Visits and walks from Argelès sur Mer
Make the most of your stay on one of the campsites in the Sirène Holidays Group, to go off exploring the wonders of Argelès sur Mer and its region. From the beaches and coves on the Côte Vermeille to the fortresses perched on the highest peaks of the Massif des Corbières mountains. The surroundings of the La Sirène, L’Hippocampe and Le Bois de Valmarie campsites abound in treasures and fascinating sights.
On foot or by car or bike, take the trails and tourist routes of the Pyrénées Orientales department and southern Occitanie. You thus discover the Côte Vermeille, the Pays Catalan (French region with Catalan culture and language), the Massif du Canigou mountain range and the Cathar villages and fortresses. As a family or with friends, go to the region’s numerous museums, stroll among the authentic market stalls and discover the natural sites, as beautiful as they are impressive!
Argelès sur Mer the lovely sun-drenched town…
Our three establishments welcome you in the enchanting setting of this town nestling at the foot of the Pyrenees and running alongside the Mediterranean!
With more than 200 days of sunshine a year, its sandy beach, with a length of 7 kilometres, summer dynamism and range of activities, Argelès sur Mer has everything to seduce you! From the convivial atmosphere emanating from its markets (including a night craft market every day until midnight in the high season) to the crazier atmosphere found in its restaurants, bars and night clubs during the evening, Argelès sur Mer proves to be a real focus for good humour.
Although the town accommodates numerous summer events, like the Festival Bacchus (a festival for music, wine and food), or even the Festival Visa Pour l’Image (international photojournalism festival), Argelès sur Mer also centres on a wide range of recreational and swimming activities: Canyoning Park water park, Argelès Aventure (theme park with nature, sports and thrills), crazy golf, scuba diving, stand up paddle boards, sea kayaking, sailing, casino etc.
The La Vallée des Tortues zoo
An original and informative family trip! The La Vallée des Tortues zoo houses more than 30 species of tortoise, 500 specimens, including both a zoo and botanical section with playgrounds, relaxation and picnic areas, to explore during your discovery walk.
The aims of this wildlife park are protecting the diversity of a species under threat from Man, educating young and old alike on the way of life and respect for these unknown animals through play and enriching activities.
Collioure, The gem of the Côte Vermeille coast
Located less than a quarter of an hour by road from Argelès sur Mer and the campsites in the Sirène Holidays Group, the old town of Collioure is a holiday must-see. A genuine treasure on the Côte Vermeille coast, this town is home to a historic heritage of leading importance. It is one of the most vibrant tourist attractions in the Pyrénées Orientales.
You can discover numerous buildings here, such as the famous Château Royal de Collioure castle. This was previously the summer residence of the Kings of Majorca. You might even go to the Notre Dame des Anges church. Strolling through the streets and alleyways of its ancient centre, is also the opportunity to admire Collioure’s charm, and to appreciate how this port town has nowadays become a seaside resort. It has notably seduced artists as talented as Henri Matisse, Paul Signac, Pablo Picasso and even Salvator Dali.
A seductive power also held by the Côte Vermeille, this rocky coast which stretches from the south of Argelès sur Mer to the French/Spanish border. A meeting place between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean, the Côte Vermeille is home to numerous inlets and delightful small fishing ports and marinas. Although diving lovers can admire marine depths of an exceptional beauty here, others prefer a more tranquil walk along the coast, where the vines planted on the cliff side produce wines of an outstanding quality…
The Anse de Paulilles cove
One of the loveliest gems of the Catalan coast.
Nestling between the Cap Béar and Cap Oullestrell headlands, the classified site of the Anse de Paulilles cove (protected for conservation and preservation purposes) is one of the most popular attractions of the Pyrénées Orientales department. This is by virtue of its wealth of history and beautiful landscapes. On the Pyrenean slopes, which flow into the Mediterranean, the vineyards spread out across their terraces.
A peaceful location which entices you to relax, recharge your batteries and walk amongst the sea, lush vines and meadows in bloom or even bask on the beach.
Perpignan, a Mecca for Catalan culture…
The former mainland capital of the Kingdom of Majorca, Perpignan is nowadays the prefecture of the Pyrénées Orientales department, and a Mecca of Catalan culture in Roussillon.
Located about 20 kilometres from Argelès sur Mer and the campsites of the Sirène Holidays Group, Perpignan has a significant historical heritage, and offers visitors numerous possibilities for trips out.
The Palais des Rois de Majorque (Palace of the Kings of Majorca), a 13th century palace-fortress is the finest example of it. However, the Castillet fortress, the Loge de Mer (originally the Maritime Exchange now home to cafes) and the Saint Jean cathedral are also amongst the city’s must-sees.
The Féérie Fantassia theme park
Discover the enchanted world of Fantassia, a leisure park entirely given over to the fairy-tale world.
6 km from Perpignan, Fantassia is, above all, a fun ramble with 2 hours of joy and happiness, discovering the unique attractions that have sprung up with the focus on the fantasy world of tales and legends.
Discover the robots in the Faërie Circus, explore the land of Gulliver (Gulliver’s travels), see the aviaries, cover the Forêt Féerique (Magical Forest) with its giant treasure hunt. Enter the palais des illusions (a maze), the paradis des Lutins (elves’ paradise), the “la chaumière aux palombes” (wood pigeon’s cabin) playground and before long the Dragon’s den.
