Updated 03.2005, 07.2008, 06.2009, 2013
Le Village Catalan Practical information for guests
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How to get here:
Autoroute A9 to Perpignan, , from the north: exit the motorway at Perpignan Nord, continue on the dual carriageway towards Perpignan, past the Aeroport, and follow the green signs: Andorra (N 116). From the south: Exit the motorway A9 at Perpignan Sud and follow signs towards Andorra. Continue past Prades and turn south to Vernet-les-Bains at the fortified village Villefranche-de-Conflent.
Once at Vernet, follow signs to Le Village Catalan (and if this is not your first visit, please note that in 2009 they have changed the driving direction again! Map). Turn right and follow the bypass road towards Casteil, but take a sharp left turn at the small fountain across from the Thermes at the end of town (signs missing there), drive towards “centre ville”, turn right by Hotel Moderne, follow signs towards the Canigou. Turn right twice by the palmtree on top of the hill + 250 metres (signposted to Le Village Catalan.) GPS coordinates: 16 Avenue Alzina, 66820 Vernet-les-Bains or N 42°32'47.69 , E 002°23'30.75.
There are daily flights to Perpignan from London Stansted and Paris, and other cities. Optional airports in our area are Carcassonne, Beziers, Girona (a hub for low-cost flights) and Barcelona (Security warning). Ryanair now has flights from many cities to Girona (north of Barcelona. If you drive from Spain, take the motorway AP7 and follow signs to Francia, and exit at Perpignan Sud, the follow directions above. You may find the best car rental prices here. If you do not wish to rent a car at the airport we can offer to arrange transfer from Perpignan, subject to advance booking. Airport transfers take an hour. The price depends on the number of people. There is also a train service (€1.-) between Perpignan and Villefranche-de-Conflent, 5 kms from Vernet-les-Bains. Perpignan and Villefranche-de-Conflent, 4 kms from Vernet-les-Bains, where a local taxi will bring you to the village for about €12, and
By train or coach:
Train to Perpignan. (see www.voyages-sncf.com) There is a local train service between Perpignan and Villefranche-de-Conflent/Vernet-les-Bains. Eurolines offer international coach services to Perpignan. There is a regular coach service from Perpignan (from the coach station, by the train station) to Vernet-les-Bains, for only 1 Euro.
Please call us on arrival if the reception is not open. If you arrive late, we will arrange for keys or, if possible, be there to welcome you. Unless you have paid a 150 Euros security deposit with your booking, a deposit may be payable on arrival during the heating season, and the charges for electrcity in excess of 100 KWH will be deducted from your deposit. .
Shops are normally open from 9.00 to 12 (12.25) and from 15.00 until 19.00 (19.15) weekdays including Saturdays and until 12.00 (12.15) Sundays. Please note that most shops (except the supermarkets in Prades) are closed for lunch between 12 and 14 or 15. The main supermarkets in Prades (Internarche and Super U are open non stop from 09.00 to 20.00. There is also a Lidl, open weekdays until 19.30. If you will arrive later, we can buy a standard selection of food and wine for you for your first day, provided that you order it in advance.
Your holiday home:
Each of the houses at Le Village Catalan is equipped with traditional Catalan furniture, as well as terrace furniture. The kitchen is basic, equipped with a gas cooker with oven, fridge with small freezer, and an electric coffee machine, toaster and all the standard items you would expect in a holiday cottage, with the exception of a dishwasher. The pure tap water is safe to drink (pring water from the mountains!). Bathrooms are equipped with a bathtub/shower, washbasin, bidet and a heater/blower which doubles as hair dryer. WC is in the bathroom or separated from the bathroom, depending on the type of house. The beds are comfortable, singles are 90 cm wide and 190 long, doubles are 140 cm by 190 cm. Bunk beds, where applicable, are 80 cm by 190 cm. Blankets and pillows are provided, but linen and towels are supplied optionally on request. You have the choice to bring your own, or rent if from us Linen is available for EUR 12.- per person.
