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Argelès-sur-Mer ist ein traumhafter Badeort in Südfrankreich, Bild: gusenych / shutterstock

Argelès-sur-Mer – Dream place at the gateway to the Pyrenees

The popular seaside resort of Argelès-sur-Mer – Catalan Argelers de la Marenda – is located in the south of France, near the Spanish border, in the Pyrénées-Orientales department. The Massif des Albères mountain range, the easternmost extension of the Spanish-French border mountain range of the Pyrenees, reaches here as far as the Mediterranean Sea.

In addition to a gigantic sandy beach and a large pine forest, the town scores at the northern end of the Côte Vermeille, which becomes the Costa Brava on Spanish territory, with a fantastically beautiful panorama of the foothills of the Pyrenees. But also the charming old town with its characteristic little alleys, the popular marina, the traditional market and the inviting waterfront, the restaurants and the boutiques invite you to feel at home in Argelès-sur-Mer.

Argelès-sur-Mer – A seaside resort par excellence

The port of Argelès-sur-Mer,
The port of Argelès-sur-Mer, Image: Irina Papoyan / shutterstock

Miles of sandy beach that plunges gently into the bright blue sea, lush vegetation and the gigantic foothills of the Pyrenees, this is Argelès-sur-Mer, a fantastic seaside resort that is hardly like any other.

Located in the Catalan region, Argelès-sur-Mer is the place with the longest coastline in the entire department with 10 kilometres of coastline, including the Argelès Plage district. Of these, a whole 7 kilometers are wide sandy beaches in front of crystal-clear water. In hardly any other place do you have so many opportunities to swim, do water sports or just let your mind wander. Also breathtaking is the 12-hectare pine forest, which has existed since 1854 and has over 8,000 ancient trees. The forest borders directly on the sea and always offers a shady spot in the heat. The 3-kilometre-long beach promenade, which is lined with numerous trees and oleander bushes, also characterises the image of the coast on the territory of the municipality of Argelès-sur-Mer.
At the southern end of the city is the marina – Le Port – where maritime life pulsates. This is followed by the Plage Le Racou, a beautiful sandy beach.

In short, Argelès-sur-Mer is a seaside resort par excellence, where guests and locals alike can find peace and relaxation as well as numerous leisure activities on land and water. By the way, sun, beach and sea here in Argelès-sur-Mer promise an ideal holiday stay not only in summer. If you want to take it a little easier, you will find ideal conditions in spring and autumn.

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Argelès-sur-Mer – Must have seen

Argelès-sur-Mer is more than just sun, beach and sea. There are numerous sights in and around the town that should not be missed. For example, you can learn a lot about the city’s history in the Casa de les Albères museum in the middle of town. Notre-Dame-dels Prats is dominated by its extremely high bell tower in Romanesque style. The nearby Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Vie or the Chapelle Saint-Ferreol-de-la-Pave are also worth a detour.
In the Parc municipal de Valmy, visitors can enjoy a fantastic view of the city, the harbour and the beach, surrounded by an impressive botany.

If you move a few kilometres south of the city, you have to travel back in time: here in the Massif des Albères, in the forest of Valmy, there are twelve dolmens, which are among the must-have-seen things. Two dolmens belong to the municipality of Argelès-sur-Mer.

Nature lovers will love their hearts at the northernmost end of Argelès Plage, where the Tech flows into the sea, in the Mas Larrieu National Nature Reserve. Here you can experience pure nature. Here you can only hear the sound of the sea. A hike through the Massane nature reserve to the south with the medieval Tour de la Massane is also a must on holiday in Argelès-sur-Mer.

Chataeu Valmy, Argelès sur mer
View of Chateau Valmy, Image: NAJITUBE / shutterstock

The Belle Epoque-style Château de Valmy, once the villa of a wealthy cigarette manufacturer and later a winery, now houses a restaurant with a fantastic view.

Not only children will be delighted by the Canyoning Park, an artificial water course, and the Luna Park, a large amusement park north of Argelès Plage.
If you are in the mood for a visit to a large city, you can go to Perpignan, about 23 kilometres away, with its numerous sights. An absolute must, however, is a detour to the historic Elne, just 10 kilometres away, with the former cathedral and other contemporary witnesses of an exciting past.

Argelès-sur-Mer – Festivals and events

As is common throughout France , Argelès-sur-Mer has many festivals and celebrations where the inhabitants know how to celebrate. One of the most interesting events is the three-day music festival “Déferlantes d’Argelès-sur-Mer”, which takes place in July. Well-known artists show off their skills at this indie, rock, pop, electronic and hip-hop festival.

Aplec is Catalan and means “meeting”. Every year, on the first weekend in September, the Aplec Valmy takes place, where Catalan culture is in the foreground. Then you get to see the famous Catalan folk dance, the sardana, among other things. The flamenco festival at Valmy is also a feast for the eyes and ears.
Art lovers will enjoy Valmy’s international art exhibition at Valmy Park at the end of September. At the same time, the two patron saints of the city – St. Cosmas and St. Damian – are commemorated every year. St. Cosmas and St. Damian is a large festive event with traditional art, typical food, entertainment, dance, exhibitions and much more.

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Numerous other festivals and events can be accompanied in Argelès-sur-Mer all year round. Catalan folklore, traditional markets, Sardana invite you to marvel and participate.

Facts about Argelès-sur-Mer

  1. Location and size: Argelès-sur-Mer is located on the Côte Vermeille, in the Occitanie region, near the Spanish border. The municipality covers an area of about 58.67 square kilometers. It combines beautiful coastal landscapes with rural areas and is surrounded by the foothills of the Pyrenees.
  2. Population: The town has about 10,000 permanent residents, but this number can increase significantly in the summer months due to the tourists visiting the region.
  3. Language: The primary language in Argelès-sur-Mer is French. Due to its proximity to Catalonia and the history of the region, some residents also speak Catalan, and you will notice many cultural influences from Catalonia in the city.
  4. Popular tourist spot: Argelès-sur-Mer is a popular holiday destination, especially during the summer months. The place offers 7 km of sandy beaches and 2 km of pebble coast, which makes it a perfect place for sun worshippers and water sports enthusiasts.
  5. Historical sites: In addition to its beaches, Argelès-sur-Mer is also rich in history. Notable sights include the Château de Valmy, which offers a glimpse into local heritage and history. The park around the castle is open to the public and offers fantastic views as well as peaceful surroundings.
  6. Nature and outdoor activities: For nature and outdoor enthusiasts, Argelès-sur-Mer offers many possibilities. The coastal town is the starting point for various hiking trails in the Pyrenees. The Albera massif, an important nature reserve, is also within easy reach from here.
  7. Cultural events: The town is known for its lively markets and festivals, including the Les Déferlantes music festival, which attracts music fans from all over France and beyond every year.
  8. Environmental awareness: Committed to sustainable tourism, Argelès-sur-Mer has been awarded the Blue Flag label for its efforts to protect the environment and ensure the cleanliness of its beaches.