Pyrenees-Orientales

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About Pyrenees-Orientales

The Pyrenees-Orientales department has a landscape as diverse as its history. Bordering Northern Catalonia, its geography sweeps from the high peaks of the Pyrenees, through sunny foothills dotted with vines, to medieval walled towns, lush green valleys, all the way to the glittering sandy beaches of the Mediterranean coastline. Catalan is spoken widely throughout the region and bullfighting is a popular pastime, while the culinary culture is remarkably reminiscent of Northern Spain. The heartland of the Cathar revolt and an area long wrestled-over by the kings of France and Spain, its history is fascinating. An utterly spellbinding region ideal for hiking, lazing at the beach or absorbing the regions' rich history and culture. Our collection of the best places to stay in Pyrenees-Orientales have been hand-picked to make the most of all this region has to offer.

Prior to the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659, the vast majority of the department made up the former Principality of Catalonia. This unusual heritage is still felt keenly within the region: many of the locals speak Catalan, cultural activities like bullfighting and Sardana dancing are popular, and the food is distinctly Catalan - full of chorizo, paella and calcots. This mixed cultural ancestry reflects the fact that the region frequently changed hands during the medieval era.

Most intriguingly of all is that the region was a hotbed for Catharism - a Gnostic revival movement in the 13th and 14th centuries that was remarkably egalitarian and liberal by medieval standards - and in places like the Valley of Tech, you can see the ruined Cathar castles sitting on the high peaks.

An area that frequently changed hands in the war-games of the powerful, it unsurprisingly boasts some of the finest examples of medieval architecture in all of Europe. The walled town of Villefrance-de-Conflet, for example, was fortified by the famous engineer Vauban; the Chateau Royal in Collioure, staring stonily out to sea, is a marvellous sight to behold and the 16th century border castle, Fort de Salses, was incredibly innovative, architecturally-speaking, for that period.

The real charm of Pyrenees-Orientales lies in its landscape. Sunny and clement throughout the year, it makes for the perfect place to go hiking, whether you're walking through the gently rolling hills of Cerdanya, the foothills of the Pyrenees, the long green valleys of the Cathars or the sky-scraping peaks of the Pyrenees. The countryside is scattered with a mix of picturesque villages like Castelnou and Evol and menacing medieval walled towns like Villefrance-de-Conflet. The Vermillion Coast is breathtakingly beautiful and has inspired artists for hundreds of years and the beaches along the Mediterranean are perfect for sunbathing. Perpignan, the capital city, with its wide boulevards and winding streets, is a fun and vibrant city - full of chic art galleries, cute cafes and some amazing gourmet restaurants.

Where to stay - which city/area?

  • Perpignan is a small and fascinating city. Steeped in history, it has a beautiful Old Town with a Catalan flavour, palm-shaded squares and plenty of interesting museums.
  • Argeles-sur-Mer is a quiet Catalan coastal town with a long and pristine beach, romantic seaside promenade and a gorgeous 14th century church.
  • Ceret is a classic Catalan medieval town, with the remnants of its ramparts still present. There's a great archaelogical museum, not to mention some lovely art galleries.
  • Collioure has something for everyone, making it a great place for families. There are beaches, churches, medieval chateaux and hilltop towers.
  • Saint Cyprien is another favourite of families: boasting a beautiful Old Town, beaches, an aquapark, brimming with bars, restaurants and boutiques, not to mention a 12th century belltower and fascinating prehistoric museum.

What not to miss

  • Sightseeing: for a day-trip, get yourself to Villefrance-de-Conflet, a walled town fortified by the famous engineer Vauban. It is there that you can catch the Little Yellow Train, that trundles its way through the mountains past pretty villages, historic fortresses and the famous Hermitage de St. Antoine Galamus beneath the clifftops. The border castle Fort de Salses is not to be missed: a wonderously innovative style, alluding to the combination of the medieval and modern fortress.
  • Museums: travel to Ceret, the birthplace of Cubism. The Musee d'Art Moderne boasts some iconic paintings by the likes of Picasso, Matisse and Chugal, and the village teems with chic cafes and restaurants. Perpignan has some excellent art galleries and museums like the Natural History Museum and the Centre for Roman Sculpture, both of which are worth checking out.
  • Hiking: the region is perfect for hiking. Sunny throughout the year, you can climb the Pyrenees or walk along the sweet hills of Cerdanya. Walking through the Valley of Tech is a truly magnificent experience. Head up into the hills and the views from on high are simply incredible.

