Perfectly placed Perpignan.

If you fancy a little relaxation in the sun this summer, how about a trip to Perpignan? It’s virtually on the French Mediterranean coast and a stone’s throw from the Spanish border. This buzzing city dates back to Roman times and is home to some beautiful gardens and parks, impressive buildings and a chic shopping area where you can spend a euro or two.

The setting is perfect for exploring too. Located in the region of Rousillon, you’ll find yourself driving by vineyard after vineyard whether you head to the striking Pyrenees Mountains or to the area’s azure coastline. Take a detour to the Parc Aquatic near St. Cypprien or to the Aquarium at Canet-an-Rousillon. If you want to stroll around a typical French seaside resort, try Angeles-sur-Mer.

You can’t get much further south in France than Perpignan. Barcelona is just a two hour drive away and, as Spain’s second and arguably most avant-garde city, is well worth the drive. You can stop off at one of the numerous Spanish resorts along the Girona coast too for some sunbathing and Sangria.

Low cost Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) flies to Perpignan from London Stansted and flybe (www.flybe.com) from Southampton.

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