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Fin de saison (end of summer) is a perfect time to visit Perpignan in southwest France, even if that notorious tramontane puffs sand in your face on the beach or blows you off your bike. This northwesterly wind is in fact a milder version of the infamous mistral which I well remember interrupting langorous summers in Provence. Luckily the tramontane only visits occasionally, blasting the sky a clear blue to leave a toasty autumnal sun and golden light.


It’s not exactly idyllic as a seaside destination but if you’re staying in Lisbon and fancy a hit of surfing, a swim, a chilled Sagres beer to aid contemplation of the waves or just the sand between your toes, then this is where to go. It’s barely 20 minutes by car or taxi across the 25 de abril suspension bridge – a bit longer by bus from the Praça de España in central Lisbon, or via ferry then bus from Cacilhas / Almada (see my blog here). Destination? the Costa da Caparica.