Hiking around Maureillas …
Hiking through the unspoiled, wild countryside around Maureillas is a terrific way to discover its history …
COL DE PORTEILLE
In 1794 during the Battle of Le Boulou, the French Republican armies led by General Dugommer surrounded the Spanish armies which were escaping through the Porteille Pass. The Spanish had used 2,000 men to build this road through the pass to bypass the Fort de Bellegarde, which was opened in 1793.
The hike begins opposite the church in Riunoguès, which you can get to from Maureillas via the D13. There are yellow markers. This is 10km hike of average difficulty which takes around 3 and half hours, with a 400-meter difference in altitude.
IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE TRABUCAYRES
The outlaws of the Vallespir …
Ferdinand VII, King of Spain died on 29 September 1833. Shortly before his death, he repealed the Salic law which excluded daughters from the succession. He was succeeded by his daughter Isabel II (aged 3) at the expense of her younger brother, Don Carlos. The result was a civil war. The Trabucayres were Carlists, who supported Don Carlos. They lived by brigandage, attacking stagecoaches, and holding prisoners to ransom. They used Las Illas as a refuge because of its proximity to the Spanish border. They were called Trabucayres because they were armed with trabucs (blunderbusses).
They had many hide outs, especially caves, as well as accomplices in the region. They were finally arrested thanks to the joint efforts of French and Spanish troops and two of them were executed in Céret, in the Place du Barri in 1846.
The hike begins in Las Illas, which you get to from Maureillas via the D13. The route is indicated by yellow, as well as red and white markers. A small path runs along the side of the restaurant on the right which ascends in the direction of the Lly Pass (Col de Lly). This is a 15 km hike for experienced hikers which takes around 5 hours with a difference in altitude of 780 m.
THE TOWER BEL OEIL
This signal tower dating from the Middle Ages, is located at 308 m of altitude. It’s overlooking Maureillas and offers a 360° panoramic view. .
The hike starts from the Prat de la Farga leisure centre. The route is indicated by yellow markers. It is an easy hike over 8.5 km which lasts around 2 and half hours, with a 300-metre difference in altitude.