With so much on offer it is not surprising that the best places to stay in Pyrenees-Orientales often get booked up well in advance, so to ensure you get your room of choice we recommend you book well in advance.

The best places to stay in Pyrenees-Orientales

For Perpignan

  • La Fauceille: a modern hotel on the outskirts of Perpignan. Contemporary rooms and suites, excellent spa and gym activities, and a gourmet restaurant. A great choice for a comfortable summer holiday.
  • La Villa Duflot: in a secluded oasis-like setting, offering rooms decorated in an art deco style and featuring cool blue and green hues with terracotta tiles. Borrow a hotel bike for the day or simple relax by the inviting pool. Dine al fresco on delicious locally sourced dishes.
  • Mas Latour Lavail: owned by a renowned local wine maker, this rural mansion on the outskirts of Perpignan has been turned into a stylish haven that successfully blends tradition with striking modern interiors.

Rural retreat

  • Le Relais des Chartreuses: set in a pretty 17th century farmhouse in the hills, offering 14 chic rooms and suites, an outdoor pool and a lush garden. Cosy and sweet, ideal for a romantic getaway or a writer's retreat.
  • Casa9 Hotel: a very cool boutique hotel. With 9 stylish rooms set in a building that dates back to the 11th century, it offers a pool and amazing views of the countryside.

For Argeles-sur-Mer

  • L'Hostalet is an excellent hotel right in the heart of Argelès-sur-Mer. The comfortable rooms are simply decorated with antique furniture. With the bustling streets of the town on the doorstep, it's perfect for exploring the seaside town. A great low-cost option.
  • Hotel & Spa Les Mouettes is a charming hotel in Argeles with modern designer rooms decorated in a minimalist style, adorned with abstract artworks and featuring parquet flooring. Boasting a glorious outdoor pool and  wonderful panoramic views of the sea.

On a budget

  • Hotel de la Loge: a charming little hotel in the historic centre of Perpignan, offering 22 light, contemporary and very comfy rooms that are ideal after a long day sightseeing. Perfectly placed to access all the sights; real value-for-money!

For Ceret

  • Le Mas Trilles is a lovely French farmhouse B&B in a secluded location. A charming sandstone building with large creamy bedrooms, terraces, gardens and a swimming pool. Within striking distance of surrounding mountains and the coast. Ideal for the great outdoors, families, or groups

Luxury living

  • Chateau de Riell: a gorgeous chateau overlooking Mount Canigou, offering 19 rustic-chic rooms - think exposed stone walls and parquet flooring - as well as a spoiling spa, hot spring bath and an outdoor pool, all set within a beautiful lush garden. A spellbinding stay; true luxury.
  • Hotel lle de la Lagune: perched on a private island in the Mediterranean, it makes for the perfect little hideaway. There are 24 spacious rooms and suites, a tropical garden and a lovely spa. Cool and airy, there is an award-winning restaurant and bar.

For Saint Cyprien

  • Les Bulles de Mer is a chic bohemian hotel set directly on a beautiful stretch of beach. Light and spacious rooms have a nautical feel and breathtaking sea views. Plus there's an extensive spa, two outdoor pools and a restaurant offering sumptuous local cuisine. The perfect place to come and simply unwind.

Local exploring

  • Le Mas Trilles: a lovely B&B in Ceret - the birthplace of Cubism - offers 10 beautiful and spacious rooms, an outdoor pool, gardens and gorgeous views of the mountains and coast. Great for large families and couples alike.
  • Hotel Les Templiers: bursting with art and life, this cute hotel in the seaside town of Collioure has an effortlessly cool bar and restaurant, and is really like an art gallery. Offering 20 rooms, it is only minutes away from the beach.

For an apartment or villa

  • For a self-catered option, our partner Booking.com has a wide range of villas and apartments in the area.

Travel information

  • Fly to Perpignan, where you can get the TGV or a shuttle bus to your destination.
  • If you want to hire a car we recommend you contact our partner Rentalcars.
  • It is sunny throughout the year so any time is a good time to visit. During the summer, the temperature averages at around 23 degrees, and the days are long and dry.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Pyrenees-Orientales

  • Hotel De La Loge Perpignan 22 rooms from £51

    You'll feel at home in this amiable small hotel, right opposite Perpignan's historic town hall and within easy walking distance of all the sights. Some rooms have balconies – perfect for a post-sightseeing sundowner.

