Excursions in France
Perpignan is a southern French city near the Mediterranean coast and the border with Spain. It was the capital of the Kingdom of Majorca during the 13th century, and a significant Catalan influence is evident in its medieval core. South of the old town, the huge Gothic-and-Romanesque Palace of the Kings of Majorca has ramparts with views to the coast.official website
Collioure is a town on the Mediterranean coast of southern France. On the sea, the medieval Château Royal de Collioure offers dramatic coastal views. The bell tower of 17th-century Notre-Dame-des-Anges Church was once a lighthouse. The Modern Art Museum includes paintings by Henri Matisse. Nearby is the Moulin de Collioure, a 14th-century windmill. South, the hilltop Fort St. Elme has a museum with medieval weapons.official website
Argelès-sur-Mer is a town on France’s Mediterranean coast. It’s known for the long Argelès Beach with its seafront promenade. In the Catalan-style old town, 14th-century Notre-Dame del Prat Church has views from its bell tower. Valmy Park to the south includes trails, a 19th-century castle and the Aigles de Valmy bird zoo. To the north, Mas Larrieu Natural Reserve is home to herons, gulls and bee-eaters.Official website
The Cathar Castles (Carcassonne)
Some people go touring the vineyards, but if it’s the Cathar castles for you. Good choice! Whether as the starting point or final destination, Carcassonne is a must, as are its Five Sons, as well as the chateaus of Lastours. Still not satisfied? Head on to Fontfroide Abbey, Saint-Hilaire, or Foix chateau.
The Five Sons of Carcassonne
Aguilar, Peyrepertuse, Puilaurens, Queribus and Termes: Carcassonne could count on its Five Sons to protect it. As siege warfare raged, their five colossal fortresses stood facing the enemy. This impenetrable front line was enough to calm the aspirations of the Kingdom of Aragon.
Les Orgues de Roussillon
Managed by the municipality of Ille sur Tet, the Orgues site is a unique place in France, a landscape of fairy chimneys with fragile beauty, ephemeral. It presents to the weather cliffs of sand and clay that the rains patiently chiseled. Erosion worked like an artist, slashing, incising, sculpting the material of scars or streaks to give the rock that flayed, almost lunar appearance.Official Website
For some reason, the foothills of the Pyrenees seem to host some of Languedoc's most beautiful historical sites - the walled village of Villefranche le Conflent, for example, the gorgeous (at least from afar) Abbeye de St Martin de Canigou, and the very picturesque castle and village of Castelnou. But almost hidden amongst all of these brighter stars is a little gem - the Priory of Serrabone.Website
The abbey of Saint-Martin-du-Canigou is a monastery built in 1009 in the Pyrenees on Canigou mountain in present-day southern France near the Spanish border. Pablo Casals wrote a composition entitled "Sant Marti Del Canigo" for OrchestraOfficial website
Founded in 1092 by Count Guillaume Raymond de Cerdagne at the foot of the Canigou, the town has kept its fortifications intact. From 1669 to 1676, Villefranche de Conflent, once called Villa Franca, saw its defenses fortified under the expert direction of Louis XIV’s engineer, the military architect Vauban. The town would become one of his 12 works of art. But what can one discover inside the ramparts? Corridors crisscrossed by rays of sun, piercing through the openings to observe the enemy’s arrival, watch towers and guardrooms where one gets lostMore info
Abbaye de Fontfroide
Fontfroide Abbey is a former Cistercian monastery in France, situated 15 kilometers south-west of Narbonne near to the Spanish border. It was founded in 1093 by Aimery I, Viscount of Narbonne, but remained poor and obscure, and needed to be refounded by Ermengarde, Viscountess of Narbonne.Official website