Radio is standard equipment, but if a TV is required it can be provided for EUR 23.- per week if you book it in advance of your arrival.
A washing machine is available for our guests occasional use at a charge of EUR 4.- per load.
Cleaning at the end of your stay is your responsibility. If you wish to have cleaning carried out by local staff at your cost (currently 65 Euros standard rate), please request it with your booking, or at least a day before your departure.
The rental periods are Saturday to Saturday, unless otherwise agreed, starting at 16.00 hours and ending at 10.00 hours. Please reconfirm your reservation by phone or email no later than 48 hours before the commencement of your rental period, and indicate your time of arrival. If you are delayed, please call 0033 667 114 222 (or locally 06114222) to notify us of your estimated arrival time and we will make key arrangements for you, - whatever the time.
Telephone and email are available at the reception on request. For the summer season WIFI is available free of charge, other seasons it can be provided on request. Thereafter, subject to advance reservation. Mobile phones normally work well in the village (but not in all the valleys). We recommend that you ensure your phone contract includes roaming (calling from abroad).
The reception is open by appointment for arrivals. However, in case of any urgency or emergency you can call the concierge or owner at any time.
We will do our best to assist you with local information, maps, excursion and hiking information, mountain-bike hire etc. Occasionally we organise trips into the mountains, canyoning, hiking and wine tasting excursions. We have no commercial interest in this, we do it to help our guests and to benefit the local organisers - that is our contribution to sustainable tourism.
Swimming and spa:
There are two heated public swimmingpools in Vernet-les-Bains, one indoors open out of season, and a new Espace Aquatique with Jacuzzi etc. There is also a very scenic bathing area with natural rock pools in the river Cady near Sahorre, 6 kms away. The Mediterranean beaches are about 70 kms away. Vernet is a thermal spa resort, with all facilities including sauna, jacuzzi and a fitness centre, usually open from mid-March to November. Year round open air hot springs are available in St. Thomas-les-Bains.
Hiking and walking:
This is undisputed one of the best hiking and walking areas in Europe, and the footpaths start just behind our village. Even if you are not an experienced hiker, you would not want to miss it, so it is advisable to bring good footwear, a small day-backpack and a water bottle. As a starter, a 10 minute walk to Belvedere provides spectacular views, an hour and a half from the village you have the waterfalls Cascades des Anglais, a 3-hour walk and you can visit the famous monastery St. Martin du Canigou (also reachable by car and 45 minutes walk), and the long trek to our highest peak Canigou (2785 metres/about 9,000 ft) takes a full day and some hiking experience, although you can reach the chalet at Cortalets (2150 metres altitude) by jeep and walk the last two hours to the top… ! We will provide you with the information you need for self-guided walks, but, if you prefer, there are occasionally guided walks or groups with spcific interests such as nature photography, bird watching, history and adventure sports.
We recommend the comprehensive guide for visitors and walkers (43 pages downloadable or view online) in PDF, courtesy Alan Mattingly. A printed version is available locally as well.
You can download a map of the village here.
During your stay...
For your safety, please check the weather forecast and notify us if you embark on any major walks, or if you intend to stay overnight in the mountains.
If there are any problems, any breakages, or if you have any complains during your stay, please notify us immediately and we will do our best to resolve the problem (see: Booking Conditions & Fair Complaints Policy).
It is most practical if you contact the reception the evening before your departure, to settle the utilities bill and any extras. You are expected to vacate the house by 10.00 hrs, in the same condition as you found it, unless otherwise agreed. You have the choice whether to carry out the end-of-stay cleaning or to pay to have it done.
Please note re. health insurance: It is advisable to take out appropriate travel insurance, and if you are an EC resident, apply for the the blue European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) well in advance of your journey.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us by phone, fax or email. Bon voyage!
Anette & Erik Gundersen
Le Village Catalan,
16 Avenue de l'Alzina
F-66820 Vernet-les-Bains, France
Tel: 0033 (0)4 68056571, Mobile: 0033 667 114 222, Fax: 0044 (0)709 208 7367
It may be useful to print this information and bring it along on your trip.
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