Descriptions of the village St. Jean Pla de Corts
Maison des Cèdres is located in St. Jean Pla des Corts. This is a small, picturesque village with approx. 2000 inhabitants in the PyrénéesOrientales region of the south of France. The village is a small town with a few local shops, bars, and restaurants. The local bakery and nearby grocers are only a 4-5 min walk from Maison des Cèdres. Just outside the downtown area you can easily find larger shopping alternatives with supermarket and wine stores. You can find beaches, wineries and other attractions just 20-30min outside St. Jean Pla de Corts.
The city also has a great outdoor area by two lakes just a 5 minutes bicycle ride away. There you will find a water park for children with inflatable obstacles to cross, a challenge for the small and not so small.
Around the lake there are nature paths, picnic areas and the nice little restaurant called la Guinguette du Lac where we recommend the fresh fish of the day.
The second lake boasts a Téléski witch is a wake park with water jump, water skiing etc https://tsjwakepark.com
Descriptions of the city Céret
Céretis a charming town located just outside St Jean Pla des Corts. Céret has a cozy downtown area with outdoor bars and restaurants in the city square. The city is most famous for their museum of modern art. This museum hosts pictures and sculptures of Pablo Picasso and other impressionists. You can visit Café Pablo, which was dedicated to Picasso and Grand Café. Both were meeting places for known artists in the beginning of the 1900’s.
Céret hosts numerous events throughout the year. The highlight of the town is the annual Festival of The Cherry. The city hosts this festival every year at the end of May. The areas around Céret are particularly known for the cherry trees and the first cherries that are picked every season are always sent to the French president.
Also Céret boasts a Feria with is a local name for a Festival around the bull race, a folkloric festival with traditional dances, food and music. Usually happening in mid July.
Céret is a short 5 min drive from St. Jean Pla des Corts, enjoy it’s Sunday market, artisanal food shops and Catalan feeling all season long.
Descriptions of the region Pyrénées-Orientales department of Languedoc Roussillon
This area is close to the Spanish border and up until 1659 even belonged to Spain. The area is heavily influenced by Catalan traditions, this is reflected in the food, the music and the art. Perpignan has even been the capital of the Kings of Majorca and you can still visit this monument today as it is preserved in pristine condition. With it’s rich culture and a melting pot between France and Spain, the area counts many castles and monasteries open to visitors all year long. The region counts many typical villages and a very varied nature from the rocky coast to the green forests of the high Vallespir, from the snowy slopes of the Canigou to the deep blue Mediterranean sea.
The area has a mediterranean climate overall witch means the winters are mild due to the influence of the sea and the four seasons are quite distinctive. The Summer season is quite long stretching from the beginning of Mai to end September.
The mountains are surrounding the valley from three different sides and the sea forms the last, this combination of mountains protecting the area and a breeze from the sea creates a micro climate of even milder influence giving this region of France the record for amount of sunny days per year, an average of 265 days a year and a record of 300 sunny days, this is as much as Agadir Morocco. The temperatures can be as high as 40 degrees Celsius during the summer in the plain by Perpignan but here in Saint Jean at the foot of the mountains we are blessed with a few degrees less making even the hottest days a little fresher. Céret just close by produces the first French cherries due to this exceptional microclimate witch switches from being milder in the winter to cooler in the summer.
The region is an ancient wine region where the Greeks founded a Colony for wine exchange. The Roman Empire continued this tradition by growing wine in all the Gallia Narbonensis region and Languedoc is today the producerof 5% of all wine worldwide! The region has in the last two decades increased their quality and lowered their production and we will be glad to recommend winery visits for your groups. Noteworthy is the fact that 3 of the 4 natural sweet wines produced in France come from this area and those wineries make for exceptional visits for the connoisseurs. The coastal vineyard of Banyuls sur Mer, the Muscat de Rivesaltes and Grenache Noir from Maury at the foot of a thousand year old castle. Due to the different types of soil found in the region and the differences in climates from the valleys to the plain or the foot of the mountains, the region offers several distinct types of wines for you to discover.
With a coast line of 37 kilometres of beaches it is easy to plan a trip to the sea, there are hundreds of beach clubs, waterparks and attractions. Some are for the masses and some are for the locals, ask us which is which…
Attractions in the area:
- Water sports on Lake St Jean – 5 min by car.
- International Museum of Modern Art in Céret- 8 min by car.
- Shopping in Céret – 8 min by car.
- Marché de Céret – 8min by car.
An outdoor market where you can buy everything from food, flowers, antiques, to
clothes and shoes.
- Water sports in Mediterranean Canet Beach or Saint Cyprien – 20 min by car.
- Shopping in Perpignan – 25 min by car.
- Perpignan Palace of the kings of Majorca – 25 min by car.
- Chateau Royal in Collioure – 30 min by car.
- Muséed`ArtModerneCollioure – 30 min by car.
- Canigou Mountain – 30 min by car.
Great for skiing during the winter and mountain tracking in summer/fall.
- Banyuls-sur-Mer – 30 min by car.
A village famous for their sweet wine.
- Collioure village – 30 min by car.
A coastal village known for its art, restaurants & bars.
