Perpignan Airport Trains (PGF)
Perpignan Airport is officially known as the Perpignan-Rivesaltes Airport, due to its near proximity to the communes of Perpignan and Rivesaltes, and is also commonly referred to as the Llabanère Airport. It is found just 5km, or 3 miles northwest of Perpignan city, and in the Pyrénées-Orientales department of France. The airport is also just 13km from the Mediterranean Sea, and 40km from the border of Spain, north of the Spanish city Girona. Although the airport is a popular arrival point for a number of tourists and business professionals, it is one of the smaller French airports, and there is no airport train station. Railway connections are accessible by the local buses which serve the airport.
Perpignan Airport, recognised by its official airport code of PGF, currently has passenger traffic of around 400,000 per annum (slightly less in 2010), but has the capacity for up to 700,000 passengers every year. There is just a single terminal building at the airport, covering an area of about 1,700 square metres, and with all the basic facilities required by arriving and departing passengers. The airport is also served by several important airline companies, including Air France, Ryanair, Flybe and Bmibaby, which fly to national and international destinations. Arriving passengers will not find a train station on the airport grounds, as most of the smaller French airports do not have the traffic to sustain their own railway station, but the train station in Perpignan can easily be reached by bus.
The bus stop of the airport is found just outside of the arrival area, and the buses are available after each arrival flight. They leave the airport approximately fifteen minutes after each plane has landed, and take passengers to the Perpignan Train Station and to the main bus station of the city. The trip by bus is only fifteen minutes to the bus station, and a further five minutes to the train station. Passengers can buy tickets from the bus driver, and a single journey will cost around 4.50 Euro. The buses are operated by the company Courriers Catalans, and are considered to be a convenient and comfortable way to reach the city of Perpignan from the airport.
From the main bus station of Perpignan, there are local and regional buses which travel to all areas of the city, as well as to other nearby towns. There are bus services which cost just 1 Euro to reach any of the stops nearby Perpignan, including Cerbère (Service 400), St Cyprien and Banvuls-sur-Mer via Argelès-Plage (Service 422) and Céret and Argelés (Service 401). However, many people in France prefer to use the country’s excellent railway network to move from one city to another, and there are plenty of options from the Gare de Perpignan, or the Perpignan Train Station. A variety of trains serve France, including the high-speed TGV trains which travel between the larger cities of the country, the Lunéa (night service) trains, intercity services and the TER local services. Only the TGV trains require an advanced reservation, as tickets for all other trains can be purchased on the day of travel. For the high speed trains, tickets can be reserved up to three months prior to your departure, and can be purchased online or from any of the train stations.
Railway activity in Perpignan dates back to 1858, when a new line opened between this city and Narbonne. Since then many improvements to the facilities have been made, and new lines opened, connecting Perpignan to the rest of France. The station is also quite famous for having been decorated by Salvador Dali, a Catalan painter, who also announced Perpignan to be the ‘centre of the world’ in a literal sense. One of his most loved paintings is ‘The station of Perpignan’. The railway station of the city is found at the physical address of 1 place Salvador Dali, 66027 Perpignan, and is about a mile from the middle of town. It is open during the following hours: Monday – 04:45 to 23:30, Tuesday to Thursday – 05:30 to 23:30, Friday – 05:30 to 00:30, Saturday – 04:45 – 23:30 and on Sundays and bank holidays from 05:30 to 23:30. From the city centre in an easterly direction, the station can be reached in about fifteen minutes on foot, however, the bus routes of 1, 2, 11, 15 and 20 all serve the station. Taxis will also bring passengers to the station from all parts of Perpignan, or from the airport.
Facilities at the Perpignan Train Station include the Le Buffet de la Gare, a restaurant open daily from 07:00 to 19:00, as well as Daly’s Croq, open 10:00 to 19:00 every day. Left luggage lockers can be found in the main hall, and pubic phones and cash machines are available. There is also a tourist office, and the station’s famous waiting room, where Dali was inspired. It opens every day of the week from 06:50 to 22:00.
Passengers of the Perpignan Train Station can use the intercity services (Téoz) to reach Limoges, Toulouse, Narbonne and Cerbère, the local TER Languedoc-Roussillon services to travel to Portbou, Narbonne, Montpellier, Nimes, Avignon and Villefranche-Vernet-les-Bains, and the night services (Lunéa) to reach Paris, Strasbourg/Luxembourg, Limoges and Nimes. TGV train services link Perpignan to Paris, Lille and Brussels. A popular journey by train is to Villefranche de Conflent, the starting point of the famous ‘yellow trains’ that travel through the spectacular scenery of Cerdagne.
Although there is no train station on the airport, passengers will easily be able to connect to the railway services offered from the Perpignan Train Station. Further details are available online, at http://www.sncf.com, or from the airport by calling +33 4 68 52 60 70.