Our Hotels in Perpignan
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Things to Do in Perpignan
It might not be the "Centre of the Universe", as proclaimed by artist Salvador Dalí – he's immortalised with a giant statue outside the train station where he claimed to have his best ideas – but Perpignan is at the centre of a triangle formed by Toulouse, Montpellier and Barcelona, blending the best of several worlds in one charming city. The capital of the Pyrénées-Orientales département, also known as Catalogne Nord, boasts a history stretching back over 1,000 years, experiencing the peak of its influence as the continental capital of the Kingdom of Majorca in the 13th and 14th centuries, a legacy still visible in striking monuments today. Together with its historic centre, where narrow streets are lined with lively bodegas and colourfully painted mansions, and its parks and broad avenues shaded by palm and plain trees, the city beside the Têt river more than earns its label of Ville d'Art et d'Histoire. Perpignan's enviable location – at the foot of the Pyrenees, just a few kilometres from broad, sandy Mediterranean beaches and surrounded by delightful villages – makes it more than worth a longer sojourn. You'll find the ideal accommodation for your stay in Accor's portfolio of the best hotels in Perpignan.
Things to Do Around Perpignan
We suggest you start your tour of Perpignan attractions at a vestige of the medieval fortifications that once protected the city during Franco-Spanish conflicts: the Castillet is an imposing red-brick city gate with Moorish-style turrets – climb the 142 steps to the top for views over terracotta rooftops and visit the resident Casa Pairal Museum to learn more about Perpignan's eventful history. A stroll through the old town's warren of narrow streets and shady squares brings you to Perpignan Cathedral, named for Saint John the Baptist, a soaring Catalan Gothic edifice adorned with dramatic paintings, vivid stained glass and a lavishly intricate altar. You have a good view of the cathedral's rather spartan exterior and its open bell tower from the adjoining Campo Santo, a 14th-century funerary cloister, whose broad open courtyard comes alive to concerts in summer. The short-lived Kingdom of Majorca had its seat in Perpignan for nearly a century. Built at the behest of Jacques II, the Romanesque-Gothic Palace of the Kings of Majorca was begun in the 14th century and features an ensemble of sumptuous rooms around a large courtyard. Views from the rooftop terrace stretch as far as the snow-capped Pyrenees. Several voluptuous female nude sculptures by Aristide Maillol, born in nearby Banyuls-sur-Mer, are dotted around Perpignan, and his work is an integral part of the collection at the Hyacinthe Rigaud Museum, housed in a pair of elegant mansions, which features locally focused artworks from the Gothic era to the present.
Dining in Perpignan
No matter which one of our hotels in Perpignan, France, you choose, you're only a few kilometres from the Mediterranean, and convenient bus connections mean idyllic beaches are within easy reach even without a car. What's more, 300 days of sunshine per year make Perpignan a perfect destination for family holidays by the sea. The golden sands of the beach at Canet-en-Roussillon stretch for nine kilometres alongside clear waters where you can swim, kayak or windsurf, or for something more contemplative, follow the nature trail past reed-built fishing huts to spot flamingoes on Canet-en-Roussillon pond. If you fancy an evening flutter, Canet casino has a big choice of table games and slot machines. For a more secluded setting, head further north to the quaint Catalan village of Torreilles and its namesake beach for several kilometres of fine sand sheltered by wild dunes. The trip from Perpignan to Collioure is only around 25 minutes by car or train – make the journey and you'll see why this delightful fishing village was an inspiration to the likes of Matisse and Picasso, whose works are on show at the compact Musée d'Art Moderne. Wander narrow lanes amid vibrantly painted stone houses to the photogenic harbour bobbing with traditional fishing boats, before trying the renowned local specialty, anchovies, at a waterside eatery. To experience the mountains, valleys and plateaus of the Pyrénées-Orientales, board the legendary Yellow Train, which travels the 63 kilometres between Villefranche-de-Conflent and Latour-de-Carol, climbing over 1,000 metres in altitude every trip. In open-top carriages you'll pass mountain villages, ancient churches, a lofty viaduct and France's last suspension railway bridge, all against a backdrop of mighty Pyrenees peaks. Your hotel in Perpignan is also an ideal base for hiking the 50 trails covering around 3,500 kilometres in the surrounding countryside, from gentle coastal strolls to challenging mountain treks. Hiking trails for various levels lead up the towering Pic Canigou, the Catalonians' "sacred mountain", for spectacular Pyrenean panoramas.
The Best Hotels in Perpignan
Catalan specialties take pride of place on the menus of the best restaurants in Perpignan, whether you're dining at a haute cuisine establishment, on a terrace on a charming old-town square or in a buzzing, low-key tapas bar. Escalivada (smoky grilled vegetables), boquerones (fresh anchovies), grilled botifarra pork sausages with white beans, and picolat meatballs are among local favourites. Artisan stalls at the Les Halles Vauban covered market are piled high with cured serrano ham, goat's cheese and local olives, as well as sweet treats like turrón nougat or crumbly, ring-shaped rosquilla biscuits. Outstanding wines from the rich Roussillon terroir include red, white and rosé Collioure, white Muscat de Rivesaltes, often drunk as an aperitif, and fortified Banyuls, a beloved dessert wine.
When to Visit Perpignan
Make your reservation direct through the ALL Accor website for the best deals on Perpignan hotels. For a touch of luxury, book our stylish 4-star hotel with a sauna and fitness suite handy for all the best activities right in the centre of Perpignan. Travelling with the family and need a little extra space? Stay at our all-suite hotel overlooking the lush Parc Municipal. If you're combining business with pleasure, our selection of the best places to stay in Perpignan includes hotels with meeting facilities that double perfectly as coworking spaces. As well as stylish budget hotels in the centre of town, we also have properties offering value bed-and-breakfast packages if you'd like to be close to the motorway, but still within easy reach of the best places to visit in Perpignan. You can also choose from our 3- or 4-star hotels with swimming pools nestled amid the vineyards of Rivesaltes, north of Perpignan.
Getting to Perpignan
With its warm and sunny climate, Perpignan is a pleasant tourism destination year round, and swimming at nearby beaches is enjoyable from around May to September. Among the regular events that draw visitors are the colourful Procession de la Sanch religious parade on Good Friday; the Feux de la Saint-Jean, with celebrations of Catalan culture on 23rd June; July's Festival Été 66 featuring concerts in an array of genres at landmark venues including the Palace of the Kings of Majorca; and the Visa pour l'image festival in August and September, which sees photography exhibitions scattered around the historic city.
Budget airlines from France, the UK and Europe service Aéroport Sud de France Perpignan, about 10 minutes' drive from the city, from March to October. Fast, direct TGV train services connect Perpignan to major cities including Paris (5 hours), Lyon (3.5 hours) and Barcelona (an hour and 20 minutes). The drive from Barcelona takes slightly over 2 hours, and from Paris about 8.5 hours.