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Laroque des Albères - a taste of Catalonia

The village of Laroque des Albères lies in a supreme geographical location in the south of France, in a region that encompasses not just central southern France but also north-eastern Spain, and which is known as Catalonia. Be it French or Spanish, a Catalan village has a character all of its own, and this is certainly the case with Laroque des Albères. The sunshine record for this part of France is legendary, and you can rely on blue skies and bright sun pretty much all year round.

Between the mountains and the deep blue sea

Located in the foothills of the Pyrénées, yet within a very short drive of France's beautiful Vermilion Coast, Laroque occupies a location that is heaven sent. The countryside that surrounds it is varied, consisting of the wild garrigue (a sort of aromatic Mediterranean scrub land filled with wild lavender and thyme that crushes underfoot and releases the most glorious scents as you walk), contrasting with the neatly ordered vineyards and cherry orchards that form the backbone of the traditional economy of the area.

Mediaeval origins

The mediaeval origins of Laroque des Albères are evident, with the narrow cobbled streets and ancient stone houses whispering the secrets of a bygone age. The rough hewn stone walls rise steeply sometimes from the hillsides, and the terracotta roof tiles seem as warm as the summer sun itself. The village is as old as the hills that surround it, and its soft, Catalan colours seem totally in sympathy with the landscapes.

Vibrant life

Despite all its history and natural surroundings, though, this is no sleepy backwater town, forgotten by a modern world. Laroque des Albères is unspoilt, but it has a vibrant and lively community, with excellent facilities to make everyday life not just easy, but a pleasure. There are shops, supermarkets and services, and quite a choice of very good restaurants, bars and cafés.

Out and about

The possibilities for enjoying the region from a base here in Laroque des Albères are endless. The Vermilion Coast, quite possibly the most beautiful stretch of coast in the south of France, is on the doorstep, so you can eat freshly caught anchovies or admire the work of famous artists in Collioure, scuba dive in Banyuls sur Mer or simply enjoy the many fabulous beaches and lively little resort towns that dot this part of the Med.

Skiing and ancient citiies

Then, of course, you can climb a mountain, or in winter, make the most of the excellent and uncrowded ski resorts of the Pyrénées. Spain and Andorra are close enough for day trips, while the mysteries of the Cathars and the Knights Templar are waiting to be explored in the ancient cities of Carcassonne, Béziers and Rennes les Châteaux.

How to get there

Perpignan is the nearest airport, and has flights from the UK with Ryanair, bmibaby and flybe. Girona and Carcassonne are also nearby, both of which are served by Ryanair. The TGV runs to Perpignan from Paris (where you can change from Eurostar), so there is another easy and fast option available for you to get to your destination from the UK. Road travellers should take the A9 auto route.

Property prices and availability in and around Laroque des Albères

Property prices can be on the high side in the Pyrénées-Orientales, as the region has so many natural advantages, but the region still compares well with the Riviera coastal area and inland Provence. Laroque des Albères is popular with holiday makers which means that you can obtain good rates should you wish to rent out your property for part of the year. Property types range from small character houses in the old parts of the village to large, luxurious villas.

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Laroque des Albères AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Laroque des Albères?

Laroque des Albères is situated in southern France, close to the Spanish border. It lies in the south-east of the Pyrénées-Orientales department.

Laroque des Albères Property Map


Languedoc-Roussillon Guide

Languedoc-Roussillon Property Map


Pyrénées-Orientales Guide

  Pyrénées-Orientales Map

Population: 1,909

Access: By air: Fly to Perpignan, Carcassonne or Girona. By rail: The TGV runs from Paris to Perpignan, so train travel is a good option. By road: The A9 auto route will take you close to Laroque de Albères.

Economy: The economy is based on wine and tourism.

Interesting fact: Laroque des Albères takes its name from the distinctive eastern section of the Pyrénées which are called the Albères Mountains.


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