Out and About
The Albères are the foothills of the Pyrénées, and the natural barrier between France and Spain. In the distance, the snow-covered Canigou is just over 9000 feet. Laroque des Albères is the jumping-off point for hiking (randonées) in the Pyrenees from relaxing to strenuous; enjoy a picnic, discover rock pools, waterfalls and beautiful vistas. You can join a hiking group through the Office du Tourisme in the village.
More about hiking:
The Côte Vermeille (Mediterranean coast) is just 15 minutes away. It has large beaches and resorts at Canet Plage and St. Cyprien with a variety of water sports and more picturesque harbors at Collioure and Banyuls. Collioure is my favorite village, with its quaint harbor, art studios and restaurant-lined promenade. For Sunday lunch try one of the cafes on the beach in St. Cyprien that prepares paella in huge pans over a gas burner – no better way to spend a Sunday! Or, check out the natural preserve submarine park of Cerbère-Banyuls for snorkeling and scuba.
Learn more: http://www.pyreneesguide.com/historicos.php?id=638
Biking is popular. You can ride through the hills from village to village or to the beach on the bike lane adjacent to the roadway. There are lots of options for renting bikes nearby. If golf is your passion, there are 21 golf courses in the vicinity. In winter, enjoy skiing in the Pyrénées at Font Romeu, only one and one-half hour away, or Andorra.
The area has a rich cultural history. The ruins of the Cathar châteaux, perched on peaks in the Pyrénées, offer a glimpse into the mysterious history of this religious sect. Or visit Rennes-le-Château where it is rumored that the treasures of the Knights Templar are hidden. Carcassonne, a UNESCO world heritage site, is the largest fortress in Europe and incredibly well-preserved. Perpignan is the old capital of Catalonia with a vibrant city center along the Têt River.