L’Albère – Laroque-des-Albères
An easy hike to discover, from the roof of the Albères, one of the most beautiful panoramas of France.
1h30 / 6 km
In front of the lodge of Coll de l’Ullat
La Reina de las Fonts fountain, century-old pine trees, lookout point on the Figueras valley, snow pit, stunted and twisted fayards
Border and smuggling at the XIXth century
The Treaty of the Pyrenees of 1659, which detaches Roussillon from the rest of Spain, did not interrupt the close ties uniting the populations on both sides of the Albères. The border has given rise to intense contraband: coffee, sugar, tobacco and then “cotton goods”, hidden in carts, also worn on the backs of men have passed from Requesens by Coll de l’Ullat or Neulós.From 1840, with the troubles in Spain, weappons and gold trafficking will be added on a large scale. Convoys are made up of four to six people, sometimes more. The distances are short, the passes are low , the hiding places numerous. Contraband affects the whole society (muleteers, peasants, shepherds …) constituting bands headed by a chief feared and admired by all for his daring ; Ramon Falipou Tocabens, the leader of the famous “Trabucayres” who reigned over the Albères, the Vallespir and Ampurdan.
Hiking to avoid by strong tramontane (+ 60 km / h), because the crest line that leads to the summit is very exposed to the wind.
1 From the car park, go up the path (GR® 10), which starts at an angle to the right, between the building of the refuge and the road (magnificent century-old laricio pine forest, very refreshing in the summer). The route suddenly leaves the laricio pines and continues the ascent, straight ahead, in a beech forest where the slope increases. Pass the rock Foirós by its northern flank and head to the border ledge of the forest.
2 Then lay on the left, flat in the forest and always on the north side slope (clear view towards the Figueras basin and the foothills of the Catalan Garrotxes). The route leaves the forest, just before the TV relay service road , at the height of a pin.
3 The path avoids the road by joining, above to the right, the line of crest border totally uncovered. Quickly reach the Coll del Pou and its crossing border (removable barrier) with the castle of Requesens prominently in view in the valley. > A short round trip is possible by taking the path south Catalonia (10 min walk) to discover a very well restored snow well (dashes on the map)..
4 Continue on the trail, more or less along the ridge to reach the summit of Puig Neulós (unique panorama, with a perspective on the Gulf of Lion that appears in clear and dry weather only, the Narbonnais and its mountain of the Clape, the fall of the Massif Central (peak of Nore and Caroux), and the mount Saint-Clair above Sète).
5 Go back down the same way as on the way out.