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Framed by the peaks of the Pyrenees, Perpignan radiates out from the tight knot of the old town's warren of alleys, palm-shaded squares and shabby tenements painted in shades of lemon, peach and tangerine.

Historically, Perpignan (Perpinyà in Catalan) was capital of the kingdom of Mallorca, a Mediterranean power that stretched northwards as far as Montpellier and included all the Balearic Islands. The Mallorcan kings’ palace still stands guard at the southern end of the old town.

Perpignan is 13km west of the Mediterranean coastline and 38km north of the border with Spain; this proximity means the town is strong on fiestas.

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