THINGS TO DO AND SEE
FLORA AND FAUNA
The diversity of plants and animals in our area would require a web site of its own, so some examples will have to suffice. There are gentians and lavender, wild strawberries and violets as well as at least five different orchids. Just over the border are cork oaks, strawberry trees and the everlasting ‘St John’s’ flower. Edible fungi are plentiful, including ceps and morels. Among the many butterflies - the scarce swallowtail, the two-tailed pasha and the Camberwell beauty. Tiger, humming-bird and orange under-wing moths
by day and hawk and other moths by night are here too. We have a variety of dragon and damsel flies and the praying mantis. You can see red and black kites and four different eagles and many owls. There are deer and wild boar, foxes and badgers, hares and toads.
Short, long or very long, the choice is yours. The walks are waymarked and leaflets are available at the town hall.
Just 10 minutes from Coustouges with views to the sea and the snow-covered mountain rang. The course is unusual in that the club house is in the centre of the course. Restaurant, bar, hotel, indoor swimming pool and spa too.
There is a public swimming pool at St Laurent de Cerdans, 5kms from Coustouges.
There are horse-riding facilities nearby. From a couple of hours, half a day, a day,
to several days, you can spend time in the quiet byways of the mountains.
At St Laurent de Cerdans 5kms from Coustouges, this is a local history museum.
St Laurent was once a very famous centre for espadrille production. Recently two local women have re-opened one of the factories and this includes a shop. They use the material made at the nearby Catalan fabric factory (this is also worth a visit, it has a shop too) and they have modernised the designs. So successful have they been, that they now supply the regional folk dancers and they have won several prestigious awards.
A LITTLE FURTHER AFIELD
You have the French coast and the Spanish coast to choose from, both just over a hour away. Both have good beaches and interesting towns and villages. Most well-known in France are perhaps Collioure for its art, Port Vendres for being a still-working port and Argelès for its long, sandy beach. In Spain l’Escala is the nearest with several beaches and the town remains relatively unspoilt by tourism. Both Collioure and l’Escala are famous for their anchovies.
Empùries near l’Escala in Spain, is a wonderfully preserved site with both Greek and Roman ruins and also Roman mosaics. It is by the sea, indeed the remains of one of the original walls run out into the sea. There is also a museum.
In the north Catalonian countryside, just past Coustouges, are several standing stones and dolmens, these are sign posted and are easily accessible.
Perpignan has its ‘Chateau du Rois de Marjorque’ and more besides.
For the bird lover, the bird reserve at Aiguamolls near L’Escala has storks nesting, bee-eaters, bitterns and nightingales in abundance and so many resident species or migrating via the site that it is one of the most important in Europe. Being by the sea, there is salt water and fresh water providing a wealth of water fowl. It is home to more than 327 different species. The reserve is just over an hour’s drive from Coustouges.
Céret has a modern art museum; Picasso, Matisse, Braque, Miró and Chagall and to name but a few, came there because of the quality of the light, they donated works to the museum.
Fiquéras has the Salvador Dali art museum.