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You have certainly already heard family and friends tell you how much they loved their stay in the Pyrenees. Against a backdrop of mountains, lakes, pastures, vineyards and valleys, they may have told you about the Cirque de Gavarnie, the Pont d'Espagne, the Lac de Gaube, the Ossau Valley, the Massif from Néouvielle, Pic du Midi, Bigorre, Borce, Val d'Azun. A national park, large spaces, a flora and fauna of great diversity, breathtaking panoramas and landscapes that open your heart and mind ... In short, you will certainly be enchanted by the exceptional environment of the camping of the Garena.

Visit the bustling town of Ille-sur-Têt

It has had a turbulent history due to its position near the border with Spain. Do not miss its ramparts, portals, walls and towers of original fortifications. The town is famous also and above all because it is close to a wonderful natural rock formation known as the 'Les Orgues d'Ille-sur-Têt' which is well worth more than a detour. The organs form a sort of natural amphitheater, with tall stone pillars that have been eroded into wonderful shapes like the 'organs', which stand up to 12 meters high. They are all formed of a white sand rock with regular layers of a yellow rock running through them giving them a striped appearance. Also known as fairy chimneys, many of them are topped with other less pretty rock or even some vegetation, which provides some protection to the more vulnerable rock. The view opens onto the mountains: To the south the Aspres massif, to the south-east the Mount Canigou, with its peak known as 'the tooth of a dog' and the highest peak in the Pyrénées Orientale, and to the north the granite plateau of Montalba.

Extend the walk to Castelnou

The village of castelnou is one of the most remarkable sites to be discovered in Catalonia, and it is also ranked among the most beautiful villages in France. Surrounded by two limestone causses, the Causse de Thuir and the Roc de Mallorca (alt. 443 m); nestled at the foot of the Aspres, this village founded in thest century seems to have been forgotten by time, having been the capital of the Viscount of Vallespir for more than three centuries. Take the time to visit the Church of Santa Marie del Mercadal, the historic center and the castle.

Plan a stop at Quéribus castle

It is one of the most impressive royal castles in the region. You will first see the massive keep which seems to rise from the Corbières to challenge the Fenolhedés which faces it. From the top of its rocky outcrop, at an altitude of 728 meters, the fortress dominates the plain which goes from Tautavel to Caudiès. As if emerging from the rock, the keep of Quéribus can be recognized from afar. It existed in the time of Chabert de Barbaira, but has often been altered over the centuries. It was undoubtedly higher at the time of the engineers of King Louis IX. It was to adapt to the appearance of portable artillery that it was lowered and above all thickened. Inside, the pillar room is also a fine example of an ingenious adaptation. Consult the Visit guide of the Château de Quéribus.

End local tours with Eus

Among the Conflent valley and Mount Canigou, Eus (facing the sun in Catalan) offers its facades descending into terraces in the hot Catalan sun, complicit in lush vegetation. This former defensive site had to push back the French in the XVIst century and the Spanish army in the XVIIIst century. Today, instead of the old citadel, stands the imposing Saint-Vincent church at the foot of which sloping cobbled streets descend. You will be able to walk through them and thus discover the craftsmen, artists and local businesses that make this place one of the Most Beautiful Villages in France.  

Are you mountain biking enthusiasts?

Indeed, if climbing, canyoning, rafting, canoeing or caving attracts you less than mountain biking, then you will be served! With its fifty circuits, its 3 km of marked trails, its massifs traversed by paths and tracks, its balconies above the Roussillon plain and its coastal paths, the regional natural park of the Catalan Pyrenees is a mountain biker's paradise! 

The MTB circuits in the Eastern Pyrenees are many and varied. You will have the choice for leisure mountain biking as well as downhill mountain biking and enduro. Professionals also offer guided mountain biking outings for beginners, in the most beautiful landscapes of the Catalan country. So for a first experience, take advantage! From an introductory walk to a multi-day itinerant hike, the choice is vast. To go further and higher, the electric mountain bike is an option that you can easily consider to fully enjoy your rides.

