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Nature reserves
Mas Larrieu

National Nature Reserve

The Mas Larrieu reserve was created in 1984 to preserve the area from tourist construction. To the north of the commune of Argelès-sur-Mer, its 145 hectares, at the mouth of the Tech, offer incredible biodiversity and diverse landscapes: wild sandy beaches, dunes, dense reed beds, marshes, forests… It is one of the last “wild” sites on the Roussillon coast.

Indeed, between fresh and salt water, hundreds of plant and animal species live in harmony in the reserve. You can find different species of birds or insects such as the Oxygastra curtisii, an endangered dragonfly that the reserve helps to preserve.

To get there, you can park in the reserve’s car park at the end of the access track, chemin du Pas d’en Diégo (after the Luna Park roundabout and the L’équinoxe campsite). All along the walk, you will find an educational trail with various information panels on the fauna and flora as well as a picnic area.

Massane Forest

National Nature Reserve

The Forêt de la Massane was classified as a Nature Reserve in 1973. Also known as the Forêt des Couloumates, it is located about 30 kilometres by car south of Argelès-sur-Mer, near the Spanish border. The National Nature Reserve is managed by two organisations: the Association “Les amis de la Massane” and the Federation of Catalan Nature Reserves.

The forest, which is mainly made up of beech trees, has become a well-known site for international biologists and zoologists, in the same way as the forest of Fontainebleau, thanks to its exceptional biodiversity and particular characteristics. For example, it allows the study of global warming and its impact on nature.

In addition to beeches, there are also hollies, oaks, maples, but also different kinds of mushrooms, birds and birds of prey (peregrine falcon), more than 3300 species of insects, bats, some mammals such as the weasel and the badger, reptiles (wall lizard), amphibians (spotted salamander) or fish.

To get there, allow about 1h30 by car. You can walk around freely, but you should not forget the extreme fragility of the site and respect nature, do not take anything and do not leave anything behind. For further information, contact the Argelès-sur-Mer town hall on 04 68 95 34 58 or the Arago Laboratory on 04 68 88 05 89.

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