The last major town in Languedoc before the Spanish border, it’s easy to see why the flavour of Perpignan is essentially Catalan. There’s a real mix of cultures in this corner of the region: Catalan, Romany and North African all co-exist in this sunny city of palm-lined squares. For the visitor, it’s useful to know that this is not only one of the best places in the region to sample local food and wine but also a city with a relatively busy airport that has several handy air connections overseas. However, it does lack buzz – Barcelona is too close and too big a rival for little Perpignan to hit the big time.

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