Gerona is a city in the northeast of Spain on the Costa Brava, near the French
border. It is a beautiful city where you get a real feeling for its history just
by walking through its ancient streets. Its a walled city which dates back to
the Roman period, the old quarter is located within the city walls. There is a
well known stretch of houses, built in the 19th century, which make up the part
of the city wall destroyed by the French in 1807 while the city was under siege.
The province of Gerona is spectacular. The coast, the Costa Brava, is breathtaking. The small coves and natural beaches surrounded by rocky mountains covered by pine trees and other vegetation are characteristic of this coastline. Tourism opportunities abound. There are a number of delightful small fishing villages where you can relax, enjoy tranquility and eat extremely well. The interior part of the province is made up of quiet mountain villages (skiing is popular in winter). You can also visit Roman churches and monasteries of which there are hundreds (Puigcerdà, Ripio, Sant Joan de les Abadesas).
Places to visit in the city of Gerona
Walking: The city is easy to explore on foot as it is not very
big. You could start at the northern edge of the city, where the Roman city wall
begins, this is called the 'Passeig Arqueològic' (the archeological walk). Within
the wall you can still see the remains of a Roman road, built to connect Rome
to Tarragona. Continuing along the wall you can visit the old quarter, seeing
on the way churches, the Banys Arabs (Arabic baths), the Cathedral, museums and
lastly the old Jewish quarter. Once out of the old quarter you can have a stroll
around la Rambla de la Libertad, a street where you can find all sorts of shops,
boutiques, restaurants and fashionable cafés.
Churches and Cathedral in Girona
- The Cathedral: (12th - 13th century), gothic
except for the Western facade which is in the Barroque Catalan style. Things to
look out for are - the marble throne (seat of Carlomagno) which was built when
his troops took over the city in 785AD and a tapestry dating back to the 11th
- 12th century called 'the creation'.
- Churches: Sant Pere
de Galligants church (12th century). Things to look out for are - the nave and
the bell tower; today it houses the city´s Archeological museum. Also Sant
Feliu church (14th century) built over the tombs of the city´s patrons;
Sant Félix and Sant Narciso church where 8 Roman sarcophagus are kept in the crypt,
the tower is also of interest.
- Sant Doménech Convent: a gothic cloister
Museums in Gerona
- The City´s Historical
museum: housed in a former convent from the 18th century, it still retains
part of its cemetery. It has a collection of antique instruments.
Art museum: in a former Episcopal palace. It houses some of Catalunya's most
important pieces of art including scultpures, paintings and religious objects
dating from the 9th century to the 20th century (the later comprising of objects
that disappeard from monasteries and churches during the war) - an interesting
- The Bonastruc Ça Porta Centre: This is the old quarter
where Jews were forced to live in ghetto conditions, it is located within the
old quarter. The centre shows their history and explains how they were forced
to leave Girona and move to the ghetto in the 15th century. The buildings have
- Banys Arabs (the Arabic baths): from the 12th century.
The baths and sauna have been carefully restored.
Shopping in Gerona
Natural local products such as L'Escala anchovies, wines from D.O.Empordà-Costa Brava, sausages, cheeses, meats (especially the steak, lamb and duck), fruit, Birba de Camprodón biscuits, Crepiá i de la Vall de Camprodón honey. Also look out for ceramics from La Bisbal.
Hotels and accommodation in Gerona
There are a number
of good hotels in Girona city For example, the The Meliá Girona hotel (****),
modern and central. In addition, there is a magnificent hotel just 40 km away
from the centre of Girona in La Bisbal D'Emporda in a 14th century country house - The Arcs de Monells hotel(****), very modern rooms and good facilities.
Also The Castell D'Empordá hotel(****), a former castle which has been
carefully converted into a hotel. It has a very good restaurant. See Hotels
in the Costa Brava and Costa Brava Parador
There are many unspoilt
fishing villages along the coast (S'Agaro, Cadaqués, Llafranc, Calella de Palafrugell).
In addition, there are quite a few developed resorts with a lot of hotels, restaurants,
discos and other tourist attractions. (Playa de Aro,Lloret de Mar, Tossa
Visit places such as Peratallada, Begur (see Parador of Aiguablava) and Pals, the latter has a beach
and golf course.
As mentioned previously, this Province is rich in Roman
history. There is a Roman route which includes the most important places to visit
in order to see the best of the Roman remains.
Towns and villages in the Province of Gerona
Empordà: located between the coast and the Pyrenees - Cabo de Creus
National Park and la Aiguamoll National Park. This is an area where you can see
many Greek-Roman remains.
- Figueras: The Toy Museum (Museo
del Juguete) and the Dali museum (Teatro-Museo Dalí)
- Roses: you can
see the remains of a Hellenist neighbourhood and Roman town. For eating out try
El Bullí restaurant (the chef is Ferrán Adriá).
- Cadaqués : Dalí´s
place of residence, see the Santa María church.
- Empuries: Greek-Roman
ruins dating back to 7th -8th centuries B.C.
- Peralada: see the medieval
- Platja d'Aro: a tourist resort. Restaurant Joan Piqué
in Castell d'Aro.
- Sant Feliu de Guixols:
La Garrotxa: a mountinous area
- Olot: See the regional museum
- Castellfollit de la Roca:
village built on the steep mountain side.
Gironès: industrial interior
in the middle of the Pyrenees good for winter sports, Roman remains.
- Puigcerdà: Roman remains - Roman Route. Cadí-Moixeró Natural Park.
Selva: coast and interior.
- Caldes de Malavella: Roman
baths : (2 spas).
- Sta. Coloma de Farners:Farners castle dating back
to the 11th century.
- Blanes: a tourist resort see the medieval castle
and Roman remains.
- Lloret de Mar: a tourist resort with a commercial
- Tossa de Mar:a tourist resort , see the medieval castle dating
back to the 12th century. (see photo).
- Sant Hilari de Sacalm: St.Hilari
church (11th century) Spa centre and natural springs.
El Ripollès: a mountinous area with Roman remains of temples and monasteries.
Freser-Setcases-Vall de Nuria: mountinous, good for skiing in winter. Santa María
de Ripoll monastery dating to 880 A.D..
- Sant Joan de les Abadesas:
Sant Joan Monastery 885 A.D.
- Camprodón: Roman bridge and Saint María
- Beget: National historic centre. la Majestad de Beget 12th
- La Vall de Nuria: ski slopes.
- Ribes de Freser
El Plá de l'Estany: Interior mountinous area.
- Banyotes: lake, water skiing. Visit the St. Esteve de B. Monastery
dating back to the 11th century.
- Camós: St. Magdalena de Noves church.
- Cornellà del Terri: Rabós del Terri castel. Roman Route.
- Crespià: famous for its honey fair