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….)

Ever thought of using your outdated bank card to create a flute that can imitate birdsongs? At MuSIC Musee des Instruments in Ceret, you can get a close look at just such an instrument created by Amazonian Indians. Alongside it are instruments created with recycled tin cans and plastic bottles.

The Côte Vermeille (Vermilion coast) stretches from Argelès-sur-Mer to Cerbère via Collioure, Port Vendres and Banyuls-sur-Mer. This part of the coastline covers a mere 15 kilometres but the winding road from Port-Vendres to Cerbère makes it feel much longer, despite the superb views ! Take a sick bag for the folk in the back seat !

After a hard day soaking up the sun on the endless sandy beach at Saint Cyprien, as dusk begins to fall you may be asking yourself how best to prolong those feel-good vibes? Well we’ve got just the answer… St Cyp en Live!

Sometimes, however, it’s nice to get away from the crowds and find an unpeopled hideaway. The Pyrénées-Orientales offers dozens of ’criques’ along its rocky coast, small beaches and rocky inlets, usually relatively sheltered from the winds. Whilst many of them can be accessed only from the sea, there are many more which are accessible from the land with a reasonable pair of trainers and a rucksack.

We pass evocatively named places busy with history; Besalú, St Jaume de Llierca, Castellfollit de la Roca before entering Olot and the Parc Natural de la Zona Volcanica de la Garrotxa abundant with fascinating conical and sometimes symmetrical hills.

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