Arles-sur-Tech Travel Guide

Get ready for an exciting adventure in the beautiful Arles-sur-Tech in Pyrénées-Orientales, Occitanie, France. Discover breathtaking natural landscapes, rich history, and unique culture. Plan your itinerary with our comprehensive travel guide.

Arles-sur-Tech Ultimate Travel Guide

Get ready for an exciting adventure in the beautiful Arles-sur-Tech in Pyrénées-Orientales, Occitanie, France. This charming town boasts a rich cultural heritage, stunning natural landscapes, and a great food and drink scene. Follow our comprehensive travel guide to discover the best things to do, places to visit, and local customs in Arles-sur-Tech.

Introduction to Arles-sur-Tech

Nestled in the heart of the Pyrénées-Orientales region, Arles-sur-Tech is a small town of about 3,000 people. Its warm Mediterranean climate, lush forests, and beautiful riverside scenery make it the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

List of Places to Visit in Arles-sur-Tech

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Arles-sur-Tech has a rich history and there are plenty of museums and historical sites for visitors to explore. Some of the top attractions include:

  • The Abbey of Sainte-Marie: Built in the 11th century, this stunning abbey is a beautiful example of Romanesque architecture. Visitors can take a guided tour to learn more about the history of the abbey and its religious significance.
  • Musée de la Cheminée Catalan: This museum showcases the traditional Catalan fireplace, a unique symbol of the region’s culture and identity. Visitors can learn about the history of these fireplaces and their use in local homes and businesses.
  • Palais des Rois de Majorque: This historic palace was built in the 13th century and served as a royal residence for the Kings of Majorca. Visitors can explore the beautiful gardens and admire the stunning views of the surrounding area.

Natural Attractions of Arles-sur-Tech: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Arles-sur-Tech is surrounded by breathtaking natural landscapes, making it the ideal destination for hikers, bikers, and nature lovers. Here are some of the top natural attractions in the area:

  • Gorge de la Fou: This stunning canyon is one of the top natural attractions in the region. Visitors can follow a guided tour through the narrow canyon and admire the rock formations and waterfalls along the way.
  • Mont Canigou: Towering over the region at 2,784 metres, Mount Canigou is a popular destination for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can tackle the challenging climb to the summit for breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
  • Les Orgues d’Ille-sur-Tet: These impressive formations are the result of years of erosion on soft clay slopes. Visitors can explore the labyrinth of columns and crevices and admire the unique natural beauty of the area.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Arles-sur-Tech

Arles-sur-Tech is a popular destination for hikers and bikers, with a range of trails to suit all abilities. Here are some of the best routes to explore:

  • Le Chemin des Bonshommes: This historic trail was once used by pilgrims traveling between France and Spain. Today, visitors can follow the trail through stunning countryside and historic villages.
  • GR10: This long-distance trail is a popular choice for hikers looking to explore the Pyrenees. With breathtaking views and a range of terrain, this trail is a great challenge for experienced hikers.
  • La Vallée des Tortues: This family-friendly hike takes visitors through a stunning valley filled with ancient olive trees and wildlife. Visitors can keep an eye out for wild tortoises and other native species along the way.

Best Things to Do in Arles-sur-Tech: Activities and Tours

In addition to hiking and biking, there are plenty of other activities and tours to enjoy in Arles-sur-Tech. Here are some of our top picks:

  • Canoeing/Canyoning: Take to the water and explore the stunning rivers and canyons of the region. Visitors can choose from a range of guided tours and activities.
  • Wine Tasting: Sample the delicious local wines and learn about the region’s rich wine-making history with a guided tour of local vineyards.
  • Spa Day: Relax and recharge with a spa day at one of the region’s luxurious spas. Visitors can enjoy a range of treatments and amenities, including hot tubs, saunas, and massage services.

Week-Long Itinerary for Arles-sur-Tech

To fully experience all that Arles-sur-Tech has to offer, we recommend spending at least a week in the region. Here’s a sample itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive in Arles-sur-Tech and explore the town centre. Visit some of the local shops and cafes and enjoy a traditional Catalan meal.

Day 2: Hike Le Chemin des Bonshommes and explore the historic villages along the way.

Day 3: Take a guided tour of the Abbey of Sainte-Marie and learn about its religious significance and architectural features.

Day 4: Enjoy a day of relaxation and pampering at one of the region’s spas.

Day 5: Canoe down the river and admire the stunning scenery from the water.

Day 6: Visit the Palais des Rois de Majorque and explore the beautiful gardens surrounding the palace.

Day 7: Hike to the summit of Mont Canigou for breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

Food and Drink Scene of Arles-sur-Tech

No visit to Arles-sur-Tech would be complete without sampling some of the delicious local cuisine. Here are some of the must-try dishes and local beverages:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Boles de Picoulat: These meatballs are a local specialty, filled with spices and cooked in a rich tomato sauce.
  • Paella: A traditional Spanish dish that is popular in the region, made with saffron rice and a variety of meats and vegetables.
  • Crème Catalane: Similar to crème brûlée, this dessert is made with a rich custard and topped with a layer of caramelized sugar.