    Local exploring  -  A well priced gem of a property located in the heart of the historic centre.
    Local markets  -  Wander through the narrow alleys of the Arab and Romany quarter packed full of trinkets and food stalls.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the impressive Palais des Rois de Majorque dating back to 1276.
    Full of character
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  • Hôtel Le Cottage Argeles sur Mer 33 rooms from £69

    Located in the authentic, quiet catalan coastal town of Argeles-sur-Mer, Le Cottage boasts some beautiful sandy beaches only 5 minutes away. Rooms and suites with plenty of options for families. Excellent sps for relaxing and large outdoor pool. A charming base for a family holiday.

    Sights nearby  -  Enjoy a daytrip to Collioures just down the coast, or spend some time exploring Perpignan
    Spa  -  With hydrotherapy pool, range of facial and body treatments, and sensory showers
    Diving  -  Enjoy a diving trip in the Banyuls Marine reserve
    Swimming Pool  -  Large outdoor heated pool
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  • L'Hostalet Argeles sur Mer 5 rooms from £71

    An excellent hotel right in the heart of Argelès-sur-Mer. The comfortable rooms are simply decorated and fixed with antique furniture. With the bustling streets of the town on the doorstep, it's perfect for exploring the seaside town. A great low-cost option for Argelès-sur-Mer.

    Local exploring  -  Right in the beating heart of historic Argelès-sur-Mer, facing the town square where a market is held twice a week.
    Local markets  -  Browse the bi-weekly market just outside the hotel's front door.
    Sights nearby  -  Take a day trip to Perpignan, less than ten miles away.
    Restrictions on children  -  Adults only.
    Check Availability
  • Castell de Blés Saint-Genis-des-Fontaines, Pyrenees-Orientales 5 rooms from £73

    This elegant B&B occupies a mansion in the former wine sector just outside of Saint Genis des Fontaines. The property has been lovingly restored; inside, an original wooden staircase leads to well-appointed suites. Outside, wander through the orchards and along the river in the bucolic B&B grounds.

    Families  -  The hotel offers a spacious family suite which can accommodate children, as well as babysitting services and a games room
    Hideaway  -  Set outside of the town in verdant private grounds, choose this hotel for your next hideaway holiday in southern France
    Local exploring  -  Located a short drive from Perpignan and Argeles Beach, there is plenty to explore locally
    Fishing  -  An idyllic river borders the B&B, offering great fishing opportunities a stone's throw away; ask your hosts for equipment
    Recommended by  -  Chambres d’hôtes de Charme CHC
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  • Le Relais des Chartreuses Le Boulou 14 rooms from £76

    Beautiful 17th century French farmhouse renovation set in the hills above Le Boulou. Fantastic food, contemporary chic bedrooms and suites, swimming pool and luscious garden. Local exploring in style.

    Spa  -  Treatments available in the "Care House" in the gardens.
    Swimming Pool  -  Lovely Outdoor Pool
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
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  • La Fauceille Perpignan 35 rooms from £78

    A modern hotel on the outskirts of Perpignan. Contemporary rooms and suites, excellent spa and gym activities, and a gourmet restaurant. A great choice for a comfortable summer holiday.

    Swimming Pool  -  Lovely Outdoor Pool
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
    Sights nearby  -  Well located for major sights.
    Recommended by  -  Michelin Travel
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  • Hotel Host et Vinum Canet en Roussillon 16 rooms from £80

    Contemporary hotel close to the beach. Chic rooms have seaside touches, white wooden panelled walls and private balconies. Outdoor pool, large garden and spa facilities. Excellent restaurant and wine cellar with tastings not to be missed. Comfortable and peaceful.

    Foodies  -  Outstanding hotel restaurant and excellent range of wine tastings, excursions and learning
    Local markets  -  Plenty of antique, food and 'flea' markets in nearby Perpignan
    Great walks  -  Through the fruit gardens of the L'Arboretum
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
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  • Le Mas Trilles Ceret (Languedoc Roussillon) 10 rooms from £82

    Lovely French farmhouse B&B in a secluded location. A charming sandstone building with large creamy bedrooms, terraces, gardens and a swimming pool. Within striking distance of surrounding mountains and the coast. Ideal for the great outdoors, families, or groups.

