & Nature Reserves
Situated in the more eastern part of Albères, it was no On the natural side, the Eastern Pyrenees have longer farmed by man for over a century, which makes retained vast natural spaces. From the shores of the it an example of what could be a primary forest of the Mediterranean to the summits of the Catalan Pyrenees, Pyrenean Mountains. It is considered to be one of the the department has 17000 protected acres divided into
40 last old forests of the Mediterranean. The site is now 11 Natural Reserves. These areas are open to the public,
an observation station of the evolution of flora and fauna but protected by regulations preserving the environment,
without human interference on a forest ecosystem. The particularly the flora and fauna. They cover more than
road leading to the Couloumates shelter, begins at the 4% of the department area and shelter more than
hamlet of Lavall and passes through a gorgeous forest 11000 species of vegetables, animals and aquatic life.
of cork oaks. A breath‑taking view awaits at the summit.
w Prats-de-Mollo. Situated in the Haut‑Vallespir,
w Le mas Larrieu. On both sides of the Tech River, 60 km from Perpignan, the site is 2300 acres wide. This
on the municipalities of Elne and Argelès‑sur‑Mer, the territory stretches from the sources of the Tech to the Pla
reserve extends over 145 acres. Three kinds of settings Guillem over a length of 11km and width of about 2km.
meet on the site: beaches, reed beds and riparian forests. At altitudes of 1490 to 2507 m, it is characterized by its
It is one of the last ‘wild’ sites of the Roussillonnais vegetal diversity: beech trees, mountain pines, firs. The
coastline. It became a ‘refuge zone’ for numerous vegetal great fauna of the Pyrenean Mountain is well represented
and animal species. Despite its small surface area, the there, among the mammals, there is the chamois, the
site is marked by a strong landscape heterogeneity. It forest cat, the ermine, the Pyrenean muskrat. As for the
is composed of 33 natural habitats, 3 among which are birdlife, we find the golden eagle, the griffon vulture,
mentioned as European interest: the Mediterranean dune the bearded vulture, the capercailzie, the ptarmigan,
belt, the riparian areas of the Tech and Riberette, the the mountain grey partridge... The amphibians and
hayfields. A discovery trail, information panels, picnic reptiles are represented by the Pyrenean newt, the
area have been set up to facilitate visits.salamander, the grass frog, the ring neck snake and the
asp viper. There are beautiful butterflies, among which w Py. Bordering the natural reserves of Nyer
the Isabella. Kilometres of marked trails have been built (2200 acres) and Mantet (3028 acres), this 3930 acres
on the theme of pastoralism. territory belongs to the Pyrenean chain between the
Massif du Canigou and the Massif du Costabona. The w Vallée d’Eyne. This natural reserve, with an area
site sprawls from 950 to 2465 metres high and one can of 1177 hectares, is between 1700 and 2800 m high,
successively find vegetation of hilly, mountainous, suband is nicknamed «the flower valley». The lower part of
alpine and alpine style. The forest is omnipresent, notably the valley is covered by a mountain pine forest and on
with oak, birch and hazel as well as pine hooks. The large the higher part, moors occupy a great surface and vary
fauna is represented by the chamois, wild boar, golden enormously depending on slope exposure (purgative
eagles... Small mammals and mustelids are numerous in broom on the sunny side, rhodoraie on the shaded
meadows and along streams. One can note the presence side). The sources are numerous. The Eyne valley is
of large numbers of invertebrates. Equipment, facilities famous among botanists for its wealth of medicinal
for the public: marked trails with interpretive booklet, plants, some being endemic to the Pyrenees. As for the
interpretation trails ‘man and the forest’.animals, we notice the presence of deer, roe deer, foxes,
martens, mountain goats, bighorn sheep and marmots. w Mantet. Between the massifs of Canigó and Carançà,
No less than 82 nesting bird species are listed. Among with a surface area of 3000 acres, the Mantet natural
the butterflies, one can see the Grand and the Clouded reserve extends around the valley of Alemany and
Apollo, as for the insects, the valley is remarkable with the sprawls from 1400 to 2700 metres high. It is charac‑
presence of 32 species of bumblebees. Here, ecotourism teristic of ancient glacial valleys. The opposition of
is in the spotlight. As for the Reserve house, it organises slopes is particularly marked with hooked pine forests
expositions, nature walks... on the northern slope and open or semi‑open habitats
(meadows, lawns, moors) on the southern slope. The w Banyuls-Cerbère. Situated at the limit of the
species of animals evolving there are typical of those Spanish border, this vast marine zone of 650 acres was
traditionally encountered on Pyrenean Mountains. created 40 years ago so as to halt coastal degradation
Pastoral activity is still very present, especially in summer caused by tourism, fishing and pollution. It is the only
pasture time. The natural reserve features a network of exclusively marine natural reserve of France and extends
discovery and hiking trails (among which the GR 10).over 6.5 km and covers 650 acres of sea between Banyuls‑
sur‑Mer and Cerbère. The physiognomy and the beauty w Nyer. At the heart of the Haut‑Conflent, bordering
of the Côte Vermeille is found under the surface of the those of Py and Mantet, the natural reserve of Nyer
water. From top to bottom, the diversity of landscapes is covers 2200 acres or 60% of the total surface area of
stunning, nearly 1700 animals and vegetal species were the municipality. It sprawls at 730 m and rises up to
recorded. The typical species on the rocky Mediterranean 2663 m at the Pic de la Serre Gallinière. Its northern entry
coasts are well represented here. Visible in July and point is characterized by tight and spectacular gorges.
autumn thanks to the development of an underwater The forest landscape varies depending on the valley,
trail, to be done in snorkel and fins, departing from the Nyer valley shows more hardwood than softwood
Peyrefite coast. while the Carença valley is dominated by mountain
w La Massane. It is one of the first reserves created in pine trees. The diversity of backgrounds allows for of
France (1973). With a surface area of about 336 acres, it a rich and varied fauna.
