The nature reserves of Argelès
Argelès sur mer is very lucky to have two nature reserves on its territory. Our gites are ideally situated to access these two nature reserves.
The Mas Larrieu reserve located atNorth of the town of Argelès-sur-Mer, at the mouth of the Tech river, you will find an incredible biodiversity and diversified landscapes : plage de sables sauvages, dunes, roselières denses, marécages, forêts… C’est l’un des derniers sites « sauvages » du littoral Roussillonnais.
Indeed, between fresh and salt water hundreds of plant and animal species live in harmony in the reserve. You can find different species of birds or insects such as Oxygastra curtisii, an endangered dragonfly that the reserve is helping to preserve
Along the way, you will find an educational trail with various information panels on the fauna and flora.
The Massane Forest has been classified Nature Reserve in 1973. Also known as the Forêt des Couloumates, it is located in south of Argelès-sur-Mer.
The mainly beech forest has become a well-known site for international biologists and zoologists, thanks to a exceptional biodiversity and special characteristics. For example, it allows the study of global warming and its impact on nature.
In addition to beeches, there are also hollies, oaks, maples and various types of mushrooms, birds and birds of prey (peregrine falcon), over 3300 species of insects, in addition, there are a number of mammals such as bats, weasels and badgers, reptiles (wall lizards), amphibians (spotted salamanders) and fish.
Argelès sur Mer by bike
The Voie Verte Pyrénées-Méditérranée passes at the foot of the mas and joins the Véloroute Vélittorale.
It links the Mas Larrieu National Nature Reserve to the coves between Le Racou and Collioure
Argelès-sur-Mer's extensive network of cycle routes allows you to cover an entire territory that stretches from the coast to the foot of the Tour de la Massane, for the more sporty.
The various cycling routes cross a variety of landscapes on very different types of terrain, all under mostly bright, clear skies, with a warm, dry climate in summer and mild in winter. All these elements contribute to a wide range of cycling activities in favourable climatic conditions.
Whether in the city as a means of travel, on major routes to discover sites of cultural and natural interest, or in MOUNTAIN BIKE for more sporting activities on the slopes of the Albères massif; these multiple facets of the Argelès region offer a wide range of cycling activities in a pleasant setting.
Argelès-sur-Mer is at the crossroads of two major routes:
- The Vélittoralea cycle route in the Pyrénées-Orientales, which corresponds to a section of the the Mediterranean by bike (EuroVelo 8) and linking Athens to Cadiz. On the municipal territory, the Vélittorale connects the Mas Larrieu National Nature Reserve to the creeks between Racou and Collioure.
- The Pyrenees-Mediterranean Green RouteA 15-kilometre route between Argelès-sur-Mer and Le Boulou, which should eventually lead to the Catalan coastal town of Sant-Feliu-de-Guixols, via Le Perthus or Vallespir.
The Voie Verte Pyrénées-Méditerranée passes by our gites in Argeles and joins the Vélo route Vé littorale.
At the heart of a fascinating story
The history of the town began in prehistoric times, as evidenced by the dolmens on the slopes of the Albera massif.
The historic centre of Argelès-sur-Mer also has several remains dating back to the Middle Ages. At that time, the city was at the heart of clashes between the kings of Majorca and Aragon. The Casa de l'Albera, the heritage house, is the place to discover the richness of this period.
As you walk through the streets of the city centre, it is not uncommon to see the remains of towers, fortifications, old buildings and the 14th century church of Nuestra Señora del Prat with its typical southern gothic architecture.
A rich past that can be discovered thanks to the 13 interpretation panels scattered around the centre of the village.
But it was at the beginning of February 1939, following the fall of Catalonia and the passage to France of almost half a million exiles, that the history of the city was turned upside down. The city saw the arrival of nearly 100,000 refugees in a few days. They were interned on the sand. Planned as a temporary camp, the Argelès-sur-Mer camp functioned until 1942. More than 200,000 refugees passed through this camp, the memory of which is preserved today at the Argelès-sur-Mer Memorial.
Argelès-sur-Mer is also a declaration of love to art in all its forms.
Whether at the Galerie Marianne, at the Château de Valmy, a wine estate and Belle Époque residence, at the port or on the sandy shores, art is distilled and spread throughout the city without restraint.
Strolling through its colourful streets, where the light-coloured stone heats up in the sun, is also to fill up on friendly squares, painted and green façades, glowing bougainvillea, the village atmosphere and the smell of the market, of fruit bursting with sugar.
It is to go and meet all the anecdotes that make up its history and culture, those of an agricultural village that became a royal city, those
of a seaside town proud of its heritage.
There are many historical sites to visit in Argeles. The Pujol Tower, near our gites, is one of them.
Between the plain, the sea and the mountains, hikers will find a quality natural environment in the commune of Argelès-sur-Mer, as shown by the presence of two National Nature Reserves and of the Mediterranean Natural Marine Park.
Whatever their level and desires, hikers will find something to satisfy them. In addition, the Mediterranean climate is very favourable, which means that hikes can be carried out in good conditions all year round, or almost all year round.
The ideal location of our gites in Argelès will allow you to quickly access the departures of these numerous and varied hiking trails: among others the coastal path, the Massane tower from Valmy, the St Laurent chapel from the Valmy castle...
From Port-Argelès you can embark on a boat trip, a guaranteed delight for young and old!
"How beautiful", "Magnificent", these are the first words of the passengers who discover the vision of the rocky coast from the sea. You pass the beautiful beach of Racou and its small sandy houses, and you quietly reach the vermilion coast and its jewel: Collioure: the bell tower, the royal castle, the mill and the mountain cut out by the sea, the perfect postcard...
Port-Vendres is the third port you will discover during this boat trip. The Captain comments on the whole trip, his comments are rich in information and a touch of humour makes the moment very pleasant.