Perpignan, Argeles, Collioure, Ceret. Nature, history, culture... Welcome to Northern Catalonia, a world of experiences to enjoy them.
This region is mainly the eastern part of the Pyrenees and extends across the plain of Roussillon to reach the north, where the Corbières and separate it from the Aude in the south, the massif of Albera separates it from the Alt Empordà. Andorra is bordered to the west and east by the Mediterranean Sea. This territory is composed, with harmony, lowland areas, a sandy and rocky shoreline, ponds and areas of middle and upper mountain. Today this area is framed within the French department of Pyrenees Orientales.
Environmental tourism resources:
Regional Natural Park of the Catalan Pyrenees: Usually abbreviated Catalan Pyrenees Park was established in March 2004. This extends over 138.000 hectaress Capcir, Cerdanya and Conflent. The park is also home to nine resorts, and two spas. It is crossed through by the Yellow Train from 1910, 62 km from Vilafranca de Conflent and Tor de Querol. The park headquarters is located in the town of Olette.
Marine Reserve of Banyuls-Cerberus: It is the only exclusively marine reserves in France. It extends for 6.5 km and covers 650 hectares the sea between Banyuls-sur-Mer and Cerberus, just north of the Spanish border. The reserve contains a wealth of beautiful marine animals such as: seahorses, basking sharks, dolphins.
National Nature Reserve Massane Forest: nature reserve is mainly forest created by decree in 1973. It is a rare example of ancient forest in France, serves to give us an idea of what can be a primary forest in the Pyrenees mountains.
Nature Reserve of Mas Larrieu: is located south of Perpignan, the common Argelès-sur-Mer and Elna. The originality of this book lies in the wide variety of environments in a small area (145 hectares). A great ecological wealth and diversity of habitats: dunes, aquatic environments, wetlands, reedbeds, forestry groups under the twofold influence of the river Tech and the sea, offering a great diversity in the vegetation of the ecosystem at the mouth of the river in the Mediterranean.
Abbey of Sant Martí de Canigó: Founded in the tenth century, is in the small village of Castell de Vernet (a 1.094metros above sea level). It lies on a rocky massif Canigó. It consists of two superimposed churches: the lower church, mostly underground, dedicated to Santa Maria and the upper church, dedicated to St. Martin, built on the structure of the lower church.
Abbey of Sant Martí de Cuixà: this is a Benedictine monastery located at the foot of Canigo, Codalet. Part of the Spanish province of the Congregation of Subiaco (Benedictine Confederation). Romanesque style, the beginning of the work of the monastery dates from the eleventh century and until the twelfth century are not terminated. The abbey suffered a deterioration in the course of its history until in 1936 the Catalan architect Josep Puig, undertook major restoration work in 1954 and opened Pau Casals Pau Casals Festival in the church still homeless that was covered in 1957.
Monastery del Camp: is a former monastery that was founded according to legend, the late eighth or early ninth century, at the request of Charlemagne after his victory over the Saracens. Little known, this is one of the jewels of Catalan Romanesque.
Cathedral of Sant Joan Bautista de Perpignan: a fourteenth century cathedral located in the Gothic style in the city of Perpignan. This church is the original home of the parish of Perpignan created in 1025. The present cathedral is pure Southern Gothic: large ship (80m long, 18 wide and 26 high) of seven sections that overlook a large transept and apse of seven sides. The furniture of the cathedral is rich. Among the many works we can mention the altarpiece (XVI to XIX century), the body (the origin dates back to 1504), the neo-Gothic stained glass (second half of the nineteenth century).
El Castellet de Perpignan: it is a monument of the city of Perpignan, at the time was the city gate and state prison. It now houses the Museum of Catalan Art and Popular Traditions (The Pairal). It is considered an archaeological document of great importance for the history of the city, and is a unique type of military architecture. It is more decorative with a crown of battlements, turrets and Moorish style consoles.
Town and Royal Castle of Collioure: charming village between Argelès-sur-Mer and Port Vendres, a bay with boats and a few alleys and exciting environment. The fortress at the town of Collioure was erected in the seventh century and rebuilt in the thirteenth and seventeenth century. This castle, with its rugged defense was classified as a historical monument in 1922.
Museum of Modern Art, Ceret: world's largest art museum in North Catalonia. It was created by Peter Brunette and Frank Burty Haviland in 1950 and has acquired over the last twenty years a great international dimension. From January 1, 2005, is administered by the city of Ceret, the General Council of the Eastern Pyrenees and Languedoc Roussillon. It contains a large collection of artists who lived and created in Ceret. Among others we can mention to Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse
Pau Casals Festival: a festival created by the cellist and conductor Pablo Casals in 1950. The Festival is held, among other places, in one of the jewels of Catalan Romanesque Abbey of San Miguel at the foot of Lower Canigó.
