Céret and its surrounding Céret has been a long time favour of mine. For various reasons I have been pulled back to visit more over and over, and each time I fall in love more and more in this beautiful place. Céret is located in the Valley of Languedoc-Roussillon, only a two hours drive from Barcelona (150 km from Barcelona).
Follow the A9, and it takes you straight across the border, as yes Céret is not in Spain but in France. Once you crossed the border the first exit on your right shows Céret, Amelie les Bains, Le Boulou. Heading in towards the Catalan/French Pyrenees, Céret is located only 10 km from the high way.
A very easy ride. Entering the town you pass by the bridge “Vieux Pont or Pont du Diable” , which spans the Tech in a single arch 22m/72ft high, dates from the 14th century. It affords fine views of Le Canigou and the Monts des Albères. So what makes Céret so special?? It is bilingual meaning they speak French and Catalan in Céret, and the Catalans are going strong here, with heads up high in pride for their “nationality”.
What else? Well, for me I would say this place has a typical French Country side atmosphere, with a very classic feeling to it. The buildings in the central town are very picturesque, there is a small town feeling to it, away from the city stress of Barcelona. Every Saturday there is a local market, where the farmers from across the region come down to sell their home made products, cheeses, Wine, local special sausages, cloth, honey and the list goes on.
The market happens from 8h to 13h. A must if you are in to Good Quality Farmers products! Céret is also famous for their Catalan cotton fabric from Les Toiles du Soleil, which has boutiques in town, as well as Paris and Tokyo. Originally this factory was set up to make espandrillos from a high resistant fabric and hemp woven soles. The tradition almost died out The two Catalans brothers, Quinta, 1994 managed to rescue the company from a close down, which employed a large amount of the locals. With innovative thoughts on what else can be made of the fabric other then espandrillos was taken on to classic stripy fabrics for interior, exterior decoration, as well as merchandising. If you are in the area you should check out the shop La Boheme that sells their items.
To read more about the company go to Toiles du Soleil Other local goodies are the Ceramics, And of course there are numerous amount Win yards in the regions and not to mention the local delicious cheeses. Céret is famous for The Catalonian sculptor Manolo (1872-1945) and the composer Déodat de Sévérac which attracted numbers of artists to this little town, which now possesses many works of modern art. The Modern Art Museum in town exhibits paintings from artists like Matisse, Chagall, Maillol, Dalí, Manolo, Picasso and Tapiès.
Opening Hours in High Season: 15th of June to 15th of September Monday through Sunday 10h to 19h. Low Season: 16th of September to 14th of June, Monday to Sunday, Tuesdays CLOSED!!! Open: 10h to 18h Closed on New Years Day, January 1, May Day 1st of May, All Saints Day 1st of November, Christmas day 25th of December Entrance fee for adults is 8€ students and elderly 6€ Children under 12 years of age free.
Full facilities for persons with disabilities. The Casa Catalane de la Culture has rooms devoted to mineralogy and ethnology. Also located in old town Céret. Old Town of Céret is surrounded by a wall of buildings, with two entrances, one initially facing France and the other side facing Spain. During various rulers of Céret the wall has suffered, and this part has been rebuilt a numerous occasions. Gate or Portal Spain from the Moors (13th century): La Porte de France (13th Century) The Entrance for France, part of the old fortifications of the city was the main entrance. A Drawbridge allowed to cross the ditch. The façade is of, neo-Italian Renaissance style. The mansion is now the library of Céret. L'Eglise Saint Pierre The largest Baroque church architecture, built between 1668 and 1778 replacing a Romanesque church built 814. In the heart of Old Town there is a great square with nice ambiance around the Lion Fountain.
The Fountain that the Spanish Queen Isabelle and King Ferdinand 2nd of Aragon crowned with the Lion symbol of Castile. Around the square you can find three restaurants, I have eaten in all of them and the one that stands out the most to me was “La Fontaine” which offers a specially delicious Coquille Saints Jacques. Surrounding areas of Céret. Amélie-les-Bains is famous for its Roman Spas with thermal healing water, 62 degrees at its source, containing healing properties like sulphur.
There are two spas open in Amélie; the thermal baths of Mondony and the Roman thermal baths. As well as providing medicinal benefits for a whole host of complaints the thermal centres offer relaxation packages and individual treatments at very reasonable prices. Akaza can provide you with these packages and book you into one of the Spas. People coming from all over the world to recover, heal or simply enjoy the mountains and the hot waters.
Besides the Spas there is an adventure park for children and outdoor activities like Trout Fishing (where 6th World Trout Fishing Championship in 1998 where held in the River Tech) Horseback riding, mountain biking and beautiful hikes. Amélie-les-Bains located 240 meters above sea level, is a very pristine little town with plenty of character like its neighbour town Céret. Small little cobbled streets set on a hill side with a castle on top.
There is a river the splits Amelie, “Le Tech” opposite side of the river is the Medieval part of Amélie-les-Bains. Amélie-les-Bains is well known for its long sunny periods, purity of air and relaxed way of life. The whole valley and mountainous landscape in which Amélie-les-Bains is situated has become a 'station verte de vacances.' This accolade is only awarded in France to preservation areas of outstanding, unspoiled natural beauty. As Céret, Amélie is famed for the quality of light which makes it ideal for artists and photographers as well as those nature lovers just wishing to get away from it all and relax in the stunning surroundings whilst the cares of the world melt away.
Whether you seek the peace and tranquillity of the rivers and mountains or go for a more active holiday, without a doubt Amélie-les-Bains has something to offer everybody and once this amazing historical town has been experienced it will have you coming back for more year after year. Argéles-sur-Mer a beach town, with 7 km long white sand beaches. This regions hosts a wide variety of Camping Sites, and activities for all ages. Downtown there are plenty of bars, restaurants, and souvenir shops lined up along the beach walk. The beaches well packed with sun umbrellas, jump castles for children, beach soccer, surfing to keep the whole family entertained. Around Argeles-sur-Mer families can find a large amusement park filled with, GoCart, Canyoing, Mini Gold, roller coasters, horse back riding, Aqualand. Even if you are not looking to stay in town, and travel with children, this can be a fun filled day for everyone that seeks activities.