Wine Quote of the Week

"Days of wine and roses laugh and run away,
Like a child at play"
Johnny Mercer

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Accommodation for Visa pour l'image Perpignan

Salvadore Dali declared Perpignan to be the centre of the universe in 1963 as he was passing through the town, maintaining that he got all his best ideas in the waiting room of the train station!
In September , Perpignan will become centre of the photojournalism universe , when it will host the International Festival of Photo journalism, attracting the who's who of the business to exhibit their work.
The exhibitions, which are housed in beautiful historical buildings dotted around the city , will be held from 29 August until the 13th September.
If you are looking for a place to stay during the festival, there is a gem of villa near Collioure which is available for rent : an artists paradise, the villa is nestled in the hills surrounded by vineyards, with an uninterrupted sea view. This quirky unique villa is off the beaten track with no immediate neighbours, apart from the wildlife and the winemaker who will be harvesting the 2009 vintage at this time.
Contact us for more details at

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Beaches in the Perpignan area

I love the beach and with two small kids, we regularly pack up the car and head East to the beaches near our house in Perpignan. One of the fantastic things about living here is that it's possible to go to the beach 365 days of the year and there are plenty to chose from , all withing striking distance of each other.

Here's my take on the beaches in the PO, starting from the most Northern beach : Barcares , down to the most Southern beach on the Spanish border , Cerbere.

Barcares : Barcares is sandwiched between the lagoon and the med and is a long strip of over 12kms of sandy beach.
Because Barcares gets some wind, it's a popular place for wind water sports on the lake. This long stretch of sandy beach is never really crowded and you'll can find a quiet spot to sunbathe quite easily.

: A less developed resort, unspoilt. Not much facilities. One or two very good beach clubs.

Saint Mairie : A small beach with lots of snack bars and pizza joints. You don't go here for the cuisine. It has a nice little promenade with a small cute marina.

Canet plage : 2.5 kms of fine sandy beaches. Definitely the best beach for safe swimming with children, particularly on the Northern end , near the marina. Lovely promenade for strolling, roller blading, pram pushing. A local favourite, it's also got the best bars, nightclubs. It is the party place in the summer. Great market on the sea front every evening in the summer. Some excellent restaurants.

St Cyprien : A long sandy beach sliced in two by it's impressive marina. The second largest marina in the South of France, there are some excellent fish restaurants here. Aqualand also on the Southern end provides entertainments for the big kids. Nice prom again for strolling.

Argeles : Gets VERY busy in high season. Rough sandy beach. Panoramic views. New marina - lovely to breakfast here, watching the boats, just adjacent to the prom.

Racou : Hippy style hang out, reminiscent of Aussie laid back beaches

: A must visit when you are here, although the beaches are stony and small.

Port Vendres : Beautiful little coves, south of Port Vendres. Take a bit of scrambling to get down to them but worth it. Ideal for snorkeling, picnicking. Very sheltered when the wind is blowing

Banyuls : Another stony beach with a fine marina. Good snack bars on the beach that don't cost the earth.

Cerbere : This border town has a small stony beach - lovely laid back family atmosphere.

Check out our discovery and coastal tours on For the inside track.

Stag tours in Perpignan

We had another group of fine gentlemen with us for the weekend , celebrating the finals nights of freedom before the groom to be walked the short walk ...

The 11 lads stayed in Canet , close to the beach and were able to sample the lively nightlife that Canet has to offer. The weather was glorious for them and they enjoyed a weekend of sun, sea, sand and ... water sports

On Saturday , they wanted to do something adventurous , so we organised a full days adventure sports for them in the mountains , near Axat. They spent the morning rafting and the afternnon hydrotubbing down the rapids. Here's what they had to say:

We very much enjoyed the activities. The rafting was good fun. A pleasant introduction, not too taxing but certainly blew away the cobwebs. The hydroglidding was also great fun but much more energetic and we were all exhausted afterwards. Good equipment and supervision and it was lovely in the mountains and on the river.

Thanks also for all of your recommendations for restaurants. They all turned out very well indeed. A tip in return, the nightclub called Dark is best avoided but is your only option when one of your party is dressed as Britney Spears.

Julian Pollock, London, best man

Bonne Chance for the wedding from all thefrenchtourco team xxx

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Bouclier comes home to Perpignan

Don't ask how or why , but the precious Bouclier de Brennus ( the winners trophy for the French league) ended up in my back garden yesterday evening!
After doing the rounds of Perpignan, it has been engraved at last : 2009, U.S.A.Perpignan and the whole town is in a frenzy of delight!
It's a great boost for Perpignan, the city and USAP the club. The Perpignanaise are really not interested in any other sport, it's a rugby mania town where rugby is a classless sport, a bit like Limerick in Munster, where I am from.
And! more exciting news : Munster and Perpignan have been drawn in the same group for the Heineken Cup next year. This means a home and away match for Perpignan and Munster. We are already been plagued for tickets!!
Don't forget to contact The French Tour Co ( for all your travelling needs to Perpignan : tours, transfers, rugby tours, accommodation advice - we are Irish and on the ground here in Perpignan and have the inside track

Monday, June 8, 2009

Congrads to USAP

What a match, what a victoire, what a homecoming!
The USAP team arrived back to Perpignan last night to be greeted by 25,000 revellers lining the streets of this proud Catalan town (That's nearly one fifth of the whole population of Perpignan! )
They gathered in their throngs, singing, shouting, crying with joy, as their heroes lapped the city on open top buses, finishing up on the steps of the Castillet to a rapturous reception.

After making it to the finals three times since 1998 and not having won the coveted top place since 1955, this certainly is an event to celebrate!
The final score in the match was 22-13 - poor Clermont ferrand though , one can't help feeling sorry for this team, always the bridesmaid, never the bride: they have made it to the final 10 times, but have never come home with "le brennus"
Oh well, as they say , there's always next year!!
The celebrations will continue for many weeks here in the South of France .. well done boys, we are proud of you!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

C'mon USAP

Perpignan is awash with red and yellow flags; cars , buses, houses, apartments , even prams are adorn with the USAP colours this week as the city prepares itself for the final on Saturday of the 'top quatorze' - the french rugby league.

It's no mean feat for this small town of Perpignan to make it to the French final, knocking some big names like Stade Francais, Toulouse, Biarritz and others to make it down to the last two.
They meet Clermont Ferrand in Paris this Saturday night and the whole of Perpignan will be holding their breath for those 80 crucial minutes! Despite the rumours that are flying around, Dan Carter will not be playing in the final, although he is heavily involved in the training and coaching side of the preparation.
He's been injured since the 31 Jan and he still has 6 weeks convalesence before he can play again.
USAP really have proved themselves by making it to the final without him.

The French Tour Co cheer you on guys! Allez USAP!

Contact us for details on our rugby tours - we have contacts with the local rugby clubs and can organise matches and rugby events for your group.