Set high in the Pyrénées with views of the Mediterranean
The capital of the Pyrénées-Orientales in southern France, Perpignan overlooks the sparkling Mediterranean coastline. Once the 14th century site in which the Kings of Majorca held their court, Perpignan is now a vibrant cosmopolitan city with contrasting architecture. The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and the 13th century Palace of the Kings of Majorca are two highlights of a trip here. Stroll through the Place de la Loge and relax on one of several terraced restaurants. Order a verre de vin and watch the bustle of tourists and locals as they move around this old cobbled district. Head to the Loge de Mer, an impressive Gothic building and former home to the stock exchange and maritime court; browse the Arab and Romany quarter for stalls selling intriguing trinkets. Le Castillet, a former gateway for the city prison, is now a monument to Perpignan and displays exhibits of the Museum of Catalan.
Perpignan is an ancient city of mixed cultures. Read both French and Catalan on menus and road signs and hear it spoken among the hidden lanes of the Old Town. Wander through the streets and see the historic cathedrals, galleries and monuments. Enjoy the sun and swim in the Mediterranean.
When To Go?
Perpignan experiences a warm Mediterranean climate which means it’s an ideal holiday destination for those seeking the sunshine. The average temperature throughout June to September is around 26°C and dips to 10°C during December and January. Rain is present throughout the year but October suffers the heaviest rainfall and should be avoided if possible. Late spring is considered the best time to visit for bright temperatures and to beat the summer crowds.
How To Get There?
Perpignan is served by Perpignan Airport (PGF) also known as Llabanère Airport, located 6km (4 miles) from the city centre. Direct flights are available from UK airports including London, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh. Scheduled flights to France and Belgium run regularly. A shuttle bus service takes passengers to Perpignan train station; taxis can be booked from a desk inside the terminal building. The flight from the UK to Perpignan takes just over 2 hours.
Perpignan has a fascinating and diverse history which is evident in its inhabitants and culture. Both French and Catalan are spoken with regularity and are written on street signs and menus. Learn about notable residents including the artist Hyacinthe Rigaud whose portraits can be viewed in the Musée Rigaud. Wander around the Old Town to see striking examples of Gothic and Renaissance architecture and marvel over the Palais de la Députation. Take a tour of the Campo Santo, Perpignan’s 600 year old cemetery.