"Perpignan" Top 5 Page for this destination Perpignan by denise16

Perpignan Travel Guide: 97 reviews and 236 photos

Perpignan & Pyrenees

Our son is spending a year studying at Perpignan University so recently we had the job of delivering all his stuff. Obviously we treated as a holiday a did a little bit of touring, driving back across the Pyrenees to Bilbao for the ferry back to England.
Perpignan is a fairly small city about 20minutes from the beach (Canet Plage) and about 30minutes from the mountains. What better than a long white beach, at the south end of the beach there is a salt marsh, if you are lucky you may see flamingos.
It is also a good place to base yourself if you have read & enjoyed the Historian by Elizabeth Kostova.
I didn't get chance to go shopping but did notice that there are some fairly elegant shops there, Printemps & Galleries Laffette for example.
From what my son says there are plenty of festivals during the Autumn & Winter. So far there has been a Photojournalist expo. a wine festival, an olive festival, that was also a giant festival a jazz month a caged bird show and a dog show. He's only been there 6weeks. I am waiting for hm to create a webpage of his photos, as soon as he has I will put a link here.

Castles in the Maury Valley

http://www.casteland.com/puk/castle/cathare/queribus/queribus.htm
Takign the D117 out of the city passing the airport will bring you to a major wine making valley, along the mountains are a number of interesting castles worth a visit.
Queribus Castle, you can park at the bottom and take a steep walk or drive to the car park below the entrance to the castle. There is a tour of around 45 minutes. Turn left out of the car park then take the first road on the right in Maury. Peyrepertuse Castle is about 15 minutes further on. The entrance charge is about 5€ for adults. Closed on very windy days but otherwise open all year.
Don't forget to visit the various caves for your wine on the way back. I would recommend Mas Camp just outside Estegel, but we stayed in a gite on this vineyard. Also worth a small detour is a visit to Latour de France, about 3km from Estegel, there is a large wine cooperative here, so plenty of choice, but it is also a very pretty little village of a hillside.

The Historian

If you have read this book you must visit Abbey St. Martin, quite a steep climb from the village of Casten. You drive through teh spa town of Vernet Les Bains. I wont spoil the plot for those who haven't read this good book yet, but the author has got it spot on. If you follow the track up, look for the narrow footpath to the left of the abbey to come back down, much more interesting, but a bit of a scramble, you need sturdy shoes. Also close by and worth a visit is Villefrance-de-Conflent, a fortified town with a castle. No entrance charge for the town, but they do charge for the parking (you can avoid this by parking on the roads around the town). Open all year but much less busy out of the July/August period. Seems to be an obsession with witches, they were on sale everywhere but I don't know why, it was too early for Halloween. My son and his friends went to Thomas Les Bains, a spa centre that has the baths outside, the water comes out of the earth so hot it is cooled before used.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beach & Mountains
  • Cons:the use of prop planes from Birmingham is a bit off putting
  • Last visit to Perpignan: Feb 2007
  • Intro Updated Feb 23, 2007
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