‑KNOWING MORE ABOUT PERPIGNAN & NORTH CATALONIA
Fauna & Flora ‑ NATURE 11
w Jujols. At the north of the municipality of Jujols, w The Arboretum village of Vernet-les-Bains.
with a surface area of 472 acres, it begins at 1100 m Located at 630 m of altitude in the charming spa
high and reaches up to the summit of mount Coronat, town of Vernet‑les‑Bains, you will discover an original
2172 m high, dominating the Têt valley. The landscapes concept of «arboretum village» with over 2,000 trees
are heavily influenced by past and recent human activity. and 320 species. All vernétois take part in this vast
project, notably by planting a tree for each new birth. The limestone cliffs extending on the southern side of
The Charles Trenet Park houses the most interesting the Madres‑Coronat constitute a vast heat reservoir,
species of the village including some trees whose roots creating favorable conditions for Mediterranean vege‑
plunge directly in hot thermal water, causing emanation tables, generally absent at those altitudes (holm oaks,
of water vapour around the trunk.thyme, lavender...). The beauty of the landscape here is
the result of contrasts. The fauna is equally remarkable w The Eole Garden at
Sainte-Colombe-de-laand of great diversity. Due to its dominant topographical Commanderie. It is a private garden flowering with
position. Jujols is qualified as the ‘balcony of the Canigou’. Mediterranean plants, irises, roses, peonies, daylilies
and many perennials, this garden, landscaped around w Nohèdes. On a territory of 2100 acres, the natural
a private villa houses nearly 560 species over 2 500 m². reserve of Nohèdes extends over 10 km and sprawls
It revolves around several scenes: rock, Zen garden, between 760 and 2459 m high. The natural habitats
checkered and scrolls in the turf, topiary, trimmed are contrasted and diversified, a few kilometres away,
hedges, pond with bridge, garden, terraces ... it is depending on exposition and altitude, one can go from
decorated with a dry waterfall and offers a magnificent Mediterranean influence to a harsh, almost arctic winter.
view on the foothills of the Canigou.The reserve shelters great floristic wealth, 1100 vegetal
species are listed on this territory, 41 of which are orchid w The exotic garden in Ponteilla. It is a private garden
species, long known by generations of botanists. The with an area of 3 hectares for the whole family to discover.
omnipresence of forest, and the steep slopes constitute You will find more than 1400 varieties of plants from all
refuge zones for the fauna: deer, roe deer, chamois, genet, five continents. A nice way of perceiving the world through
wild cats and stoats are present, as are large raptors. At its delicate flowers with captivating perfumes, its lush
the Col de Marsac, the view on the Roussillon plain and plants and unexpected delicacies. Bamboo, eucalyptus,
Canigou is breath‑taking. Are arranged for the public: exotic fruits, cacti and rare plants will guide your walk.
hiking and discovery trails, refuges, 9 routes to discover w The Tropique du Papillon in Elne. This private
the «Lost Ark Valley.» garden is a huge greenhouse of nearly 800 m² where,
w Conat. On a territory of 543 acres, the natural reserve in tropical and subtropical vegetation (banana, lotus,
of Conat in the Conflent sprawls from 700 to 1680 m hibiscus, ferns ...), freely roam over 60 species of exotic
butterflies. Among lush plants, fragrant flowers and high. Between the arid summit plateau, strewn with
fountains, hundreds of butterflies flutter around you. An moors and lawns, and the slopes, covered with moors or
outdoor garden planted with bamboo and Mediterranean Scots pine according to exposure, the contrast is great.
species complete this poetic universe.Mankind, by its agro‑pastoral activities, has contributed
to create open spaces suitable for the development of w The Arboretum of Mas Roussillon (CCEAME)
vegetal species, some of which are Mediterranean and in Canet-en-Roussillon. At the gates of Canet, this
reach record high. public park which spreads over 11 hectares offers us
For more information, connect yourself to www.reserves‑ to discover a plant collection representing the five
naturelles.org. continents. The arboretum, on the upper part of the
field, regroups over 500 species of trees and shrubs.
Gardens A xerophyte garden presents a hundred of cacti and
plants from arid soils. The bio‑aquatic garden allows «The other end of the earth and the back garden contain
discovery of the diversity of aquatic and sub‑aquatic the same amount of wonders.» Christian Bobin.
plants. Further down, in the orchards, fruit trees give  Walking in a garden, is discovering a place, a history,
a good overview of current and former fruit varieties a small patch of cultivated earth, it is a breath of fresh
(fruit sales in autonomous picking). On the outskirts of air that invites you to relax, to dream, to raise one’s
the orchards, can be discovered a bamboo plantation, awareness of the passage of time, a place where the
pecan trees, oaks and a plantation of camphor trees.smooth running of the seasons is learned. A garden is
an endless source of inspiration, a sensory space that w The plant garden of the Capellans in
Saintbuzzes with vibrant and shy flowerings, delicate or heady Cyprien. Close to the beach, in the Centennial Park
fragrances and changing leaves. A garden is a small of Capellans, nearly 5 acres wide, we find more than
paradise made for the pleasure of all eyes. 800 plant species including 35 species of palm trees,
a beautiful collection of camellias, ancient roses and w The kitchen garden of Cal Mateu in
Saintea bamboo plantation. A long wooden pier leads the Léocadie. At an altitude of 1300 m, adjacent to the
visitor to the pond and flowered cascade in this vast eighteenth century main building (listed historic
English‑style garden which invites to daydreaming.monument and housing the Museum of Cerdagne), is
an original kitchen garden which is a small conservatory w Fort Saint-Elme in Collioure. The imposing Fort St.
of local varieties of vegetables and fruits, it is a space Elme overlooking the bays of Collioure and PortVendres,
for daydreaming as much as curiosity! An acoustic and shelters in its ditches many plants brought from Mexico
poetic journey awaits you and will share with you some in the flanks of the caravels of the conquistador Hernan
gardening secrets... Cortes, such as Agave Americana.
‑12 HISTORY ‑ Prehistory
History
as island capital). Before returning to the Principality of Prehistory Catalonia (1343), the territory is enjoying a brilliant era
To retrace the history of the department is literally prosperity and growth, architectural and political deve‑
equivalent to date back to beginning of the ages. Due lopment, business expansion (wines, oils, draperies). In
to its geographical location, the Catalan Country has 1462, Roussillon and Cerdanya counties are pledged and
always been a welcoming land for man, at least since occupied by the French, before Charles VIII restores them
the Homo Erectus of Tautavel (450000 years). to the king of Catalonia‑Aragon in 1493.