    Sights nearby  -  Ceret's Museum of Modern Art is a must see
    Swimming Pool  -  Heated outdoor pool
    Full of character
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
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  • Hotel Les Templiers Collioure 20 rooms from £85

    Hotel Les Templiers is like walking into a eclectic art collectors private gallery. The art dominated bar and restaurant are bursting with character and style. Upstairs, the individually furnished rooms are elegant and comfortable. A seaside charmer.

    Value chic  -  A super cool hotel filled with original artworks and spectacular views of the castle and the harbour- at a reasonable price.
    Families  -  It's perfect for a family holiday, just two minutes from the beach and with excellent multi-person rooms.
    Sailing  -  The perfect pit stop for a sailing trip around the Catalan coastline.
    Sights nearby  -  Explore the characterful Catalan fishing village of Collioure.
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  • Relais des Trois Mas Collioure 23 rooms from £87

    This four-star hotel is set under the shade of pine trees on the banks of the Mediterranean in Collioure. The traditional, terracotta-tiled property offers simple yet elegant guestrooms with sea views. Unwind by the pool on the hotel's seafront terrace or take the stairs down to the pebble beach.

    Local exploring  -  Set within walking distance of the harbour and the artistic town centre, this hotel is perfectly placed for local exploring
    Romantic Break  -  The charming suites at this hotel are great for a couples' getaway; book a romantic al fresco dinner at the restaurant
    Beach Life  -  With a swimming pool and jacuzzi that overlook the Mediterranean, book this hotel for a picturesque seaside getaway
    Sights nearby  -  Take a day trip to Cadaques, a village on the coast renowned for its fishing culture and as the former home of Salvador Dalí
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  • Riberach Ille sur Tet 18 rooms from £105

    A romantic hotel surrounded by vineyards. Contemporary rooms with views, big bathrooms and artistic touches. A gourmet restaurant, sleek bar, sunny terrace and outdoor pool with sun deck area. Surrounded by hillsides and stunning views. A great choice for a romantic break.

    Romantic Break  -  Set beneath the medieval Bélesta Castle, with wine tasting, balloon rides, vineyard walks and picnics
    Sights nearby  -  Short drive to historic city of Perpignan's sights and attractions, including the Cathar castles
    Cooking classes  -  In hotel restaurant kitchen, catered to your needs
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Recommended by  -  Michelin Travel
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  • La Casa Païral Collioure 27 rooms from £95

    This family-run townhouse hotel is nestled in Collioure. Set in splendid gardens with a large pool, the hotel offers beautifully appointed, country-style guestrooms peppered with family heirlooms. Start the day with breakfast on the magnolia-shaded terrace before a stroll to the port.

    Local exploring  -  With the picturesque town centre and port within easy walking distance, there is plenty to explore local to this hotel
    Hideaway  -  Nestled in a secret garden set back from the port, this hotel makes a great hideaway holiday destination
    Romantic Break  -  The romantic setting of this hotel makes it a great choice for a tranquil couples' getaway
    Local markets  -  Wander the cobbled streets of the town centre and discover local markets selling everything from fresh produce to artwork
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  • Chateau d'Ortaffa Pyrenees-Orientales 4 rooms from £95

    An elegant B&B and former mansion of local bishops in rural Languedoc. Rooms are unique and ornate, balancing homespun, rustic charm with modern sensibilities. The house is filled with antique furniture and artworks. A great location for exploring the nearby Cathar mountaintop castles.

    Beach Life  -  Only 10km from Collioure, which is famous for its pristine, white-sand beaches.
    Sights nearby  -  There are many Cathar castles in the nearby area, many of which you can explore by trekking deep into the mountains.
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Outstanding location
    Recommended by  -  Chambres d’hôtes de Charme CHC
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  • Clos des Aspres Ortaffa, Pyrenees-Orientales 5 rooms from £104

    This B&B is set in an authentic Catalan-style farmhouse surrounded by vineyards in southern France. Interiors are spacious and cool, blending Mediterranean details with homely soft furnishings. Start the day with breakfast on the terrace before a dip in the pool. A tranquil country retreat.

