Many centuries ago, back in the Middle Ages, Girona was a land of monasteries and small independent counties. Today, charming walled towns, castles, churches, squares and other architectural elements of great historical and artistic value bear witness to this period.
- Barri Vell (old quarter) of GironaGirona
- Cruïlles and MonellsCruïlles, Monells i Sant Sadurní de l’Heura
- Els Hostalets d'en BasLa Vall d’en Bas
- Former Santa Caterina HospitalGirona
- Historic mediaeval quarter of RipollRipoll
- Historic town of Castell d'AroCastell Platja d’Aro
- Historic town of Castelló d'EmpúriesCastelló d’Empúries
- Historic town of La Vall d'en BasLa Vall d’en Bas
- Historic town of LlíviaLlívia
- Historic-Artistic Complex of BegetCamprodon
- Historical centre of PuigcerdàPuigcerdà
- Historical centre of Santa PauSanta Pau
- Historical Complex of PeraladaPeralada
- Historical Complex of Sant Martí d’EmpúriesL'Escala
- Historical mediaeval enclosure of Sant Llorenç de la MugaSant Llorenç de la Muga
- Historical town of BredaBreda
- Mediaeval complex of BesalúBesalú
- Monumental complex of the old quarter of CerviàCervià de Ter
- Old Quarter of La BisbalLa Bisbal d’Empordà
- Old Quarter of MallolLa Vall d’en Bas
- Old quarter of PalsPals
- Old Quarter of the town of Sant Feliu de PallerolsSant Feliu de Pallerols
- Plaça MajorBanyoles
- The Hours TowerPalau-sator
- Bufalaranya Castle Roses
- Calonge CastleCalonge
- Castell de Sant Esteve de MarPalamós
- Castle - Palace of La Bisbal d'EmpordàLa Bisbal d’Empordà
- Castle and walled enclosure of HostalricHostalric
- Castle of CerviàCervià de Ter
- Castle of CreixenturriCamprodon
- Castle of La TrinitatRoses
- Castle of MontgríTorroella de Montgrí
- Castle of RocabrunaCamprodon
- Castle of Sant EstevePalamós
- Castle of Sant JoanLloret de Mar
- Castle of Sant JoanBlanes
- Castle of Sant PereRibes de Freser
- Finestres CastleSant Aniol de Finestres
- Hostoles CastleSant Feliu de Pallerols
- La Ciutadella de RosesRoses
- Mataplana Castle
- Mediaeval walled enclosureLlançà
- Mediaeval walled enclosure complex (Asset of National Cultural Interest)Palau-sator
- Mediaeval wallsBanyoles
- Montsoriu CastleArbúcies
- Montsoriu CastleSant Feliu de Buixalleu
- Park of Peralada CastlePeralada
- Querroig CastlePortbou
- Romanesque tower of LlançaLlançà
- Ruins of Solius CastleSanta Cristina d’Aro
- Sant Ferran CastleFigueres
- The walled enclosure of the Vila Vella (Old Town Centre)Tossa de Mar
- Torre Cavallera (Cavallera Tower)Camprodon
- Visigothic CastrumRoses
Traditional arts and crafts constitute one of the main cultural and historical attractions of the Costa Brava and the Girona Pyrenees. From a touristic, educational, intimate point of view, we want to offer the public an insight into the ancient professions and crafts that we can still find in the counties of Girona; be it because they are still practised, or because they were once practised and have left a visible mark on the region.