Antiquity From The Renaissance
Much later, in the third century BC, Hannibal the To The RevolutionCarthaginian crossed the col de Panissars – near Perthus
In the seventeenth century, baroque art flourished in – with his elephants to bring war to Rome. Almost two
Spain and, by extension, in Roussillon. In IllesurTet, the centuries later, the legions of Pompé and Caesar made
Hospici building, is a testimony of this, notably with its way in the opposite direction to subject the people of
superb pediment. The Church of St. Vincent de Collioure, the Iberian Peninsula to the rule of Rome. From the end
for its part, contains beautiful golden altarpieces of this of the 2nd century BC. C., the Romans settled in Ruscino,
era. In 1659, Louis XIV takes advantage of the Treaty of Iberian city became Castell‑Rosselló’s (Château Roussillon)
the Pyrenees that puts an end to the Thirty Years War in the east of Perpignan, of which you can visit the remains
to annex the occupied territories: Roussillon, Vallespir, today. The site of Ruscino, then capital of Iberian Sordes was
Conflent, Capcir and half of Cerdagne. For the record, inhabited since the 10th Century before the Christian era.
the Catalans were left out of the negotiations, they Was recently found there the longest recorded inscription in
had knowledge of the Treaty of the Pyrenees only three Iberian language ever. With the fall of the Roman Empire,
months later, in February 1660. This second half of the the region had passed under the rule of the Visigoths – 
seventeenth century was marked in north Catalonia by 5th century AD ‑, whose archaeologists exhumed many
the Angelets Rebellion (1661‑1675), a peasant uprising testimonies in the form of tombs and places of worship.
of high amplitude due to the introduction of the salt tax,
which resulted in bloody episodes. From this period date
Middle Ages the fortifications put in place or strengthened by Vauban to
In the early eleventh century, Charlemagne stamped upon control newly conquered lands, and surround the kingdom
Roussillon southbound to launch an offensive against the of a true defensive belt. At the French Revolution, the
progression of the Moors. Thus He made Conflent and province was transformed in Pyrénées‑Orientales with
Roussillon one of the bases of the reconquering of the the addition of a part of the Languedoc Fenouillèdes.
future Catalan crown; Count Guifré el Pilós (the Hairy), of
Ria, was the first of the dynasty of Counts of Barcelona, the From The Revolution kings of Catalonia. Legend attributes to him the creation of
stthe bandera (the Catalan flag): a golden shield on which To The 21 Century
are drawn four blood coloured bars. Towards the decline of Barely out of revolutionary turmoil, the new department
the Carolingian Empire at the end of the tenth century, the of Pyrenees‑Orientales is almost immediately plunged
future Catalan country experienced a true religious renewal. into the turmoil of war of Roussillon (from April 1793 to
That resulted, in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, into August 1795) which opposes the young French Republic
the construction of many churches, abbeys, priories and to the Kingdom of Spain. After many battles, France will
chapels, giving medieval Europe some masterpieces of win this war with the recovery of Fort Bellegarde at
Romanesque art, like the Abbey of Saint‑Michel deCuixà Perthus.  During the nineteenth century, the history of
and cloister, or the priory of Serrabona. The work of the Vallespir and collective memory will be strongly marked by
sculptors of Roussillon was highly regarded and called for Trabucayres, the bandits who, armed with «trabucs» (blun‑
throughout the south of Europe, foremost among them derbusses) spread terror during the years 1837 to 1846.
was the master of Cabestany. Gothic art was significantly They attacked stagecoaches and ransomed, sequestered
less represented in Roussillon. Some buildings like the and tortured farm owners, their trial was a resounding one.
Palace of Kings of Majorca or the Saint‑Jean of Perpignan  The railway arrived in Perpignan in 1858, contributing to
Cathedral and its cloister‑cemetery – Campo Santo – are the opening up of the region and favouring a beneficial
among the most original of southern Gothic. The counties market economy for vegetable and fruit production, wines
of Roussillon and Cerdagne, as from 1276, experiencing as well as its industry. Thus, under the Second Empire,
a brief period of separation from the rest of Catalonia. A Perpignan resumed its interrupted growth since the
son of Jaume I the Conqueror gives to the new Kingdom Middle Ages, and began, like the big cities of the country,
of Majorca, Perpinyà for mainland capital (and Palma a program of construction, embellishments and roads.
‑‑‑KNOWING MORE ABOUT PERPIGNAN & NORTH CATALONIA
Cultural Heritage ‑ HERITAGE & TRADITIONS 13
 The early twentieth century was marked by the revolt Jews and gypsies were locked in the Rivesaltes camp
of winemakers in 1907, dissatisfied with the slump which was nicknamed the «Drancy of free zone» and in
and the fall in the price of wine. It will also be charac‑ 1944 the village of Valmanya was burned and destroyed
terized by the enthusiasm of many painters, as from by German troops. The department was released in
1905, for Collioure with Matisse and Derain followed mid‑August 1944.
by Valtat, Manguin, Marquet, Vlaminck... Picasso fell In 1962, hundreds of Blackfoot arrived by boat in Port‑
in love with Ceret, which was nicknamed the Mecca Vendres, everything will be implemented for these new
of Cubism. The war of 1914 put an end to these stays. migrants and their capital to remain in the department.
In 1939, A human tide swept the department with In 1967, construction of the A9 which goes to Perthus
the mass exodus of thousands of Spanish Republicans puts Perpignan in direct relationship with Montpellier
fleeing Francoism, with many makeshift camps made to and Paris to the north and Barcelona to the south. The
regroup them (Argelès and Saint‑Cyprien, Rivesaltes ... ). land is ready for the creation of resorts built on the model
The demography of the Eastern Pyrenees was signi‑ of the Costa Brava. Since then, tourism has become a
ficantly modified. During World War II, thousands of pillar of the local economy.
Heritage & Traditions
and the Catalan garnet with our Roussillon wines? Cultural Heritage Picasso, Matisse, Maillol, Chagall, Masson, Manolo
Hugué, Soutine, Antoni Tapies, to name but a few,
Painting have managed to tame the nuances of colors to render
The department of the Eastern Pyrenees enjoys excep‑ their strength and beauty. But the artist that is most
tional light in every season. Artists have noticed. Many associated with the «artistic Catalanity» is Salvador Dali,
of them passed there, others stayed. How can one not who, by himself, made Perpignan and the department
fall in love with such a colour palette when the red popular, since he decided that Perpignan station was
blood of the bull merges with the first cherries of Céret the centre of the world.
