What to see near the hotel

Tourism in Vallespir and Côte Vermeille


The Relais des Chartreuses is ideally located to access remarkable sites in a very short time. Here's an overview.

Céret and the Vallespir

The capital of our small country, vallespir, is Céret, eight kilometers from the hotel. Céret is known in France for its early cherries but it is above all a typical Catalan city that vibrates in summer to the sound of sardana and is the starting point for discovery tours of the region, especially by the circuit of the Tech Valley. But this “little Aix-en-Provence” is also a city of art. At the beginning of the 20th century, it saw an influx of renowned artists such as Déodat de Séverac, Picasso, Braque, Max Jacob and many others. This is why the city has an important museum of modern art that also presents very interesting exhibitions of contemporary art every summer.

The Vermeille Coast, this rocky and picturesque coast like a balcony overlooking the sea, offers the holidaymaker a string of nuggets where it is good to stroll. From north to south, we will discover:

Argelès on the sea

Clear waters, a vast sandy beach of seven kilometers and, in the background, the Albères massif that closes this beautiful expanse of white by throwing itself into the sea, it is Argelès-sur-mer. With its port, its funfair, its casino, its train-bus, its ski-bobs, its towed buoys, its slides, its pedal boat rentals or kayaks, Argelès-sur-Mer is a popular and frequented resort. In addition to the beach, the city offers the Valmy Park where you can walk in an olfactory garden and a botanical circuit through mediterranean landscapes typical of the region. It is also in this park that the sardana festival takes place on the 1st Sunday of September.

Collioure

Collioure is an adorable little historical city that must be visited. In high season the city is extremely busy and inaccessible to cars. A mandatory car park, slightly outside, is connected to the fortified port by a shuttle. The bell tower of the church of Notre-Dame-des-Anges (altarpiece of the seventeenth century) is an iconic figure. We stroll through the many alleys of the old quarter. You can visit the Royal Castle, former residence of the kings of Mallorca, the Museum of Modern Art and bring back from Collioure a supply of anchovies, the local specialty.

Port-Vendres

The “port of Venus” or Portus Veneris dates back to antiquity. It is now a small city less lively than Collioure but very charming too. We will stroll on its quays evoking with nostalgia the great era of the ferry terminal. It is indeed from Port-Vendres that we left for Algeria or that we returned. From Port-Vendres you can reach Cap Béar (very small road) from where you can enjoy a panoramic view. South of Port-Vendres is nestled the beach of the Paulilles site (parking). Some locals think this low-key beach is the most beautiful in the area.

Banyuls

Banyuls-sur-Mer, where the sculptor Aristide Maillol was born, takes its name from the Latin balneum, the bath. That is to say if in Banyuls we love the sea. The cove is pretty, the beach begins to present pebbles, the city is lively. You can visit the aquarium of the Arago laboratory, the underwater trail of the Banyuls-Cerbère Marine Nature Reserve and the Métairie Maillol. From Banyuls leaves a very narrow winding road that goes up to the Madeloc tower, old watchtower of the twelfth century. The end of the walk is on foot (provide water and a hat) and from up there you can enjoy an exceptional panoramic view of the Côte Vermeille. Another magnificent panorama, Cap Rédéris, is located a little south of Banyuls, in the direction of Cerbère.

After Banyuls, you can continue to Cerberus and Spain (Generality of Catalonia). But if you want to spend the day in Cadaqués, it is faster to go through Figueres.

Figueres and the Empordà

A popular tourist destination, Figueres owes the vast majority of its reputation to Salvador Dalí. She also pays tribute to him with the famous Dalí Theatre-Museum. The city has a rich cultural and architectural heritage. The castle of Sant Ferran is a gigantic military fortification. Its exceptional state of conservation makes it a must-see monument to visit. The Empordà Museum or the Toy Museum are also among the must-see sights. You will also enjoy the Catalan Gothic style of the Church of Sant Pere.

The Dalí Theatre-Museum is exceptional. It is also necessarily very busy. Remember to buy your ticket in advance on the website salvador-dali.org

Cadastral

Tourism has become the economic powerhouse of this small fishing village, the easternmost in Spain. The historic center will take you back to the Middle Ages. The church of Sainte Marie will make you appreciate its Gothic style and its baroque altarpiece of 23 m high. Salvador Dalí has left his mark. He resided in Portlligat, a few kilometres to the north. The municipal museum is dedicated to him. Many other artists have paid tribute to the beauties of this Catalan village. We can mention Pablo Picasso or Marcel Duchamp. Dalí’s house in Portlligat evokes the painter at home, in his intimacy. As for the Theatre-Museum of Figueres, it is recommended to buy your ticket in advance on the website salvador-dali.org. Around Cadaqués lies the Natural Park of Cap de Creus and its many coves with crystal clear water.

The plain of Roussillon

To the north of the hotel, in the direction of Perpignan, lies the plain of Roussillon, with an agricultural vocation. The region also offers many points of interest. For the seaside first, Canet-plage and its magnificent and large sandy beach whose slope is very gentle. Inland, the site of Lake Raho where you can swim and walk in a preserved nature. On the cultural level, we can mention, among others, the chapel of Notre-Dame-des-Anges and the palace of the kings of Majorca in Perpignan, the cloister of Elne, the Byrrh cellars in Thuir, the fortress of Salses and the museum of prehistory in Tautavel.

This quick presentation does not exhaust all the tourist resources of the department. In particular, the many natural and historical sites of the Pyrenean regions, such as Canigó, Conflent, Capcir and Cerdanya, are not mentioned here.