Céret is a lovely little town, with cafes and art shops, shady trees, based around narrow streets between the small open squares, and with parts of the old town walls still standing the town boasts lot of character.
The list below are highlights of things to do within Ceret itself:
|Feature works by Picasso, Chagall, Dufy and Dali. The collection began with pictures donated by artists who had painted in Ceret and then between 1950 and 1957 the collection was given a huge boost by the donation of a collection of 28 pieces of ceramic art by Picasso and 14 sketches, drawn in Collioure, by Matisse. The museum now has an important collection of modern art works and is well worth a visit.|
|Three bridges span the Tech in Ceret. The railway bridge, the road, the XIV century Devil’s bridge (le pont du diable). By far the most attractive, it was supposedly built by the devil in 1321 in exchange for the soul of the first Ceretian to cross. The engineer sent a cat across first but, even so, the locals at the time were very wary of using its single 45 metre arch.|
|Saturday Farmers’ Market (8am – 1pm) is one of the best markets in the region with loads of atmosphere, accordian music etc, and very French. Although the market is only 15 metres from our front door, bring a shopping basket – you will need it! Other markets:
|There is a walk around the town called the ‘Chemins Sublimé’ which highlights some of the buildings in Ceret that were painted by the likes of Picasso, Dufy and Soutine and next to the buildings are reproductions of the paintings themselves. Copies of the maps can be found on the coffee table or visit Ceret’s Office of Tourism.|
Situated to the north east of Cérêt, at an altitude of 300m, this 13th century chapel had the hermitage added in the 18th century and other buildings added later to accommodate the many pilgrims who came to pray at the chapel of St Ferréol. You can take a short circular walk of 2hrs plus time to enjoy the scenery and visit the Ermitage. It is suitable for all walkers with a reasonable level of fitness.
|Another part of the old ramparts and one of the original gateways into the town. Two main entrances to the town were built – this one to enter from France and the La Porte d’Espagne to enter from the Spanish side. Use this walking guide for a 60 minute walking tour around old town Ceret.|
If you are interested in music, or a musician yourself, this museum is not to be missed. Housed in the former St. Pierre Hospital, next to La Capelleta, Ceret’s Museum of Instruments and Music is an extensive and fascinating collection of all imaginable types of musical intrument.
|This is one of the many art outlets/galleries in Ceret exhibiting works from local artists. The exhibitions are on two floors and change regularly. You can buy art, bags, sculptures, and lots of bits and pieces at reasonable prices. Entry is free of charge.|
Ceret lies in the foothills of the Pyrénées mountain, in southern France. Head to the east or west within 10-25 minutes drive away and you will also be spoilt for choice on things to do:
Water related activities
|The following towns on the seafront of the Pyrénées Orientales have many beaches to your liking:
Collioure is the star! Its little harbor with Catalan boats, the chateau and the church dominate the rule over the beaches of the city. From the side of Port-Vendres (visit Les Poissonneries de la Côte Catalane if you love seafood like us!) and the Cap Bear are little wild creeks. The landscapes are magnificent! Banyuls sur Mer is located in a pretty bay, protected from the wind, in a vineyard and with a vegetation that is worthy of the French Riviera.
|Love water sport but tired of sand in every crevice? Follow the wild screams of excitement (and the sign for the Plan d’Eau) to the various water activities or treetop fun at Saint Jean Pla de Corts. After a morning or an afternoon of thrills and spills, the various restaurants and cafe on the lake awaits for a true ‘pieds dans l’eau’ experience.|
Mountain related activities
In addition to the above, there is a busy calendar of lively events throughout the year such as:
- The Cherry Festival takes place in May and offers two days of events based around a large Cherry market which brings together all the local producers. With tastings, stoning and stone-spitting competitions and ‘cherry’ menus in the restaurants, the Catalan town turns red and rocks to the rhythm of the bandas and Sardana dancers.
- Music Festival, 21 June – Bands of all genre setup their gig along the streets of Ceret and the free event is enjoyed by all.
- Feria de Toros, July – This yearly bullfighting festival, with Bull Run through the streets, market, bands, street entertainment and party atmosphere, is a big event in Céret and indeed in the whole of the Pyrénées Orientales, but be warned. It is not for everyone!
- Le Festival de Sardane, July – Witness the impressive spectacle of the sardane competitions in the Céret arena, with ‘colles’ (sardane dance troupes) from all over Catalonia, dressed in traditional costume and strutting their stuff around the streets of old Céret in between competitions.
I highly recommend you also check the Tourist Office listings particularly in the summer months.
Come and explore this lovely little corner of France for yourselves!