Holy Week and Sanch Procession, Perpignan: The originality of Easter in the Roussillon and Perpignan, is not located specifically in the ritual, but in its mode of expression. The town of Perpignan a procession which has six centuries of existence: the so-called Sanch Procession. On Good Friday, the doors of the church of Sant Jaume open to let the condemned, all in red, surrounded by black hooded penitents. The incessant sound of a bell thin accompanying the condemned to death in his way. Then, the rhythm of drumbeats. On Friday night, the penitents go to Collioure by night a torch-lit procession.
Thursdays from Perpignan - July / August: Thursdays from Perpignan, a real street festival which mixes music scenes, street theater, circus arts, parades and fanfare ... Catalan city saw then the colors of a true southern city, festive, warm and alive, for the pleasure of Perpignan and holidaymakers who wander through the heart of the city.
Feast of early wine - in October, Perpignan: This event with international impact is held every year on the third Thursday of October. The early wines come with trumpets during Night of the early wines. From 18 hours, the notes of music lead him to the doors of the cellars, bars, restaurants and cafes. The farmers expect the public to make their wines taste. Light, fruity and aromatic, these wines of pleasure become a perfect accompaniment to sausages, toast, cheese. In collaboration with the festival Jazz, groups of funk, jazz, samba, bossa nova, blues or flamenco propose a very varied range of music to satisfy the tastes of each.
Golf: Northern Catalonia is an ideal destination for a golf vacation. Voted by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators as the best emerging golf destination in 2000.
Karts: 5 minutes from Perpignan, we found "Le Circuit du Grand Russillon" it is the world's largest circuit for the practice of Karting, has a track 1.513mtr x 9mtr., And has all necessary facilities as eg timing system and six different tracks.
Hiking: We can find many excursions to different levels of difficulty. For example, on the coast, there are short routes with few elevation changes accessible to all audiences. Other routes, and in particular of Capcir Vallespir and higher require good physical condition.
Beaches: We can find on the coast of North Catalonia all types of beaches, starting from the rocky beaches of the Costa Brava last installment to the long sandy beaches that lead to protected areas of Mas Larrieu
Pond and Canet-Saint-Nazaire.
Diving: From Cerbère Barcarès until we find an entire underwater world to discover the riches of the marine nature reserve of Banyuls-Cerbère (one of the first in France) and the Underwater Trail, the route that starts on the beach Peyrefitte, in the middle of a sheltered bay, the trail can be accessed by swimming underwater to the surface with mask, snorkel and fins, along a trail with markers, and a few meters under water, explore small rocky and discover the beauty of underwater life ...
MTB and Cycling: undoubtedly, Northern Catalonia is a special area for those interested in hiking or mountain bike cycling. Wide open spaces, magnificent scenery, clean air ... Greenways for biking routes, such as River Greenway or Route Agly Frontier 1258.
Next to Catalunya Nord - French Catalonia.
Cadaqués: located in the end of the Cap de Creus it has lived historically isolated of the rest of the Empordà, which has helped to conserve its almost virgin landscape. The streets are narrow and their buildings white, that next to its natural bay full of small boats makes this town one of the villages with more charm and personality of Catalonia. In the middle of the town the Church of St. Maria is raised, constructed in the XVII century with gothic style and painted totally white.
House Museum Salvador Dalí, Cadaqués: next to Cadaqués we find the house where Salvador Dali lived and worked most of his life. Its located in the bay of Port Lligat. An indispensable visit to discover the life of the great artist. In their interior we can enjoy the memories of the painter, their library, the factory and different zones from the house. It is necessary to call to reserve the day of visit.
Theater-Museum Dalí, Figueres: one of the most visited museums of Spain, dedicated completely to the famous author and constructed on the rest of the old theater of Figueres. This was restored at the beginning of the Seventies, with the participation and help of the artist, who was personally in charge of each one of the details. The surrealistic building hosts a great amount of art works, like paintings, sculptures, photography’s of the author, etc. Under the main level of the building, we can find the crypt of the author.
Natural area of interest Alta Garrotxa: this great prePyrenean natural area is accessible from the town of Albanyà, in the western part of the region. Is a vast territory barely populated. It basically presents steep landscapes with forests of oaks and holm oaks. We can also find a big quantity of cultural heritage that makes this region an ideal area for hiking or enjoy rural tourism.
Natural Park of Cap de Creus: located in the eastern part of the peninsula, this park is considered the first marine-terrestrial park in Catalonia. With a surface of 13,843 hectares (including land and water reserves) we find very outstanding geological values, structures and outcrops unique in the world and a biological reserve of great interest. It also has a rich architectural heritage, such as the Monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes and several archaeological sites.