In the Eastern reaches of the French Pyrenees, in the department of Pyrenees-Orientales, the village of Baillestavy can be found at an altitude of 646m. This hidden village is surrounded by a beautiful mountain landscape with old trees, birds, colourful butterflies and salamanders. It offers miles of trails and woods of oak, birch and pine trees. The lower village sits on the banks of the fast-flowing River Lentilla.
While out walking you will discover vestiges of the past; ancient iron ore mines, coal furnaces and ruined buildings.
The two village churches provide an inheritance from the past; the ruined 12th century Church of Saint Andreu down near the cemetery and archaeological site and the 17th century Church of Saint Andreu in the “Torre” or upper village.
On the road to Valmanya, 3 km away, are some old kilns where the iron ore was once smelted. The lower village of Baillestavy takes its name, “la Farga”, from the old forge that was once found here.
A car is essential for a holiday in Baillestavy. In the village there is a small cafe-restaurant, “La Farga”, where you can eat delicious Catalan dishes served either in the restaurant which was once the village school, or outside on the village square. The café is open every day in the summer months and at weekends only out-of-season.
Vinça (13 km) is the nearest small town, where you can find most essential services. There is a good range of shops including two bakeries, a small “Casino” supermarket, two butchers, hairdresser, newsagent, doctor and pharmacy. A bank, two cashpoint machines and a post office are also present, as well as two cafés and a restaurant. There is also an automatic fuel station, which accepts French bank cards only.
Larger supermarkets can be found in Prades and Ille sur Têt, each of which is just 10 km from Vinça. Weekly markets operate in both towns. Perpignan is the nearest 'big' town (45 km) and has all expected services and shops.
The village has a large playground, with football goals, a boules pitch and a children’s play area.