Fortress of Salses

Fortress of Salses, Salses-Le-Chateau

Fortress of Salses
4.5
Historic Sites • Battlefields
10:15 AM - 12:30 PM, 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
10:15 AM - 12:30 PM
2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
10:15 AM - 12:30 PM
2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
10:15 AM - 12:30 PM
2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Friday
10:15 AM - 12:30 PM
2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
10:15 AM - 12:30 PM
2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
10:15 AM - 12:30 PM
2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
About
Salses fortress was built between 1497 and 1504 by the Spaniards to protect their northern province of Roussillon which was finally conquered by France in 1642. Behind the defensive walls the complex fortress features buildings on three to six levels linked by a maze of corridors and walkways. The fort incorporates three independent sections: the living quarters, battlements and the keep. Open: > 1st June to 30th September: from 10.00 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. > 1st October to 31st March: from 10 am to 12.15 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5.15 p.m. Last admission 30 minutes before closing time. Closed: > 1st January, 1st May, 1st November, 11th November and 25th December. Admission fees: Adults : 8 €; Free admission: minors under 18*; Free admission: 18-25 years old* (citizens of one of the 27 countries of the EU or are non-European permanent residents of France) * excluding school groups
Suggested duration
< 1 hour
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4.5
1,100 reviews
Excellent
574
Very good
419
Average
76
Poor
15
Terrible
16

Bwyd
Jersey, UK217 contributions
Well worth a visit.
Sep 2020 • Couples
Unusually for a Fortress this one sits on a plain which makes it a little more difficult to locate. Signage could be clearer.

The good news is that there is plenty of parking either side of the local railway line. We parked a few hundred meters away in a free car park that was in mid September fairly empty. For those with small cars, or mobility issues, there is some free parking by the entrance to the fortress, though it appeared to get there, you have to drive under a narrow railway bridge. Be warned, I also suspect it is difficult to find a space there in the high season.

Our French is poor, so we appreciated the complimentary guides books, in a number of languages. As we entered the main central parade ground, a tour guide approached us and voluntarily took time to explain a few things to us in English. This was very helpful and professional of him.

The fortress has a rich history and in total, I would suggest you allow an hour and a half to fully tour the fortress and visit the shop. Again for those with mobility issues, it is easy to move around and there are not too many stairs, or ramps to negotiate.

We made our visit in Mid September when it was quiet. From a Covid perspective it felt safe, with plenty of room to pass fellow visitors. Everyone appeared to be wearing a face mask and sanitiser was readily available.

Finally when leaving, I would recommend you spend a few minutes in the shop. They have a wide and interesting range of books and gifts.

In summary an ideal place to visit and one I would recommend to everyone including families.
Written September 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

CarlaCambrils
Cambrils, Spain4 contributions
Interesting place with exceptional guide
Mar 2020 • Friends
We have done the guided catalan tour with Joan Lluis, he was very clear with the explanations, doing the visit interesting and funny, we would have stay longer, it is such a pleasure learning on this way! The structure is well conserved, and it is a big place. Count around 1-2 hours for visiting.
Written March 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Thomas V
Oakland, California10,939 contributions
Huge Fort
Oct 2019
We were quite impressed with the size and status of this 15th Century fort, part of the history of this area, protection from invasion. We had a guided tour and we speak French, but unfortunately the guide had a strong accent and we did not understand the details. Still a huge and impressive site, worth a stop.
Written October 27, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Danielle L
Munich, Germany209 contributions
Super visit, easy access
Feb 2019 • Friends
What a pleasure we had in visiting this place once again as it had left us an unforgettable memory about twenty years ago when we were accompanied by children. The fortress represents a very interesting transition from the medieval fortified house to a more modern fortress which, we are told, inspired Vauban. Curves and straight lines are at the rendezvous of this formidable structure.
The visit of the lower parts (stable for 300 horses, lodging for a garrison of 1500 men, infirmary, room of water distribution, kitchens, chapel, etc) is on your own but the high parts is guided (essentially the terraces where we have a nice view and the dungeon which has very modern elements for the time such as the washbasins - count 45 minutes).
Too bad, however, that the visit of the basement is no longer possible because of the bats nesting there and whose rest is protected. When visiting with our two children about twenty years ago, this part of the visit together with an unbeatable guide deserved 5 stars in our hearts.
Be warned, out of season visiting hours are not continuous - check on the internet!
Written July 8, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ewa
Maury, France10 contributions
A very interesting and beautyful old fortress
Mar 2019 • Couples
The guide was very good, even though he only spoke french. We understood and got the history about the fortress. The litle store was well equipped with nice things to buy. A litte restaurant or cafè would be nice because the village had no nice place where we could eat a small lunch!
Written March 20, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

