CANIGOU MOUNTAIN RANGE – CATALAN COUNTRY
The sacred mountain
Why visit the Canigou mountain range? ?
- A Top Occitania Site that's also approved as a Great French Site.
- An icon of the Pyrenean landscape and Catalan culture..
- UVibrant heritage: myths and legends, Roman art, Vauban fortifications, mining legacy, nature sites.
- A natural haven for mountain sports and holidays.
You will see its outline from far away! It's a perfect mountain peaking at 2784m whose pyramid shape commands the world around it. The Canigou crowns the Vallespir and Conflent. It brings you incredible views from the Mediterranean coast to the Pyrénées-Orientales' peaks.
How to get there? Getting up to the summit involves real mountaineering and you need to be a hardened hiker. But the breadth of the site means you can go rambling, horse riding, donkey trekking, electric cycling and more.
CANIGOU MOUNTAIN RANGE: THE NATURE SPOT
A hotspot for hiking and mountain sports
3 GR trails and 750km of signposted footpaths, canyons and cavities, paragliding launch areas: the Canigou mountain range is a hotspot for outdoor activities with no fewer than 6 Catalan nature reserves nearby. Explore the mountain on the Canigou's network of routes and loops. Follow the scents of scrublands and forests through heaths, pastures and villages.
JEWELS OF ROMAN ART
Priories to abbeys
What to see around the Canigou mountain range Serrabone Priory surrounded by mountains with its pink marble stand that's worth the trip in itself. What's next? Saint-Michel de Cuxa Abbey and its cloister with surprisingly stylish capitals. It's a 45 min walk from Casteil to reach the eagle's nest of Saint-Martin du Canigou Abbey.
The Lombard belltower, vaulted crypt...what treasures and what a view! Go back down to the Sainte-Marie Priory in Corneilla-de-Conflent to gaze at its sculpted tympanum among others.
Visit Prades, the capital of Conflent, Arles-sur-Tech famous for the mysterious tomb in its abbey and Prats de Mollo, a royal town fortified by Vauban with the Gorges de la Carança and Orgues d’Ille-sur-Têt rock formation.
Villages, Vauban fortifications, Yellow Train …
Wander around Villefranche-de-Conflent, one of the most beautiful villages in France. It was fortified by Vauban in the 17th century and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The village is overlooked by the Libéria Fort and linked to it by an amazing subway with 1000 steps. If you do it then do it downhill!
You should also visit the Canalettes Caves, "underground Versailles". Take the Yellow Train up to Cerdagne's high plateaus. Stroll along the lanes in hilltop villages such as Evol, Arboussols, Palalda and Eus, one of the most beautiful villages in France.
Spa treatment or a bit of me-time: the rejuvenating waters are yours for the taking in Molitg-les-Bains, Vernet-les-bains and the outdoor hot springs in Saint-Thomas.
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TRADITIONS AND CUSTOMS
Switch to Catalan time
Dance the sardana to the sound of the coblas. Sing "Montanyas Regaladas", a hymn to the glory of Canigou. Take part in secular or sacred rites: Saint John's Eve (la Flamme du Canigó), castells (human towers), La Rodella procession. Try local specialities from boles de picolat (Catalan meatballs) to AOC Côtes du Roussillon wine.
And experience Catalan traditions! They're unique like the Fêtes de l’Ours in February or the amazing Canigou Championship in August.
Sélection d'hébergements dans le secteur du Massif du Canigó.
How to get to the Canigou mountain range
The Canigou mountain range is in south-west Occitania in the Pyrénées-Orientales department in the middle of the Toulouse-Montpellier-Barcelona triangle.
- By car: exit at Le Boulou on the A9.
- By train: from Perpignan station (TGV from Lille, Paris, Lyon, Madrid) then the TER regional train and bus (1€!)
- By plane: from Perpignan-Rivesaltes (50km), Toulouse-Blagnac (250km) or Montpellier-Méditerranée Airports (210km).