- Anna Santolaria Tura - VitralleriaGirona
- BastoneriaSant Julià de Llor i Bonmatí
- Bosquetà - pelador de suro Eloi Madrià i RouraCassà de la Selva
- Cadiraire Francisco Molina MejíaBordils
- Central Cooperativa de Terrissaires de BredaBreda
- Centre Artesà de la torneriaSant Hilari Sacalm
- Ceràmiques MarcóQuart
- Cisteller Jaume Puebla i GironèsSalt
- Cisteller Miquel Corney i CléCelrà
- Cistelleria LeoCalella de Palafrugell (Palafrugell)
- Escola de Ceràmica de la BisbalForallac
- Ferrer Josep Cruset i PlanellaMadremanya
- Ferrer Josep Llorà i ComesCervià de Ter
- Molí de la FargaBanyoles
- Puigdemont ceràmica artesanalLa Bisbal d’Empordà
- Terrisser Eloi Mora i BonadonaQuart
- Terrisser Josep Mestres i GumbauQuart
- Ventura & Hosta CartonsNavata
- Vilà Clara CeramistesLa Bisbal d’Empordà
- Location - Cadaqués Calonge Cantallops Capmany Cistella Colera Cruïlles, Monells i Sant Sadurní de l’Heura Espolla Garriguella La Selva de Mar Mollet de Peralada Palamós Pau Peralada Rabós d’Empordà Sant Climent Sescebes Torrent Vall-llobrega Vilajuïga Vilamaniscle
- AV BodeguersVilamaniscle
- Bodegas Mas VidaCistella
- Castell PeraladaPeralada
- Celler Arché-PagèsCapmany
- Celler Bell-LlocPalamós
- Celler Can SaisVall-llobrega
- Celler Cooperatiu d’EspollaEspolla
- Celler Hugas de BatlleColera
- Celler La VinyetaMollet de Peralada
- Celler Martin FaixóCadaqués
- Celler Mas EugeniCalonge
- Celler Pere GuardiolaCapmany
- Cellers d'en GuillaRabós d’Empordà
- Clos d'AgonCalonge
- Cooperativa Agricola GarriguellaGarriguella
- Espelt ViticultorsVilajuïga
- Gran RecosindCapmany
- Mas LlunesGarriguella
- Mas OllerTorrent
- Masia SerraCantallops
- Sota els ÀngelsCruïlles, Monells i Sant Sadurní de l’Heura
- Terra RemotaSant Climent Sescebes
- Vinyes d'OlivardotsCapmany
- Vinyes dels AspresCantallops
- Mas EstelaLa Selva de Mar
Next time, i'll take the camera, these pictures don't do it justice. In November, the leaves hadn't fallen yet, the Devesa wood still green and sunlit and the first stalls were selling stacks of mint, coriander and jerusalem artichoke (freshly culled from the river banks?!). On Saturday and Tuesday mornings it transforms from this peaceful park, to a riot of jostling elbows and determined grandmas. And it's a pleasure to compete. There's enough for everyone and time too. Don't miss it. You walk from the centre of town to the edge of the wood and eventually have to make a decision....left or right along the Ter river bank. Left, those handbags look quite interesting, and the scarves....but look right and the stalls go on forever....maybe there isn't enough time after all....
This is the route you will follow with your audioguide if you want and is a very enjoyable visit. The diagram is from the leaflet you'll be given at the door. 5€ the last time i looked, well worth it. I'll add more information soon...!
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
booking guided visits to bodegas
one to start with
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!
The point is that it is a very pleasant visit on your route.
This is Dalí's Vilabertran Lake (Llac de Vilabertran) and belltower.
for the history and architectural details of the complex go to this link
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.
Tuesdays and local public holidays, free of charge for all.
C/ Abadia, 4
17760 Vilabertran (Alt Empordà)
This link has a nice introduction to the monastery, in English.
It is just 7 km
from Figueres and 40 km from Girona. Here is a
useful link for more information about the medieval village:
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
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.
music and dance festival in summer
- a wonderful experience, at night, outdoors.
Nice introduction link here:
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!
Museum of Cinema
See 'Original Version Cinema' post in 'Days Out' section for more.
From Chinese shadows to the Lumière brother's camera, there are many fascinating and amusing inventions that you can now see in Girona at the Museum of the Cinema. One of the Europe's most important collections and a visit recommended for everyone and all ages.
City of Girona History Museum
The aim of Girona City History Museum is to show the evolution of the city, starting with the first human remains found in the area and continuing right up to the transition to democracy after the Franco dictatorship, and to portray the society that brought it all about. The fourteen exhibition rooms, arranged in chronological order, are complemented by theme rooms such as those dedicated to industrial Girona/pioneer city, sardana dancing and cobla bands, and contemporary Girona. It's more interesting than it sounds! The website is also very clear, informative on Catalan history and in English!
