Walking on Sunshine – Montferrer and its chateau   6 comments

One of the few pleasures we couldn’t really enjoy at our holiday home in Provence the previous two years was a decent local walk. This year we had a great walk from the villa without even taking the car. The little village of Montferrer near the Villa has its own ruined castle high up on the hill behind.


D approaches the chateau

Early in the holiday we had a day of grey skies and light showers so I decided to explore. The path to the castle runs right behind the garden so after a bit of scrabbling about in the undergrowth, I was up and away. It was pretty late when I set off and I had no real plan to get to the top but I was enjoying stretching my legs so much I just carried on. The path traverses through the trees and was a bit wet after the rain but it slowly turned back towards the castle and opened out onto the grassy pastures high up.


Monts D’Alberes and Roussillon coast

The path was easy to follow and gave expansive views across the forest clad foothills and down towards the Monts D’Alberes near the coast together with coastline and the Roussillon coast itself. It was clearly blue and sunny down there and although it was cloudy overhead (and over the nearby Canigou massif) it was still pleasantly warm.


Summit and chateau

The path wended its way to the castle.


Montferrer Village


Chateau from the return path

There is not much to it but you can make out some of the walls and chambers and after some delicate scrambling I reached an airy perch on the rocks and sat down to take in the views, especially fine to south over the village of Montferrer a couple of hundred metres below.


Chateau and Roussillon coast

I checked the map and there appeared to be an alternative way down to make a circuit. I should point out that French IGN maps are not a patch on our O/S ones and that waymarking anything other than main GR routes isn’t always that great. A long way of saying I went the wrong way and had to re-trace my steps about a mile when the path I was on ended in a tangle of undergrowth and electric fences – boy do the French love their electric fences. There mist be thousands of miles of the stuff in the area. Wish I’d been selling it in the boom years.

It was much further down than I thought especially with another couple of unexpected IGN inspired deviations. The family were getting a little concerned when I didn’t show up till after 7 although probably more because I do most of the food preparation when on holiday. A fine walk.

A few days later TBF and D repeated the walk on an early morning under clear blue skies with some even better views. I should have gone out early a few days myself as it’s the best light but I’d drifted into lazy mode and felt the views from the garden with a croissant and a cuppa were just as good.


D and the Canigou massif


South towards the Spain


D on the way back down

The village on Montferrer is pretty stunning in its own right. It just has a small bar that sells the morning bakery goods and is wonderfully peaceful and serene. The walk down each morning to collect the bread was always a pleasure so here are a few photos of the quintessential french mountain village with it’s Romaesque church.


Montferrer on the walk from the village


Montferrer village


Across the village to the chateau on the hill

The usual little slide show below:


6 responses to “Walking on Sunshine – Montferrer and its chateau

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  1. Stunning!
    ‘Early morning’….’after 7’….given your track record, I’m taking all references to times of day with a huge pinch of salt. 🙂
    I’ve only been to the Pyrenees once, but more than the Alps, or the Andes come to that, it’s the mountain range I’d most like to revisit. One day…


    • Some proper Pyrenees walking to come, the scenery round here is superb. Not as dramatic as the main Pyrenees chain but stunning nonetheless and you do get to see the Med from up high (the sea not the Takeaway on Wilmslow Road). The walking round here would be awesome in Spring or Autumn with miles of long easy ridges, just too hot to go too far in summer but I did get out a couple of times. Posts to follow next week


  2. Lovely rolling country… The sunshine looks very appealing too. Now where’s my bike!


    • Hi Matt. Big cycling country round there, saw loads of cyclists on the passes and local roads. Pretty hot so they had my admiration! It’s a superb part of the world and needs more exploration next time I go down that way


  3. I always think that I know France reasonably well, but you seem to be visitng every part of it that I’ve never been to!
    Looks absolutely stunning though, well worth going on our ‘to see’ list.


    • It’s only as you drive through France you realise just how much interesting stuff there is to see and do. It can be a little busy/popular but with a young family it’s great for holiday excitement. The kids love our French trips and at the moment I can’t think of anywhere else we’d go for our main summer holiday. Even though we spend large parts of it lazing by the pool we do cram in loads of other stuff

      There is some stunning scenery around these parts and relatively quiet by French standards. Several more posts to come on our French trip including some actual mountain walking by yours truly up the highest peak in the area. Plenty of other “to see” places on my posts from last year (under my Family Trips page at the top)


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