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Holidaymakers searching for holiday rentals in Villefranche de Conflent also enquired about holiday homes in Agde, holiday homes in Vernet les Bains and apartments in Nice Old Town (Vieux Nice)

Villefranche de Conflent, Languedoc Roussillon - Mountains, Markets and Medieval Masterpieces

Home to medieval villages such as Evol and Eus (officially two of the most beautiful villages in France) and the fortified towns of Villefranche and Mont Louis, this region stretches from the Mediterranean beaches to the Pyrenean mountains, with fabulous scenery, a wide range of walks as well as a range of activities for all the family – from sailing, scuba-diving and fishing to outdoor activity parks, spa baths and skiing.

Take the Little Yellow Train from Villefranche or Olette and sit in the open carriages as it winds its way uphill to the highest train station in Europe. Enjoy early croissants in a local bar or sample traditional Catalan cuisine in typical family-run restaurants. Sample local specialities such as Crema Catalana (a rich creamy dessert) or Butifarra (a tangy sausage), or drop into local producers of honey.

Don’t miss the huge market at Prades (every Tuesday morning) for fabulous local delicacies, handicrafts and bargain fabrics or simply sit at a bar in the square and enjoy the spectacle! If your visit is in May/June, take advantage of the cherry harvest by buying from local roadside sellers or check out the cherry festival in Ceres.

For the adventurous, Mont Canigou – the so-called “Catalan magic mountain” - can be climbed from mid-May by landrover / 4x4 or two hours on foot.

If history is your passion, then don’t miss Villefranche-de-Conflent - an historic walled town built by Louis Vauban in the 17th century; Fort Liberia looks down on the fortified town and there is a connecting tunnel between the two. If your visit is around the start of Lent, then enjoy Villefranche’s Mardi Gras parade with its huge papier-mâché figures and local fair. On Good Friday, there is also a huge parade of cloaked and hooded figures through Perpignan, although young children may find this rather intimidating.

Looking for something more “scientific”? Then head to the 'Fort Solar' near Mont Louis, one of the largest solar-powered electricity stations in Europe, with its own visitor centre.

All-round great family days out can be enjoyed at the high-ropes and white water courses in Marquixanes. Further afield, explore the fort at Salses constructed in the 15th century or the fortified city of Carcassonne in Cathar country - but wear comfortable footwear (its uphill from the car parks!) and be prepared for crowds during the peak holiday seasons. Take a full-day trip to Barcelona or Gerona for fabulous shops and architecture.

To round off the day, pamper yourself at the spa baths at St Thomas les Bains (near Fontpedrouse) where you can relax in the spa pools, steam away your cares in the Turkish baths or submit to the tender ministrations of the masseurs and beauty therapists, who use a full range of herbal and natural products.

Finally, a few words of Catalan can go a long way – “si us plau” (please), “gràcies (thank you), “hola” (hello), “adéu” (goodbye) and – when all else fail (!) - “parla engonals?” (do you speak English?).

Written by Peter Newell - Owner of Property 92220 in Villefranche de Conflent, France

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                                                                                                      Recent Reviews

                                                                                                      Our holiday in villa Caudies

                                                                                                      5 of 5
                                                                                                      We stayed with friends in the last two weeks in September 2016 at the Villa Caudies. We were pleasantly surprised to find a beautiful open plan space. Very well equipped. Patio doors leading out to a terrace, equipped with barbecue and large table and chairs, with stunning views of the mountains. To the rear of the villa a lovely swimming pool, once again with a stunning back drop of the mountains. We spent a lot of our time lounging around the very private swimming pool, with temperatures around about 25 degrees. The nearest village is Caudies which is only five minutes away which has a few amenities, but we found shopping at Carrefour at St Pauls a little cheaper, and only another 15 minutes extra drive. Whilst most of our party lazed around the pool, the more adventurous of us enjoyed some of the extreme sports on offer. We started with the Via Ferratta at St Pauls in the morning, a fantastic climb and high wire traverses. Then in the afternoon we booked to do some white water rafting and some hydro speed. A fantastic day but very tiring. On our last evening we decided to go to a restaurant we spotted just down the road called Le Rebenty. We had a lovely meal, I personally enjoyed the Kwak beer served in a strange glass! A fantastic holiday in a superb location. We will be booking again especially as the owner is dog friendly. Tim and Sarah
                                                                                                      • Review Submitted: 19-Jan-2017
                                                                                                      • Date of Stay: Sep 2016

                                                                                                      Brilliant and peaceful gite

                                                                                                      4 of 5
                                                                                                      Spacious and homely place with well stocked up larder. Wifi in gite would have scored 5 stars. Although we could get to a cafe a few kilometres away to get the internet this is not always the most convenient option. Was a little frustrating at times as there was no mobile reception either. Great stay though. I can recommend this place.
                                                                                                      • Review Submitted: 04-Nov-2016
                                                                                                      • Date of Stay: Oct 2016

                                                                                                      Glorious view from this superb village house.

                                                                                                      5 of 5
                                                                                                      We had a wonderful 7 days in this lovely house overlooking Canigou. We got a warm welcome from Richard and the house had everything we needed. It was spotlessly clean and equipped with tasteful furnishings. We will return next autumn for more walking and eating!
                                                                                                      • Review Submitted: 24-Oct-2016
                                                                                                      • Date of Stay: Oct 2016