Best Short Walks: Sentier des Hauts de Taïchac

Saint-Martin-de-Fenouillet is one of those agricultural villages that is typical of my region: lost in the middle of vineyards, surrounding by a beautiful, and yet very diverse landscape: chalky cliffs, bold granite, wide heathland, sudden gorges, undulating hills and magnificent views of the holy Catalan peak, the Pic du Canigou. The kaleidoscope of landscapes is rooted in the area’s geology: here, the African shelf hits the European shelf. Sentier des Hauts de Taïchac: follow the yellow signs In front of the Auberge Taïchac, the village’s sole and only place to eat and sleep (sorry, only during the season, i.e. Easter to October, local fare and 33 beds), you will find direction and a maps…

St Paul’s Chapître: A Hidden Gem

It’s the landmark of my little town and has been dominating its skyline for centuries: the Chapître-Collégiale: The tower of the chapter house has always been the landmark of St-Paul-de-Fenouillet, and is one the Fenouillèdes most remarkable buildings. Today hidden behind more modern building, you will  need to visit Le Chapître to truly appreciate it – the entrance is a tiny door right next to the tourist information. Its roots date back to 906, when the convent of Joucou belonged to the Benedictine monks. Following many noble endowments, the 16th century saw the installation of an organ, the addition of plaster decorations, the construction of the dome and other major works…