The Pyrenees-Orientales is a beautiful department located on the Mediterranean and bordered by Spain. Beaches and skiing all in the same area. The weather is good all the year round with days of sunshine and mild winters. No wonder the French come here for holidays. With the budget airlines flying into this area – there is only one way property prices can go. Perpignan is the major town and is full of Catalan influences – the old town is full of narrow alleys with shops and restaurants.
Property prices on the coast are generally higher but Canet, St Cyprien, and Argeles Sur Mer property prices are reasonable. As you approach the Spanish border the sandy beaches disappear and a rocky coast similar to Cornwall rises from the sea toward the Pyrenees. Collioure is beautiful and unsurprisingly property for sale in Collioure is at a premium but ooh la la! Neighbouring Port Vendres, and Banyuls-sur-Mer property is cheaper.
LaRoque and Sorede, a few miles back from the coast at Argeles and Collioure, lie in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Often offering spectacular views and plenty of fresh air, the villages are popular with the British. Prices are lower than the coast but remain just a short drive to the beaches.
Further inland are Ceret and Amelie Les Bains – spa resorts. Again the Pyrenees form an impressive backdrop. As these are Spa resorts, there is a good demand for rental property. Property prices have risen steeply in the early 2000s but have levelled out.
Our recommendation – Perpignan apartments and villas in the suburbs. To the south of the river is the preferred area. Collioure is the star if your pocket can stretch – otherwise for moderate budgets have a look at LaRoque and Sorede.