Coming from the French word terre for “soil,” the word terroir originally described the special characteristics of a region, or piece of land, which gave different varieties of wine, coffee and tea their individuality. (Soil, climate, position, regional traditions….)

Free navettes will transport you from stations along the way to the ski resorts, reduced prices apply at the Hot baths of St Thomas (get off at Fontpedrouse) or at the ski stations of St Pierre de Forcats (off at Mont Louis) or Eyne ( off at Bolquere Eyne the highest station in France).

Valmy park will reopen to the public from the 6 February 2016. Trails, fountains, waterfall, play and picnic areas along with a fabulous view down to Argelès, the Mediterranean and the Roussillon plain.

St Joan de les Abadesses is probably not a town one would choose for a holiday break. Quite unprepossessing, and other than the monastery at its centre, there isn’t much to detain the traveller here. But the monastery was what we’d come to see, so we parked up and walked over the gorgeous 15th century Pont Vall, the old bridge over the Ter into the town. It was a promising start — the sun was shining and the river was lined with allotments and willow trees.

It’s 1946. War is over. On the sandy tracks of the Racou beach village, amidst fishermen’s huts and makeshift shelters thrown together in darker days by Spanish refugees, people, laugh, drink, share a pastis, absinthe or ‘cop de vi blanc’ before sitting down to a communal cargolade or fresh fish BBQ.

Tucked away off the coast road, half way between Port Vendres and Banyuls-sur-Mer, lies the bay of Paulilles, three beaches (Bernardi, del Mitg and Fourat) separated by rocky headlands, surrounded by steep and endless vineyards, and rugged mountains.

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