Tourism in Argeles sur Mer
Both a well-known seaside resort in the Pyrénées-Orientales and a historic city, Argelès-sur-Mer is a top tourist destination with a rich cultural and architectural heritage. A former strategic site at the border of the Kingdom of France and the Kingdom of Majorca, it retains parts of its past as a fortified town - remains of its former ramparts, a fortified church dominated by an impressive bell tower that is one of the highest in the region, or a watchtower on the Albères mountain range called the Tour de la Massane. Erected in the 13th century at an altitude of 800 m, it is part of a network of watchtowers built as a defence system to protect the Kingdom of Majorca. Not to be missed in Argelès, Valmy Castle was built in the late 19th century and features typical Belle Epoque architecture. Its elegant silhouette dominates the municipal park of Valmy, a green haven with free entrance and home to the annual ‘Déferlantes’ modern music festival. Its botanical tour makes for a pleasant and educational family walk. Leaving the park, a path takes you to the Tour de la Massane revealing a spectacular view over the Vermeille coast. There are other easy hiking routes you can take to explore the heritage of Argelès: these include a loop of just a few kilometres taking you past the Dolmen of the Collets de Cotlliure and the Dolmen of the Cova de l'Alarb. The 1.6 km long seafront walk hosts the Argelès Photos Nature festival on the theme of the ocean and its conservation. City of Catalan culture, Argelès-sur-Mer has a museum dedicated to the history and traditions of Catalonia: the Casa de les Albères museum. The Catalan cultural heritage can also be found in Argelès through numerous annual and one-off events: the spectacular Saint Jean festivals and carnivals, but also traditional festivals where you can attend Castell and Sardana displays, or discover the Catalan ‘diades’, these traditional flat-bottomed boats used for fishing for anchovies and sardines.