The bonfires on Saint John’s Eve
How unforgettable is the night of Saint John, celebrated on June 23 when, on all sides, the summer solstice is
lighted by fires! It should be known that it is not until the fifth century that the Church took possession of the
ancient pagan celebration of the coming of summer, to name it the Saint John. But the Catalans, in turn, have
taken a completely different approach to it. It all starts on the Sunday before the Saint John the Baptist; men,
women and children by the hundreds begin the ascent of Canigou by singing traditional songs with branches
and fagots in their arms. These, piled on each other, make up the large blaze. Each deposited bundle represents
a Catalan village of north and south. The symbolism is very strong, because the building of this huge bonfire is
only possible with the cohesion of all and of a people that will be reconvened again to this magical night. On June
22, three young mountaineers take down some of the flames with a torch, which is maintained since 1964 at
Casa Païral (at the foot of Castillet in Perpignan). They then gain the summit of Canigou and set ablaze the vast
mound of wood at the last stroke of midnight: the father of lights is reborn. This light perched at 2,764 meters
above sea level is visible, like a lighthouse, hundreds of kilometres around. Immediately, the riders, rustic lamps
in hand, slide down the slopes of the sacred mountain and pass the flame to torchbearers that go in all directions
and stop in each village to light the fires of St. John to the applause and «vivas» of the inhabitants who, to the
sound of faviol, tambourines and bass, form a circle around a bonfire and dance the Sardana. It is then that, as
by enchantment, you can follow the progress of this flame that, from minute to minute, lights all the vertices of
the Catalan Pyrenees, but also stadiums and squares. Seen from the heights, Catalan country looks like a huge
starry sky with the apotheosis of the return of the sacred fire to Perpignan. The Castillet finally set ablaze in a
spectacular fireworks display. The circle is complete, the Catalan people thus seal, as a promise renewed every
year, its unity in joy and peace. The Saint John is much more than a traditional religious festival, it is also a special
night conducive to pickings of magic herbs. Do not forget to pick or buy the bouquet of the four sacred plants
(stonecrop, immortal, St. John’s wort and walnut) and offer it to your loved ones as a lucky charm. It is said that
it protects houses and their occupants. This flame that expresses fraternity among peoples is so significant to
all that since 2010, the Generalitat of Catalonia declared the «Sant Joan» «festa nacional països dels Catalans.»14 HERITAGE & TRADITIONS ‑ Architectural Heritage
The fortress of Salses
to pay the salt tax in 1669, the ramparts of Prats‑de‑Architectural Heritage
Mollo were raised. Then, as ten years ago, the county
of Roussillon had been given back to France by Spain, Religious Architecture he consolidated the frontiers, the fortress of Salses in
An inestimable wealth to those who know to get lost the north, Fort St. Elmo in Collioure, Fort Bellegarde at
inland and look up to the freshness of the religious Perthus, the fort Liberia Villefranche‑de‑Conflent and
buildings. especially he built the tallest fortress of France and
gave it the name of his King «Mont Louis». The state w Romanesque art. The presence of marble in the
of conservation of the buildings is incredible, being department, and its use in buildings, give it a character
solid proof that the architect of the Sun King was an of its own. The Eastern Pyrenees are rich of wonderful
outstanding military builder.small churches or large abbeys built in the eleventh and
twelfth centuries; under their modest appearance, they
Highway Structuresare filled with statuary treasures, Madonna and Child
The line of the yellow train railway is without dispute and Romanesque furniture of exceptional beauty. The
a technical feat in itself.No less than 650 structures most emblematic buildings are: the Priory de Serrabone,
were required for its construction across the only the abbeys of Saint‑Michel de Cuxa or Saint‑Martin of
60 kilometres between VillefranchedeConflent and Canigou, or the cloister of Elne to name but a few. But
LaTourdeCarol. Anyone up for the challenge? The the sensitivity of each and every one determine their
Séjourné Bridge is proof enough. This 217 meters long preferences. We willingly set off in search of sculptures
viaduct rises to 72 meters above the stream of the Tet from the Master of Cabestany, recognizable among all,
and despite a century of loyal service, it has not aged on the Tympans.
a bit and allows the passage of 400 000 passengers
w Gothic and Baroque art. The painted and gilded per year, by all weather. A work that should not be
altarpieces are true masterpieces of Gothic art and contemplated from the road only, the most impressive
flamboyant baroque, as well as the hospices of Ille, being to cross it aboard the «Canary».
the altarpieces of the churches of Prades, Font‑Romeu,
Vinca, Baixas or Osséja, sculpted by the hands of Joseph
Sunyer, Hyacinthe Rigaud’s paintings in the cathedral Traditions & Ways Of Life
of Saint‑Jean Perpignan or St. Jacques church, who
later became the portraitist of Louis XIV.It would be Language
reductive to mention only these. The tourist offices A proud people and fiercely attached to its identity,
of all the villages of the department will be happy better not say to a Catalan that his language is a dialect!
to advise you. Like French, Spanish and Italian, Catalan is a Romanic
language that is more than 1,200 years old, is the 23rd
Military Architecture language used on the Internet (there even is a specific
How can one speak of military architecture without domain name for sites in Catalan, the «cat»). Spoken
mentioning Vauban? At the request of Louis XIV, and in all the Catalan countries by more than 7.5 million
to contain the revolt of the «Angelets», who refused people, it is the official language (Andorra, UN) and
‑‑‑‑
© NICOLAS RUNG – AUTHOR’S IMAGEKNOWING MORE ABOUT PERPIGNAN & NORTH CATALONIA
Local Specialities ‑ GASTRONOMY 15
coofficial (autonomous Catalonia, València, Balearic they are familiarly called the «catalanades». Today,
Islands, Aragon and the city of Alguer in Sardinia) of between public education and private education,
13 million inhabitants. from kindergarten to high school, 13 500 students
In the Eastern Pyrenees, although Catalan language are learning the Catalan language (source: Academic
was banned by Louis XIV in 1700, it remained the Council of Regional Languages of the Academy of
dominant language until after the Second World War. Montpellier‑2009) Furthermore the University of
In many homes, especially in rural areas, Catalan Perpignan via Domitia offers courses in Catalan up
remained the only language spoken until the early to DEA. According to a survey conducted in January
70s. The population, having been barely educated, 2004 among a population aged over fifteen years, 88.5%
spoke French only with government agencies or forasters of the population understand Catalan and 65.5% speak
(foreigners). it. However, 47.8% of people read it and only 17.1%
This oral and intergenerational transmission of Catalan write it. Outside school or university curriculum, there
is at the origin of some words and expressions that are are many opportunities to learn our language, the Casa
unique to the department, sometimes quite different de la Generalitat in Perpignan offers adult evening
from the normative Catalan, but wonderfully pictorial! classes, the same is true in many other places. Praised
Moreover, even among the youngest, there are many by much of the local population, learning Catalan has
Catalan words that flavour conversation in French, a bright future ahead.
