The village of Castelnou is located about 20 km southwest of Perpignan, not far from the Spanish border. An authentic Catalan village, it was built in the hollow of the lush Aspres region. In its background lies the Canigou, a mythical Catalan mountain which is part of the Grand Sites de France network.
This small medieval village is nestled at the foot of an old feudal castle, which was rebuilt in the last century, and a former watchtower. The remains of its walls date back to the 13th century and surround the village's cobbled streets lined with ochre-hued houses dotted with ivy and oleander.
Castelnou has certainly retained its medieval authenticity, such as through the artists and artisans who take to the village's streets to sell their work. Castelnou is one of 5 in the Pyrénées-Orientales department labeled one of France's Most Beautiful Villages and is truly a remarkable Catalan site to discover.
Not to be missed
- The Chateau Vicomtal built on rock high atop the village offers splendid panoramic views. As a quintessential symbol of the medieval era, a visit to this structure will certainly take you on a trip back in time to the Middle Ages.
- The Tower of Castelnou, which dates back to the 8th century, previously served as both a lookout point and a part of the town's defense system.
- The Romanesque church of Santa Maria del Mercadal was built in the early 12th century. It's single nave has a vaulted arch and semi-circular apse and is beautifully simple in its construction.
- Guided tours of the village
In the surrounding area
- Visit the cellars of Byrrh to learn about local wine production and then do a tasting.
- The monastery in Passa is known for having a beautiful cloister.
- The Castillet of Perpignan is emblematic of the village of the same name and used to serve as its primary entrance.
- Les plusieurs villages notables à proximité, dont Ile sur Tet, Ceret et Arles sur Tech.
- Several other beautiful villages can be found in the vicinity, including Ile sur Tet, Ceret and Arles sur Tech.
- Perpignan airport (19 km away)
- Carcassonne airport (74 km away)
- Béziers airport (95 km away)
- Montpellier airport (148 km away)
By train: TGV station at St-Féliu-d'Avall
By car: Highway D48, exit at Village.
Intercommunal Tourism Office of Aspres-Thuir
Boulevard Violet - BP25
Tel: +33 04 68 53 45 86