After a lot of soul searching, I found the perfect villa in the South of France, called Villa Failte. A short flight over to Perpignan airport and my family and I hired a car to take us to the Villa, which is situated in the beautiful resort of Argeles Sur Mer. The house was equipped with four bedrooms, both indoor and outdoor kitchen, barbecue, 10 meter swimming pool, the use of netflix on a very large screen and of course plenty of sunbeds to soak up the rays of sunshine. A car is needed for the villa to enable you to pick up essentials from the local supermarket or to take a trip into Perpignan to shop or to go sightseeing in the scenic fishing village of Collioure. On some occasions we walked into Argeles village, as parking can be quite tricky and also we wanted to sample some of the local champagne.
In Argeles village, two particular restaurants took our fancy such as La Gamate, which specialised in veal and also Le Flowers which mainly served up oriental dishes. One rainy day we ordered a taxi to the port to dine in one of few restaurants dotted along the port, where we sampled some Spanish tapas. If you want a wider selection of dishes, head into Argeles beach and there are so many to choose from. On our first night we were starving that we drove to the local pizzeria in the town, when I had read the reviews I thought it was a sit down area. However it was takeaway, I had ordered four pizzas and came back with two, the lady spoke very little English and I spoke a little French, so the order got confused. Along the harbour and in the resort around the camps more English is spoken, but I thought with my high school French I might be able to get by, obviously it wasn’t enough. There is a lovely promenade along Argeles beach with roller skaters, cyclists and walkers getting a bit of exercise for the day.
Along the coast of Argeles, you will find fabulous swimming spots, such as Coillure and Canet, blue flag beaches with beautiful waters and combed sand. Argeles is one of the busiest beaches and Coillure is a fishing port with some quaint restaurants that serve really nice paella. Canet is a lot quieter but had a pleasant restaurant there and the kids were happy ordering burgers and fries.
With the car at our disposal it is so handy to drive around visiting many scenic places, we took a day trip into Perpignan city, only a half hour away and we parked in a shopping centre, and looked around while doing some shopping. We stopped off at one of the many restaurants along the narrow streets to grab a bite. The Cathedral of St John the Baptist is in Perpignan, building started in 1324 by King Sancho of Majorca, in a typical Catalan Gothic style, it was later finished in the 15th century. In the 13th and 14th centuries Perpignan was the continental capital of the kingdom of Majorca.
Located only 26km from the Spanish border, this part of South-west France has a huge French-Spanish influence in food and culture. Before the 15th century the town served as a port but with the discovery of the Americas it became a sleepy fishing village. Coillure has attracted a number of artists including Picasso, Matisse and Derain. Collioure is situated in the Roussillon wine region and produces a lot of red, white and rose wine from the Grenache noir. We didn’t taste the wine there but sampled the local food, the paella was succulent and desireable.
We stayed in a lovely part of France, the weather was very pleasant, the accommodation was amazing and it was so easy to get around and visit such historic and beautiful sights.
Car Hire: http://www.sixth.ie