with Lyn and Arthur Saville
This is one of our favourite walks which we have done many times. The views are stunning, wild flowers, rosemary, thyme, lavender and gorse. The smell is wonderful at any time of the year.
We have seen flamingos nearly every time, also Pelican, Grebe, Cormorants, Herons and Egrets.
The downside of this walk is it is midge heaven, so if you get bitten, like I do, make sure you use insect repellent.
This walk may look confusing as there are so many paths, but you cannot get lost as most of the time you can see Peyriac so know what direction to head in!
The walk is undulating. It is about a 40 minute drive from Perpignan.
Take the N9 (which changes to the D900 when you enter the Aude!
Take the D105 into the village of Peyriac de Mer and at a no entry sign turn left, take the first right and at the Tabac the 1st left.
Follow the one way system and turn left at the stop sign. The car park is on the right, and faces onto the etang, next to it is the boules areas.
When you leave the car, face the étang and turn left along its side passing a play area. Turn right here keeping along the side of the étang until you come to a boardwalk across the étang.
Take the boardwalk ( and usually see several hundred coots all swimming away from you) which eventually becomes a path passing in front of an abandoned building. Keep to the left at the junction, there is a wall on the left and you come to a car park, usually full of motor homes.
Keep to the path and exit the car park turning right and turn immediately right uphill where there is a yellow X.
Keep walking uphill and when you get to the top take the second right hand path which has a fir tree at the junction.
Carry on up the path through gaps in 2 walls and when you reach the top there is a pile of stones on the right. The views are amazing here, look back and see Peyriac, the car park and on a clear day, Canigou.
Turn left and carry on under a telegraph pole, keeping to the path nearest the edge. The path joins a broader path, turn right and keep on the broader path, passing a concrete circle with the number 16 on it.
Do not turn right but cross in front of it veering left.The views here of two etangs ahead of you in the distance on your right and left and further still the lovely village of Bages clinging to the hill.
Follow this track gently downhill partially through trees until you join a gravel, partly tarmaced road, turn right along this road. There is a yellow waymarked sign on a stone opposite the track you have been walking on.
The rest of the walk is waymarked with yellow markers.
Carry on along this road until you see a yellow marker on the right hand side telling you to turn right, turn right and immediately right again up a small track.
After a few minutes you will see a track on the left leading up to a wall and ruined building, take this and carry on past the building.
You will come to a track, turn right along here, it is marked and turn right again just after going under a telegraph pole, it is marked.
Carry on uphill , keeping to the left, pass a couple of cairns and at the top of the hill there is a bigger cairn, turn left downhill here. The views at the top are great, and in the far distance to your left you can see the cement works at Port la Nouvelle.
When you get to the bottom of the hill turn left and cross the road to a yellow signpost.
The walk is well marked from here so carry on at your leisure, soaking in the scenery and bird life.
At the top of the ridge top you can see a beach with trees, also a car park down to your right below you, an ideal place for a swim or picnic on a summer’s day.
When you get over the hill, it is very steep going down in parts, just look at the paths, there are several and pick one which will suit you.
Eventually you get down to the road which goes across the causeway back to the car park or take the much more pleasant route we take.
As you get onto the road you will see a yellow signpost on a path to the right, take this path signed La Saline along the side of the etang.
Cross a wooden bridge over the stream and turn left (do not go uphill) walk beside the barrier and continue along the path for a couple of minutes and you will see a path to the right, leading to a mesh fence.
Take this and walk through the gap in the fence to the edge of the etang, turn left to the boardwalk and carry on along this which turns to a path.
At the end of the path you will see the original abandoned building, turn left pass the building and return to the car park. There is a café in the village, take pot luck as to whether it is open or not as he seems to open when he feels like it, but the lunches are very good.