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Caixas is a country "commune", and does not really have a defined centre. The signs to Caixas direct you to the Mairie, which is in a cul-de-sac just off the D2 road and about 2 miles from our house. There are no facilities in Caixas itself - the centre consists of the Mairie, the church, and a Chambre díhote. The nearest baker, butcher, etc is 11 kilometres away at Fourques (about 20 minutes drive). If you would like to see the history of Caixas (and you can read French), click here.

About 13 kilometres away is the mediaeval village of Castelnou - this has an 11th Century chateau open to the public. There are also two or three restaurants and bars, lots of arty-crafty workshops, and a weekly market. Castelnou consists of a few cobbled streets, and is one of the "Most Beautiful Villages of France".

Thuir (about 20 kilometres and 30 minutes drive away) is a small town with a hotel (the Cortie) and several good and inexpensive restaurants.

EagleAs the eagle flies, the Mediterranean is 28 kilometres away, while the Spanish border and Perpignan are both 20 kilometres away. Perpignan is a lively small city with a long history.

There is plenty of walking in the immediate vicinity of the house as we are in the foothills of the Pyrenees, about 20 miles from Mont Canigou (nearly 3000 metres high).

Skiing etc is at Font Romeu and Pyrenees 2000 , about 2 hours away by car.

The nearest beaches are Canet Plage and Argeles sur Mer (about 45 minutes by car). Fresh water swimming is quite close at Villeneuve de la Raho and St Jean Pla de Corts . There is also an Aquacity for children near Canet .

The nearest largish Spanish town is Figueras (an hour's drive on the autoroute), which has the Salvador Dali museum. Dali's house is at Port Lligat , about an hour's drive from Figueras, near the lovely Spanish port of Cadaques .

Collioure is a very attractive French port about an hour from Caixas - it is very busy in the summer, mainly with French visitors. Port-Vendres where we have an apartment overlooking the quay, is a lively fishing port, with pleasure boats, cruise liners, freighters, trawlers, and lots of restaurants and cafes. Unlike Collioure, Port-Vendres seems to be alive all year.

Other places to see nearby are Villefranche de Conflent (a walled village with an award winning and very reasonably priced restaurant; Villefranche is also the starting point for the Little Yellow Train, a wonderful trip through the mountains up to Mont Louis and beyond); Ceret (a nice town with connections with Picasso); Vernet le Bains (a spa town close to Canigou ). Carcassonne is a lovely (but over touristy) walled city restored to mediaeval splendour and is about 2 hours drive, as is the very lively city of Barcelona.

There is a good web site showing lots of interesting things in the Pyrenees Orientale, including web cams of the mountains (Canigou) and the sea (Collioure).