Vilabertran, Peralada and Castellò d'Empuries

This route is extremely pleasant by bicycle, see the google map reference below and can be combined with Figueres, lunch - there are lots of good restaurants in this area, or wine tasting in Garrigüella, Vilajüiga, or another Emporda bodega. Or a quick dip in the sea and a fish supper...For more spritely types, Empuria Brava is the place for 'night life' (i don't remember what that is exactly, but discos are involved).

Emporda Wine links:

information about the wines 

http://www.doemporda.cat/en/wineries.html

booking guided visits to bodegas

http://www.rutasdevinosemporda.es/visitas-bodegas-emporda-1-0.html

one to start with 

http://www.espeltviticultors.com/

Vilabertran Monastery

Information about this site before arriving is a closely guarded secret, but once you are in situ, a useful leaflet will find its way into your hands - in English, if there are any left...

There is also a little walk around the village - the leaflet in catalan can be downloaded - here it is to give you an idea. Presumably it is available in English once you've paid up!

http://www.mhcat.net/content/download/9382/73194/file/Vilabertran%2C+itineraris.pdf

The point is that it is a very pleasant visit on your route.

Dalí - Vilabertran

This is Dalí's Vilabertran Lake (Llac de Vilabertran) and belltower.

for the history and architectural details of the complex go to this link 

http://www.vilabertran.com/vb.php?ss=328424156d2f1554de808bfcc6cb6270&ap=a03s01p01

Last admission 30 minutes before closing time.

From 1 September to 30 Juny: from Thursday from Saturday: from 10 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 5.30 p.m.

Sundays and local holidays: from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

July and August from Tuesday to Sunday: from 10 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.

Closed on Mondays except public holidays, 25 and 26 December and 1 and 6 January.

Standard: €3,00 

Concession: €2,00 

Tuesdays and local public holidays, free of charge for all.

C/ Abadia, 4

17760 Vilabertran (Alt Empordà)

Tel.: 972508787

e-mail: 

vilabertran.cultura@gencat.cat 

This link has a nice introduction to the monastery, in English.

http://capcreus.com/vilabertran/vilabertran_uk.htm

Peralada

It is just 7 km 

from Figueres and 40 km from Girona. Here is a 

useful link for more information about the medieval village: 

http://capcreus.com/peralada/peralada_uk.htm

About 500 AC, a group from the Iberian tribe of indiketes built what would be the first walled village of Peralada.Transformed into the centre of a country from the Carolingian Empire in the 9th Century, Peralada became one of the main capitals of l'Empordà throughout the Medieval Age. From this bright period there are still many buildings and monuments left which make the delights of the visitor who discovers the secrets of a millennial village.

Still, most people only ever see Peralada on a warm summer's evening, dressed to the nine's en route to a concert in the castle grounds during the annual festival. And some don't go to the concert but stay in the 

casino

 or the al fresco dining terrace! The village is well worth seeing however, during the day, combined with other medieval villages.

Castle Museum of Peralada

 - here is what they say about themselves:

In Peralada the visitor has the opportunity to visit one of the most spectacular, private collections of Catalonia; the Castle's Museum, which is located inside the antique Carme's convent.The cloister and the Gothic church are two of the convent's original dependencies that can be visited. A library with around 80.000 volumes and more than 1000 editions of El Quijote is another appeal of this visit, which follows with the Glass Museum, with on of the best and biggest collections of the world. And, eventually, the Wine's Museum, which was created in the 60's in the wine cellar where until that date Peralada's wines were produced. All the elements and objects exposed are from the wine's culture in any of its phases.
Timetable:From 1st July until 15th September. Guided visits every hour o'clock. Opened every day. From 16th September until 30th June. Opened every day save on Sundays and holiday's afternoons. On Mondays it is closed the whole day.

Cloister of Sant Domènec

This 12th century Romanesque monument is the sole vestige that remains of an old Augustinian convent. In 1578 it became the headquarters of the Dominicans.Worth noting in the cloister are the lowered arches, a feature that belongs to a later period, and the sculptures on the capitals of the columns with plant motifs and zoomorphic figures. 

Medieval walls

The town of Perelada had had two walled enclosures. There are still a few remains of the

ancient reduced fortification in the Carrer Sota Muralla, in the Carrer de les Monges and the Plaça de Sant

Domènec. You can see important fragments of the wall from the second fortification in El Carme convent. From 1000-1285 AD, Perelada was one of the main towns in the Empordà. 

Fire destroyed much of the town in 1285.

for the 

casino

http://www.casino-peralada.com/ing/index.asp

for 

wine

http://www.castilloperelada.com/en/

for the 

music and dance festival in summer

 - a wonderful experience, at night, outdoors.

http://www.festivalperalada.es/festivalperalada/programacion-2012/?lang=en

Castelló d'Empuries

File:Santa Maria de Castelló d'Empúries - Façana.JPG

Nice introduction link here: 

http://capcreus.com/castello/castello_uk.htm

Cycle route Vilabertran and Figueres villages

This is a route we did by road bike in April last year and thoroughly enjoyed - we were lucky with the wind! Highly recommended and you can extend or cut short as you feel like - just be careful to take a good map, as you wouldn't think you could get lost but believe me, you can!

https://maps.google.es/maps?q=castello+d'empuries&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x12ba61d9ab3cdd37:0x400fae021a467f0,Castell%C3%B3+d'Emp%C3%BAries,+Girona&gl=es&ei=1_OYUJy1IeiQ4gTCh4GAAw&ved=0CJ8BELYD

http://www.empordaturisme.com/en/Associats/Natural_Parks-188/PARC_NATURAL_DEL_CAP_DE_CREUS-29.htm