- Before Girona
- Foundation of the City
- Medieval Girona
- Modern Girona
- The Napoleonic War
- 19th Century
- Art Nouveau andNoucentisme
- Dictatorship and 2nd Republic
- Civil War and Dictatorship
- Bombs over Girona
- Transition to Democracy
Jewish History Museum of Girona
The Museum's eleven galleries form an itinerary allowing visitors to learn about aspects of the everyday life, culture and history of the Jewish communities of Catalonia and of Girona during medieval times. It is housed on the site of the 3rd medieval Synagogue of Girona. The website also has lots of information on the different sections of the musuem. An enjoyable visit when you go to visit the 'call' or Jewish quarter of Girona.
Art Museum of Girona
A very pleasant, quiet place to visit, starting with pre-romanesque art pieces found mostly in the surrounding areas, going through the centuries up to the 20th and with explanations in each room of the pieces and the period, in English.
Collections of religious art showing liturgical art of the cathedral through its history. The most famous piece is the Tapestry of Creation - the cathedral audio-guide is worthwhile.
From the centre of Girona, head towards the church of Sant Pere de Galligants, off the Plaça de Sant Pere. The little road to the left of the church goes to the valley of Sant Daniel.
Another route is to find the Gironell Tower of the wall, which is a ruin and looks like blown up grey masonry (which is in fact what it is).
From here you can walk above and parallel to the previously mentioned road, then you veer off left into olive groves and follow the 'stations of the cross' in a bucolic setting, to arrive at Sant Daniel Monastery. Before visiting the monastery you can walk a while, discovering various 'Fonts' or springs.
This is where you can find the 'Cul del Mon' restaurant where i sat and had a coffee with ice ('cafe amb gel') on an extremely pleasant, rural terrace.
If you're not interested in the monastery, you can walk here for supper one evening, earning your first drink on the way, and enjoying the cool of the evening on the way back.
I intend to put more specific directions here, but for now, you have only clues.
Motor over to this Romanesque monastery with its' fabulous views over the sea, arriving via Llança or Vilajüiga from Figueres. There's a little route of maximum an hour, around the out-buildings - where the kitchen gardens were, the hospital, where they did the washing, the abbot's palace etc. They have a good restaurant and cafe for a lunch break, naturally, which will be needed if you do the monastery and its' surroundings justice - there are plenty of walks starting from here and leaflets provided.
Go down to Port de la Selva for a walk and a coffee. Or head for Cap de Creus where there is a little cafe on the headland. You could stop off in Figueres on the way back if you haven't dawdled by the rocky shoreline, or Cadaques or Roses...
The History of Catalonia Museum, has this guide to the monastery.
And this is the museum link but it only seems to open in catalan
The Wall (the medieval one!)
The best introduction to Girona is to go to Plaça Catalunya, 5 minutes walk from the apartment, and from there start the walk around the old wall of Girona (la Muralla). The views are magnificent and you will get your bearings. You look down on the old town and in the distance might see snow in the Pyrenees.
The wall i am referring to here, the one in the photo, is the medieval wall. The Roman wall is a different circuit altogether - see Walks from Girona section.
Probably better to do the Roman wall walk first as it shows you the perimeter of the true beginnings of 'Gerunda'. The medieval wall meets the roman wall at a right angle at the Telegraph Tower (in the centre of the first photo below).
Sometimes, about half way along, the door in one of the towers is closed and you have to retrace your steps. If so, find time if you can, to go to the beginning of the other end of the wall, to be found near Sant Felix Church (Plaça de Sant Domenec) where you get another wonderful perspective on Girona old town and also some gardens to visit.
The wall takes you to the Cathedral, which you can pay a visit with an audioguide. There is the famous tapestry of the Creation inside and the church has the widest vaulted nave in Europe. The video of the different construction periods of the Cathedral is interesting.
These are near the Cathedral and are definitely worth a visit if there are no queues.
Again nearby. The Jewish museum is informative, if you have time and energy.
Sant Pere Galligants Monastery
This church and the Sant Nicolas Church in the same square are both marvellous examples of Romanesque architecture. There is a museum upstairs of archeological finds. There are cafes close-by for a much needed sit-down.
