The department of the Pyrénées Orientales is at the junction between Spain and the Mediterranean, and until the middle of the 1600s, it was the stronghold of the principality of Catalonia.
The official language is French, but over 40% of the population speaks and understands Catalan, which remains a language that is very much alive. Rich in historical, cultural and artistic heritage, Catalonia preserves very specific culinary traditions such as the Cargolade which is shared around the fire, and is a combination of grilled sausages, Catalonian blood sausages, lamb chops and snails of course, a little bit of aioli and Banulys! The variety of landscapes is on a par with the variety of AOC classed wines.
Establishing oneself in Roussillon for life or just for a holiday means inexhaustible distractions and occupations: the fine sandy beaches or the coves are only 1 hour away from the ski slopes, the ascent of the Canigou or of the Carlit, a visit to the Lake of Bouillouses, the gorges of la Fou, or the discovery of the historical heritage such as Salses le Château or the Palace of the Kings of Majorca. A walk around Collioure is essential for art amateurs: Matisse and Derain gave birth to “Fauvisim” during the summer of 1905 in this lovely town, and the views from Fort Saint-Elme or Norte Dame de Consolation leave few people indifferent.
Pyrénées Orientales fact file
Land area: 4 116 square kilometres
Population: 437 157
Population density: 110/km²
Main town: Perpignan
Local property styles
The Roussillon has many Provençal farmhouses, village houses in red stone, maisons de maîtres and apartments all along its coast.