Cultural travel of landscapes, history and art – Girona and the Medieval Towns of la Costa Brava
Presentation: We present you a cultural trip to the north of Catalonia, a place full of art and history and of an attractive landscape that does not leave anyone indifferent. The main city we will visit will be Girona, capital of the province that bears the same name. Catalonia is divided into four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida and Tarragona; with capital in the cities that have that same name.
Girona is a small city that retains its charm and authenticity, but with all the facilities and attractions of a large city. We can enjoy it by taking a leisurely stroll through the historic center or visiting its monuments and museums.
Given that a third of the territory of the province of Girona is protected by its natural interest, we can get an idea of the beauty and the importance of its landscapes. In this trip we will enjoy especially the landscape of the famous Costa Brava. It can be said that this name was officially assigned on September 12, 1908, the day on which the journalist Ferran Agulló published this term in the pages of the La Veu de Catalunya newspaper to describe the rugged and rugged landscape that characterizes this coastal area.
Apart from its landscapes, it is an area full of small towns with a valuable architectural, historical and artistic heritage: Figueres, which shows the passing of the genius Salvador Dalí; Cadaqués and its picturesque white houses; or the medieval towns of Monells and Pals.
So we invite you on this interesting journey where we will combine landscape, architecture, history and friendship!
Day 1 - Let the journey begin: Barcelona - Blanes - Tossa de Mar - Girona
We will leave the Center Europeu at 8 am to head towards Girona. The trip starts going along the road that goes next to the coast to be able to observe the views from a good start, it will be a comfortable and quiet trip. We will also make some stops to rest or eat.
The first will be in the nice town of Blanes, the gateway to the Costa Brava. We will go to the historic center that combines the animation of commerce with the legacy of the old fishing village and summer town of the Catalan bourgeoisie. Once there, we will have a leisurely breakfast through the center or along the promenade.
We will return to our coach to start again until we reach Tossa de Mar, a jewel of the Costa Brava. We will visit the Vila Vella, the old medieval walled enclosure from the 13th century. Declared a national historical-artistic monument in 1931, it is the only example of a fortified medieval population that still exists on the Catalan coast and that preserves almost the entire original perimeter. Finally we will also stroll through the old fishing district and along the seafront to leave free time to eat in one of its delicious restaurants.
After eating, we will go to the capital of the province: the historic Girona, the city that will host us during this trip. Visiting its historic center allows us to know more than two thousand years of history from the Roman era – in the Força Vella nucleus – until the 15th century. In addition, it also has an interesting Jewish quarter, wonderful baroque spaces, and nineteenth-century constructions by Rafael Masó.
Upon arrival, we will start visiting the city. We will see its most important monument: the Cathedral, in the heart of the Força Vella, and we will make a piece of the round path of the 9th century walls to see a beautiful panoramic view of the city. The Cathedral is a huge building built between the 11th and 18th centuries, which shows the passing of the centuries and the evolution of the construction styles: Romanesque in the cloister and Charlemagne’s tower, Gothic in the nave and Baroque in the façade and the staircase. It should be added that the nave of the cathedral constitutes the widest vaulted Gothic space in the world: 23 meters. If we have time, we can walk through the arcaded squares and alleys of Girona to the Onyar River to observe the typical hanging houses. We will cross to the other side through the Puente de Piedra, the oldest bridge in Girona, to visit other houses and places of interest such as the Farinera Teixidor, a Noucentista building designed by the architect Rafael Masó i Valentí and built in 1911.
When we finish, we will return to our hotel in Barcelona.
Day 2 - Discovering the costa brava: Figueres - Roses - Cadaqués
Today, after having breakfast at the hotel, we will move towards the sea to discover the wonderful Costa Brava. Its territory begins in Blanes and ends in Portbou, bordering France. The term, first published by journalist Ferran Agulló in 1908, traditionally designates any abrupt and rocky coast. During the day today we will be able to check if this area has been baptized well.
But before reaching the Costa Brava, we will make a stop that will be very worthwhile: Figueres, the epicenter of the Alt Empordà territory and the birthplace of the great Salvador Dalí. It is located at the foot of the Pyrenees and surrounded by three natural parks; so during the coach trips we can also enjoy beautiful landscapes.
Once we reach the city center, we will take a short tour to locate ourselves and learn a little about its history. But the highlight will be a visit to the Dalí Theater-Museum. It was built on the ruins of the old Figueres Theater and opened in 1974. There we will be able to see various works to learn about Dalí’s artistic career: from his first experiences and his surreal creations, to the works of the last years of his life.
At noon, we will finally reach the Mediterranean Sea, the Costa Brava, to visit and eat in Roses, a bay with 3,000 years of history that is located within the Cap de Creus Natural Park. We will take a tour of its old town to learn about its history: the construction of the Citadel in the 16th century, the formation of the current nucleus with its 18th century church and the growth of this nucleus with very interesting modernist buildings.
After eating and enjoying the seafront we will go to the last visit of the day: the charming town of Cadaqués, of medieval origin. We will walk through its old town to see the remains of the wall; stepping on the old pavement of the town, the rastell; go through the narrow calle del Call or reach the highest point of the old town, the church of Santa María de Cadaqués, to enjoy beautiful views.
After strolling and relaxing in this beautiful town, we will return to our hotel in Barcelona to have dinner and gather strength for the next day.
Day 3- Medieval heritage: Monells - Peratallada - Calella de Palafrugell - Pals
Today is our last day and we will make the most of it! After having breakfast at our hotel and cheking out, we will take the bus again to discover the medieval heritage of some regions of Girona. Firstly, we will visit two charming little towns that conserve various spaces that remind us of their medieval origins: Monells and Peratallada. We will walk through the remains of walls and towers, arcaded squares and cobbled streets … highlighting the Peratallada Castle-Palace. A true journey through time.
To eat we will go again to the beach, to Calella de Palafrugell that has a variety of gastronomic offers and also, why not say it, being able to see the Costa Brava while one eats is a joy. After having strolled along its charming promenade with its fishing village airs, we will make our last cultural visit.
We will go to Pals, a town with one of the most beautiful medieval towns in the province. We will stroll through its cobbled alleys, between its sandstone buildings to see the castle, the church, the Visigothic towers … To say goodbye to our trip we will go to the Josep Pla viewpoint to contemplate the Empordà plain, the Montgrí massif and the Illes Medes de background.
With all these images in our memory we will start the journey back to Barcelona, making some stops to rest and stretch our legs. Upon arrival in Barcelona, we will say goodbye to our traveling companions with a great memory of these days.