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.

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….)

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.

Find out more about the Battle of Le Boulou and the history of the town at the Maison de l’Histoire, small museum in the car park opposite the mairie. It’s free – and Nathalie will enjoy showing you around the small museum in French or English.

Growing up between the game reserves in South Africa and the wilderness of the Australian outback, Ian Pendry discovered a love for nature early on in life. At university in Sheffield he met Angela, an international mountain bike racer and skilled ski mountaineer. The rest, as they say, is history.

The Théâtre de l’Archipel is now a firm favourite on the cultural calendar of the P-O, but what you might not know is that it has a wild and fiesty sibling biting at its heels.
We are very proud to present to you…El Mediator

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