Gastronomy
a sofregit of tomatoes and onions. To accompany the Local Specialities main dish, meat or fish, the Escalivade is an undoub‑
Catalan cuisine resembles the varied landscapes of tedly unavoidable vegetable dish. It is appreciated for
this beautiful region, between sea and mountains. its acidulous savours, its candied texture after a slow
It is varied, colourful, it also gives off fragrances of baking, the aubergines, onions, tomatoes and peppers
Spain when one patiently waits with tapas, it’s a are pretty colours. The purple artichokes of Salanque,
festive atmosphere happening to you on a plate. The sold in bouquets from February to March make excellent
boles of Picoulat are very fragrant, pork and beef bunyols (fritters) or are eaten in barigoule. The round
meatballs cooked in a sauce with green olives, raised of desserts starts with rousquilles of Arles‑sur‑Tech,
with cinnamon. Among the rustic dishes, those of winter, round biscuits coated with melted white sugar, then
the Salpiquet of mongetes is a seasoned bean cream the famous croquants of Saint‑Paul‑de‑Fenouillet,
with olive oil; and ollade, a vegetable soup (cabbage, with toasted almonds and panallets, crispy and soft
beans) flavored with bacon, the cerdà trinxat is a tasty petit fours which are usually made for the Toussaint.
cake that combines cabbage and ventresca. Pork is a The shells whose recipe dates back to the Middle Ages
constant in mountain cuisine and participates in the – brioche dough topped with candied fruit or seasonal
gastronomic reputation of the country’s delicatessen. fruits assembled by a custard machine – were once
Fuets (fine dry sausages) and llonganissa, botifarres a dessert for religious holidays, like the large round
(little black or white sausages which are eaten raw or donuts bunyetes and sugar‑sprinkled dishes, which
cooked), pa de fetge, Catalan liverwurst, salted and are prepared for Easter. As for the touron, it arrives on
dried hams, are the essentials of a picnic basket gourmet Catalan tables for Christmas. It has nothing to do with
lunch. We must add the friendly cargolade, it is a snail nougat, even if the ingredients are common (honey,
barbecue accompanied seasoned with aioli, which is sugar, almond paste and dried fruit), the flavour and
done outdoors as soon as the weather is good, sausages, consistency is semi‑crunchy for almonds and hazelnuts‑
lamb chops and botifares are complementary. In the based nougat, and is more tender with pinions. Bras de
kitchen of the sea, rock fish of the Vermeille coast are Gitan and Bras de Venus are rolled sponge cake filled
accommodated with potatoes in a delicious stew, the with pastry cream, dusted with icing sugar. Traditional,
bullinada, which can also be prepared with squid or the crema cremada, very fragrant and caramelized
eel.Lobsters and prawns are prepared in many ways, with hot iron, is a necessary dessert with the pa and
notably Llagostera or stew, simmered in Banyuls. Catalan eggs flan, easy to prepare. A specialty that is
Marinated fresh anchovies, simply served with roasted often present on the card of simple desserts is the mel
red peppers make a lovely summer entry. Besides the i mato, honey and fresh or curd sheep cheese must
grilled fish found throughout the year, the capon of be consumed fresh or even frozen, to which one can
the seas or escorpora is cooked with black olives and associate a Muscat de Rivesaltes.
‑16 GASTRONOMY ‑ Local Specialities
Anchovies Local Products
Collioure is famous for its anchovies specialty since
Meat, Poultry & Gamethe Middle Ages. In both production workshops, still
operating in compliance with the craft tradition, Meats are popular and in particular:
anchovies are salted manually and beheaded, gutted w Dew of the Pyrenees. Raised in total freedom on and placed in a ring in brine barrels for flavour and the tops and in the mountain pastures between 700 m incomparable taste. and 2 500 m, this veal from 5 to 8 months is nourished
exclusively milk of his/her mother and herb of the Rousquille pastures. Its meat is tasty, tender and low in grease.
«To give you a little of its royal treasury, Roussillon It is a seasonal product which one finds from May to
overflows with caresses! It put its sun in its golden December. One can discover it in his natural habitat, of
mimosas, it put its sweetness in its white Rousquilles! stroll in mountain pastures are organized in summer,
«wrote the poet Albert Bausil in 1920. No party, no (hiking and meal grilled meats).
event in Roussillon can do without its «rousquilles»! For any information on the Pink of the Pyrenees: the
This plump and circular biscuit, covered with a white retail outlets and walks (tel) +33 (0) 4 68 05 25 80 or
and shiny glaze is a cornerstone of the culinary heritage www.roseedespyrenees.com
of the Eastern Pyrenees. w El Xaï. The Catalan lamb “el xaï” also has its nobility. This small hollow crown, in its sandy paste, 6 to 7 cm
Product only by fifty breeder, only 5,000 heads are sold in diameter and 2‑3 cm high, more or less flavoured annually. A lamb of 90 ‑day sheepfold, which weighs with aniseed or lemon, topped with white icing is less than 29 pounds, high in the Pyrénées‑orientales. served on all Catalan tables. The Rousquille is sometimes Fed traditionally under the mother until weaning, then
called rosquille (the word «rosca» in Catalan, which a food 100% vegetable. Its meat, a pink very clear, is means crown) and is traditionally eaten with a glass appreciated for its finesse.of sweet wine. For any information on Xaï: www.saveursdupaysca‑
The history of Rousquille is closely linked to Vallespir, talan.com
besides Arles‑sur‑Tech and Amélie‑les‑Bains are
w Tirabuixó. It is a pork raised in the Eastern Pyrénées. claiming paternity for it.
It lives in the open air (80% of the current production) Very popular in the nineteenth century, it was built
or straw in the high mountains. Fed with food includes by craftsmen confectioners in the mountains of
cereal and minerals, it gives a meat and naturally tasty Vallespir. Each of the villages in this region also claimed
and healthy meats. Subject to specifications that ensure authorship of these little delights...
quality and traceability, it returns to the combination of Originally, the rousquilles rings were dried on long, thin
Catalan meats, hams, sausages and rolls.sticks that street vendors carried on their shoulders
For more information: www.saveursdupayscatalan.and sold them in the street, at fairs and markets. It
com/porc‑saveurs‑du‑pays‑catalanwas in 1810 that a pastry chef from Amélie‑les‑Bains
had the idea to coat them with the glaze that makes w Duck and foie gras are also part of the local farm
all their beauty. productions, especially in Vallespir and Aspres. Fair in
Salted Anchovies
© NICOLAS RUNG – AUTHOR’S IMAGEKNOWING MORE ABOUT PERPIGNAN & NORTH CATALONIA
Local Products ‑ GASTRONOMY 17
the fat with Prades third Sunday of November, Thuir and, as such, sought production for its unique taste. It
at the beginning of December and Céret a few days is celebrated in Matemale in mid‑October.
