Top 10 reasons to visit Girona
The province of Girona is always a safe choice for a getaway. When looking for a beach, Costa Brava offers you a long list of coastal towns with clean water coves. If mountain is your cup of tea, the Catalan Pyrenees beauty awaits you, with magical spaces like the Volcanic Zone of La Garrotxa. In between, the heritage of its capital, medieval villages, Romanesque art or Dalí’s legacy. After reading the following 10 reasons to visit Girona, you will not hesitate to pack your suitcase.
To get an overview of the town while travelling through time, you cannot miss the experience of walking its medieval wall. Due to its strategic situation, protecting Girona has been a constant worry throughout history. The original Roman wall was extended in the medieval period, which allows us nowadays to walk around it and along the most extensive sections of Carolingian wall (IX century) in Europe. When it is time to rest, we recommend the charming Hotel Montjuic B & B, a bourgeois house with panoramic view of the city and the Pyrenees. Unwind in its ergonomic beds with Egyptian cotton sheets, waking up every morning with a wonderful homemade breakfast.
In Girona’s Old Quarter, next to the Cathedral and the city walls, a small dome rises above a stone building: the Arab Baths lantern. Actually, it is a Christian building of Romanesque style, imitating Roman baths, Muslim baths and Jewish mikve’s tradition. Its most emblematic space is the "dressing room", including an octagonal pool above which a vault rises supported by columns. You may stay at the boutique Hotel Montjuic B & B in Girona itself, or find the charming El Racó de Madremanya, a lovely hotel in a medieval village, just half an hour away.
NATURAL PARK OF THE AIGUAMOLLS DE L'EMPORDÁ
Aiguamolls de l'Empordà is a Natural Park with the second most important wetland in Catalonia, after the Ebro Delta, and a prominent place for bird watching. This Park is located in the Alto Ampurdán region and it is a natural space, in which diverse ecosystems converge, such as beaches and coastal dunes, brackish lagoons, terraces, freshwater lagoons or rice fields. The best hours for watching the birds are at sunrise and sunset. After an exciting excursion day in “Aiguamolls de l'Empordà”, go back to the interior countryside and rest at Hotel and Apartments Can Clotas, or Hotel Torre Laurentii.
Girona is one of the key provinces for Romanesque Art in Catalonia and Spain. Starting with the capital, where its Cathedral, the Arab Baths or the Monastery of San Pedro de Galligans stand out. Dotting the rest of the province, you will find other manifestations of Romanesque art, very imposing sometimes and others simpler, but always perfectly integrated in the surroundings. Do not miss Santa María de Ripoll, Sant Pere de Rodes and Sant Feliu de Guíxols monasteries or the Church of Sant Pere de Figueres. Not far from Ripoll, in the heart of the Catalan Pyrenees, lies La Casassa de Ribes, ideal apartments for family travel.
LA GARROTXA’S NATURAL PARK VOLCANIC AREA
In the southern half of La Garrotxa’s shire, you will find the best exhibit of volcanic landscape in the Iberian Peninsula, formed by more than 20 basaltic lava flows and around 40 volcanic cones, the most important being Santa Margarita and Croscat volcanoes , both in the municipality of Santa Pau. The Natural Park covers 12,000 hectares, mostly soft relief and humid environment, where oak and beech trees stand out. It is an ideal territory for hiking and other outdoor activities, such as flying over volcanoes in a hot air balloon. Make it happen while staying at boutique Finca El Ventós or at charming Hotel Les Comelles.
CAMINOS DE RONDA
Caminos de Ronda are a series of paths that allow you to travel along Costa Brava’s shore without leaving the sea, passing by beaches, villages, natural parks, cliffs and the most hidden coves. Once used to alert from pirate attacks or to pursue smuggling, now they offer very pleasant walks by the sea. Among others, you may take the path from Sant Feliu de Guíxols to S'Agaró, from Calella de Palafrugell to Llafranc or from Sant Antoni de Calonge to Platja d'Aro. The latter goes through such idyllic places as the cove of Roques Planes, Cap Roig or the Pi. Right in the same Calonge village, your fine rest is assured in the charming Casa Rural Mas Roselló
Costa Brava, from Blanes to Portbou, on the border with France, includes a great variety of beaches and clear waters coves, but also coastal and medieval villages, archaeological sites and natural areas of great biological value. Do not miss Tossa de Mar with its beaches and medieval walls, try the prawns in Palamós, visit the fishing village of Calella de Palafrugell, travel to the Middle Ages in Pals, photograph the picturesque streets of Cadaqués, admire Cap de Creus or visit the Ampurias Greek and Roman sites. Enjoy Costa Brava with your family. Find everything you need at the charming Casa Rural & Apartamentos Rectoría de Regencós.
Salvador Dalí felt a great attraction for his motherland, the Ampurdán region, unintentionally drawing an imaginary triangle between his biography’s most representative villages: Figueres, Portlligat and Púbol. A Dalinian Triangle that allows us to unveil the most intimate universe of the Catalan surrealist artist. The starting point may be Figueres, where Dalí’s Theater-Museum is located, housing such interesting works as "The sex appeal spectrum” or Mae West’s room with its iconic Red Lips Sofa. In Portlligat, visiting Salvador Dalí’s House-Museum is a must and, closing the triangle, do not miss the Gala Dalí Castle in Púbol. Close by, you will find our adults only boutique hotel Encís d'Empordà, in a 16th century farmhouse.
NATURAL PARK OF ALBERA
To the north of the Alto Ampurdán region, Sierra de la Albera is a place of great natural interest since, being a transition territory between Spain and France, one can see species of both the Pyrenean Mountains and the Mediterranean. Registered as Natural Land of National Interest, it is home for emblematic species like the Mediterranean turtle. Also noteworthy are the megalithic monuments and a very rich architectural heritage, in the form of Benedictine monasteries, Romanesque churches, castles and medieval towers. Discover this little known gem while recharging your batteries at charming Hotel Can Xiquet.
An exquisite cuisine prepared with products from the orchard and the sea endorses the international recognition of its many Michelin-starred restaurants and a multitude of food houses that offer Catalan cuisine at its best. Several dishes stand out, such as butifarras, fuets, stews, farina soup, Empordà rabbit, snails, anchovies, Balig cod, xuxos or Olot carquinyols. Girona is home to the Celler de Can Roca, one of the world’s best restaurants. You will find out what eating well and resting really means at our boutique Hotel Ca L'Arpa, in Banyoles.