THINGS TO DO
 

Clos des Manes is just five minutes from the pretty village of Sahorre where there is a boulangerie, a charcuterie, a general store, a post office, a twelfth century church, a wine cellar and farms selling local produce.


Another five minutes out of the village is ‘Sahorre Beach’ where the Rotja River forms a natural bathing area. Ten minutes from the house are the thermal spas, tennis courts, open-air swimming pools, restaurants, cafes and shops of Vernet-les-Bains.

 

PRADES AND ITS ENVIRONS


The beautiful fortified town of Villefranche-de-Conflent, along with its spectacular caves and narrow gauge mountain railway, is also ten minutes away and the artists’ haven of Eus (like Villefranche, officially one of the most beautiful villages of France) is down on the Roussillon Plain twenty minutes away. Within the vineyards and peach orchards of the plain lies Prades (twenty minutes away) – the region’s colourful market town that hosts the internationally renowned Pablo Casals Music Festival every August. The tenth century abbeys of St. Michel de Cuixa and St. Martin du Canigou are just outside Prades and Vernet-les-Bains respectively and there are many Romanesque churches in the area.

 

ACTIVITIES


Within the local area horse-riding, kayaking, pot-holing, canyoning, climbing and hiking are all readily available and ski stations are less than an hour away. Thermal spas can be taken in Molitg-les-Bains, St. Thomas-les-Bains and Amelie-les-Bains as well as Vernet-les-Bains. Swimming is also popular in Vinca Lake (near Prades). Guided walks for all ages and abilities can be arranged and tailored to suit your wishes. There is a 9-hole golf course nearby and a 27-hole championship course within an hour.

 

FURTHER AFIELD


A little further afield (though still less than an hour away) are the fascinating Cathar Castles of Queribus, Peyrepertuse and Puilarens. Perpignan, capital of French Catalonia, as well as being a bustling, modern city, has a charming old town and markets and the historical Palace of the Kings of Mallorca. North of Perpignan, sandy beaches stretch around the coast bordering a series of lagoons and, south of the city, the beaches sweep down to meet the rocky coves of the Vermillion Coast. The jewel of this stretch of coastline is the vineyard-encircled Collioure, the fishing village where Matisse and his followers first experimented with a vivid style of painting later dubbed Fauvism. Also for art lovers, Ceret, twenty-five kilometres inland from Collioure, has an impressive Museum of Modern Art housing works donated by earlier residents including Picasso, Braque, Chagall and Matisse. Again it is within an hour’s drive of Clos des Manes.

 

Also within easy reach for day-trips are the spectacular, medieval walled city of Carcassone; the Catalan capital of Barcelona; the duty-free mountain enclave of Andorra; Beziers - the wine capital of Languedoc - and the Canal du Midi. Spain is an hour in the car (or a seven-kilometre walk if you wish to go over the mountaintops!)

MOUNT CANIGOU

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CARCASSONE

COLLIOURE

BENEDICTINE MONASTERY,

VERNET LES BAINS

SAHORRE

VERNET LES BAINS

VILLEFRANCHE-DE-CONFLENT

CASCADE DES ANGLAIS