Observation games, puzzles, riddles and treasure hunts lead young and old alike into amusing adventures. Now your turn!
The Ponteilla exotic gardens
Near Perpignan, the exotic gardens are fabulous botanical gardens set in 3 hectares, a shimmering lush paradise, to have a great time as a family.
The children, owing to the treasure hunt planned for them, will go from clue to clue, having fun with puzzles and will be filled with wonder at the magic of the plants.
And the region’s must-sees…
The castles and villages in the Pays Cathare (Cathar Country)
The Pays Cathare (Cathar Country), the name given to the Les Corbières region, in the Aude department, referring to Catharism, is nowadays one of the leading tourist areas of the Languedoc Roussillon. There are numerous Cathar castles perched on the peaks of the Massif des Corbières mountains and the wonderful medieval villages, developed in the depths of the valleys.
The village of Minerve, located one and a half hours from Argelès sur Mer by road, is one of the finest examples of it. Classified amongst the loveliest villages in France, each year numerous intrigued tourists pass through its alleyways.
Amongst the finest Cathar castles, you will be able to discover Aguilar, located 62 kilometres from our campsiltes, Quéribus 66 kilometres away, Peyrepertuse 75 kilometres, Puilaurens 85 kilometres, Termes 129 kilometres, and Montségur 141 kilometres, etc.
The medieval Citadel of Carcassonne
The medieval town of Carcassonne, located one and a half hours by car from Argelès sur Mer and the Sirène Holidays Group campsites, is one of the tourist Meccas in the Aude and more broadly in Languedoc Roussillon.
The double ring of ramparts, feudal castle and centre have enabled the town of Carcassonne to be classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. Each year, thousands of visitors throng into the alleyways and explore the ramparts, superbly restored by Eugène Violet le Duc.
In Carcassonne, you will have the chance to visit the Musée de l’Inquisition Cathare (Cathar inquisition museum including instruments of torture) and go to wonderful medieval festivals and re-enactments. Come the evening of 14th July (Bastille Day) you can attend one of the best firework displays in France…
The Petit Train Jaune tourist train
This is one of the main tourist attractions in the region and one of the symbols of the Pays Catalan (Catalan Country). The Petit Train Jaune tourist train in Cerdagne, also known by the delightful name “canary”, links the town of Villefranche de Conflent, located 427 metres above sea level, to the town of Latour de Carol, perched at 1,232 metres above sea level. The route, with a length of 63 kilometres, climbs an altitude difference of 1,200 metres. It goes via Bolquère, which at 1,593 metres in altitude is the highest station in France.
The railway line, open for more than a century, required the construction of 650 civil engineering structures, including 19 tunnels and two superb bridges; the Gisclard bridge (with a height of 80 metres) and the Séjourné viaduct (65 metres high). Although these structures enable the Petit Train Jaune to make light of the relief, they also offer those taking it the best thrills, especially when it becomes intimate with the drop!
In the high season, the open carriages enable lovers of the Pyrenees countryside and those who are simply curious to take it all in. To get tickets for the Petit Train Jaune tourist train in Cerdagne, go to one of the line’s 22 stations.
Sigean African Reserve zoo
The Sigean African Reserve is a private zoological park, located on the Mediterranean coast, between Narbonne and Perpignan. Created in 1974, it is home to 3,800 animals within 160 species over a 300 hectare area.
An original activity to do as a family, the trip goes through natural surroundings with alternating lakes, marshes, pine forests, plains and hills. Here a wide variety of animal species cohabit and breed. These are mainly African but also part of the local fauna.
There are two ways to do the trip:
- By car over a route of 7.5 kilometres crossing breeding parks in natural surroundings.
- By foot upon parking your car in car parks, located in the centre of the reserve. Numerous viewing parks enable you to discover the lives of African antelopes, chimpanzees, elephants and reptiles.
The Orgues d’Illes sur Tet sculpted cliffs
Overlooked by Le Canigou, a unique landscape with colourful relief that water has sculpted in clay and sand carried away from the Pyrenees mountains and deposited in the Tet valley for 5 million years!
A walk of about one hour will lead you into this masterpiece of nature and speaks to your imagination and emotions.
Come and discover the cliffs sculpted by the wind, these isolated peak rock formations called the “Demoiselles coiffées” (ladies with their hair styled) or “cheminée de fées” (fairy chimneys), which resemble organ pipes.
Tautavel and Prehistory
A Mecca of Prehistory, the village of Tautavel is one hour by car from Argelès sur Mer and the Sirène Holidays Group campsites. The international reputation of this village comes from the Caune de l’Arago cave, also known as the Tautavel cave. Since 1963, this cave has been the subject of meticulous archaeological excavations. Digs which in 1971, enabled Professor Henry de Lumley’s team to excavate fragments of a human skull dating back 350,000 years.
More than around 100 other human fossils have been discovered since then. The other archaeological remains found in the Tautavel cave have not only enabled the reconstruction of the life and surroundings of Homo heidelbergensis (or Tautavel man), but also to determine that nomads visited the Caune de l’Arago cave from 690,000 to 60,000 years BCE.
To learn more about the most ancient human remains discovered in France and in the ruins of the cave, go to the Musée de Tautavel – Centre Européen de Préhistoire (Tautavel Museum – European Prehistory Centre). This traces humanity’s history in Europe through one of the richest collections of prehistoric objects on the continent, mainly from the Tautavel region.