Picturesque Montferrer village, which is only a short walk, is now appearing in many tourist guides because of its old Romanesqe church and its spectacular views of the valley and coast. Although very small, it has a bar which sells fresh bread, croissants & a few provisions, a small well run restaurant, swimming pool, crazy golf and children’s play area. Locally available are guided walks, tours of local vineyards, pony trekking, 4×4 Off-roading, trout fishing and the professional 18 hole golf course at Falgos. The owners highly recommend a stout pair of shoes suitable for walking as the local signed walks offer spectacular and stunning views impossible to see any other way!
The closest shops and supermarket are in Arles-sur-Tech, a 15 minute drive.
The ancient Romans were the first people to use the valley for rest and recuperation and were responsible for the Spa towns and churches. For centuries many great musicians and artists have been attracted to the Pyrenee Orientales, the sunniest region of France. In recent times, most of the great modern artists, Picasso, Matisse, Chagall and Dufy, to name but a few, have lived in the area and found it a great source of inspiration, from the beautiful village of Collioure on the coast with its ancient castle built by the Kings of Majorca, to the spectacular mountains. Also, whilst in exile from fascist Spain, Picasso lived for some time in Ceret, a small town at the start of the valley, which now boasts a famous modern art museum. The region is rich in Cathar history and castles and the majority of these are situated amidst the vineyards.
On both sides of the border there are many coastal resorts, from picturesque fishing villages to large towns. Over the border in Spanish Catalonia, which is a thirty minute drive, there are many places of interest. In about 600BC the area was colonised by the Greeks and Phoenicians and they planted many of the vines and olive groves in the region. Of particular interest on the coast are the extensively excavated ruins of the Graeco/Roman city at Empuries. Close to the border is the town of Figueres where Salvador Dali lived most of his life and his large home has now been converted to a Dali Museum. Many guide books and maps are available at the house.
During the summer months there are numerous events and concerts of all types. Of particular interest are the classical orchestral concerts in the castle on the coast at Collioure and just over the border in Spain at Castello Perallada, and also, many concerts and events in Perpignan. In French and Spanish Catalonia the activities and places to visit are too numerous to mention, but there is a large collection of guide books, maps, programmes of activities & concerts available at the house, as well as a specially commissioned guide of tours and places of interest in the region.
The valley, although close to Spain and the Mediterranean sea, does not suffer the problems of mass tourism, and is a beautiful unspoilt part of the South of France, in fact, the farthest south one can go – a true undiscovered treasure – the lost valley!