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motorway aires: 14

Click to go to 'the highest, longest: the viaduct de Millau'
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motorway aires[1]
aires on the motorway to Spain - the A9 autoroute

the fort de salses, catalan village, fitou, la palme, sigean and others

Motorways/autoroutes of France, showing the A9 autoroute

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Click for motorways and motorway aires in France.


breaking! the fire at the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris so far
Romanesque churches and cathedrals in south-west France
cathedral giants - Amiens and Beauvais

Stone tracery in church and cathedral construction illustrated
stone in church and cathedral construction

stained glass and cathedrals in Normandy illustrated graph
fortified churches, mostly in Les Landes

cathedral labyrinths and mazes in France

Click for an introduction to cathedrals and stained glass in France.

Germans in France
cathedral destruction during the French revolution, subsidiary page to Germans in France

on first arriving in France - driving
France is not England
paying at the péage (toll station)

Click for motorways and motorway aires in France.

Transbordeur bridges in France and the world 2: focus on Portugalete, Chicago, Rochefort-Martrou
Gustave Eiffel’s first work: the Eiffel passerelle, Bordeaux
a fifth bridge coming to Bordeaux: pont Chaban-Delmas, a new vertical lift bridge

France’s western isles: Ile de Ré
France’s western iles: Ile d’Oleron

Ile de France, Paris: in the context of Abelard and of French cathedrals
short biography of Pierre (Peter) Abelard

Tour de France 2018

Click to go to 'the highest, longest: the viaduct de Millau'

Hèrmes logo

Pic du Midi - observing stars clearly, A64
Carcassonne, A61: world heritage fortified city

Space City, Toulouse

Interactive map of the A9 autoroute, with featured aires marked.
interactive map: hover with your mouse,
clickable areas change to a hand icon

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.

the a9 autoroute (eastern spain to orange)

The A9 motorway (La Catalane) runs from the Spanish border just south of Perpignan, going up the Mediterranean coast until it becomes La Languedocienne, then turning a little eastwards to pass Narbonne, Montpellier and Nimes on the way to Orange. A main artery from Spain to the industrial zones of the Rhone Valley and Marseille, as well as a main tourist highway, means that the road carries a fairly continuous stream of goods vehicles, heavy and otherwise.

catalan village

the Catalan Village : the plaza with shops on a dull dayThe first themed aire to be built by the Autoroutes du Sud de la France [ASF] company, this extensive aire 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.
Click on the yellow link above to see the full page for the Catalan Village aire.

marker at

spoilt for choice

On the way north (up) from Spain and along the Mediterranean coast, before the A61 autoroute junction, you will be spoilt for choice as to where to stop for a break, a distraction, a picnic. After the grotty little layby aires that are the Spanish contribution to motorway travelling, you will be encountering automotive wonders as you progress up the coast to Perpignan and beyond. The wondrous aires include Château de Salses, Fitou and Sigean. The aires going south are mostly not quite as interesting, though some have a tunnel connecting to the northbound aire.


château des salses [1]

This deceptively big aire overlooks a large former frontier fort on the coastal plain below which can be reached from the aire after a short countryside walk.
Click on the yellow link above to see the full page for the Château des Salses aire.

Click on thumbnails for larger versions
View from the ceramic plan of the Fortresse de Salses to the fort itself. The entrance gates to the Fortresse de Salses.
Wildflowers near Chateau de Salses fort
From top left, going clockwise:
View from the ceramic plan of the Fortresse de Salses to the fort itself. / The entrance gates to the Fortresse de Salses./ Wildflowers / Chateau de Salses fort.
Chateau de Salses fort

marker at