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Dusty scrubland, crimson towns and scorching summer temperatures give Roussillon a distinctly Spanish flavour. Also known as French Catalonia, it incorporates busy beach towns and coastal villages along the Mediterranean as well as the abandoned abbeys and crumbling Cathar strongholds inland among the fragrant maquis. West of Perpignan, Roussillon’s only city, the Tech Valley and the Têt Valley offer a heady mix of picturesque villages and stunning mountainscapes.

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