Level: easy, all flat apart from a very short, sharp uphill climb half way through the walk. Off-road or small quiet roads
Time: 1h30 – 2 hours (with option of a further hour if you wish to prolong the walk)
Recommended for: anybody, bearing in mind that there is one short but steep uphill climb and it doesn’t pass any watering holes so take plenty of liquid if it’s warm.
Where to park
Coming from Perpignan or Céret, cross Le Boulou heading towards Le Perthus. At the roundabout just before the casino, turn right into the St Marti ‘lotissement’, a newish estate of houses and carry straight on until the road bears right taking you out of the estate on the other side, and down a hill. Drive to the bottom of this small road and park.
The walk starts to the left of the road you have driven down.
✵ Go over a stream with ’passage à gué’ (ford) past a yellow paint stroke indicating the start of the walk.
✵ After the stream, take the right/straight ahead fork. (Ignore the path round to the right) There is in fact a yellow cross on a nearby tree but the walk is now a public thouroughfare, despite a couple of very old ’propriété privé (private property) signs a little further on.
✵ Carry on along this track, past allotments, following the road round to the left and then to the right.
Follow this track round to the right and up a hill. At the top of the hill, before the tracks sweeps to the right, turn off left under the bridge.
✵ Carry on past the bridge along a narrow track between greenery and bamboo. After 5 to 10 minutes, the path sweeps round to the left up a hill. (This is the only part of the walk requiring some serious effort but the hill is short) At the top of the hill, you come out into the vines with magnificent views of the Albères mountains and Canigou on the right a little further along.
✵ Turn right and follow the stony track which winds round to the left past the Mas Fourcade, a wine cave with gites which you will pass on your left.
✵ Carry straight on until you arrive at a road leading off to the right. It is here that you must make your decision whether to lengthen your walk by another hour (option one) or head back to the car! (option two)
✵ Turn right after the Mas Fourcade and continue along the road between vines with the Canigou on your right.
✵ When you reach a fork in the road, keep left and follow the road round to the right. Carry straight on, passing a cairn with a cross on your left. Continue along this road with cherry orchards on your right, until you arrive at a T junction (the right hand turn being no more than a stoney path) and follow the road round to the left. Continue until you arrive at a wide track on the left, opposite the first house on this part of the road.
✵ Take this track and follow the path, taking you through woods and vines, and eventually you will see the motorway straight ahead. Turn left, and shortly, left again and you will arive back at the cairn with the cross.
✵ At the cairn, turn right and follow the road round to the right until you arrive back at the T junction with Mas Fourcade to the left. Now follow option two)
Having passed the Mas Fourcade on your left, carry straight on, crossing the bridge over the motorway. After the bridge turn left, and take the first track on the right, recently re surfaces. Follow this path until you arrive at the far side of the vineyard, and continues downhill, the track sweeping round to the right, then to the left at the river. Keep left along this track and you will arrive back at the passage à gué on your right, ready to sit outside a café in Le Boulou for a well earned drink!