Planès is a tiny mountain village with less than 50 inhabitants located in the Eastern Pyrenees and in the Natural Regional Park of the Catalan Pyrenees. It sits on the border between the Haut Conflent and the Cerdagne, 25 km from Puigcerdà (Spain) and 50 km from Pas de la Casa (Andorra). Two long distance walking trails (the GR10, the Trans Pyrenees trail, and the GR36, which crosses France from North to South), pass through town. The picturesque Yellow Train line and an old Roman road pass through the Têt river gorge, less than a kilometer below.
Planès has an 11th century Romanesque chapel. Known for its unusual floor plan, it is one of the many examples of early Romanesque architecture that can be visited in the region. The famous abbeys of Saint Martin du Canigou and Saint Michel de Cuxà, and the monasteries of Serrabonne and Mercèvol are all easily accessed by descending the Têt valley toward the Roussillon plain.
Mont Louis, the 'highest fortified town in France', is located just 5 km from the village. Designed by Vauban, Louis XIV's military architect, the citadel was built in the 17th century just after the signing of the Treaty of the Pyrenees. It is often visited in conjunction with the other fortifications Vauban built at Vilafranca del Conflent, 30 km below, at the confluence of the Cady and the Têt rivers.
The arrival of the Yellow Train, at the beginning of the 20th century, brought a significant change in the lives of the local mountain residents, faciliting access to the more populated zones along the coast and paving the way for the development of tourism in the area. In its' day, the train was an exemplary initiative from both a technicial and an ecological point of view. On the one hand, a series of tunnels, bridges and viaducts were built to connect Vilafranca del Conflent with the Tour de Querol; on the other, a series of hydroelectric plants were created along the entire route to supply the trains with electricity, allowing them to operate without depending on any external energy source. Today, the Yellow Train is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site and continues to operate principally as a touristic attraction.
The area's sunny climate brought another interesting initiative to the area in the 20th century: the construction of two solar ovens and a thermodynamic solar plant. The first oven was built in Mont Louis just after the Second World War; a second oven was built in Odeillo on an industrial scale in the 1960's. And a solar power station, destined to produce electricity, was built at Themis in the 1980's. Today all of these facilities are opened to visitors.
In Winter, the zone is known for its downhill and cross country ski resorts. At just 2km from the Orri's doorstep, the Espace Cambre d'Aze is a friendly, family style alpine resort that sports 21 runs with a total elevation change of 800 m and is co-managed by the villages of Saint Pierre and Eyne. The larger and better known alpine resorts at Les Angles and Font Romeu are just 15 km away. And cross country fans will find many kilometers of groomed trails at the Coll de la Llosa and the Pla de la Calma (Font Romeu) ski areas, also less than 15 km away.