|Minimum Stay||7 nights|
Set in the old part of town and recently converted, the property is welcoming and comfortable - described by several previous guests as "home from home" - just five minutes' walk from the centre of town yet very tranquil and private. Both flats (88sq.m and 108sq.m) - with their own private, sunny and very pretty terraces - are fully furnished and ideally equipped for the self-caterer (including bbq) yet minutes' walk from several restaurants. They both offer every modern comfort and amenity including secure wifi, a small reading library, maps of the local area and a small DVD library. Winter visitors will welcome the wood-burning stove and fireplace (wood supplied) for cosy evenings. Adult bicycles are provided together wth safety helmets and coolbags for picnics (plus non-breakable wine glasses!).
There are regular buses and trains into Perpignan (with fares costing just €1!) giving easy and quick access to the coast, the mountains and Spain - with or without bicycles!
Each flats offers the following facilities:
- Welcome File containing essential information about the property and lots of information about places to visit and things to do
- TV and DVD
- unlimited wifi
- docking station for MP3 etc players
- CD/radio player
- dishwasher (ground floor flat only)
- electric (ground floor flat)/ gas (top floor flat) cooker and electric ovens
- electric toaster
- washing machine
- fridge freezer
- iron and ironing board
- hair dryer
- picnic cool bag with ice blocks
- electric fans
- free-standing electric radiators (bottom flat) / wall-mounted electric radiators (top flat)
- electric barbeque
- garden furniture including sun lounger (with cushions)
- private sunny terrace
- bath with powerful overhead shower
- separate toilet
- adult bicycles with cycle helmets
- garage parking for one medium-sized car (bookable according to availability on a first-come, first-served basis)
- beach towels and mats
- reading and dvd library
- selection of games (scrabble, playing cards etc)
- maps of the area
If you're looking to explore this southern Languedoc Roussillon region of France with its attractive mixture of Mediterranean climate and French and Catalan heritage, miles of sandy beaches and snow-topped mountains, then the small town of Le Soler makes for the ideal location - with regular flights coming in to nearby Perpignan from London Stansted, Birmingham, Southampton, and Paris airports. Just 6km from Le Soler is the university city of Perpignan, capital of the Pyrenees Orientales department, and the last French city before the Spanish border - and an hour and a half's motorway drive to Barcelona and just 45 minutes by high speed TGV train.
Perpignan is a vibrant and youthful city famous for its lively cultural life (including the annual 'VISA pour l'image' international photojournalism festival http://www.visapourlimage.com) and a plethora of great tapas bars, cafes, restaurants and bistros where time can be effortlessly whiled away over endless cups of coffee or glasses of Rousillon wine. There is great shopping to be had in the narrow maze of streets in the old Saint Jean district, where you will find designer boutiques as well as more familiar global brands.
A stroll eastwards along the La Basse canal leads to a tree-lined park along the Allées Maillol where you'll find one of the many examples of work by local artist Maillol, inspired by the city and the region.
Perpignan dates from as far back as 927AD, and there are many architectural and historic sites worth visiting around the city including: the iconic Castillet tower – fomer gateway to the city and now serving as a museum and gallery; the vast 16th Century Couvent des Minimes monastry; the Cathedrale Saint-Jean; the Campo Santo cloisters (housing the oldest cemetery of its kind in France), and of course the gothic Palais des Rois de Majorque from where the visitor is afforded a great view across the city.
For those who want a bit of sporting action, then Perpignan is, of course, the place to catch a bit of rugby – this local passion is represented by the Catalan Dragons (rugby league) and the Union Sportive Arlequins Perpignan or USAP (rugby union), both teams playing at the Stade Aime Giral.
Getting away from city life isn't too difficult in the Pyrenees Orientales department. Whilst Perpignan is the economic and cultural centre of the department, it is a relatively small city and within 8 minutes' drive to the west lies the small Catalan town of Le Soler, with its tennis and basketball courts, fishing lake, parks, small observatory and popular cafes. Just a short 20 minutes drive to the east you will find yourself by the blue Mediterranean Sea with its miles of sandy beaches at Canet-Plage.
The resort at Canet is somewhat over-developed and not to everyone's taste, but like most of the coastline here it carries a Blue Flag and is an ideal spot for trying out watersports of all kinds. Both north and south of Canet are pretty inland lagoons, perfect for bird-watching or learning about the local trades of salt making and oyster farming - and a great place to take the bikes!
If wine-tasting is more your thing, then 10 minutes' drive to the west of Le Soler is the small town of Thuir (pronounced tweer), where you can visit the winery where the famous local aperitif Byrrh (pronounced beer) is still produced, along with other wine-based drinks such as Cinzano and Dubonet. If local markets are of interest, then don't miss Thuir's vibrant all-day Saturday market (though the one in Le Soler is also very attractive).
The Roussillon region (the old name for the Pyrenees Orientales) is one of the most prolific wine-producing departments in the Languedoc Roussillon and within an hour's drive in almost any direction you will come across towns which have their own distinct wine product and history. To the north of Perpignan and Le Soler (and technically in the Aude department) is the Fitou region which was one of the first to be awarded its own “appellation” back in 1948; to the west is the Agly River valley and the town of Maury, which produces a delicious sweet wine rather like Port; to the south there is the coastal town of Banyuls-sur-Mer where the golden coloured Banyuls sweet wine is made .
