À tous les amoureux de sport et nature
My name is Babeth Coste, consultant at the OTI of the Saint-Genis Tourist Office des Fontaines and heritage agent at the reception of the cloister.
Here are some lines to make you want to discover our territory so rich in maritime and mountainous landscapes under the beautiful light and the hot sun of our department.
Educational and essential, the nature brings out elementary rules of life (confrontation with oneself but also moment of sharing, need to outdo, respect for other and places, curiosity of the environment, place where one resides ...)
It is in this spirit that we raised our three children who have always followed us on hike.
I will give you some ideas for hiking "Mar i Munt" on foot, bike or horse on our beautiful territory so you share a few places which I keep the best memories
On the Sea side:
The coastal path, marked coastal path from the north of Argelès to Cerbère. Especially the section which begins at the lighthouse of Cape Béar and which joins the cove of Paulilles (2h A / R). This walk is interesting for several reasons, first there are two not to be missed places (the pink marble lighthouse and the site of Paulilles , beautiful cove and place of a very important old dynamite factory , with museum, workshop of Catalan small boats, exhibition and possibility to taste some local products sitting in a pleasant place.The path is steep, it offers a splendid view and cross two coves to swim and discover a beautiful underwater wildlife.To do this, plan jersey, towel, mask and snorkel and especially bathing slippers).
On the Mountain side:
One of my favorite hike is “le pic des 4 termes” (7:30 am AR). Destined to good walkers (adults and children), this hike starts from Sorède at the “Vallée Heureuse” (link of the topo) . One discovers curiosities all along the way (a source under a tree, an impressive rock, the sight at the arrival is grandiose (plain of Rousillon, sea, south catalonia, the towers of Massane and Madeloc as if we can touch them ...) TO DO ABSOLUTELY !!!
On the Village side:
I propose you the discovery of the Albèra villages by a bike tour "The Albèra loop by bike" (click here). there are several circuits of different levels. It is an excellent way to discover these typical villages of the Albèra foot and all the treasures they conceal (Workshop Glass and Lake in Palau, “House of Romanesque Art” and Church of Saint Andrew, Cloister, lintel and church of Saint Genis des Fontaines Museum of traditions and tomb niche of Montesquieu, the Priory Santa Maria del Vilar in Villelongue dels Monts, the valley of turtles in Sorède, the Castle’s Belvedere in Laroque Albères, etc ...).
On the "soft mountain" Side
Here is a route that can be done by walking or by running. The hike leads you to "La Font dels Simiots" (about 350m above sea level) above Laroque des Albères. Starting from Saint Genis des Fontaines, for example, take the side road “Traverse de Villelongue” to arrive in Villelongue dels Monts. In the main road, take the direction of the Priory Santa Maria del Vilar, take on left a paved alley that go down (There’s a yellow mark on a panel). This alley arrives on a DFCI on the right and leads to the hamlet of the “Mas Catalans” in Laroque des Albères. Once arrived in Laroque continue the walk on the right until arriving to the top of the hamlet. Then take the path until Laroque and observe the Font dels Simiots. Two fountains built a few meters from each other: the most visible, along the track, has a masonry structure. There’s no water . The second, further down, springs between rocks The water is excellent. Descending on Laroque, we pass in front of the ruins of the Roca Vella Chapel. Continue on 200m and take on the right, going down on the paved road closed by a chain. 30m to the right leave in the forest and cross the stream to the basin and the mineral spring on the right (iwater loaded in iron with amazing taste that can be consumed). Then return to Saint Genis by the street of “La Boutade”.The duration of this running is 1h30. The departure can be done by Villelongue dels Monts, it will reduce the time. The view of the sea, the plain of Roussillon and Canigou will delight you.
On the mountain and « cross-border » side
The purpose of this sporty hike is the discovery of the tower of Querroig (672m) and the ruins of the old castle located on the border. The departure is from the Cerbère station we pass by the Col of Banyuls (Tell the topo at the tourist office of Cerbère)
The duration of this hike is about 4 hours At the beginning it climbs hard . on the path You can see a grave stone et then the ruins of the tower and of the castel located exactly on the border.
At the top the panoramic view is great. You can see the Cape Creus, the coastline until Leucate, the Catalonia (south side) and the plain of Roussillon.
On the country and river side (Rando et chariot à Palau) :
Go to Palau del Vidre, Chemin d’Ortaffa for an horse ride during 2 hours in the country side between Elne Brouilla et Ortaffa and along the Tech river banks.
We cross the river seeing a heron or other birds here and there. It is an unforgettable walk for seasoned or beginners.
During the walks,The professionals supervise the group in a family atmosphere. If you go an hour before you can prepare the horses.
The club also offers outings in carriages, pony rides, hiking in the mountains.etc ... Rando et charriots 06.15.41.38.14.
Here are some ideas for walks of all kinds on our territory "Pays Pyrénées Méditerranée" that we indigenous people have the chance to travel throughout the year.
It was important for me to make you enjoy my good "nature" plans!
Whichever formula you choose, you need an IGN 2549OT card, a cap, water (1l per person), sunscreen, good shoes, waterproof clothing, slippers for creeks, dried fruits and oleaginous type almonds are perfect. In some cases a good picnic is even better!
The durations are given without the breaks.
You will find the information of the hikes of the territory as well as those of the department in the Tourist Offices Information of our territory Pyrenées Meditterrannée . As for me, I am waiting for you at the BIT of Saint Genis 13 rue Clemenceau, to guide you on the many hikes and other outdoor activities!