- Le train jaune & the mountain towns of the Cerdagne

Le train jaune and the Mountain Towns of the Cerdagne

Villefrance-de-Conflent

The giants

The giants

 

Villefrance-de-Conflent is an eleventh century medieval town fortified by Vauban in the seventeenth century and well worth a visit. A UNESCO World Heritage Site with splendid Ramparts, Fort Liberia, the Grandes Canalettes Caves, and its 2 giants. Within the fortifications, its narrow lanes are home to local crafsment and picturesque shops.

From Colliure it is about 1 1/4 hours drive and a little over 80 km, depending on the route taken.

http://www.villefranchedeconflent.com/

 

Mont Louis

Mont Louis in winter

Mont Louis in winter

 

Located at 1600 meters at the doors of Cerdagne,

Mont Louis aerial view

Mont Louis aerial view

Mont-Louis is the highest walled town in France. It has been a walled town since Louis XIV when Vauban built strong foundations to protect the Pyrenean border.

http://www.mont-louis.net/citadelle.htm

The four solaire

The four solaire

Font Romeu

Now a winter sports and leisure resort with nearby Spas and the Les Angles wildlife park. The world’s largest solar furnace is in Odeillo, on the outskirts of the town. This was built in 1949 and was first experimental Solar furnace in the world. The location was chosen as the sunniest area of France. The photographs of Mont Louis and the Four Solaire are by kind premission of RETP MtLouis.

http://www.font-romeu.fr/

 

Le petit train jaune

le petit train jaune

Le petit train jaune

Le petit train jaune was built at the beginning of the 20th century in order to link the towns and villages high up in the mountains with Perpignan and Prades, the principal administrative towns. It links Villefranche-de-Conflent with La Tour de Carol, a distance of some 63 km long. The train is made up of wooden compartments with bench seating. Trains connect Perpignan and Villefrance-de-Conflent.

It is the highest railway track in France with the highest SNCF station and the views are stunning as you pass over the viaducts; there has never been an accident apart from the day of the train’s first trial run in 1909! Ooops!

Guest comment: “The petit train jaune provided an opportunity to sample the delights of the Pyrenean countryside as well as some spectacular scenery as it climbs through the gorges on the way to the upland pastures. One word of warning though the terminus at La Tour Carol no longer has any cafes or restaurants and it is probably worth getting off at Bourg Madame as the two and half hour wait for the return train drags without these facilities. Despite this the trip was worth it and recommended for kids of all ages”

http://www.ter-sncf.com/Regions/midi_pyrenees/Fr/Loisirs_Tourisme/DetailEvenement.aspx?ofr_id=tcm%3a25-62096&TypePage=TTO&id=1567

http://www.anglophone-direct.com/Le-petit-train-jaune