    Hideaway  -  With a secluded location, spacious suites and a pool, pick this hotel for a tranquil hideaway holiday
    Country Escape  -  Set amidst the beautiful vineyards of Ortaffa, this hotel makes an idyllic escape to the countryside
    Romantic Break  -  Stylish suites with commanding vineyard views make this B&B perfect for a romantic getaway
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the nearby priory of Serrabone, renowned as a masterpiece of Roman architecture
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  • Hotel & Spa Les Mouettes Argeles sur Mer (Argelès-sur-Mer, 66700) 17 rooms from £112

    Charming hotel in Argeles with modern designer rooms decorated in a minimalist style, adorned with abstract artworks and featuring parquet flooring. Boasting a glorious outdoor pool and the wonderful panoramic views of the sea are unbeatable.

    Spa breaks  -  The hotel has a steam room, indoor and outdoor jacuzzis, an outdoor pool and a range of massage and beauty treatments.
    Beach Life  -  A 5 minute walk from the beach, this hotel is ideal for those wanting to bask in the sun with a martini in hand.
    Sailing  -  You can hire boats nearby.
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
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  • Casa9 Hôtel Ille sur Tet 9 rooms from £113

    A sumptuous boutique hotel burrowed into the heart of the Languedoc-Roussillon countryside. The stylish and comfortable rooms are set in stunning stone buildings dating back to the 11th century. Luxuriate by the heavenly pool or take a stroll through the surrounding countryside. A Catalan charmer.

    Country Escape  -  Nestled into the beautiful Languedoc-Roussillon countryside, it's perfect for a catalan country getaway.
    Sights nearby  -  Explore the Canigou ('holy mountain') with the stunning Abbey of Saint Michel de Cuxa and magnificent Saint Martin du Canigou.
    Great walks  -  Explore the beautiful walking trails and paths through the surrounding Languedoc-Roussillon countryside.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Recommended by  -  Great Small Hotels
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  • La Villa Duflot Perpignan 25 rooms from £119

    With its secluded city setting, La Villa Duflot is something of an oasis. Rooms are decorated in a bright modern style and all with terrace or balcony. Borrow a hotel bike for the day or simply relax by the inviting pool. Dine al fresco on delicious locally sourced dishes.

    Romantic Break  -  Stylish art deco rooms hark back to a bygone era - a classic romantic stay for two.
    Local markets  -  Browse the markets of Perpignan and pick up some of the beautiful local produce.
    Sights nearby  -  Explore Perpignan's historic old town on foot, a great days activity.
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
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  • Mas Latour Lavail Perpignan 5 rooms from £134

    Owned by a renowned local wine maker, this rural mansion on the outskirts of Perpignan has been turned into a stylish haven that successfully blends tradition with striking modern interiors.

    Country Escape  -  A chic rural abode surrounded by vineyards. An oasis of calm.
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool.
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
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  • Hotel Ile de la Lagune Saint Cyprien 24 rooms from £160

    Luxury private island hotel right on the Mediterranean. Spacious rooms and suites, a choice of restaurants, private pool, thalasso spa and luscious tropical gardens. Accommodation is contemporary in style: dark wood floors contrast with white and pastel furnishings to create cool airy spaces.

    Spa  -  Thalasso Spa with nine treatment rooms and wonderful views over the lagoon.
    Views  -  Over the lagoon and the Mediterranean
    Sailing  -  Sailing school on local beach
    Swimming Pool  -  Heated outdoor pool
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  • Les Bulles de Mer Saint Cyprien 26 rooms from £154

    A chic bohemian hotel set directly on a beautiful stretch of beach. Light and spacious rooms have a nautical feel and breathtaking sea views. Boasting an extensive spa, two outdoor pools and a restaurant offering sumptuous local cuisine. The perfect place to come and simply unwind.

    Beach Life  -  Right on the beach, the perfect spot to soak up the sea breeze and take long coastal walks
    Families  -  With family suites, a kids pool and games this is the perfect spot for all the family
    Spa breaks  -  An extensive spa offering yoga, massages, wellness packages, a steam room and sauna
    Great walks  -  Take a hatha yoga class held on the beach
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  • Chateau de Riell Molitg les Bains (Molitg) 19 rooms from £200

    Chateau overlooking Mount Canigou. Room interiors are rustic chic with parquet floors, exposed brick work and large bathrooms. A baroque folly with outdoor pool, garden, spa, sauna and hot spring bath. Great Pyrenean menu in ambient dining room. Superb choice for spa weekend.

    Country Escape  -  Enjoy the peace of the gardens and rejuvination of the thermal spa
    Romantic Break
    Swimming Pool  -  Rooftop pool and outdoor pool
    Great walks  -  Hiking in the hills around
    Recommended by  -  Relais & Chateaux
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