Banyuls-sur-Mer is a must for the diving and snorkling enthusiast as this is one of the access points for the Reserve Marine – a protected marine environment, home to an exciting variety of fish, which stretches around the rocky coastline of the Côte Vermeille all the way to Cebère, the last French town before Spain.
The Côte Vermeille very much represents the typical French coastal scene: between rocky outcrops lie intermittent quiet bays lined with pretty sea-side towns, in particular the delightful and rather romantic Collioure. A top spot for art lovers (esp. of Fauvism), this town was once host to the likes of Matisse and Derain and now houses many galleries selling local contemporary art.
Further to the south-west of Perpignan and Le Soler is the other arty hotspot – the very pretty town of Ceret, where none other than Picasso once lived, who along with other celebrated names helped form the Modern Art Museum of Ceret. This Museum hosts an important permanent collection featuring work from Chagall, Miro, Matisse and of course Picasso as well as regular visiting exhibitions. Further up into the mountains from Ceret is the thermal spa town of Amelie-les-Bains where you can relax away all your aches and pains in the hot thermal spings.
Exploration to the west of Perpignan and Le Soler, and into the wild countryside under the emblematic presence of Mount Canigou (a spiritual symbol for Catalans), will lead you to discover medieval fortified villages such as Castelnou and Villefranche-de-Conflent which testify to the violent past associated with this region. For nature enthusiasts there are gorges, caves, and the strange rock formations called les Orgues to explore. To the north-west, heading into the Aude, there is the Tautavel Museum (with informative exhibitions describing the lives of prehistoric cave dwellers) and the important Cathar fortresses of Peyrepertuse and Queribus.
Other places of interest include:
Prades (Catalan Prada de Conflent) (20 mins' drive way) - site of the Catalan Summer University (Universitat Catalana d'Estiu).
Banyuls-sur-Mer (Catalan Banyuls de la Marenda) (90 mins' drive away) famous for its Grenache-based Banyuls wine, birth place of Aristide Maillol, and home to an extensive protected maritime reserve offering excellent diving and snorkelling opportunities.
Prats de Molló (90 mins' drive away) - important defensive castle of the 17th century facing south to the Pyrenees.
Salses (25 min' drive away) - important defensive castle of the 16th century, on the ancient frontier with Spain.
Les Angles (an hour's drive away) - popular destination for skiers in the winter and for hikers in the summer
Thuir (10 mins' drive away) - fascinating home to the factory producing famous aperitifs such as Dubonnet, Martini and Byrrh and boasting a railway siding designed by Eiffel himself!
We had a lovely week and saw in the new year in the cosy flat downstairs while the rest of my family stayed in the upstairs flat. We spent days exploring the area and enjoyed cosy nights by the fire. Both the apartments are well equipped in the kitchens and there are plenty of other home comforts such as book, games and dvd libraries. The large private terrace is wonderful, we stayed in winter but would so love to experience it in the heat of summer so we could eat outside and enjoy it properly. There are bikes to explore on and shops are easily accessible. It's easy to get to from Perpignan airport - we hired a car- and very close to the seaside and mountains, which are stunning in the winter snow!
It's a great place to stay with family but I could imagine group of friends really enjoying the space too.
We really enjoyed our stay and hope to spend a summer break there soon.
We stayed in this ground floor village house for 8 days in November this year. The arrival was problem free, with good communication from Pippa throughout. We loved the homely feel, lots of books, maps, films to watch, and the kitchen was fully equipped for our cooking needs. It was great to have use of the bikes, and we used them to explore some of the lovely nearby villages. The village of Le Soler has some very good bakeries, and everything you need to self cater, and Perpignan is only a short drive for galleries and museums. Even in November we were warm and cosy, wood was provided for the stove, and it was a bonus to have the lovely courtyard garden to look out on, even if it was not the time of year to sit outside. In the summer I am sure it would be a lovely space to sit in the shade. At night, it was quiet, we did not have others staying upstairs when we visited, but even if there were guests upstairs, I'm sure it would still feel very private. We spent a lovely winter break here, and highly recommend this place for a couple who enjoy exploring markets, walking, cycling and like to cook at home, we found a great bakers to buy lovely home made quiches and tarts, which we enjoyed at home. Thank you Pippa for sharing your place with us.
Your flat and Le Soler were utterly splendid. The flat was wonderfully clean and comfortable. We loved the local shops, we used the train and buses and travelled far further in all directions than we had expected. I think the most pleasing thing was being part of the friendly community - meeting the same people each day at the boulangerie and, from his reaction, being the first real vegetarian that the butcher had ever met! We bought meats for my OH but I'm sure the range of tabbouleh and salads would have grown had we been staying longer. The holiday was a joy from beginning to end. Thank you for creating such a pleasant and comfortable base.
Very comfortable & well equipped apartment
for an enjoyable stay. Very convenient for exploring
the area. Would recommend for those wanting a
nice quiet break.
Lovely apartment tucked away in a typical French street but close to all amenities. Really cool after a day in the sun and with a pretty courtyard for eating or sitting out It is really well equipped and spotlessly clean. Great to have the train station so close but also well placed for visiting places by car.
The apartment provided a good low cost base to explore the area. It was well appointed and clean. The owner was extremely helpful and the property description was accurate
|Rental Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly||Event Price|
4 Apr 2015 - 30 Oct 2015
7 night minimum stay
Please Note: The owner of this property accepts payment in the original currency specified (Euro), before use of conversion tool. The conversion tool is provided for your convenience only. The owner may accept other currencies if specifically agreed in advance.