"I came here in search of nothing more than a little sunshine. But I found Canigou, whom I discovered to be a magician among mountains, and I submitted myself to his power… I watch him with wonder and delight. Nothing that he could do or give birth to would now surprise me, whether I met Don Quixote himself riding in from the Spanish side, or all the chivalry of ancient France watering their horses at his streams, or saw (which each twilight seems quite possible) gnomes and kobbolds swarming out of the mines and tunnels of his flanks.“
Nestling at the base of Mount Canigou, at the heart of the Catalan Pyrenees Regional Nature Park, the spa resort of Vernet-les-Bains is an approved "green holiday" resort (station verte label). The gentle climate, year round sunshine, breathtaking countryside and traditional picturesque architecture make it the perfect holiday destination for those who enjoy the great outdoors.
Vernet became the first “Village *Arboretum” in France with over 2,000 identified and listed trees throughout the town.
The town is famous for its Thermal Spa, specialising in the treatment of rheumatic and bronco-pulmonary conditions, the Spas of Vernet-les-Bains offer an ideal space for well-being and relaxation, as well as general spa therapies.
The Hotel du Portugal and Casino are beautiful reminders of the towns famed Belle Époque era. Take a step further back in time with a wander around the old town with its traditional stone build houses and picturesque cobbled streets overlooked by the castle tower and the Church of St Saturnin.
There are a number of bars and restaurants throughout the town and the town square plays host to weekly produce markets, wine tasting and concerts.
The town also boasts tennis courts, childrens play areas, an indoor swimming pool with natrually heated themal water and an outdoor Water Park is open throughout the summer months. For those wishing to explore the area on horseback the local equestrain centre Ecurie Mas Rabat offer walks, treks and lessons for all ages and abilities.
There are a wide number of marked walks and cycling routes for all abilities in and around the town. Electric bike hire is available. Maps and routes can be downloaded free of charge from the Tourist Office website : www.tourism-canigo.com
The town is also the departure points for 4x4 trips to both the Abbey St Martin du Canigou and for those wishing to climb to the top of the sacred Catalan mountain - Canigou. Trips can be arranged though a number of local, specialist companies including : Caniogu en 4x4 and Excursions Castellane
Have Fun !