The most beautiful castles in the Pyrénées Orientales
To discover the Pyrénées-Orientales is to go back in time and immerse yourself in the Cathar country. A territory dotted with very beautiful castles. Some overlook the Mediterranean, others were built in the heart of the Pyrenees. All of them, without exception, are well worth a visit during your camping holiday in the Pyrénées Orientales.
Palace of the Kings of Majorca, Perpignan
Capital of the kingdom of Mallorca between 1276 and 1349, Perpignan has a beautiful citadel. Its emblematic monument? The Palace of the Kings of Majorca. This palace-fortress stands out for its Gothic-style architecture, its gardens and its beautiful views. From the ramparts, you will see the Canigou massif, the Albères massif and the Mediterranean.
Royal Castle of Collioure
Along with the Chateau de Vincennes, the Royal Chateau of Collioure is the last medieval royal fortified castle in France that has been able to withstand invasions and the passage of time. The first building dates from the 7th century and has been rebuilt several times. Its history is closely linked to the Templars, the kings of Mallorca, the Habsburgs and the Bourbons.
Halfway between Perpignan and the peak of Canigou, the castle of Castelnou is a medieval fortress which overhangs the village. The former residence of the Viscounts of Castelnou is one of the symbols of the golden period of Catalonia and one of the most beautiful monuments in Roussillon. In 2015, Castelnou was among the 10 favorite villages of the French.
Fortress of Salses
The fortress of Salses built around 1500 by the Catholic kings is a military work with massive walls and a rectangular plan. The whole is over 110 m long and almost 100 m wide. Its construction combines three military styles: Spanish, Italian and Burgundy.
Fort Liberia in Villefranche-de-Conflent, in the Catalan Pyrenees Regional Natural Park, is a fine example of a military work executed by Vauban. It was built for defensive purposes after the signing of the Treaty of the Pyrenees at the end of the 17th century, a treaty which formalized the separation of Catalonia divided between France and Spain. Listed as a historical monument and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Fort Liberia is located at the confluence of three valleys: Têt, Cady and Rotja.
Close to the Franco-Spanish border, Fort Lagarde in Prats-de-Molló was built in the 17th century to watch over the Ares pass, one of the Pyrenees’s natural crossing points between France and Spain. The medieval signal tower is one of the most remarkable elements of this very beautiful architectural ensemble.
The castle of Ultrera or Ultrère was once a pretty fortified castle which is unfortunately now in ruins. It is located in the town of Argelès-sur-Mer, in the Albères massif, and dominates the Roussillon plain. Visiting its remains can be done as part of a hike, a great way to combine heritage discovery and sports tourism.
Between Perpignan and the Mediterranean, Canet-en-Roussillon is home to several interesting monuments. The one that attracts most visitors is the viscountal castle of Canet, classified as a historical monument. You will have the opportunity to admire the curious cul-de-four apse of the Saint-Jacques church and an astonishing ice well.