|Monday||10:00 - 10:30 19:15 - 19:45|
|Tuesday||10:00 - 12:30 19:15 - 19:45|
|Wednesday||10:00 - 12:15 19:15 - 19:45|
|Thursday||10:00 - 13:00 19:15 - 19:45|
|Friday||10:00 - 10:30 19:15 - 19:45|
|Saturday||10:00 - 13:00 20:00 - 20:30|
|Sunday||10:15 - 11:00 16:00 - 20:00|
Perpignan is superbly positioned with mountains, sea and countryside all within easy reach. Nestled near the Mediterranean and the Spanish border, this southern French city offers a mix of culture thanks to a colourful history, which includes its position as a former royal capital in the middle ages.
Pick up your Avis rental car at Perpignan-Rivesaltes Airport and start exploring. Our offices are located on-site at the airport, so once you are off the plane, you can head straight to our counter, where our friendly team will be waiting to hand over the keys. From here it’s a short drive into the city of Perpignan, or you can journey on to discover the unspoilt landscape, rich heritage and atmospheric villages of south-west France.
The city centre of Perpignan is just ten minutes from the airport, via the D5G, and is a fantastic gateway to the south of France.
On arrival in Perpignan, begin your tour of the city at the Palais des Rois de Majorque, a huge attraction that sits in the old town. With obvious Spanish influence to its architecture, this was the city’s palace when it was the continental capital of the Kingdom of Majorca in the middle ages. Eventually the French took control of the region, when Spain formally ceded power over the city. The Cathédrale St-Jean, completed in the 1500s, also has many Catalan features.
The city’s old town is a labyrinth of streets and alleys, with many of the buildings adorned in pretty pastel colours. The town was once encircled by defensive walls, but the only remnants that remain are parts of the original red-brick gate – Le Castillet – which is still worth seeing.
Visit the folklore museum, Casa Païral, while you’re in town. It displays pieces from the city’s Catalan era, including bonnets and a 17th century kitchen.
Perpignan is well-known for its mix of Spanish, North African and French influences and is a very multicultural destination. This is especially evident in the local cuisine. A classic casserole is made with a mix of ingredients, including peppers, eggplants, saffron and tomatoes. Local escargot and dried ham are also found on many restaurant menus.
Start your exploration of south-west France in Perpignan.
From Perpignan, the south-west of France is easily accessible by car. Some of the country’s greatest treasures are just a short drive away.
Just over an hour via the A61 and A9, the fortified town of Carcassonne has served as the setting for numerous movies based in the middle ages. A Unesco World Heritage Site, this beautifully restored town features small winding streets and ramparts dotted with quaint shops and restaurants, drawing travellers from all over the world.
An hour north on the A9, the town of Béziers boasts a picturesque old town, and hides a rather violent history as a jumping-off point for the Crusaders. It also still features an annual bullfighting competition that draws huge crowds to the tiny town. The famous Canal du Midi, linking the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, can also be visited here.
Drive for 25 minutes south of Perpignan on the D914 to the charming seaside town of Collioure, situated close to the Spanish border. The colourful buildings and beautiful scenery made this town a favourite for many of the fauve painters, like Henri Matisse. Be sure to visit the Musée d’Art Morderne, and the impressive Château Royal.
Catalan and French flavours mix throughout this region. The main attractions are all within reach with the convenience of an Avis hire car from Perpignan Rivesaltes Airport.