before Christmas. w The red onion of Toulouges is produced in
Toulouges and in some neighbouring villages. Of a Pork Products rather imposing size, it is recognizable by its slightly
Catalan delicatessen is traditionally prepared in the flattened shape and its almost garnet colour. With
mountains, especially in Cerdagne. It holds a very its white flesh, soft, crunchy and slightly sweet, it is
important place in the local gastronomy.Dry mountain consumed mainly raw and in salads.We should not
hams and tasty pies, sausages and black puddings always neglect to mention our sun‑kissed star fruits:
have a place on the tables of the region. For a Catalan, w The Ceret cherry which comes in several varieties, it is unthinkable to make a Cargolade (grilled snails the Burlat, Starking Hardi, Bigalise. These are the first to on blazing vine shoots) without a pretty whirlwind of reach maturity in France as from May. Eagerly awaited sausages and black puddings (all must be absolutely
with greedy impatience, it is celebrated at the end of May 100% made in Catalonia!) to also be there. Obviously, with a market, coring and core spitting competitions!as starters, while we wait for the main dish, we serve a The beautifully plump peach and nectarine, juicy and tasty, slice of pie, Catalan too, a few slices of salami and pieces are very present in the orchards of Roussillon, one finds of fuet (Catalan dry sausage)... Life is good! them from the end of May to September on all stalls. They
are mainly grown in the areas on and around Ille‑sur‑Tet.Cheese & Dairy Products
w The Apples of Rotja Valley are known throughout Sheep, goat and cow breeders enjoy the variety of
the department for their flavour and unique aroma landscapes (coastal, plain, foothills and mountains)
due to a special little unknown. Maybe it’s the altitude, that give to the milk the typical flavours that are found
perhaps the earth... in all cases, they are excellent. They in Pyrenean cheese. The production is still artisanal and
are available in Golden, Pippin, Gala, Granny, Queen of takes place at the farm or at the fold. Cow or sheep
Reinettes, Pinova... Sahorre Apples, Fuilla apples, evocative milk cheese come mainly from mountainous areas
names for all Catalans. The Rotja Valley joyfully celebrates (Cerdagne, Capcir, Haut‑Conflent, Haut‑Vallespir), their
the apple, every year on the last Sunday of October.distribution is rather confidential, they are therefore
essentially found in the markets or, of course, directly w The Red Apricot of Roussillon, with its beautiful
from the producer. Goats are tougher, their breeding is orange‑yellow dress, spotted with red, its smooth and
thus done all over the department and there is a great velvety appearance, juicy and melting flesh, its small
number of producers. Whether fresh, dried, nature, grey size, sweet taste and strong fragrance, it is an elite
or embellished with dried fruit, goat cheeses are many. apricot which has had, in addition, the good idea of
wearing the colours of our coat of arms!For a real taste of Catalonia, let yourself be tempted by
the mel i mató. Whether cow, sheep or goat, this little
jar of ultrafresh creamy cheese (mató), generously Oils, Spices & Condiments
topped with local honey (mel), is in itself an ode to the
w Olive oil. The department has long been the first art of Catalan living.
producer of olive oil in France, but the vine has taken over
after the 1956 gel. Over the last ten years, the olive oil Fruits & Vegetables industry has been revitalized, complementing the local
Market gardening is a tradition in the department with, culture. However, it is one of the few departments in the
particularly on the plains, salads in winter, chicory, south not to be given a protected designation of origin
escarole, and a variety of lettuces grown under cover (AOC). In the department, there have been a wide range
or in open fields, the production area is less important of varieties, all very typical: the most widespread is the
than in the southeast, but arrives earlier. Olivière, found from the foot of the Alberes to Estagel,
w Spring starts with the Salanque artichoke, the the courbeil, the argoudeil in Banyuls particularly, the
«carxofa». It is distinguished from the Breton or Spanish verdale on the side of Aspres and the glory on Millas,
kind by its green or purple varieties. The purple artichoke the poumal near Sounia. The picking is manual and
is characterized by its small size, its purplish leaves and its growers are many to open their own domains to share
conical shape. It is harvested very young to preserve all their ancestral know‑how. The festival of the olive oil in
its tenderness.With a production of about 9,000 tons and Sorède in April, in Banyuls‑sur‑Mer in July.
250 farms, the Roussillon plain arrives in second position w The truffle. The Eastern Pyrenees certainly cannot
behind Britain for this vegetable rich in magnesium, compete against the South East and the Perigord, but
which is celebrated in Salanque on May 1st. there has always had truffles in Vallespir, Fenouillèdes,
w The early season potato of Roussillon «the Béa Conflent and in the Aspres. The amounts are lower today,
du Roussillon» is recognized AOC in 2006 and AOP in the lands are no longer maintained, not watered enough,
2012, it has special taste qualities which have made its but crops are between 200 and 400 kilos of truffles picked
reputation. Its slightly sweet flavour, its intense aromas of up in recent years. It is found in the markets of Villefranche
early season vegetables (artichokes, peas, beans) and its deConflent and Latour‑de‑France, the two first Sundays of
melting texture make its success. Its harvest takes place January. The Vallespir truffle is celebrated in Arles‑sur‑Tech
between 1st May and late July. As for the high altitude on the 1st Sunday of February, the Fenouillèdes variety in
potato, harvested in October, it is a more confidential Lesquerdes on the 2nd Sunday of February.
‑‑‑18 GASTRONOMY ‑ Local Products
since its creation in 1928, with the same spring water, Sweets
a delicious lemonade, The Limonette, which has marked In Catalan country, the love of good things is no legend and
the childhoods of many Catalans.to be honest, a good catalan meal would not be complete
As for colas, it’s not just the American giants, we have without ending on a delicious sweet note, or even several...
Cat Cola, also produced by Miles Brewery since 2005 and
w The crema cremada (Catalan crème brûlée): known which was born after the success of another Catalan Cola,
worldwide for a few years now, is a creamy aniseed the artisanal Alter Cola or Cola Lliure (meaning free),
cream, raised with delicate keys of lemon zest and manufactured and sold by the Cap d’Ona Brewery, who
cinnamon, covered with a thin crunchy layer of caramel. also produces the Catalan Tonic and Organic lemonade.
