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If you are planning a trip to Perpignan, car hire is an ideal way to expand your travels...
Called the "centre of the world" by Spanish painter Salvador Dali, Perpignan is located in France's deep south and is the capital of the Pyrenees Orientales department in the region of Languedoc Roussillon.
It's a border city between the Mediterranean coast and the French Pyrenees, with a Catalan cultural tradition and history directed towards Spanish Catalonia. Catalan arts and traditions are on show in Casa Pairral and the Musee des Artes in Perpignan. The Spanish and Catalan cultures are alive in the city today when it hosts regular bull fights.
The area is known for its Cathar history, a Christian movement that originated from countries around the Black Sea and spread to Western Europe. It existed in Languedoc Roussillon between the 11th and 13th century, but was destroyed during the Albigensian Crusade and Inquisition. Castles and museums dedicated to Cathar culture are dotted around the Languedoc region.
St Jean Cathédrale, dedicated to St John the Baptist, dominates the city centre. It dates from 1354 when construction began during the reign of King Sancho of Mallorca. The Campo Santa cemetery is part of the cathedral and is the largest cloister graveyard in France.
The Palace of the Kings of Mallorca vies with the cathedral in dominating the city centre. The Kingdom was absorbed into the Crown of Aragon in the mid-14th century. The Aragonese King Ferdinand the Catholic built the Château de Salses as a fortress just 15 kilometres outside of Perpignan.
Commercial life in Perpignan has always been connected with the sea. La Loge de Mer is a Gothic building dating from the 14th century and has been a chamber of maritime commerce, a mayor's office and centre of local government.
Arrange Perpignan car hire for a pick-up on arrival at Perpignan Llabanere Airport (PGF). This airport is also known as Rivesaltes and is just a five-minute drive from the A9 motorway (autoroute) between France and Spain. Perpignan city centre is just five kilometres away. You can also collect your car rental in one of the city's downtown locations.
To find the best place for cheap car hire in Perpignan use TravelSupermarket's search tool.
Branch out from the historic city of Perpignan to taste the unique flavours of this slice of Europe...
You've picked up your car rental and the open road awaits. So where will you see next?
Drive to any of the splendid beaches around Perpignan during hot summer days or sunny, mild winters. You might not fancy stripping off and sunbathing in the winter months, but with daytime temperatures rarely dropping into single figures, you are certain to enjoy pleasant walks along the waterfront.
Elsewhere in the Languedoc Roussillon region, you could visit the historic seaside town of Collioure. Collioure, on the Mediterranean coast southeast of Perpignan, has been the city's main port and today is a thriving tourist centre. It is one of a number of fishing villages stretching along 20 miles of beaches on the Cote Vermeille to the Spanish border.
At the right time of year a visitor may enjoy skiing in the mountains inland and hop down to the coast for water skiing in the afternoon. The peaks of the Pyrenees are easily accessible from Perpignan and at any time of the year, and the Little Yellow Train, Le Train Jaune, will deliver even non-skiers into the glorious surroundings of the mountain vistas. Drive just 45 minutes inland from Perpignan to Villefranche-de-Conflent and hop aboard the tourist train, which travels deep into the Tet Valley and climbs more than 1,200 metres.
Alternatively, you could cross the Spanish border and visit places such as Figueres and Cadaqués on the rugged Costa Brava, home of one of Perpignan's most famous fans, Senor Salvador Dali.
Read our tips on driving in France and watch our video to get the most out of your trip...
Cars in France are similar to those in the UK, however it's worth remembering that you have to drive on the right. Lots of the motorways are toll roads so make sure you have change readily available and many of the petrol stations are cash only. Fuel is sold in litres and is called 98 and 95 octane for unleaded (sans plomb) and diesel is gazole or gas oil. Be aware that seatbelts are compulsory and speed limits are strictly enforced by radar cameras, and you're not allowed to use radar-detection equipment when driving in France, so disable any camera alert function on your sat-nav.
You are also required to keep a warning triangle and a reflective jacket in your vehicle, and new rules from July 1, 2012 mean anyone driving in France must keep an unused breathalyser with an NF logo in the car.