The Pyrénées Orientales is a small ‘county’ (département) of Occitanie – the new name for the region. It was previously part of the Languedoc-Roussillon until France recently rejigged its regions. It borders Catalan Spain and was actually part of ‘Catalonia' in Spain up until the 16th Century when the French fought back the Spanish border to where it is now. However, this area is fiercely proud of its Catalan roots. All place names are written in both French and Catalan, the food has a Catalan flavour, there are many local residents who hail from Catalan roots and have Catalan names. It is a very beautiful region, surrounded by both the lush Pyrénées which sweep right down to the coast and the wine-growing Corbières north of Perpignan, it's stylish, and lively capital. It has everything that its Mediterranean location has to offer – beautiful mountain scenery, its stunning ‘Vermillion’ coast stretching from the sweeping sandy beaches to the north to the little stony coves to the south snaking down to the gorgeous Costa Brava, miles of vine yards, a myriad of historic sights going back centuries to even 500,000 years (the ‘Tauteval Man’), pretty, lively towns, villages and ports, cartloads of culture having been a haven for renowned artists such as Picasso, Bérain and Matisse, varied sporting facilities on mountain, land and sea, a huge variety of cafés, restaurants, shops and boutiques, and of course, a wonderful sunny climate with a renowned 320 days of sunshine a year. So something for everyone. The best of both worlds is open to the visitor - France and Spain. It is a secret gem of France, unspoilt and undiscovered by the world. Ssshhh – it needs to be kept that way!