Perpignan – Collioure – Portbou
Part 1 Perpignan
A trip to the French neighbors is always a pleasant change. Perpignan is located virtually on the doorstep – it’s only an one hour drive from the Costa Brava. Shopping there can be combined with a following stroll through Collioure – the pearl of the Côte Vermeille – and an interesting trip back to Spain along the beautiful coast with stops in various wineries. Travel with us:
Perpignan – the heart oft he South with a spicy accent … this is what the city is officially known for. Perpignan, or – as in Catalan – Perpinyà, is the capital of the South French Départements Pyrénées-Orientales.
Since 1172, Perpignan has belonged tot he crown of Aragonia-Catalan. From 1276 to 1344, it was the Capital of the Kingdom Mallorca – a fact still visible today, as the palace of the kings of Mallorca still stands proudly. In 1659, however, the city was made a part of France due to the treaty of the Pyrenees. Yet, the region around Perpignan, the Roussillon (Catalan: Rosseló), is still widely Catalan-speaking – and famous for its wines.
Today, Perpignan is still impressive, as its Catalan culture and tradition combined with French charm and the lightness of being.
Broad avenues are fringed with palmtrees and sycamores. The city’s cafés and alleys are brimming with life. Boutiques, baroque as well as futuristic, a tiny and slightly dusty Lafayette, modern galleries and shops for design invite to stay. The weekly market offers fresh spices, fruits, vegetables, fish, sausages and pastries. A thousand fine smells and colours combine to form an irresistible temptation. History is waiting just around the corner: Cloister and museums, churches and chapels, processions and music.
Perpignan – it is here and there, today, tomorrow and yesterday, traditional and open-minded. Spring or autumn, summer or winter – we always enjoy returning to Perpignan, drifting through the alleys of the Old Town, having the occasional glass of wine and some tasty French delicacies. The French know how to cook and to enjoy life, after all.
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