South of France
South of France
The much loved South of France soaks up the Mediterranean atmosphere and climate. The city of Perpignan is not far from the coast and has an airport and good train interchange. The bus service around here is very good and reasonably priced.
A 40 minutes’ drive from Perpignan is the start of the Tet Valley, with a town called Prades and the villages Ria-Sirach.
Overshadowed by the towering peak of Mount Canigou the towns and villages nestle in the valley. Ria-Sirach hosts an unusual station and is a request stop so be sure to tell the guard you want to get off and to get on you will need to flag it down.
Walking up through the mountains or through the vineyards into Prades a great French town with plaza, shops and market made up of typical French architecture gives a different picture of the South of France.
Just down the road from Ria-Sirach is the fortified village of Villafranche-de-Conflent where you can get the Yellow train to take you up on a spectacular trip through the mountains. With streams, rivers and lakes around it is a great place to explore. The fishing is good and cycling is a great way to get about.
In the winter the views of the mountains are accentuated by the snow caps. There are many places where you will be able to see eagles flying about. With many character full villages and towns to visit along with wineries; there is plenty to do. If you are looking for ski slopes then they are a little further up the valley.
There are also some picturesque coves along the coast; well worth a day out. These places are full of French character and cuisine. Whether strolling around the French countryside or meandering through the streets the French are very warm and welcoming. Many along with French can speak good English.
Being close to the border with Spain a trip to Barcelona is certainly possible from this part of the South of France.