What to see in France

Camping in the Pyrénées Orientales, sea, sun and mountains

Paysage de la Côte Vermeille dans les Pyrénées Orientales
Paysage de la Côte Vermeille dans les Pyrénées Orientales


Located in the Occitanie region, the Pyrénées Orientales is one of the few privileged departments where you can enjoy both the sea and the mountains. Its borders, notably the Mediterranean Sea and Spain, ensure generous sunshine all year round, pretty beaches along the coastline but also mountainous reliefs with the famous peak of Canigou as well as a built and preserved heritage of great variety with the fortress of Salses or the village of Collioure... Campers who are fond of both the sea and the mountains are sure to find something to suit them here

Campsites in the Pyrénées-Orientales

In order to make your holiday easier and more enjoyable, there are almost 200 campsites in the Pyrenees-Orientales that are available for you to explore the whole department. Like the campsite Le Floride et l'Embouchure ***** located in Le Barcarès, it gives you direct access to the sea, an infinite number of services as well as top-of-the-range or unusual accommodation (caravan, Polynesian faré...). Le Bosquet *** campsite is located in Canet-en-Roussillon, 400 metres from the sea and a fine sandy beach, accessible by a cycle track. The team welcomes you in a shady and nicely flowered park.

The Canigou, sacred mountain of the Catalans

Both a divine place for the Catalans and very popular with hikers, it was classified as a Grand Site de France in 2012 and culminates at a height of more than 2780 metres! It is an exceptional and varied landscape that we encounter here with a remarkable biodiversity, animals, flowers and plants, a landscape that is all the more extraordinary in winter when the snow cover has covered the massif. The ascent of the Canigou peak is only possible between the months of June and September and allows you to discover an imposing panorama of the Mediterranean coast, the Roussillon plain and the Pyrenees mountain range. On the way, you should stop to discover the Saint-Martin abbey, which is only accessible on foot. Listed as a Historic Monument, you can admire treasures of Romanesque architecture. A real jewel not to be missed.

View of the Pic du Canigou
View of the Pic du Canigou© iStock

Perpignan, former capital of the Kingdom of Majorca

Framed by the Mediterranean Sea and the Pyrenees mountain range, Perpignan, a city labelled as a City of Art and History, is only 30 kilometres from the Spanish border. Long Spanish, it was not until the middle of the 17th century that it joined the kingdom of France. The Castillet, a monument built in the 14th century, which was first used as a city gate and then as a prison, is a sort of coat of arms for the inhabitants. It now houses a museum of the history of Catalonia and its terrace offers a magnificent view of the city's rooftops. The Saint-Jean-Baptiste cathedral is one of the monuments to see. Perpignan is an attractive city with a great atmosphere for a stay in the Pyrénées Orientales.

The wild Vermeille coast

Far from the seaside resorts and beaches, the Vermeille coast is a paradise for hikers with a wild landscape of fishing ports, rocky coves and coastal vineyards, such as the famous Banyuls vineyard. The crystal clear waters of the Cerbère-Banyuls nature reserve are ideal for scuba diving enthusiasts, who can discover the superb aquatic fauna. The panorama from Cap Rédéris with its orientation table is worth a visit, as is the Madeloc tower, where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Abères massif, Port-Vendres, Banyuls-sur-Mer and Collioure... A picturesque little town with a unique charm, Collioure has been a historic town since the Middle Ages, with an exceptional architectural and historical heritage. Its imposing royal castle on the seafront, its houses with colourful facades, its small pebble beaches, its pretty port, and its famous bell tower of the Notre Dame des Anges church topped by a pink dome, a little jewel!

Collioure© IStock

Castelnou classified as the most beautiful village in France

Of course we will tell you that it is not conceivable to go to the Eastern Pyrenees without visiting the fortress of Salses, a treasure of Spanish military architecture, but it is probably not more conceivable to go without discovering the village of Castelnou! Situated about 20 kilometres from Perpignan and close to the Canigou, this small village, labelled the Most Beautiful Village in France, is authentic and full of charm and has managed to enhance its heritage in order to attract tourists. Strolling through the flowery streets, passing by the pretty stone facades and the ruins of the ramparts, all in a harmonious architectural setting and dominated by its feudal castle, is a real pleasure.

Villefranche-de-Conflent, a UNESCO heritage site

Situated at the foot of the Canigou massif, the fortified village of Villefranche-de-Conflent was built in the 11th century to protect the inhabitants from invasions and then reinforced by Vauban in the 17th century. The medieval town also has the distinction of being one of the most beautiful villages in France. It must be said that its unusual streets filled with facades listed as historical monuments, such as the rue Saint-Jean, the belfry tower of the town hall, its ramparts with their superb fortified gates, are a pleasant surprise. Fort Liberia can be seen by looking up as it dominates the medieval city. It is possible to reach it by shuttle or by the underground staircase of the "thousand steps" for the most courageous. The ride on the yellow train allows you to cross the heights of the Eastern Pyrenees and is an unforgettable family experience.


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