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motorway aires: 8

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motorway aires[1]
Catalan village, A9

Click for motorways and motorway aires in France.
 

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on first arriving in France - driving
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Pic du Midi - observing stars clearly, A64 illustrated
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Motorway aires are designed to provide a suitable environment for relaxing, refreshing and recovering during the long, hard journeys. As well as facilities of often dubious nature, picnic tables and seats, a telephone kiosk, there are often optional extras such as a play area or a display related to some local interest or event.

marker at abelard.org

catalan village aire

The land south of the east-west A61 autoroute, called the Plateau de Roussillon, became part of France in 1659. Catalonia, of which Barcelona is the capital, is one of the seventeen semi-autonomous regions of Spain. Perpignan, just to the north beyond the French border, was regarded as the second city of the principality of Catalonia during the 14th and 15th centuries.

On the western, southbound side of the A9 autoroute that leads to Perpignan, the Spanish border and to Barcelona beyond, there is a large aire that includes shops, a café and a hotel [web page in French], as well as vast amounts of parking. With its theme of Catalonian architecture, this aire provides either a taste of Spain to come, or a reminder of places visited, depending from which direction you access this aire.

The eastern, northbound aire is more sparse and basic, with a pedestrian tunnel leading to the more interesting Catalan Village on the west side. This was the first themed aire from Autoroutes du Sud de la France (ASF), opened in 1975.

the Catalan village : looking from the plaza,
across the aire to the filling station.
image credit: Flash66

the Catalan Village : the plaza with shops on a dull daypicnic seating and small olive grove at the ‘Catalan Village’

marker at abelard.org

sketch map locating Chateau de Salses/Catalan Village aire

Sketch map locating the Catalan village aire.

The Catalan Village aire, with shops, café and hotel, is only accessible from the south-bound side of the A9 motorway, when leaving Perpignan and going onto Spain. If you are approaching from the south (from Spain) and wish to visit the Village, either stop at the northbound aire and use the pedestrian tunnel under the autoroute, or overshoot to Perpignan Sud, exit the motorway and come back on the southbound direction. The northbound aire is very sparsely appointed by comparison.

The Catalan Village aire is in Département 66 - Pyrénées-Orientales.

 

end notes

  1. aire: in this context, an area —
    aire de loisirs: recreation area;
    aire de pique-nique: picnic area;
    aire de repos: rest area;
    aire de services: services , motorway (GB) or freeway (US) service station.















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New translation, the Magna Carta

 

on first arriving in France - driving motorway aires, introduction
travelling by rail to and within France individual aires                                             
A75 autoroute from Clermont-Ferrand to Béziers and its aires Les Pyrénées, A64 Poey de Lascar, A64
A89 autoroute from Bordeaux to Clermont-Ferrand and beyond - aires Pic du Midi, A64
Hastingues, A64
Dunes, A62
Mas d’Agenais, A62
A7 - aires on the busy A7 autoroute from Lyons to Marseille Pech Loubat, A61
Port-Lauragais, A61
Mas d’Agenais, A62
Garonne, A62
A9- aires on the motorway to Spain Ayguesvives, A61
Renneville, A61
Catalan village, A9
Tavel, A9
A62 - aires on the autoroute of two seas three aires on the canal du midi, A61 Lozay, A10
Poitou-Charente, A10
A65 : the autoroute de Gascogne, from Langon to Pau Carcassonne, A61 Les Bréguières, A8
A64 and A61 - aires on the other autoroute of two seas  
A83 motorway in Poitou-Charentes - aires A63: the French Wild West, Bordeaux to the Spanish border - formerly the N10
A837 motorway in Poitou-Charentes - aires A20 - aires on the Occitane autoroute, from Brive to Montauban
A42 and A40 motorways - aires from Lyon to Switzerland and Italy A87 motorway and its aires in Poitou-Charentes

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