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.

Get out your walking boots and prepare to discover the hidden delights of Figueres. Come on a market day (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) and bring a stout basket. Forget Dalì for today, but plan to come again midweek in midwinter and spend a day taking in all five museums.

One of the fourteen original countships of Catalonia in the eight century, the Girona of today is a great mix of historically interesting old and vibrant lively new, all within easy walking distanE.

Narbonne is a leafy and well-appointed town, initially founded by the Romans in 118 BCE, when it was known then as Narbo. Once a very prosperous port and a major city due to its strategic location, it was in fact Rome’s first colony in Gaul.

Occupying an enviable location on the Mediterranean coast, between the tidal lagoons or étangs, surrounded by pink salt fields, the ancient circular fishing village of Gruissan lies in the heart of the Regional Natural Park of Narbonne and the Mediterranean

Here in the Pyrénées Orientales CSF have our very own get-together, lunch preceded by a short meeting, a chance to meet up with others involved with CSF.