AmCan
San Francisco, CA45 contributions
Fascinating preserved example of an actual fort first built in th 1500's
Jul 2018 • Family
Forteresse De Salses is an outstanding example of 16th century architecture, and is an excellent place to learn about French and Spanish history from the 16th century to the 20th. What makes it worth the trip is that it remains significantly intact, (it's the real thing; not made cute and cuddly), and you can tour most of it.
Things to remember:
1. Take water and water bottles with you (there are no water fountains - typical in Europe). The days can get very hot in the summer.
2. Free parking is available on the fortress's grounds.
3. Getting there is a little odd, and requires driving through narrow streets in the adjoining town, and then under a rail line via a very narrow tunnel. When you pass through the tunnel, turn right to go to the close and free parking near the fort's entrance. The fort itself is located between A9 and D900. To get there, coming from Beziers (the north) take A9 to exit 40, then D6009 towards Spain (the Med will be on your left). D6009 will turn into D900. Turn right onto D87, then follow your GPS to get to the fort.
4. The visitor center is air-conditioned.
5. Self guided tours are available in English.
6. Knowing some French, or having a good app available, will help significantly with interpretive markers - as many are not bilingual.
7. There is a guided tour, which takes you to a lot of very interesting parts of the castle. However... it's in French. Again, knowing some French will make the tour a whole lot more interesting.
8. I found the staff members very pleasant and helpful. Be a good guest, make a cheerful attempt to speak French with a decent pronunciation, and they'll bend over backwards to assist.
Written December 30, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

ruthrees
Ireland129 contributions
Like something from a film! Amazing!
Jul 2018 • Family
This fortress is enormous!! You could spend the whole day wandering about .. part of it is by guided tour (in French only) and the guide was extremely knowledgeable and interesting - it was easy enough to follow. What a place! Amazing to learn about military tactics. An excellent day out
Written September 3, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Stuart R
Tonbridge, UK10 contributions
Disappointing
Aug 2018 • Couples
Although the castle is very interesting, you can only see the lower half by yourself. The upper half is by guided tour only, which is not explained. This means you spend an hour exploring the lower half, and then trying to find out how to access the upper half. Back to the ticket office who then explained that you need to book on to a (free) guided tour for the upper half - but the next one was 1 hour away so we gave up. In summary, they should have explained that you need to book onto a guided tour when paying for your 8 euro ticket.
Written August 9, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Thomas L
Gothenburg, Sweden74 contributions
Nice historic place but disappointing guided tour
Jul 2018 • Family
The fortress of Salses is in a very good shape so it makes it easy to visualize and explain to children. The area to visit without guide is rather basic but good. Interesting with kids, one of the stables is equipped with medieval wooden games.
However we were disappointed by the guided tour, a bit short, skipping some interesting rooms such as the kitchen, and with a guide who seemed to be a beginner in the role. With the price paid for the entrance we were expecting better.
Written August 7, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Stefan Z
155 contributions
Very impressive
Jul 2018 • Family
We came here but unfortunately there were no tours in German language. So explored the fortress on our own. Even if you can‘t see all the rooms that a guided tour will visit that was already impressive.

Not much furniture or things but explanation texts for all the rooms you can see. The pure size of this place is impressive.

What I liked the most was the „playground“ in one of the basement stables. There are a couple of wooden games such as throwing horse shoes or wooden curling game where your kids can entertain. I‘ve never seen this before but it was great. If your kids or teenagers start to get bored then just head for this stable and play for half an hour. Thumbs up for that.

I have to cut one point from the perfect score for the not so clean restrooms. But overall this is a great monument to visit even with kids from, I‘d say age of 8 on.
Written July 3, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Fortress of Salses

Fortress of Salses is open:
  • Tue - Sun 10:15 AM - 12:30 PM
  • Tue - Sun 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM