Apartment | 2 bedrooms | sleeps 6
*NEW* Check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmXOq8hq4E8 for a brief tour of this property.
Le Soler is located just five miles from Perpignan city centre, twelve miles from the beach and an hour's drive from the nearest ski slopes. Quiet and peaceful yet only a half hour drive into Spain, (and an hour's drive to the nearest ski station en route to Andorra), the apartment has very easy and close strolling access to all amenities, including the local market (three times a week), several simple restaurants (including two lakeside ones in the summer) and all essential services such as post office, banks, newsagents, cafes, and food shops as well as, additionally, a small observatory and park.
The top floor apartment benefits from its own large private terrace perfect for al fresco outside dining with fresh produce from the three-times-a -week market! The terrace, accessed from the kitchen and dining room, is fully equipped with comfortable garden furniture and an electric barbecue to facilitate leisurely dining. The flat also offers cosy winter evenings round a large crackling woodfire, sharing a raclette dinner if that should take your fancy (equipment provided!).
With one double bedroom, a twin room and a double sofabed, the apartment is an ideal retreat for a family or group of friends looking for a break with a difference - with plenty in the surrounding area to see and do including skiing in the winter and swimming in the summer, a wide range of city and outdoor pursuits, Cathar castles, Fauvist art, and vineyards dating back to Roman times.
Four adult bicycles - with cycling helmets - are provided (for shared use with guests in ground floor apartment - property number 129675), ideal for exploring the nearby villages and vineyards and coastal plain armed with a picnic bursting with fresh local produce (in the summer) or to call by a village cafe bar for a warming glass of mulled wine (in the winter) !
Secure wifi is available, as is an iPod docking station, a small but varied library of DVDs and books, and a small selection of board games. There is parking for one medium sized car in the garage. Otherwise there is ample parking in the carpark across the street from the flat as well as at the top of the road.
Strictly no smoking indoors though smoking on the terrace is fine.
The apartment is 106 sq.m. in size (including the terrace, excluding the garage).
GENERAL BOOKING OBSERVATIONS:
Preference is given to Saturday bookings in June, July, August and September to reflect the majority of enquirers' travel arrangements. Greater flexibility can more easily be accomodated at all other times of the year.
The following discounts are offered to bookings of more than a week: 5% for 2 weeks, 10% for 3 weeks and 15% for 4+ weeks
Refundable breakages/damages deposit of €240 required on booking, to be refunded within two weeks of return of keys (subject to satisfactory property inspection by agent).
25% of rental fee due twelve weeks (three months) before your stay to secure booking, non-refundable for cancellation within one calendar month of commencement of rental.
Balance of rental fee due six weeks prior to departure upon receipt of which keys will be mailed by recorded delivery
Any bank charges incurred through the use of Paypal / bank transfers etc are borne by the tenant.
|Size||Sleeps up to 6, 2 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||Canet Plage 14 km|
|Will consider||Long term lets (over 1 month), Short breaks (1-4 days)|
|Access||Car not necessary|
|Nearest Amenities||500 m|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Perpignan 12 km, Nearest railway: Perpignan 7 km|
|Family friendly||Suitable for children over 5|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|Luxuries||Log fire, Internet access, DVD player|
|General||TV, Safe, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||2 bedrooms, 1 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms|
|Furniture||1 Sofa beds, Single beds (2), Double beds (1), Dining seats for 6, Lounge seats for 8|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, BBQ, Bicycles available|
The Languedoc-Roussillon region
Pyrénées-Orientales is a department of southern France adjacent to the northern Spanish frontier and the Mediterranean Sea. It also surrounds the tiny Spanish enclave Llívia, and thus has two distinct borders with Spain.
Pyrénées-Orientales has an area of 4,115 km². and a population of 422,000, of whom just over a quarter live in the capital, Perpignan. Other towns include Argelès-sur-Mer, Thuir, Elne (the ancient Illiberis) and Prades, each of 6-10,000 inhabitants.
Prior to the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659, most of the present department was part of the former Principality of Catalonia, within the Crown of Aragon, so the majority of it has historically been Catalan-speaking, and it is still sometimes referred to (mainly by Catalans and the Conseil général of Pyrénées-Orientales) as Northern Catalonia. Pyrénées-Orientales also corresponds almost exactly to the pre-Revolutionary province of Roussillon
Pyrénées-Orientales is a wine-growing area and a tourist destination.
French is spoken by almost all the population. Minority languages in the region are Catalan and Occitan, which between them are estimated to be spoken by rather more than a quarter of the population and understood by more than 40%.
Places of interest include:
The Mediterranean (of course!)
Ceret (home to the excellent Museum of Modern Art and its collection of Fauvist art and ceramics by Picasso)
Prades (Catalan Prada de Conflent) - site of the Catalan Summer University (Universitat Catalana d'Estiu).
Banyuls-sur-Mer (Catalan Banyuls de la Marenda) famous for its Grenache-based Banyuls wine, birth place of Aristide Maillol, and home to an extensive protected maritime reserve offering excellent diving and snorkelling opportunities.
Prats de Molló - important defensive castle of the 17th century facing south to the Pyrenees.
Salses - important defensive castle of the 16th century, on the ancient frontier with Spain.
Les Angles - popular destination for skiers in the winter and for hikers in the summer
Thuir - fascinating home to the factory producing famous aperitifs such as Dubonnet, Martini and Byrrh as well a railway siding designed by the engineer Eiffel (of Eiffel's Tower fame!).
If you're looking to explore the southern Languedoc Roussillon region of France with its attractive mixture of Mediterranean climate and French and Catalan heritage, miles of sandy beaches and snow-topped mountains, then the small town of Le Soler makes for the ideal location - with regular flights coming in to nearby Perpignan from London Stansted, Birmingham, Manchester, Southampton, and Paris airports. Just 6km from Le Soler is the university city of Perpignan, capital of the Pyrenees Orientales department, and the last French city before the Spanish border - and an hour's motorway drive to Barcelona (soon to be linked by high speed trains in under 45 minutes).
Perpignan is a vibrant and youthful city famous for its vibrant cultural life and plethora of great tapas bars, cafes, restaurants and bistros where time can be effortlessly whiled away over endless cups of coffee or glasses of Rousillon wine. There is great shopping to be had in the narrow maze of streets in the old Saint Jean district, where you will find designer boutiques as well as more familiar global brands.
A stroll eastwards along the La Basse canal leads to a tree-lined park along the Allées Maillol where you'll find one of the many examples of work by local artist Maillol, inspired by the city and the region.
Perpignan dates from as far back as 927AD, and there are many architectural and historic sites worth visiting around the city including: the iconic Castillet tower – fomer gateway to the city and now serving as a museum and gallery; the vast 16th Century Couvent des Minimes monastry; the Cathedrale Saint-Jean; the Campo Santo cloisters (housing the oldest cemetery of its kind in France), and of course the gothic Palais des Rois de Majorque from where the visitor is afforded a great view across the city.
For those who want a bit of sporting action, then Perpignan, of course is the place to catch a bit of rugby – this local passion is represented by the Catalan Dragons (rugby league) and the Union Sportive Arlequins Perpignan or USAP (rugby union), both teams playing at the Stade Aime Giral.
Getting away from city life isn't too difficult in the Pyrenees Orientales department. Whilst Perpignan is the economic and cultural centre of the department, it is a relatively small city and within 8 minutes' drive to the west lies the small Catalan town of Le Soler, with its tennis and basketball courts, fishing lake, parks, small observatory and popular cafes. Just a short 20 minutes drive to the east you can find yourself facing the blue Mediterranean Sea and miles of sandy beaches at Canet-Plage.
The resort at Canet is somewhat over-built and not to everyone's taste, but like most of the coast-line here it carries a Blue Flag and is an ideal spot for trying out watersports of all kinds. Both north and south of Canet are pretty inland lagoons, perfect for bird-watching or learning about local economies of salt making and oyster farming.
If wine-tasting is more your game, then 10 minutes drive to the west of Le Soler is the small town of Thuir (pronounced tweer), where you can visit the winery where the famous local aperitif Byrrh (pronounced beer) is still produced, along with other wine based drinks such as Cinzano and Dubonet. If local markets are your thing, then don't miss Thuir's vibrant all-day Saturday market - though there is a great Saturday market in Le Soler as well, if on a smaller scale to that in Thuir..
The Roussillon region (the old name for the Pyrenees Orientales) is one the most prolific wine producing departments in the Languedoc Roussillon and within an hour in almost any direction you will come across towns which have their own distinct wine product and history. To the north of Perpignan and Le Soler (and technically in the Aude department) is the Fitou region which was one of the first to be awarded its own “appellation” back in 1948; to the west is the Agly River valley and the town of Maury, which produces a delicious sweet wine rather like Port; to the south there is the coastal town of Banyuls-sur-Mer where the golden coloured Banyuls sweet wine is made .
Banyuls-sur-Mer is a must for the diving and snorkling enthusiast as this is one of the access points for the Reserve Marine – a protected marine environment, home to an exciting variety of fish, which stretches around the rocky coast line of the Côte Vermeille all the way to Cebère, the last French town before entering Spain.
The Côte Vermeille very much represents the typical French coastal scene – between the rocky outcrops lie intermittent quiet bays lined with pretty sea-side towns. In particular is the delightful and rather romantic Collioure. A top spot for art lovers (esp. of Fauvism), this town was once host to the likes of Matisse and which now houses many galleries selling local contemporary art. It can get very overrun by tourists at the height of the summer though with long queues to enter the town and then park. If anchovies are your thing, then Collioure's local anchovy industry may be of interest.
Further to the south-west of Perpignan and Le Soler is the other arty hotspot – the very pretty town of Ceret, where none other than Picasso once lived, who along with other celebrated names helped form the Modern Art Museum of Ceret where there is an important permanent collection featuring work by Chagall, Miro, Matisse and of course Picasso as well as regular visiting exhibitions. Further up into the mountains from Ceret is the thermal spa town of Amelie-les-Bains where you can relax away all your aches and pains as well as stretch your legs on wonderful scenic mountain walks.
Exploration to the west of Perpignan and Le Soler, and into the wild countryside under the emblematic presence of Mount Canigou (a spiritual symbol for Catalans), will lead you to discover medieval fortified villages, such as Castelnou and Villefranche-de-Conflent which testify to the violent past associated with this region. For nature enthusiasts there are gorges, caves, and the strange rock formations called les Orgues to explore. To the north-west, heading into the Aude, there is the Tautavel Museum with informative exhibitions describing the lives of prehistoric cave dwellers, and the important Cathar fortresses of Peyrepertuse and Queribus.
So, as you can see, there is a little of something to tempt every interest!