A traditional Catalan house with exclusive use of south facing swimming pool and terraces with stunning views in a picturesque village in the most southerly French valley. Le Tech is located at in the foothills of the Pyrenees, between the mountains and sea. Visitors can enjoy the tranquil surroundings of the Vallespir and spectacular mountain scenery, but still have easy access to a range of Mediterranean beaches and resorts, and swimming lakes.The village has a post office, area for boules and table tennis, and municipal tennis court, all within 3 minutes walk of the house. The border with Spain is so close visitors can enjoy the delights of the best of France and Spain - fantastic scenery, castles, unspoilt lakes and beaches, picuresque coastel towns and medieval mountain towns, and wonderful catalan food.
The house has been renovated and refurbished while keeping many original features. A swimming pool has recently been installed in the garden for exclusive use by those renting the house. With four bedrooms (one with sofa bed) it can easily sleep up to 8 people. The spacious and comfortable accommodation is spread over three floors, and is located in the small Catalan village of Le Tech, in the foothills of the Pyrenees, approximately 50 minutes from the Mediterranean coast. The south facing house is situated in a terrace of traditional houses extending up a hill out of the village, with stunning views of the mountains.
Tiled hallway, toilet and ground floor second sitting room/fourth bedroom with double sofa bed
Large open plan living room/dining room pleasantly furnished with beautiful views over the village, river and mountains. Equipped with 2 sofas, dining table and chairs seating 8, DVD, CD player, Iphone/I pod docket and wood burning stove.
Kitchen: Fully fitted, well-equipped tiled modern kitchen with fridge/freezer, washing machine and dishwasher, electric oven (4 rings and grill), microwave and kettle, but retaining traditional beams and original fireplace.
Three bedrooms, each with their own character, and a bathroom with toilet are on the third floor. All bedrooms are equipped with wardrobe and chest of drawers.
Master bedroom: Double bed, views over village, river and mountains with all day sun.
Bedroom 2: Double bed with southerly aspect and similar views as above.
Bedroom 3: Located at rear of house, with bunk bed with 2 windows.
Bathroom: Tiled modern bathroom with shower, toilet and basin.
GARDENS AND SWIMMING POOL
A fascinating aspect to the property are four south facing terraces immediately to the rear of the property rising up from roof level. The first terrace includes a large patio area with stunning views over the river, village and mountains. This secluded area benefits from all day sun and is equipped with garden lights for evening use, sun loungers, outside table seating 8 and flower beds. An iron staircase from terrace two to terrace three leads to another large sun terrace with steps up to the swimming pool. The view over the valley and mountains from the terrace and pool is spectacular. The pool is an above ground oval pool with internal dimensions of 5m x 3m and 1.2m deep.
There is space for one car outside the house and other free parking in the centre of the village 1 minute walk away.
Le Tech is situated in the most southerly valley in France, where visitors can enjoy the tranquil surroundings of the Vallespir and spectacular mountain scenery, but still have easy access to the Mediterranean beaches. The village lies at the confluence of two mountain rivers, the Tech and the Coumalade, around 550 metres above sea level, in the foothills of the Pyrenees. It is only 6 km from the border with Spain, and within easy reach of the famous cities of Perpignan (France 1 hr), Figueres (Spain 1 hr), Girona (1.30 hrs) and Barcelona (Spain, 2.15 hrs).
The village is very friendly, with a number of activities organised throughout the year, such as the August paella fete with dancing, the Autumn bulb fair, and the Christmas bingo with prizes of ducks, chickens and legs of serrano ham! (All prepared!). Village residents like to sit in the square waiting for the daily bread van, and chat.
There are open air pools at Prats De Mollo (6km), and Montferrer (10km), the latter overlookng a lovely view of the mountains. For the more adventerous there are natural rock pools and a water chute 10 mins drive away. On going down the valley take the first right to Serralongue, park by the wood yard on the right, and take the small track winding gently up to the right behind the wood yard. About 10 mins walk brings you to the rock pools. Be warned it is quite a steep slope down at the end, and ignore the private signs, as all the locals do.
Vallespir and Rousillon
The Tech valley of Vallespir is in the Roussillon area of France, and with the Mediterranean beaches, Pyrenees and proximity to Spain, it is a superb region for any type of holiday at any time of year. Roussillon is the sunniest part of France with approximately 320 sunshine days a year, and the region is proud of its miles of uninterrupted beaches, beautiful towns and villages in the Pyrenean valleys with many historical gems, its link with famous artists (including Dali and Picasso), and the wealth of activities on offer. Inland from the Mediterranean the Tech valley passes through vineyards and olive groves, then hills with chestnuts, pine and oak forests, gorges and rockpools, and is renowned for producing the first cherries each year in France.
From Le Tech the valley runs up to the lovely medieval walled town of Prats De Mollo (6 km). Here there are bakeries, shops, a small supermarket, an outdoor swimming pool and a number of restaurants. The hilltop Fort Lagarde, with its daily summer enactments and riding displays, overlooks the town. The artistic town of Ceret, with its small but well known art gallery, shops, supermarket, restaurants and well known Saturday morning market, is a 30 minute drive down the valley. On the way is the famous Gorge de Fou, the narrowest canyon in the world, and the historic town of Arles Sur Tech. Moving south from Le Tech and along a spectacular drive towards Spain is the lovely town of St Laurent de Cerdans (20 minute drive), famous for its hand made espadrill factory and horse riding.
The Mediterranean beach resorts of Argeles (1 hour), Canet and St Cyprien (1.15 hrs), together with the picturesque old fishing port of Collioure (1 hr) are all within an easy drive of the house, and have a wide range of family activities. For a small, but never crowded, family beach choose La Racou, just to the south of Argeles.
There is a lovely swimming lake down the valley at St Jean Plan de la Corts - Follow signs to Plan d'Leau. There is a large family soft play zone, as well as water sports. Alternatively, take the pass into Spain via Coustouges, follow signs to Darnius and then Lake Boedella. This lake is surrounded by hills, and also good for swimming. Both lakes have cafes in the summer.
There are many fantastic walks either from the house, or in the surrounding area. Mount Canigou stands majestic to the north (3 days treck from the house), or there are many day or half day walks. The G10 and G11 are both close by.
The house also has 5 (basic) mountain bikes with helmets for use by guests. There is an off road bike track running from Arles Sur Tech to La Jonquera, and many quiet mountain roads to lovely villages.
For those who love castles, there are numerous Cathar Castles within 1 to 1.5 hrs drive, along the valley on route to Foix. These are based on rocky outcrops in truly stunning scenery, and there are many walking routes in this area too
The colourful and exotic city of Perpignan is one hour’s drive away, or there is a bus service from Le Tech. The City is full of shops, restaurants, cafes, bars and music clubs. There are many interesting festivals, and the old quarter has some fascinating Catalan architecture, multi-cultural shops and food markets. Other towns and cities that can be reached are Figueres (Spain, 1 hr), with its famous and unique Dali museum, the medieval town of Girona (Spain, 1.30 hrs), and the wonderful cosmopolitan city of Barcelona (Spain, 2.15 hrs) with its harbour, medieval quarters, Gaudi architecture, parks and fabulous cafés and restaurants.
Other delights in Spain is the coast around Roses and Cadeques, and the strange but stunning Cap de Creus, with rock forms which inspired many a Dali painting. On route to Roses are many wonderful old medieval towns, such as Peralalda, and some fantastic restaurants.