There's still time to go home for a siesta and shower, out again refreshed for supper.
First stop is usually the
in Figueres, followed by his house in
(Cadaques). This last has to be booked online and the museum ought to be also, to avoid queues. Added to these is the medieval
(near Flaça, and on the fantastic medieval villages cycle route), where Gala lived in the 1970's.
To this i would add 2 more 'sites'!
Mountain Sanctuary just outside Girona, again a popular cycle route, where the couple got married late in their relationship and last but not least,
Can Manolo's Restaurant
, in Girona, where they held their reception. Make sure you ask to be in the old part of the restaurant to get the full atmosphere (though the food is equally wonderful in the extension looking over the river).
While you're in Figueres you can visit the
ant Ferran Castle
, where Dalí did his military service and
Plaça de la Palmera
where he had a second home. On leaving Figueres look for the
Molí de la Torre
, a property which belonged to the Pitxot family and where Dalí learned to paint.
See website - thegarrotxa.com
Sant Andreu de Porreres (Olot)
Sant Marti d'el Clot
Sant Miquel de la Torre (Olot)
Sant Andreu de Socarrats (Olot)
Sant Llorenç d'Oix
Sant Miquel del Mont (Olot)
Santa Maria de Jonqueres (Beuda)
Santa Maria de Seguero (Beuda)
Volcanoes, Wetlands, Romanesque... Day Out 4
is the capital of the Garrotxa and in the middle of the National Volcanic Park. The town itself is compact, of some interest for its' modernist buildings, but nothing special, except for the
4 volcanoes in the centre
of town, waiting to be climbed and explored.
Start with 'Sant Francesc' as
is known, because of the church near its' crater - a quick up and down, passing the Stations of the Cross, before lunch, perhaps! You don't need more than an hour and a bit, going slowly.
After lunch i would recommend going to
to walk the
Croscat and Santa Margarida Volcanoes (
they are together from the same car park, signposted before arriving at Santa Pau from Olot). Santa Pau is a very attractive medieval village for a stroll and supper. Be aware, however, everything is served with 'fesols' here as the town is famous for its' small beans...
If you fancied something more shaded, the
area, again walkable from the centre of town, is extremely beautiful and takes an hour or so, plus time for refreshments on the Moixina restaurant terrace. This is a famous area for the Olot School of landscape painters.
Olot is a walkers' and cyclists' paradise, just need more time!
The Garrotxa area of the Girona province has loads to offer - Romanesque churches to visit, Roman roads to walk, mountains to explore.
I've been to Figueres loads of times, and never done a tourist route, but the shops are great and it's quite relaxing if you don't need to worry about parking - just pay! Quite a 'French' atmosphere...However, at this link there is a walking route and also clear explanations and useful stuff generally.
The Dali Museum
What can i say, apart from book your tickets online so you don't need to queue. It's very quirky, as a museum visit very entertaining and not just a rainy day activity.
Sant Ferran Castle
Situated atop a hill, at the end of Pujada del Castell, this is a large military fortification built in the 18th century under the orders of various military engineers, notable among whom were Pere M. Cermeño and Joan M. Cermeño. It occupies a surface area of 32 hectares within a perimeter running 3,120 metres, while the tanks under the parade ground can hold 10 million litres of water. Sant Ferran Castle, which could hold 6.000 men, is a first-rate heritage feature, the largest monument in Catalonia and the largest ramparted fortress in 18th century Europe. In the month of July 1997 it was opened up to the public on a regular basis with a guided visit service to show the fortress features. Its enormous size, sophisticated building techniques within the sphere of the period´s military engineering skills and its excellent state of preservation make a visit to Sant Ferran Castle a magnificent experience.
We visited this one sunny winter morning and it was a worthwhile visit although at the time there were no guided tours and not much information around. It's good for a walk at the very least and there is a little cafe for a refreshment. Actually a very interesting site and worth a visit while in Figueres. Combines well with a visit to the Dali museum in the afternoon (a must as they say).
Places near Figueres
A visit to the Monastery of Vilabertran, the medieval village of Peralada with its' castle and summer music and dance festival, Castelló d'Empuries and the citadel of Roses are all recommended options.