We sublime its flavour by accompanying it with a glass Let’s climb a few degrees with our artisanal beers. The
of old muscat or ambry rivesaltes. best known are the Cap d’Ona, white (with rosemary),
w The Catalan Coca: you will also find it under the blonde, Banyuls, amber (3 malts), organic pure malt
name ‘fougasse’. It is a dough close to brioche, beautifully and lager. More recently, The Bière du Canigou (blond
garnished with pastry cream, nuts or fresh seasonal or white) is gaining quite a following.As for apples,
fruit. It often sits in homes on Sunday tables. It is to be apricots, peaches, pears ... we could not resist, they
known that it also exists in a savoury version; it is then ended up as organic fruit juice bottles that are easily
topped with cracklings, cheese... found in supermarkets and pretty markets!
w The bras de Venus or bras de Gitan: a rolled
sponge cake filled with pastry cream, and whose top Alcohol & Spirits
is covered in icing sugar, is marked with a hot iron to
obtain a nice golden brown. It’s delicious, light and it Winescan be endlessly eaten... well, almost.
w The pa d’ous (pronounced pa d’ous): it too, for many Genuine wines born at the heart
decades, was the Sunday dessert. This «egg bread» is a
of outstanding terroirsvanilla and orange blossom flavoured custard. Very firm
Set against the foothills of the Pyrenees and facing the and smooth, it is topped with caramel.
Mediterranean lies the former Province of Roussillon, w The Rousquille: Proust had his madeleine, every which became a “département” known as the “Pyrénées‑Catalan has his Rousquille or rosquille! It is a small
Orientales” in 1790. This unique region is characterised ring of melting texture with anise and citrus aromas, by the tremendous variety of its landscapes, soils and covered with a delicate layer of icing sugar. To be tasted microclimates. There are many different types of “terroir” absolutely to touch the Catalan soul! suitable for growing vines, and each one has its own
w The bunyete: Ah the bunyete! (in French pronounced characteristics. Roussillon is therefore not one single
bougnette). How can one not give in to this large round wine area but a collection of wine areas; not one wine
donut, thin and flat as a plate and sprinkled with sugar, that but a whole range of wines, each one having its unique
was traditionally eaten for Easter? Today, many bakeries personality and place in the world of gastronomy.
and pastry shops in the department produce it all year w Dry wines: red, rosé and white wines. With round. In households, it is still prepared in family, at all wine‑making processes adapted to each terroir and ages, and it has its festival at the time of Easter and Millas. grape variety, the Roussillon dry wines offer a remarkable
w The Croquant de St. Paul: As the name suggests, array of colours and flavours. These harmonious wines,
this is a crisp cookie made in Saint‑Paul‑de‑Fenouillet both fruity and fullbodied, brilliantly sing the colourful
in the Agly valley. Generously covered with almonds, it melody of the terroir where they originated. This virtuo‑
is nibbled at over coffee or with a glass of sweet wine. sity is expressed in the AOP wines: Côtes du Roussillon,
w The panallets: These delicious little balls of marzipan Côtes du Roussillon Villages, Maury Sec, Collioure and
coated with nuts are pure delicacies, not light at all! the IGP Wines: Côtes Catalanes and Côte Vermeille.
w The turons (tourons): traditionally enjoyed at w Vins doux naturels. Roussillon has long been
renowned for its Vins Doux Naturels, which were already Christmas, these typical Catalan delicacies are made
with almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, honey and sugar. greatly popular at the prestigious European Courts.
White, black, with hazelnuts, almonds or pine nuts, As early as the 13th century, the Vins Doux Naturels
(Banyuls, Rivesaltes, Maury, Muscat de Rivesaltes) were they are absolutely irresistible.
made according to the rigorous process of adding spirit
Mineral Waters & Local Drinks to the must during the fermentation: it is called the
Mutage. That is how these generous wines produced We have wine, lots of wine, some very good too, but we
from “noble” varieties can keep a part of the natural also have water! Since 1999, Miles breweries – founded
sweetness from the fruit. Appellation d’Origine Controlée in 1928 ‑ produce the La Sémillante; Catalan spring
since 1936, they proudly fly the Roussillon’s flag, as the water. Bottled at the source, this naturally pure water
region is the cradle of 90 % of french VDN.comes in slightly bubbly variations with the addition
of carbon dioxide or fruit flavours, with the addition of w Rivesaltes. «Ambré» wines have a deep golden
natural flavours in traditional tastes, such as lemon and robe with dry fruit aromas. «Grenat» are ruby‑red with
strawberry, but also through tastes showcasing local a red fruits bouquet. «Tuilé» wines have mahogany
fruits, such as peaches and apricots. Miles produces, hues and cocoa aromas. Served between 12 and 15°C,
‑KNOWING MORE ABOUT PERPIGNAN & NORTH CATALONIA
Alcohol & Spirits ‑ GASTRONOMY 19
The Roussillon Wine Trails
Banyuls, Collioure, Muscat de Rivesaltes... Are these wines you’d like to learn more about? Then what are you
waiting for? Whether a newcomer, connoisseur or simply curious, The Rousillon Wine Trail is for you! With
this hands‑on experience, you’ll soon be an expert! Come and meet the region’s wine‑producers and share
an unforgettable moment of exchange in an educational and friendly setting.
Explore the wines of Roussillon by setting off on the trails of the Agly Valley, Têt Valley and Tech Valley. Stroll
through the grapevines and discover the diversity of the Roussillon countryside. From the Pyrenees to the
Mediterranean, forests, mountains, high plateaus, and sandy and rocky coasts are all brought together to
give you an unforgettable experience!
On foot, by bike or by car, discover unique locations bursting with history and generosity on the Roussillon
Wine Trail. Eight routes in total have been designed to inspire your thirst for authentic escapes and friendly
discussions with the area’s wine‑growers!
w The area chosen by its first inhabitants some 450,000 years ago, the Agly Valley boasts an
exceptional rural, cultural and patrimonial heritage.
Nurtured by both Catalan and Occitan culture, the valley’s traditions and landscapes have been enriched
by the History of Man in equal measure. The diversity of its settings, its seas, pools and lagoons, garrigues,
grapevines and forests guarantee breath‑taking adventures with a Mediterranean feel.
The Agly Valley offers the perfect conditions for wine lovers to get to know its superb crus. On the «Fenouillèdes»,
«Agly», «Crest et Calcaire» and «Salanque» routes you will have the chance to taste a wide variety of wines,
including the AOP Côtes du Roussillon, Côtes du Roussillon Villages, Lesquerde, Caramany, Tautavel, Latour de
France, Vins Doux Naturel AOP Maury, Rivesaltes, Muscat de Rivesaltes and IGP Côtes Catalanes.
w The Têt Valley is bathed in sun for almost 300 days of the year. Agricultural activity dominates these
rich, fertile and silty lands interspersed with rocky stretches. And irrigation work has enabled market
gardening and fruit and grapevine growing to prosper.
Upstream from Perpignan, in the springtime, the Ribéral and Bas Conflent are awash with pink tones that
celebrate the blossoming of the peach and nectarine trees on the canvas of the Canigou and Albères backdrop.
