Postcard from Perpignan
We’re not too sure why, but shortly after the clocks changed and the nights start drawing in, we’re still full of energy. We’ve come to Perpignan for the weekend and we can’t seem to sit still!
We’ve been on the go from the minute we got here, so we decided to write a bit of a different sort of Postcard today. Today’s Postcard should really be called 10 things you must do if you go to Perpignan. In this blog post, we want to take you on a whistle-stop tour round what we think are the best places to visit in Perpignan.
The Castle de Salses
The Chateau de Salses, often also called the Forteresse de Salses is a classified as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture. Located only 15kms from Perpignan, it welcomes over 100,000 visitors a year. A Catalan fortress that dates back to the end of the 15th century, it oozes strength and domination and is well worth a full day out if you have time to spare. There are plenty of standard “castle-related” things to do, but they have really pulled out the stops to blend together the historic importance of the building with modern day activities and exhibitions. In our view, this is a ‘must see’.
A trip on the ‘Train Jaune’
The little yellow train is hailed as one of the great railway journeys in the world and if you’re in this neck of the woods, it would be a shame to miss it. Dating back to the early 1900s its journey arguably takes you through some of the most stunning scenery France has to offer. Although you’ll need to take a train from Perpignan to Villefranche de Conflent, or drive there to join the train, it’s well worth the effort.
Le Palace des Rois de Majorique or The Palace of the Kings of Majorca makes a great destination if you fancy walking about in the cool and calm of a 12th century palace, complete with fort and enchanting gardens. It also sports some of the best views of the city. In fact we enjoyed a lovely picnic in the grounds, and it seemed like the whole place belonged to us.
The Old Cathedral
The Cathedrale St-Jean in Place Gambetta in Perpignan is calm and serenity personified. We visited on the Sunday and were completely blown away by a Latin mass that seemed to fill the air with a chill that was spellbinding. We didn’t even know that the mass would be on, but it was wonderful.
The Castillet in Perpignan has a chequered history, having at one time been the town prison and now a well thought out exhibition centre. Right on the edge of the old town, my favourite part of the visit (thanks to my love of everything food related) was the replica kitchen that dates way back and really gets your mind racing about how they managed back then. At only 2 euro it’s a cheap venue and offers great views from the tower.
Just to the south of the old town you’ll find Perpignan’s Citadel. It’s a remarkably grand affair and was built in the 17th and 18th Centuries. Playing host to the Palace of the Kings of Majorca, the Citadel is in the form of a star and again offers great views of the city as well as a real and comprehensible insight into how places like Perpignan defended themselves in years gone by.
The River Basse that runs through the city is a hive of interest and activity where you can either sit and watch the world go by, take to the river by boat or just wander it’s length and enjoy. Either way, it’s well worth a visit and, like us you’ll probably be surprised at how canal-like it is.
The Markets in Perpignan
Any regular reader of this blog will know how much we love the markets wherever we go. With a whole range of markets from Marché de la République, to Cassanyes, Saint Martin, Moulin à Vent, Clodion and Haut Vernet, you’ll be able to feed and clothe yourself every day of the week at the lively and colourful Perpignan markets.
Perpignan Street Cafés
Not surprisingly in Perpignan, you won’t be spoilt for choice when it comes to une petite pause al fresco style. Again, you all know how much we love our morning coffee, little glass of white with lunch and evening apero outside a café. In Perpignan we weren’t disappointed. The café that most drew us was Le Grand Café de la Poste. A bustling spot with impromptu music, we loved the welcoming feel, the reasonably priced drinks and the great choice of wines.
If you fancy taking a bit more than a short trip to Perpignan and the surrounding area and would like to find out more about living there on a full-time basis, or buying a holiday property there, why not get in touch? We’d be delighted to help you sniff out the best deal for your budget and needs. In the meantime, why not take a look at some of the properties for sale near Perpignan.