Explore the Region
Whether you prefer a relaxing break or outdoor adventures, MSJ is perfectly situated between the Mediterranean and the Pyrenees. From chill-out days on the beach, or exploring local villages, wineries and historical sites to hiking up Mount Canigou or exploring local trails on foot or by bike, we have it all. Not surprisingly, many artists have been attracted to the region and with Catalunya/Spain on our doorstep this cultural and gastronomic diversity will add yet more interest to your stay. Browse the list below for ideas or head over to our blog to learn more.
In and Around Ille-sur-Têt
Situated close to MSJ: Les Orgues (rock formations), L’Hospice (museum of sacred art), Eglise St Etienne, Buggy Balade (off-road tours), River Têt (picnic area, swimming, ruined village and chapelle de Casenoves).
In Ille-sur-Têt our favourite restaurants are Le Square (Catalan cuisine) and La Table de Mai Ly (Vietnamese). Le National and other bars also provide meals at reasonable prices. Please ask us about quality restaurants in nearby towns and villages.
The best markets in the area include Prades market on Tuesdays and Saturdays, Thuir and Ceret on Saturdays. In Ille-sur-Têt, there is a basic market on Wednesdays and Fridays with a local producer’s market on Saturdays.
In Roussillon renowned wine producers abound. Local vineyards include : Domaine de Bellavista, Domaine Treloar, Vignerons de Caramany, Rivesaltes AOC, Domaine de Riberach, Domaine de la Perdrix, Banyuls AOP and Collioure AOC.
Many Romanesque priories and abbeys: Serrabone, St Michel de Cuixa, Marcevol, St Martin de Canigou, Cathar castles, plus prehistoric dolmens and menhirs in the hills.
Our valley boasts five of the “plus beaux villages de France”, Castelnou, Eus, Villefranche de Conflent, Evol and Mosset but many others rival these in charm and beauty.
Closest and most popular beaches are Canet and Argeles-sur-Mer but our favourite is Plage Sud at Torreilles with its fantastic beach restaurants. The Cote Vermeille is within easy reach and the beach resort of Cadaques (Spain) makes a great day out.
The Pyrenees Orientales boasts Mt. Canigou (various routes to climb to the summit), the lake at Bouillouse, Les Bains de St Thomas (hot springs), The Gorges de Carança and many stunning mountain hiking trails.
Highlights include the Castillet, the Palace of the Kings of Majorca, the Cathedral of St Jean, Hyacinth Rigaud museum, Halles Vauban (gourmet food hall), Rue Paratilla (food market), Le Campo Santo, Hôtel de Ville. Thursday evenings summer music festival in the streets (Jeudis à Perpignan) and in September, Visa Pour l’Image the International Photojournalism Exhibition.
Le Train Jaune/Rouge
From Villefranche de Conflent, Le Train Jaune, a narrow-guage railway, climbs through the stunning national park to Latour de Carol, via Mont-Louis and Font Romeu. Le Train Rouge departs from Rivesaltes passing through Cathar country as far as Axat.
Our region has been the inspiration for numerous artists whose work can be seen in the Museum of Modern Art (Ceret), the Hyacinth Rigaud Museum (Perpignan), the Museum of Charles Rennie Mackintosh (Port-Vendres) and the Museum of Modern Art (Collioure). The Dali Museum in Figueres is also well worth a visit.
For the More Active…
Whatever your fitness level, it’s easy to go hiking, trail running or mountain/road biking directly from the doorstep at MSJ. Ask us or see our blog for information on routes, local walks etc. and other activities such as horse-riding, canyoning, rafting etc.
An hour’s drive north are the breathtaking chateaux of Queribus, Peyreperteuse and Puilaurens plus the stunning Gorges de Galamus. For Cathar enthusiasts, the city of Carcassonne is another great day out from MSJ.