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Anyone who likes festivals and almost non-stop music and events will want to head for Perpignan, a destination in the south of France and close the border with Spain. The summer months ring loud with celebration and entertainment and the warm sunshine is tempered by the cooler breeze blowing from the Mediterranean Sea.
Music, theatre, dance and film combine with exhibitions, fairs and markets, all rubbing shoulders with splendid architecture and museums, churches and monuments which display the great heritage of the former capital of French Catalonia. Gardens of exotic flowers, plants and palm trees provide peaceful havens to relax after the whirl of festival excitement.
Outside the city is stunning countryside with evocative mountain castles belonging to the region’s fascinating Cathar history, the soaring Pyrenees which separate France from Spain, and many little towns and villages on the Mediterranean coast for swimming, water sports and fine dining. Catalan gastronomy is based on fish and meat with its own unique take on recipes, and pastries and desserts are unfailingly delicious.
Perpignan is an ideal destination for visitors who like to get involved in local life as well as spend time exploring further afield. Museums are full of the region’s heritage, and the more energetic will head for the mountains for hiking, biking and climbing.
Spain is a short drive or train journey away for a different day out and a change of culture, and driving the steep and winding coastal route is an experience in itself.