- Château de Peyrepertuse – 50 min by car.
- Freshwater springs and spas all around the Languedoc Roussillon region.
- Several options for wine tasting vineyards all around the Languedoc Roussillon region.
- Skiing 1 hour 30 minutes to the best slopes
There are a wide range of activities you can explore and discover: Skiing, water sports, all types of wind-sports on water or on land such as sailing, windsurfing, paragliding, etc. SPA retreats, golfing culture attractions and events such as outdoor concerts and festivals, Museums, Cathar castles, hiking and cycling in the mountains known from the Tour de France, kanoo paddling, wine tasting.
No. 1 The beach
The Mediterranean Sea and the beach (20 Min by car) Visit miles and miles of nice beaches and bays or beach clubs with lovely French seafood fresh from the sea the same morning. Personal recommendation Mussels a la Plancha, barbecue the fish Dorad or Sole
Beach club: https://www.nouvellevague-beachclub.com/home ved byen d`Argeles sur Mer
Ps.if its too windy don’t go to the beach, your beach-experience will be much better when it is less windy.
No. 2 Nice villages
Banyuls or and Collioure (25-35 min by car) Both cities is worth a visit for different reasons
Banyuls for the production of the sweet wine called with the same name “Banyuls”. The nice bays is and view from the road is beautiful and you have nice diving possibilities outside the pier in the city.
Collioure for the atmosphere in the city, shopping, museums, great restaurants or just strolling around and have an evening drink looking at the sea.
No. 3 Fresh water – waterfalls in the mountains – daytrip
Duilhac. A freshwater area in the mountains with waterfalls and fantastic experience I the nature. If you like you can walk for hours in the mountain following the freshwater waterfalls, including some climbing. Bring a picnic basket and bathing shoes (no flipflops). On the way to the place, you drive through the small villages with lots of wine tasting option. Favourite and very known wines such as Mas Amiel or Maury, stop and bring some bottles with you on the way home. You also pass a beautiful view point and a Cathar castle “Cathar Chateau Peyrepertuse en Duilhac” if you walk up you get a great view of the whole area. (Bring sneakers)
No. 4 Dali next door
Ceret – picturesque village (5 min by car), visit the local butcher and by the local handmade sausage and pate with berries, enjoy a nice lunch on the square and look at the slow life before you visit the famous Dali Museum in the middle of the village.
No. 5 Perpignan City
Perpignan (25min by car) Visit the Castle of the king of Mallorca, one of many good restaurants or museums. Beautiful city but avoid the hottest time of the day (12-14)
No. 6 Lake with watersport & restaurant
Lake Jean pla de Corts (5min by car) Green fields, children friendly, water sports and La Guinguette restaurant with view to the lake, nice local menu and friendly service.
No. 7 Experience in the nature
Trekking in the Pyrenees, rent a guide or walk in a group. You can find maps over tracks at the tourist information in Cèret. Make sure you plan the trip carefully and bring good and solid shoes.
No. 8 Bicycling
Bicycle in the area, Bicycle tracks against the coast, avoid midday when it is too hot in the summer, and always bring water, a hat and sun lotion for outdoor activities.
No. 9 Wine tasting, Food & Wine
Wine tasting, go and visit some of the wine castle and wine houses that is open for tourist and wine tasting. If you taste it`s expected that you buy something, that is the culture.
“Chateau Valmy” – on the way to Argeles sur Mer they also serve lunch, you can taste the wine, tour of the wine production areas and dinner or lunch.
“Banyuls” and “Maury” – they produce wine and are famous for their production of sweet wine that can be stored for 100years due to high sugar level. Fantastic taste and goes very well to chocolate.
“Chateau de Jau” – visit a traditional chateau and winehouse that also invite you for barbecue in the courtyard beside a large carp pond, you can enjoy the food and wine under the trees with live music.
“Clos de Paulilles” – visit the museum of Dynamit and plan you lunch at the wine hose Clos de Paulilles they have a very nice menu and it`s besides a nice bay/beach on the way to Banyuls. Remember to buy some bottles on the way back to the house.
No. 10. Golfing
You can choose between 6 golf courses in the area remember to make reservation before your go.
Over all tips for enjoyable days in south of France:
- SUN Always bring Sun cream, hat and water during summer season and avoid the dun between 12-14
- MEALS Plan your meals and make reservation then you know you have a table. The restaurants are often fully booked for lunch and dinner in summer season. Remember its closed between lunch and dinner.
- REST Do as the French and have a siesta after lunch
- PAYMENT Some of the places do not accept credit cards, bring some cash /euro
- SECURITY Watch your personal belongings
For the best start of the day; have a morning swim in the pool, then take the small walk or take the bike to the bakery and bring back fresh croissants or and pain chocolate and enjoy the fresh pastry in Loggia with a coffee and plan your day for activities, or stay in the house and enjoy the garden and pool, have a siesta in aircon if you are warm and remember to drink a lot of water if it`s hot.
To discover more activities and attractions please visit http://en.vallespir-tourisme.fr/ or reach out to us and we would be happy to guide you as best we can: Maisondescedres66@gmail.com.