The Pyrénées-Orientales department is located in the South of the Languedoc region of France bordering Spain and the Mediterranean Sea. The Pyrénées-Orientales department is a beautiful area of France, with stunning mountain ranges, a golden coastal area and in between, many vineyards. The regional Capital, Perpignan, is a fascinating town with a real Catalan spirit. The Spanish border to the south of Pyrénées-Orientales, has influenced the culture, language, cuisine and at times the allegiance of this southern-most department in France.
The Pyrénées-Orientales department
Prior to the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659, most of the present department was part of the former Principality of Catalonia, within the Kingdom of Spain, so the majority of it has historically been Catalan-speaking.
The modern department of Pyrenees-Orientales was created during the French Revolution under the name of Roussillon. The department was invaded by Spain in April 1793, but recaptured thirteen months later during the War of the Roussillon. The name of the department was then changed to Pyrénées-Orientales. Today you can still hear a mixture of French, Catalan and Occitan spoken in the region.
The Pyrénées-Orientales department consists of three river valleys: Agly, Têt and Tech – all of which descend from the Pyrenees to the eastern Plain of Roussillon. The area is famous for its sweet wines such as the Muscat de Rivesaltes and Banyuls.
French Pyrenees holidays
The capital of the Pyrénées-Orientales department is Perpignan, a city which has a clear Catalan heritage. Its Spanish influence predominantly comes from the thousands of refugees that fled Catalonia at the end of the Spanish Civil War. But it has also been part of the Catalan-Aragonese Crown, before it was brought under French control in 1659. The most important building here though is the Palais des Rois. The Kings of Mallorca made Perpignan their mainland capital and brought with it propsperity from cloth-making.
Other important towns in the Pyrénées-Orientales department, include:
Banyuls-sur-Mer: famous for its Banyuls wine and the birthplace of scupltor Aristide Maillol.
Céret: considered to be one of the birthplaces of cubism, an art form that is displayed very effectively at Musée d'Art Moderne in the town.
Collioure: a beautiful coastal town inhabited by many famous painters.
Prades: site of the Catalan Summer University.
Prats de Mollo and Salses: both of which contain impressive castles.
Along the Mediterranean coastline of the Pyrénées-Orientales department, you will also find important resort towns at Argeles-sur-Mer, St Cyprien and Leucate.
Go Languedoc has some wonderful Pyerennes villas and gites for rent. Here is a selection of our more popular gites in Pyrenees-Orientales.
Villa Vell-Roure South of France holiday home is at the edge of the small village of Villelongue-dels-Monts in its` own private grounds. The villa is a perfect holiday retreat for a large family group or crowd of friends looking for a very special property in a rural location. Approached from a private track the property has ample parking for a number of vehicles. Views towards the nearby village and the foothills of the Pyrénees named the Albérès, the Plain of Roussillon and the Mediterranean coastline in the distance. Sleeps 10 in comfort with large private pool (fenced.)
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This French villa with private pool is in Villelongue dels Monts near Argeles-Sur-Mer and Collioure on the Cote Vermeille. This converted Catalan Farmhouse is part of a complex of 4 individual villas nestled up on a wooded hillside. Each of these villas has its own private pool and can be rented separately or together (accommodating up to 30 people in total). The grounds surrounding each of these villas has been carefully landscaped to ensure that guests retain all the privacy that they need. These villas in France with private pools have been carefully reconstructed to retain as much of the original features, whilst adding the necessary modern features. These villas in France with private pools can be rented the whole year round and are the ideal location for special family occasions and anniversaries.
More information on these Villelongue-del-Monts villas in France with private pools
This luxury villa with swimming pool South of France is set in the foothills of the Pyrenees with views of the Roussillon Plains, on the outskirts of the village of Laroque des Alberes near Argeles and Le Boulou. This villa can sleep up to 9 people with it’s own pool and magnificent views high above the Catalan village of Laroque des Alberes, Languedoc-Roussillon in the South of France.
More information on this Luxury villa with swimming pool South of France, Laroque
This wonderful French Mas for South France holidays is stuated in the foothills of the Pyrenees near Perpignan. this eighteenth century former winery is nestled in the unspoilt nature. The property is set on almost three acres, two and a half hectares of vineyards and a garden of 4000m2. The Mas is surrounded by over 300m2 of terraces with BBQ.This property for South France holidays sleeps 9 and has a large garden and swimming pool and wifi internet.
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These French holiday apartments near the beach are situated at Argelès sur Mer, between the foothills of the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean sea. There are 4 independent holiday apartments at Mas Lamon, fully and comfortably equipped for holidays in the South of France. Each gite has it’s own private terrace, either with sea views, or views towards the surrounding mountains. These French holiday apartments near the beach come with a large private garden and woodland beyond, a heated swimming pool, children`s play area, picnic area, boules pitch, as well as horse riding school on site. These French gites for family holidays in South of France are situated in the middle of the countryside, yet are only 2kms from the traditional market village of Argeles sur Mer, and 5kms from the beaches and port. The perfect setting for family holidays in South of France.
More information on these Holiday apartments near the beach Canigou sleeps 4