Walk the region : Urban Canals in Perpignan

The charming alleyways and streets of Perpignan city centre are ideal to ‘flâner’ (stroll or meander). But if you fancy seeing a different side to city life, we’ve got an urban hike just for you.

Key Info

  • 5km (there and back)
  • Easy, mostly flat, well-marked path
  • Shady and protected from the wind
  • Additional circuits can easily be added (or removed!)
  • GPS: 42.681439, 2.892720


Park in the carpark behind KFC at the north end of Porte d’Espagne. The walk starts along the cycle path, which can be found off the main roundabout, running to the northwest corner of the carpark and then along the canal, sign posted Les Arcades.

urban canals

The walk

Follow the cycle path along the canal, passing around the back of Castorama and the tennis/squash/padel club, le Mas, until you reach the Aqueduc des Arcades.

L’aqueduc des Arcades

urban canals

Built between 1368 and 1378, the aquaduct is 300m long, 4m wide and 13m high. Its 21 arches brought water from the Têt river in Ille sur Têt to Perpignan, supplying the mills, the fountains and a noria, a bucket wheel that brought water to the royals in the Palais des Rois de Majorque.

When the path crosses over the train tracks, turn right and pass under the aqueduct to a pleasant grassy area and follow signs for Serrat d’en Vaquer.

You will climb up to meet the canal and then cross the bridge over the D900.

Over the other side, turn right and follow the road to the roundabout by the 4* hotel, Villa Duflot, still following signs to Serrat d’en Vaquer.

Cross the roundabout diagonally to the walkway and follow the path as it gently climbs across scrubland.

urban canals

This path comes out at the top of the road, continue straight over to the former military and paleontological site of Serrat d’en Vaquer.

urban canals

Serrat d'en Vaquer

urban canals

Set on the highest hill of the Roussillon plain, this 19th century fortress was built to protect Perpignan from Spanish invasion. Walkers can enjoy panoramic views of the Mediterranean and the mountains.

Despite its name, meaning ‘Hill of Cows’, dog walkers should beware of the proud shepherd occasionally attending his flock of sheep, and his protective sheepdogs. Walkers should also be aware that they may not be the only visitors to this historical site, which is also a meeting and pick up point for men in search of a different type of exercise!

Open every day from 10am to 8pm

After your visit, come back to the gated entrance and follow the footpath around the moat (in either direction!) giving incredible panoramic views of the mountains and the sea.

urban canals

The surrounding landscape is marked by the fire of 22nd July 2022 and from the higher vantage point, you can see just how close the flames came to the shopping centre (Leroy Merlin in particular!).

urban canals

Retrace your steps back to the car, and if you need refreshments, there’s the full range of fast-food options along the Porte d’Espagne. Or head into the town centre for something more authentic.

Optional additions

If you’re still feeling spritely up at Serrat d’en Vaquer, you can take the footpath down to Auchan shopping complex carpark, cross over and rejoin the canal, which then runs through to Canohès and beyond (Chemin des Carlettes)!

urban canals


  1. Prachtige beschrijving van een mooie en afwisselende wandeling die we zelf al ettelijke keren deden in beide richtingen (met hondje) – doordat we een vaste stek hebben in Perpignan en daar onze vakanties doorbrengen!
    (Wonderful description of a beautiful and varied walk that we ourselves have done several times in both directions (with a dog) – because we have a permanent place in Perpignan and spend our holidays there!)

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