Ceret, the capital of the Vallespir region of southern France, has long been a favourite destination with visitors, many of whom have ended up buying property in Ceret and staying there all year round. The cobbled streets of the old town are kept shadowed from the summer sun by lines of trees, and the delightful open squares for which Ceret, France is known are lined with delightful cafes and ancient fountains, making this one of the prettiest places in the region, far from the hustle and bustle of modern life. It is little wonder that those who take a self catering Ceret villa once usually return year after year!
The town is a delightful place to explore on foot. If you are staying in a self catering villa in Ceret, the huge Saturday market in Place Pablo-Picasso will certainly be of interest. The most celebrated attraction within the town is the Musee d'art Moderne Ceret, which is filled to breaking point with magnificent works by Picasso, Matisse, Chagall and Dali among others. The reason this small town has such a huge artistic wealth is due to the fact that it has always been a favourite source of inspiration for many artists, with many renting Ceret villas for long periods of time.
The Cherry Festival is held either at the end of May or the beginning of June, depending on when the harvest ripens, and is a magnificent time to take a rental property in Ceret. The town takes on a carnival atmosphere, with the surprisingly delicious taste of cherry beer and competitions like stone spitting contests springing up in many of the squares! The main festival in Ceret is the fantastic Le Feria in July, on the closest weekend to Bastille Day, when the whole town is filled with market stalls serving the finest of local foods, and the air is filled with the sound of music and dancing. There is also a bull running event during Le Feria, where, unlike in Pamplona, young men and women try to catch the bull from behind, and hand on to its tail for as long as possible, usually resulting in some spectacular bruises!
Taking a Ceret villa is a magnificent way to explore the countryside which surrounds the town. Situated in the foothills of the Pyrenees, Ceret is surrounded by some of the most exciting scenery in southern France, with plunging cliffs, shear gorges, gushing rivers and soaring mountains, often capped with imposing castles, all set to a backdrop of the glistening Mediterranean Sea. This is an outdoor activity haven, and there are very few sports which Ceret is not set up perfectly to do. The swimming lake at St Jean-Pla-de-Cotrs is a genuine delight in which you can refresh yourself from the heat of the day.
The Mediterranean Coast is only 25 minutes by car from a Ceret villa, and this stretch is not only famous for its beaches, but also the ideal conditions for sailing and windsurfing.
In the other direction, the Pyrenean skiing and hiking resorts of Pyrenees 2000 and Les Angles and are just over and hour and a half away.
The sun shines for over 300 days every year in Ceret, France, making this corner of the Mediterranean the hottest in France. Summer temperatures can soar into the high 30’s (°C) regularly during the summer, meaning a Ceret villa with a pool is priceless, and the shaded squares offer some respite from the heat. Winters are extraordinarily warm too, averaging around 15°C.
Ryanair and Flybe provide cheap flights to Ceret, landing at Perpignan(PGF), just half an hour from a villa in Ceret and Gerona Airports (GRO), which can be reached in under an hour. You can either get a rental car from the airport of take one of the regular busses which service the town.