Local Beverages

  • Roussillon Wine: The region is known for its excellent wine, particularly red varieties made from Grenache grapes.
  • Muscat: A sweet dessert wine made from Muscat grapes.

Where to Stay in Arles-sur-Tech: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

There are plenty of options for accommodation in Arles-sur-Tech, from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious hotels. Here are some of our top picks:

  • Hotel des Arcades: This charming hotel is located in the heart of the town centre, with easy access to local shops and restaurants.
  • Auberge La Coume: This rustic guesthouse offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside and delicious home-cooked meals.
  • Hostel Les Eaux Vives: This affordable hostel is a great choice for budget-conscious travelers, with comfortable dormitory-style rooms and a communal kitchen.

What to Buy in Arles-sur-Tech: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

There are plenty of unique souvenirs and local products to bring home from Arles-sur-Tech. Here are some of our top picks:

  • Catalan Fireplace Accessories: Bring home a small piece of the region’s history with a set of traditional fireplace accessories.
  • Local Wine: Sample the region’s wines and bring home a few bottles as a souvenir.
  • Olive Oil: The region is known for its high-quality olive oil, so be sure to pick up a bottle to bring home.

Local Culture and Customs of Arles-sur-Tech

Arles-sur-Tech has a unique Catalan culture, influenced by Spanish and French traditions. Visitors should be aware of the following customs:

  • Catalan Language: While French is the official language of the region, Catalan is also widely spoken.
  • Festivals and Celebrations: The region is known for its vibrant festivals and celebrations, particularly during the summer months.
  • Cuisine: Catalan cuisine is a mix of French and Spanish influences, with a focus on fresh local ingredients and hearty meals.

Best Time to Visit Arles-sur-Tech

The best time to visit Arles-sur-Tech is during the summer months, from June to August. This is when the weather is warmest, and many of the local festivals and celebrations take place. Spring and fall are also great times to visit, with milder temperatures and fewer crowds.

Do’s and Don’ts of Arles-sur-Tech


  • Do Try the Local Wine: The region is known for its exceptional wine, so be sure to sample some of the local varieties.
  • Do Explore the Outdoors: Arles-sur-Tech is surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, so be sure to spend some time hiking, biking, or even canoeing.


  • Don’t Ignore the Local Customs: Be sure to respect the local culture and customs, including speaking the local language and dressing appropriately for cultural events.
  • Don’t Leave without Trying the Local Cuisine: Arles-sur-Tech has a unique and delicious cuisine, so be sure to sample some of the local specialties before you leave.

Safety and Health

Safety in Arles-sur-Tech

Arles-sur-Tech is a safe destination for travelers, with low crime rates and a friendly local community. Visitors should be aware of the following safety tips:

  • Watch out for Pickpockets: While crime rates are low, pickpocketing can occur in crowded tourist areas.
  • Be Careful on the Trails: Many of the hiking and biking trails in the area can be challenging, so be sure to bring appropriate gear and be aware of your physical limits.

Health in Arles-sur-Tech

Arles-sur-Tech has excellent medical facilities and clean drinking water. Travelers should be aware of the following health tips:

  • Protect Yourself from the Sun: The region has a warm Mediterranean climate, so be sure to bring sunscreen and stay hydrated.
  • Watch What You Eat and Drink: While the food and drink in the region is generally safe, travelers should use common sense and avoid consuming raw or undercooked food.

Getting to Arles-sur-Tech: Transportation Options and Logistics

Arles-sur-Tech is easily accessible by car, bus, or train. Here are some of the best options for getting to the town:

Airports Near Arles-sur-Tech

  • Perpignan Airport: Located about 45 minutes from Arles-sur-Tech, Perpignan Airport is the closest airport to the town.

Bus Stations Near Arles-sur-Tech

  • Arles-sur-Tech Bus Station: Located in the town centre, this bus station offers connections to other nearby towns and cities.

Other Options

  • Train: The closest train station is in Perpignan, with connections to other major cities in France and Spain.
  • Car Rental: For travelers looking to explore the surrounding area, renting a car is a great option for flexibility and convenience.

How to Get Around in Arles-sur-Tech

The best way to get around Arles-sur-Tech is on foot, as the town centre is small and easily walkable. For those looking to explore the surrounding area, renting a car or taking a guided tour are great options.

Where to Go Next from Arles-sur-Tech: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Arles-sur-Tech is located in a beautiful region with plenty of nearby destinations to explore. Here are some of our top picks:

  • Perpignan: This vibrant city is located about an hour from Arles-sur-Tech and is known for its rich cultural heritage and delicious local cuisine.
  • Collioure: This picturesque coastal town is located about 40 minutes from Arles-sur-Tech and is known for its stunning beaches and vibrant art scene.
  • Carcassonne: This historic fortified city is located about two hours from Arles-sur-Tech and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Arles-sur-Tech is a hidden gem in the Pyrénées-Orientales region, with stunning natural landscapes, rich history, and unique culture. Whether you’re a hiker, foodie, or culture buff, this charming town has something for everyone. Follow our comprehensive travel guide to plan your itinerary, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Arles-sur-Tech.