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Saint Génis des Fontaines - a sleepy wine village in the sun

The combination of tranquillity, beautiful scenery, ancient stone houses, locally produced wines and long, hot sunny days is bound to be a winner. All of that is enjoyed by St Génis des Fontaines, a village that is found in the south of France, in the department of the Pyrénées-Orientales, in the region known as Languedoc-Roussillon.

Village with a heart

St Génis is a great place to live or to use as a base for a holiday, as the village is peaceful and unspoiled yet manages to have a real, living centre, with good facilities and services, including a butcher's, two bakeries, bars and restaurants. And although the city of Perpignan is near enough to be handy for large shopping trips, and the seaside resorts of the Med are close enough for beach days and all the touristy fun and games that goes with them, it is good to know that you don't always have to get into the car and drive if you just want to buy a loaf of freshly baked bread, or some vegetables for supper.

Markets twice a week

Many French towns and villages hold weekly markets, but St Génis will really spoil you, as there is not one but two markets held here each week. The market is a great place to improve your French as well as to buy the best of the local produce, so tune in your ear to the gossip... there is no one who knows what is going on in the region as well as the market traders!

Leisurely pleasures

The market isn't the only source of enjoyment and entertainment in St Génis. The village square offers cafés and bars where you can sit and enjoy a glass of the local wine, or perhaps an espresso coffee in a shady spot and simply watch the world as it goes about its business. Slowly. This is the south of France, and nothing happens quickly here. Try a touch of wine tasting in one of the caves in the village, where you will find the proprietors only too pleased to help and advise.

Or more activity?

If, however, all this leisureliness is getting to you and you feel in need of a little healthy exercise, there is plenty available. Fish, play tennis, mountain bike or hike, or perhaps swim, scuba dive or sail down at the seaside, or head for the hills and try a little mountain climbing, hill walking or skiing in the winter. Close to the village are some very good riding stables, where you can enjoy the beautiful countryside from the back of a horse, and it goes without saying that this is great country for walking or cycling... as long as you can handle the hills! Feeling better now?

Out and about

There are so many places that are worth seeing within reach of St Génis that the danger is that you find yourself spoiled for choice. Spain is near enough to access easily, as are the Pyrénéan Mountains with their ski stations and thermal spas. The beach resorts are just a very short drive away, and then of course, you could head east if the fancy takes you, and discover the Cathar heritage of towns like Carcassonne and the mysteries of Rennes les Châteaux.

How to get there

Perpignan is the nearest airport, which has direct flights from the UK with Ryanair, bmibaby and flybe. Girona and Carcassonne are also quite close, both being served by Ryanair. The TGV stops at Perpignan en-route to Spain from Paris (where you can change from Eurostar) so this is another possibility. If travelling by road you should take the A9 auto route which will get you close to the village.

Property prices and availability in and around Saint Génis des Fontaines

There are many different types of properties available in this area, ranging from the luxurious top end properties with swimming pools, large gardens and views to die for, to the little, unassuming village houses which are often much more appealing than they may first seem. The market here can be a little more expensive than in some areas of France, but the location is superb, and rental possibilities excellent due to the nearness of the Med and the popular resorts.

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Saint Génis des Fontaines AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Saint Génis des Fontaines?

Saint Génis des Fontaines is situated beside the Pyrénéan Mountains in southern France, close to the Spanish border. It lies in the south-east of the Pyrénées-Orientales department.

Saint Génis des Fontaines Property Map


Languedoc-Roussillon Guide

Languedoc-Roussillon Property Map


Pyrénées-Orientales Guide

  Pyrénées-Orientales Map

Population: 2,066

Access: By air: Fly to Perpignan, Carcassonne or Girona. By rail: The TGV runs from Paris to Perpignan, so train travel is another possibility. By road: The village can be found not too far from the A9 auto route.

Economy: The economy revolves around wine.

Interesting fact: St Génis is a quiet village, but it is the perfect spot for wine lovers, as the village has a few good wine caves where you can taste the local products!

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