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Arles sur Tech - a Pyrénéan mediaeval town

Arles sur Tech is a small mediaeval town that is situated in the French Pyrénées Mountains, just north of the Spanish border. Lying on the River Tech, in the Vallespir, the most southerly valley of mainland France, the town is both atmospheric and picturesque. Lovers of mountain scenery, sunshine and history will find Arles sur Tech a perfect location. It's surrounded by the beauty of nature, yet only a short drive from the region's most fascinating places. Everything you could want is close to hand, with the Mediterranean Sea, spa towns, the walled city of Carcassonne and even Barcelona, all close enough for easy days out. Getting there is simple too, with Perpignan close by for air, rail or road travel.

History and heritage to explore

Arles sur Tech combines history and heritage with a thriving community and modern amenities. Its history has left several buildings of note to discover. Here are four lovely churches, an old Abbey, a classified Dolmen and an Art Nouveau Mairie. The natural heritage is stunning too, with the lovely River Tech flowing through the town, the dramatic mountain backdrop and the Gorges de Fou.

A thriving community offering plenty of amenities

In town, you'll find a good selection of amenities. Shops include a small Spar supermarket, a number of bakeries and butchers and several other small shops that cater for pretty much all everyday needs. For relaxation and enjoyment there are four or five restaurants, a number of cafés and bars and even a pizza takeaway. The little town has a strong community, and a typically Catalan zest for life.

Festivals to enjoy throughout the year

Throughout the year there are various festivals and celebrations to enjoy, ranging from the intriguingly named "Festival of the Bear" to the "Blessing of the Mules". Music festivals also take place all summer.

Sports and leisure activities from Arles sur Tech

Without a doubt, Arles sur Tech makes a fantastic base for outdoor sports enthusiasts. The mountains provide opportunities for climbing, skiing and mountain biking in addition to pony trekking and scenic photography. Nearby gorges and rushing rivers offer the chance to try sports such as white water rafting or canyoning. Golf, at the Domaine de Falgos, can be accessed at just half an hour from Arles sur Tech, with other courses also within easy reach for variety. Of course, you can also opt for lazier days, swimming in the Med, scuba diving or snorkelling or simply lapping up the sun on some of France's most beautiful and unspoilt beaches.

Visit the spa town of Amelie les Bains or the walled city of Carcassonne

You might think that staying in Arles sur Tech is the kind of holiday where you simply appreciate the peace of the mountains and relax, far from anywhere. Well, you can, of course, do this to your heart's content. However, if you want to get out and about there are also endless opportunities. Very close to Arles sur Tech is the lovely spa town of Amelie Les Bains. The border town of Prats de Mollo, the last town before crossing into Spain, is beautiful and worth a visit whether for its own sake or as a stopping point on the way into Spain. (Just around a two hour drive will take you to the glorious city of Barcelona, where the Gaudi Buildings reign supreme.) Nearer to home again, another great city awaits you. Perpignan has something to offer everyone, and is vibrant Catalan culture marks it out as quite unique. Then there's Carcassonne, a walled fairytale of a city where history comes alive.

Head for the coast

If you're heading for the seaside, you'll find some absolute gems of beaches and little seaside towns along this stretch of the Med. Collioure, famed for providing inspiration for artists such as Matisse and Derain, is full of fishing village charm, while the pristine beaches and clear seas of little resorts like Argelès Plage/Argelès sur Mer and Banyuls sur Mer provide for unforgettable family fun.

How to get there

The nearest airport with flights to and from the UK is Perpignan. Then, a little further but still accessible are Carcassonne, and Girona and Barcelona, in Spain. The TGV runs to Perpignan. Drivers can find Arles sur Tech on the D115.

Property prices and availability in and around Arles sur Tech

Property in this region is highly sought after, and prices can be higher than in other parts of Languedoc-Roussillon. However, once you move a little inland, away from the coast and into the mountains, you find prices level out and there are bargains to be found. Village houses, ready to move into, are currently priced from around 135,000 Euros, and between this figure and 600,000 Euros there is a large range of property available.

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Arles sur Tech AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Arles sur Tech?

Arles sur Tech lies in the south of France. It's located in the south of the Pyrénées-Orientales, close to the Spanish border.

Arles sur Tech Property Map


Languedoc-Roussillon Guide

Languedoc-Roussillon Property Map


Pyrénées-Orientales Guide

  Pyrénées-Orientales Map

Population: 2,757

Access: By air: Fly to Perpignan. By rail: Rail travellers can travel to Perpignan on the TGV from Paris. By road: The town lies on the D115.

Economy: The economy includes wine, olive oil and small commerce.

Interesting fact: Arles Sur Tech lies in the most southerly valley in mainland France.

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