France road trip: Perpignan, Cathar castles and the Spanish border

This spectacular two-week journey boasts Pyrenean peaks, hot springs, freshwater swimming and plenty of Spanish influence. Plus great food, of course
See the La Rochelle-Cognac and Lyon-Nice trips

Perpignan is the most Spanish of French cities. With its ginger-pink facades, lines of palm trees and packed fiesta calendar, it’s an attractive, passionate city, ideal for a beach holiday or to visit the caves and castles of ancient Roussillon. Spend a day exploring the Palace of the Kings of Majorca, visit the Hotel Pams and the Gothic La Loge de Mer.

Heading south towards Alénya, the Domaine Mas Bazan is a great place to stay, set among vineyards, orchards and a pool (doubles from €48 B&B), where there are also gites and chalets to rent.

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