'le Troubadour' (our mountain home)



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Mt.'Canigou' (2784 meters) dominates the countryside
the old fishing village of Collioure

















Sainte Marie is only 15 kilometers from Perpignan (train, international airport) and 4 kilometers from Canet Plage (large supermarkets, casino, disco)

Ste. Marie Plage is located on the Mediterranean Sea, in French Catalonia. The village is characterized by small houses and streets lined with palm trees. A few minutes' walk from our house you will find a grocery store with local and international newspapers, fresh French bread, fresh fruit,and all daily necessities.

  From the house, you cross the street and walk through the park: within less than five minutes, you're on the beach. Just a few hundred yards south of here is a lovely tapas bar where you can enjoy Catalan tapas at the seaside at reasonable prices.
  The broad, sandy beaches are equipped with showers for rinsing off the sand and salt. There are three beach-volleyball nets. Beside the little park close to the house are skateboard ramps, a 'half-pipe' and a 'parc de loisirs' with some gym equipment for training the biceps and stomach muscles. The entire resort is very small-scale and pleasant.
  Ste. Marie is visited largely by French and Catalan tourists. Along the main street you will find a number of shops, boutiques and restaurants..

Ste. Marie Village is an old, formerly fortified village. The village square has a lovely old stone fountain and a coolly Mediterranean village café with tables in the shade of the old mulberry trees.


Ste. Marie and its direct surroundings are quite flat, hence the pleasant sandy beaches and lovely water without sea urchins or other nuisances. It's a great place to bicycle, and an increasing number of cycle routes are being layed out.
Within half an hour's drive you'll find yourself in the foothills of the Pyrenee Mountains, or at the picturesque rocky bays of old fishing and wine-growing villages such as Collioure and Banyuls.

A few kilometers inland from Ste Marie begins some of Southern France's most famous wine country,where you can taste and buy good wine at very reasonable prices. A speciality here is the Muscat de Rivesaltes, a strong sweet white wine.
The robust red Roussillon wines are excellent, and French Catalonia is famous for its authentic, local 'charcuterie'. At Port Vendres you can buy fresh fish right off the boats when they come in.

The area directly to the west of Ste. Marie was once the country of the Cathars. The old Cathar fortresses of Aguilar, Queribus and Peyrepertuse are open to visitors. Here one also finds the 'sentier Cathare', a long-distance walking trail that begins at the coast and passes many of the old fortresses.
If you are interested in doing a bit of long-distance hiking during your stay, we can provide you with information.

More things to do in the immediate vicinity:  windsurfing, sea-kayaking, horseback riding, amusement park Aqualand, and golfcourse at St. Cyprien (7 km), snorkeling in Europe's only underwater nature reserve, tennis, kart-racking, canyoning in the Gorges de Galamus, survival parks, thermal springs, thalassotherapy... and to see:
The Fort at Salses, Tautavel with its museum of prehistory and the caves of Arago, the Palace of the Mallorcan Kings (13th century), Romanesque churches and cloisters, Figueras (Spain) with the Dali Museum. Many artists, including Matisse, Dufy, Picasso and Durain lived in this region and used it as a source of inspiration. A great deal of their work is to be found in various local museums.

There is fantastic skiing in the Pyrenees from December through March. An 80-kilometer drive from Sainte Marie puts you in another world. No busy slopes or long waits at the lift. On a nice day you can ski (cross-country or alpine) in the morning and go to the beach in the afternoon!