Marie is only 15 kilometers from Perpignan (train, international
airport) and 4 kilometers from Canet Plage (large supermarkets,
Marie Plage is located on the Mediterranean Sea, in
French Catalonia. The village is characterized by small houses
and streets lined with palm trees. A few minutes' walk from
our house you will find a grocery store with local and international
newspapers, fresh French bread, fresh fruit,and all daily
the house, you cross the street and walk through the park:
within less than five minutes, you're on the beach. Just a
few hundred yards south of here is a lovely tapas
bar where you can enjoy Catalan tapas at the seaside at
The broad, sandy beaches are equipped with showers
for rinsing off the sand and salt. There are three beach-volleyball
nets. Beside the little park close to the house are skateboard
ramps, a 'half-pipe' and a 'parc de loisirs' with some gym
equipment for training the biceps and stomach muscles. The
entire resort is very small-scale and pleasant.
Ste. Marie is visited largely by French and Catalan
tourists. Along the main street you will find a number of
shops, boutiques and restaurants..
Marie Village is an old, formerly fortified village.
The village square has a lovely old stone fountain and a coolly
Mediterranean village café with tables in the shade
of the old mulberry trees.
Marie and its direct surroundings are quite flat, hence the
beaches and lovely water without sea urchins or other
nuisances. It's a great place to bicycle, and an increasing
number of cycle routes are being layed out.
Within half an hour's drive you'll find yourself in the foothills
of the Pyrenee Mountains, or at the picturesque rocky bays
of old fishing and wine-growing villages such as Collioure
kilometers inland from Ste Marie begins some of Southern France's
most famous wine country,where you can taste and buy good
wine at very reasonable prices. A speciality here is the Muscat
de Rivesaltes, a strong sweet white wine.
The robust red Roussillon wines are excellent, and French
Catalonia is famous for its authentic, local 'charcuterie'.
At Port Vendres you can buy fresh fish right off the boats
when they come in.
The area directly to the west of Ste. Marie was once the country
of the Cathars. The old Cathar fortresses of Aguilar,
are open to visitors. Here one also finds the 'sentier Cathare',
a long-distance walking trail that begins at the coast and
passes many of the old fortresses.
If you are interested in doing a bit of long-distance hiking
during your stay, we can provide you with information.
things to do in the immediate vicinity: windsurfing,
sea-kayaking, horseback riding, amusement park Aqualand, and
golfcourse at St. Cyprien (7 km), snorkeling in Europe's only
underwater nature reserve, tennis, kart-racking, canyoning
in the Gorges de Galamus, survival parks, thermal springs,
thalassotherapy... and to see:.
The Fort at Salses, Tautavel with its museum of prehistory
and the caves of Arago, the Palace of the Mallorcan Kings
(13th century), Romanesque churches and cloisters, Figueras
(Spain) with the Dali Museum. Many artists, including Matisse,
Dufy, Picasso and Durain lived in this region and used it
as a source of inspiration. A great deal of their work is
to be found in various local museums.
is fantastic skiing in the Pyrenees from December through
March. An 80-kilometer drive from Sainte Marie puts you in
another world. No busy slopes or long waits at the lift. On
a nice day you can ski (cross-country or alpine) in the morning
and go to the beach in the afternoon!