Tours advice

  • The dam balcony, over 20 km, is difficult. It requires good technique and excellent physical condition. It displays a positive and negative elevation of nearly 600 meters. On the heights of the Agly dam and the lake, you will enjoy many panoramas.
  • The edges of Agly is a family mountain bike or walking tour. Easy and shady. 8,6 km. 1 hour approximately. The terrain is flat, with a very slight drop of less than 00 meters. Very beautiful landscapes to explore.
  • Cliffs and smugglers. It is a sporting and technical course that takes you through varied landscapes, from the flowery scrubland to the mineral backdrop of cliffs and limestone rocks, passing through pine forests and vineyards. 14 km to go and a positive elevation of about 200 meters.
  • The Estagels mountains is a circuit of medium difficulty, with a distance of 9 km with a drop of approximately 120 meters. Between scrubland and vineyards and olive groves. The loop is punctuated by numerous points of view which give to see varied landscapes, picturesque villages in limestone cliffs and typical Mediterranean wild nature in cultivated terraces.
  • The Pyrenees passes route. It is a complete route that crosses the massif of the Pyrenees from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic Ocean over nearly 1100 km and more than 93 hours of mountain biking. 
  • The Dellà Bac takes you for 17 km in the Galbe valley. The course is rolling and sporty, of average level. Allow 2 hours of mountain biking on a loop with a positive and negative elevation of 380 meters. The hike will offer you a sublime panorama of the villages of lower Capcir and the surrounding peaks.

If you prefer hiking ...

Pauline and Bruno, the owners of camping la Garenne, invite you to discover the Caladroy Volta. This 13,9 km loop is of medium difficulty with its height difference of only 390 meters. The start can be taken either in Néfiach, on the Général-de-Gaulle car park, or in Bélesta, a former village of Caladroy, near the castle of Caladroy. The circuit is marked in yellow (short hike path) and crosses the northern balconies of Canigou in a landscape of scrubland. Little shade, it is more pleasant in the morning or in low season. Plan a half-day of walking, that is to say between 4 hours and 4:30 a.m. to complete the loop from Néfiach. In the heart of the Catalan maquis, this hike takes you calm village of Néfiach until Caladroy wine castle, through a landscape of broom, oaks, vines and olive trees. At the highest point of the hike, at 398 meters, there is a belvedere with an orientation table. At the Château de Caladroy, you can admire a sales cellar in a former primitive chapel. The building still has its towers from 13e century. Much changed over time and eras, its heterogeneous overall architecture tells its story. Choose the app all trails to discover the hikes around the camping.

Other hikes to explore in the Pyrénées Orientales

Zoom on the mythical Pic du Canigou

At the gates of the Catalan Pyrenees Regional Natural Park, the Pic du Canigou stands less than 15 km from the Spanish border. It is located 40 km west of Perpignan and 50 km from the Mediterranean beaches. West of Mount Canigou, the highest point of the massif of the same name, are the famous Pyrenean resorts of Font-Romeu (35 km as the crow flies) and Angles (30 km). The Grand site of Canigou is located in the natural region of Conflent and dominates the upper and middle valleys of Têt. 

Several hiking routes are possible for several accesses to the summit. During your hike, you have the option of being accompanied by donkeys. They will carry the necessary equipment as well as your children, in order to make you discover the various routes of the massif. The mountain guides offer horseback riding and pack animal treks. Massive, mythical, magnificent ...

Prepare your trip and your activities on Mont Canigou, you will be amazed!

Other winks from Pauline and Bruno

If you are looking for an unusual and extraordinary activity to do in summer with children, climb aboard the yellow train from Cerdanya which will take you to the Catalan highlands and offer you sensational panoramic views. The department is dotted with beautiful monuments such as the fortress of Salses restored by Vauban and the magnificent Palace of the Kings of Majorca in Perpignan, jewel of the superb heritage of the Catalan capital. Bathe or rent a jet-ski on the beaches of Argelès, Saint-Cyprien, Canet-en-Roussillon or Le Barcarès, stroll through the traditional markets to buy local products and chat with the locals.

How about a cure in Molitg-Les-Bains?

Molitg-Les-Bains is located 45 minutes from Perpignan, in the Catalan Pyrenees, 5 minutes from Prades and its picturesque old town. It is in this enchanting setting that the Thermal Domain of Molitg-les-Bains unfolds, in a circus of Mediterranean mountains. You can book approved cures, fitness stays and / or à la carte beauty and well-being treatments. The thermal baths are open from the beginning of April to the beginning of December, every day except Sunday. Many wellness activities can be chosen à la carte at the thermal baths of Molitg-les-Bains, with, for example, massages, hydromassage beds, sophrology, aquagym, dietetic assessment, reiki, or yoga, for € 75 the 3-activity package , and 150 € for the 6-activity package. The spa can be used in the evening, from 17 p.m. to 19:30 p.m. throughout the season. Among the most popular beauty treatments at the institute are the complete face-décolleté-hands treatment of 60 minutes at € 75, the Scandinavian ritual of 30 minutes for € 50, or the essential aromassage of 45 minutes at € 65 .

Other must-sees for curious and insatiable travelers

Tourist documentation to download

To prepare your holidays in the Eastern Pyrenees with confidence, go to the website of our partner SportRIZER, and you can book the sports around camping ! If you would like more information for your stay, do not hesitate to consult the pages Camping, Accommodation et Themes.

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