Visit the Fortress of Salses near Perpignan: tickets, prices, opening hours

Visiter la Forteresse de Salses près de Perpignan

Are you planning a trip to the region known as « la belle Catalane »? Then be sure to visit the Fortress of Salses near Perpignan, a sublime example of the region’s military heritage!

With over 300 days of sunshine a year, Perpignan is the ideal destination for your vacation! You’ll be ideally located on the Mediterranean coast, close to the Spanish border. You’ll also notice the city’s strong Catalan influence. Perpignan abounds in historic monuments, museums and activities of all kinds, but we recommend that you take your car and head a little north of the city, to the beautiful little village of Salses, exactly 17 kilometers away, to discover and visit the beautiful Salses Fortress. You’re sure to fall under the spell of this astonishing castle, a magnificent example of Spanish architecture. What’s more, its location halfway between the Etangs de Salses and the Corbières mountains means you’ll also be able to admire some stunning views.

Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Perpignan’s Forteresse de Salses!

History of the fortress of Salses

Histoire de la forteresse de Salses

Photo Credit: Shutterstock / Natursports

The fortress of Salses was built at the end of the 15th century by the great Spanish architect Francisco Ramiro Lopez, at the request of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella, Queen of Castile. The building’s initial purpose was to guard the ancient border between France and Spain, and to block French troops’ access to Roussillon.

Besieged several times, the French finally conquered it in 1642. Following the signing of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659, which reorganized the territories, the fortress became much less strategic due to its location.

The particular originality of the Salses fortress lies in its architecture, with its ultra-ingenious defense system for a period that had just seen the arrival of a new weapon: metal cannonballs. Its 10-meter-thick walls, counter-mine galleries, artillery towers, keep and labyrinth of access tunnels reflect the specific strategies put in place to cope with these new warfare techniques.

What to see and do in the Fortress of Salses?

Que voir et faire à la forteresse de Salses ?

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Sophie Lenoir

To help you plan and prepare for your visit to the Fortress of Salses near Perpignan, we recommend that you visit the official website and watch the video presentation of the Fortress of Salses. This will help you plan your visit and identify all the things you’ll want to see.

A visit to the fortress of Salses near Perpignan is an opportunity to discover the living quarters of the 1,500 men and 300 cavalrymen it was able to accommodate at the time, as well as its astonishing defense system.

Behind its walls are 2 distinct parts: the lower and upper parts.

The lower part is open to the public. Here you can see the parade ground with its arcades and central well, the three surrounding stables, the main building, the chapel and the north-east artillery tower.

Guided tours of the upper section are also available daily (booking required), giving access to the dungeon, terraces and galleries.

From the terraces, as well as enjoying a bird’s eye view of the whole square, you’ll be able to observe a breathtaking panorama of the ponds, the Mediterranean Sea, the Corbières and the Canigou.

Not to be missed if you visit the fortress of Salses near Perpignan:

  • The two drawbridges
  • The barbicans
  • The Place d’Armes
  • Garrison accommodation
  • The store
  • The stables
  • Circular artillery towers (one per corner)
  • Les Caponnières
  • The galleries
  • Le Donjon

Numerous cultural events take place throughout the year at the Forteresse de Salses, all listed on the website. Don’t hesitate to take a look!

How do I get to the Fortress of Salses near Perpignan?

There are several ways to get to the Fortress of Salses near Perpignan, located at the following address: 66600 Salses-le-Château.

By car

From Béziers: A9 towards Perpignan, exit no. 40, then D627 and D900 towards Perpignan.

From Perpignan: N9 towards Narbonne.

Once in Salses, follow the signs around part of the town center to approach the castle from the north-east.

Please note: Direct access from the A9 « Château de Salses » rest areas (10-minute walk).

By train

Take the Narbonne-Perpignan train line and stop at Salses-le-château station. The Salses fortress is a 15-minute walk away.

By bus

Take line 135(Perpignan-Salses line). The Salses fortress is a 10-minute walk away.

Salses Fortress opening hours & rates

Horaires & tarifs de la Forteresse de Salses

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Sophie Lenoir

SCHEDULES

The fortress of Salses near Perpignan is open :

  • April 1 to September 30: 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • October 1 to March 31: 10 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
  • Closed on January 1, May 1, November 1, November 11 and December 25.

Please note: The ticket office closes 45 minutes before the site closes, and the last guided tour 1 hour before.

RATES

Salses fortress ticket

  • Full price: €8
  • Reduced rate (under 25 outside EU – unemployed): €6.50
  • Group rate (minimum 20 people): €6.50

Free

Admission to the Salses fortress is free:

  • For under-18s
  • For EU residents under the age of 25
  • European Heritage Days (3rd weekend in September)
  • 1st Sunday of the month (January 1 to March 31 and November 1 to December 31)

Combined ticket Fortresses of Salses + Fontfroide Abbey

  • Full price: €15

Combined ticket Fortresses of Salses + Rivesaltes Memorial

  • Full price: €10

You can buy your ticket in advance online on the fortress website or on one of our partner sites. Your e-ticket must then be printed or downloaded in advance and shown at the museum entrance.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is it possible to eat on site?

A picnic area is available for visitors. You’ll also find vending machines on the grounds of the Salses fortress.

Can I bring back souvenirs from the fortress of Salses?

The monument has a beautiful souvenir store.

Does the museum have luggage storage?

There are no luggage lockers on the premises.

Where can I park near Salses fortress?

Free, unsupervised parking spaces are available all year round near the fortress and along the railroad line. You can also park all year round in the municipal parking lot, which is guarded and subject to a charge in July and August. Campervans are advised to park in the cellar parking lot.

Accessibility

The fortress of Salses is equipped to accommodate people with reduced mobility. PRM parking is available at the entrance to the fortress. Adapted tours for disabled visitors are available, and sign language guides are available by prior arrangement, while tour documents are available in Braille.

Are pets allowed?

Only guide dogs for the visually impaired are allowed inside the fortress.