The Plaine stretches right to the Mediterranean, along the sandy beaches of Canet and Roussillon to Argèles
sur Mer. Set off on the «Plaine et Ribéral» route and meet producers of the AOP Côtes du Roussillon and Vins
Doux Naturel AOP Rivesaltes and Muscat de Rivesaltes wines!
w In the Tech Valley, the mountain and the sea have always enjoyed a passionate relationship that
brings together a palette of specific and contrasting terroirs, terraced between the Côte Vermeille and the
mountain pastures of Vallespir.
Come and meet the winegrowers and discover their vineyards, from the vine to the cellar, on typical tasting
walks that introduce you to the AOP Collioure, Côtes du Roussillon and Côtes du Roussillon Les Aspres as well
as the Vins Doux Naturel AOP Banyuls, Banyuls Grand Cru, Rivesaltes and Muscat de Rivesaltes wines. Three
routes: «La Côte Vermeille», «Les Albères» and «Les Aspres» will lead you on a journey through time and space,
in the sumptuous setting of sunshine and vineyards brought to life by generous and authentic winegrowers!
w Plan your stay online at www.tourismedeterroir.fr
they can be appreciated as an aperitif or paired with they accompany foie gras, sweet and sour dishes or
foie gras, sheep’s cheese or desserts. chocolate desserts. For Banyuls Grand Cru, there is a
minimum of 30 months in wooden barrels before bottling.w Muscat de Rivesaltes. Wines are bottled very early
to keep their fresh aromas. Served chilled (8 to 10°C),
Beers & Cidersthe wines will be appreciated as an aperitif. They will
also soften the strong taste of Roquefort cheese, or will It is not because we are in the land of wine that we do not
perfectly enhance fruit‑based desserts. have our Catalan beer. The brewery of Argelès‑sur‑Mer, Cap
d’Ona, which means the «top of the wave» in Catalan, is w Maury. Maury have a deep red robe with aromas
among the most decorated breweries in France. For over of brandied black fruits, cocoa, and torrefaction. They
are best served between 13 and 15°C. They will be 10 years, it develops, in addition to traditional beers
particularly appreciated by chocolate lovers. White Maury (blonde, white and amber), new recipes linked to the terroir
is also produced. Thanks to their unique composition, and season (banyuls blonde, white cherry Céret, blonde
Maury wines can be cellared 20 years or more. Apricot, blonde honey, white scrubland with rosemary, a
Christmas blonde...). Close your eyes and imagine, when w Banyuls. Matured in large casks or demi‑muid
the sound of bubbles is confused with the song of cicadas... (620 litre barrels), Banyuls wines colours and aromas
can vary but often gain complexity over the years. And as a happiness never comes alone, that other younger
artisanal brewery in Bouleternerre, the Alzina Brewery, Some of them gain a well‑known «rancio» taste after
a long ageing in an oxidative environment. Best served now begins to penetrate the market with its thyme and
between 13 and 15°C, almonds beer, we know how to make beer here too!
‑‑20 SPORTS & LEISURE
Sports & Leisure
The Eastern Pyrenees is a paradise for outdoor sports the land of the two rugbies. It’s not that we hate football,
and leisure activities. The varied landscape allows the but here high‑level football is but a distant memory
since the disappearance of Perpignan Football Club, territory to engage fully in hiking or mountain biking
in attractive and well‑marked paths.Horse riding and a few years ago. Many towns nevertheless have their
amateur football club, everyone is not born Catalan!golf also help one oxygenate in any season. And the
opening on the Mediterranean Sea from Leucate to
Cerbère offers such a variety of coastlines that you can Hiking
practice all sports, from scuba diving to recreational w Step by step in the Eastern PyreneesMountain,
boating, also including windsurfing, kite‑surfing, sea scrubland or coastline? Tailored to suit all types of
kayaking. Inside the land, the rivers of the Eastern walkers, the Eastern Pyrenees gather on the same
Pyrenees and the water‑based activity sites, fans of territory 3500 km of marked hiking trails, a natural
canyoning, rafting, hydro speed and tubing will have regional park, eleven natural reserves, twenty‑three
their fair share of sensations. Sea fishing in lakes and listed sites and other outstanding natural areas between
rivers is a seasonal activity as fun as it is athletic. 0 and 2971m high. Its nose to the wind and with peace
of mind that we discover these hiking trails that offer
views of surprising beauty, always renewed. Sportive, Outdoor Activities
cultural or contemplative, whether for several days with
a backpack or just an hour hands in pockets, every hike Rugby reveals the richness of this exceptional environment
Here, sport is first and foremost rugby! 2009 France steeped in history.
Champion, holder of the Brennus shield, USAP, now With GR10®, cross the Pyrénées‑Orientales in 9 steps
playing in the top 16 in the Aime Giral stadium in from Batère to Banyuls‑sur‑Mer. The path, on the most
Perpignan, is the emblematic club XV, «Isa més que un beautiful balconies of the department, leads us to
club» (it’s more that club) depending on the formula. the soothing mountain lakes of breath‑taking beauty,
Despite its pro descent to D2 fans have remained loyal while crossing the cool forests of beech and Vallespir
to their team as the Roussillon has long been a breeding chestnut trees and woods of cork oak trees begin the
ground for champions in this field. On match days, all descent that concludes within the intimate coves of the
Catalans hold their breath, waiting for the victory of Mediterranean.On the department, the GR36® route
their favourites. One cannot speak of the XV and USAP, takes us into the Corbières and Fenouillèdes through
without paying tribute to the women’s team which wild fennel and thyme‑scented scrubland, to the hillside
proudly carries the Catalan colours well beyond the vineyards and Mediterranean forests before crossing
department. The Rugby league also inspires people the Canigou and reaching Bourg‑Madame in Cerdagne.
who closely follow the exploits of the Catalan Dragons Around the massif of Canigó, ranked Grand Site of
(former Union Treiziste Catalane – UTC), the only Rugby France since 2012, hikers and walkers will delight in
club accepted in the professional English Super League more than 450 km from the GRP offering 3 Tours and
since 2006. The Pyrenees‑Orientales department truly is a Ronde. Otherwise, to get on the paths of a given
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sports associations, clubs, works councils, 3rd‑age centres…
But Evaz‑Jo also organises stays in France and in Europe, it studies with you the best suited rates in order to
offer you tailor‑made services for all group and mini‑group travels. You will safely travel in great‑comfort
buses with a smiling and friendly professional staff. Already, the British supporters’ clubs of the Super League
have made, for a few seasons, a habit of hiring the services of Evaz‑Jo for their transfers during the matches
against the Catalans Dragons, and believe me, that is a lot of people… If I were to describe Evaz‑Jo, I would
tell you that it is a company “that can go the distance!

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