Dutch couple Eva and Jeroen converted the site from an overgrown tangle of mountain vegetation and a couple of abandoned farmhouses into the beautiful place it is today.They cleared the area and carved terraces into the hillside to pitch your tent. Being eco-minded, they collect water from a natural source and constructed solar panels for electricity.
The eight generously sized, atmospheric pitches are all well spaced out and either well shaded surrounded by trees or nicely poised in the sunny. Each has its own wooden picnic table. Except for the large, new swimming pool, there’s just a reception area, a couple of hot showers, and a washing-up area (and a nice campfire area, where guests can mingle at night). There’s no playground, as such, but the kids will love the trampoline or exploring surrounding woods and sploshing around in the nearby river.
Guests can enjoy a leisurely glass of wine on the terrace or join their hosts for home-cooked evening meals and pizza out of the traditional wood fired oven. There's also a steady supply of fresh organic produce in stock here – though meat-eaters will have to suppress their carnivorous cravings as all meals are veggy/pescetarian.
The pièce de résistance however is, without doubt, La Solane's magnificent treehouse. Sitting 7 metres above ground in the loving embrace of a 250-year-old chestnut tree, this feat of eco-engineering sleeps a family of up to 6. It is fully equipped with kitchen, bathroom (including shower and toilet) and even has a terrace for soaking up the breathtaking views.
Elsewhere, there's also a gorgeous, secluded wooden cottage (sleeping 4) with it's own kitchen, bathroom and conservatory. Finally, a caravan-under-canopy with outside kitchen is ideal for that romantic retreat (or you could squeeze in a family of 4). An indoor pool and sauna are also planned, but the owners promise that it won’t impinge on the site’s sun-kissed, natural vibe.
Campfires allowed on the terrace and on site if weather permits. There are 6 tent pitches in total, treehouse (sleeping 6), wooden family cabin (sleeping 4) and caravan (ideal for 2 but can sleep 4) – all come fully-equipped. 2 new showers and 2 toilets; washing- up area with great views; a river with natural swimming pools and a waterfall. Indoor pool and sauna planned. La Cantina stocks plenty of organic food (though, no meat) and occasionally serves evening supper on the terrace.
Tents, campervans, tent-trailers, glampers – yes. Caravans/motorhomes – no.
Hikers will enjoy the walks through the mountains, not least the GR10 – try the hike to the rocky peak of the Roc de San Salvador (4,050 feet/1,234 m). The lovely medieval Spanish town of Maçanet de Cabrenys is a 45-minute drive away.
Food & Drink
Basics on site, and a well-stocked kitchen. Three-course evening meals available (€12.50; €7.50 for kids). Closest supermarket St-Laurent, a 25-minute drive. Best market in Céret (Saturdays). Nearby Tapis has a large restaurant, Can Mach (0033 972 543 311), serving hearty cuisine for good prices. Maçanet de Cabrenys has several nice restaurants serving Catalan/Spanish food, the best being Hôtel Pirineus (0033 972 544 000).
All year round, but depending on the weather in winter, so normally from Easter to the beginning of December.
Contact La Solane, La Solane, Mas de la Solane, 66260 Saint Laurent de Cerdans, Pyrénées-Orientales, France
Last exit ‘Le Boulou’ on A9 in France, then D115 into Vallespir Valley; after Arles-sur-Tech take road to St-Laurent-de-Cerdans. Follow the signs saying La Solane. GPS doesn't know the way!
Train to Perpignan and bus (Courrier Catalan, Line 341, €1, 6 times daily) to Amélie-les-Bains or (3 times daily) St-Laurent-de-Cerdans: pick-up can be arranged.
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