The Roussillon Area

While the roads are often congested in summer, St Nazaire is ideally situated for getting to most places while avoiding the worst traffic

click to see a large map (400 ko)

 

The beaches

Arial picture of the beach at Canet-Plage. On the left is the étang of St Nazaire

The sea is reached by going round the étang, a distance of about 4 miles, a few minutes drive from the house, or within easy cycling distance for the more athletic, The closest beaches are either north of the étang to Canet-Plage or south to St Cyprien-Plage. The beaches within these resorts offer safe bathing areas watched over by lifeguards. On the beach there are parasols and deckchairs for rent, and activities for children. St Cyprien is an active fishing port and fresh fish can be bought directly from the boats most afternoons. A few extra minutes north or south will find totally undeveloped stretches of beach. Although you will certainly not find them deserted in July or August, they are much less crowded and retain a certain wilderness charm.

A 20-minute drive will take you to the beautiful rocky coast with the well-known village of Collioure, the picturesque port, Port Vendres, and the Banyuls wine growing area.

Collioure (Original watercolour by Sylvain Leynaert)

The coast here is ideal if you enjoy snorkelling. Between Banyuls and Cerbere there is even an underwater discovery itinerary for snorkellers.

 

There are many other places to visit in the Roussillon area, all within easy reach. Perpignan, the capital of Roussillon is about 10 minutes drive. Many of the local villages have medieval churches (Elne, St André). The Cathare castles (Queribus, Peyrepertuse) are about 30 minutes drive. Further afield the Spanish border is about 45 minutes away, so a day trip into Spain is very feasible.

An hour and a half will take you higher than 2000m (7000ft) into the Pyrenees, ( Font Romeu for example) where the summits attain nearly 3000m (Canigou, Carlit) . The walled city of Carcassonne is also about 1 1/2 hours away.

 

 

 

 

 

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