Calella de Palafrugell

Calella - Llafranc is 15 minutes on foot on the coastal path.

Calella  - Cap Roig Gardens, heading south, takes about an hour. You can walk to the beach at Castell, passing other beaches and Iberian settlements nestled among the pines. To Castell takes about 2 hours and a bit going leisurely. 

Famous for the singing of 'Havaneres' in July, when you definitely won't find a spare rock to sit on. This blogsite has some lovely music, postcards and photos of Calella.

At the same time as listening to them, you should be burning rum on the beach (alas, no space). 

Here's a look at the festival of music and dance in summer, held at the Cap Roig Gardens

Here is information about visiting the gardens


From the front at Palamos you can walk along the promenade all the way to Cap de Roques Planes and back. As a daily morning constitutional it'll keep you out of trouble.
The afternoon can be spent idling on the beach and the evening is too short, with the shops closing at 8pm, aperitifs to be drunk, tapas to be tried, supper de be decided and the mandatory promenade around the port looking at the fishing boats as the sun goes down.

Palamos - Palafrugell cycle route 6km
It follows the old railway track connecting Girona to Palamos via La Bisbal d'Empordà.
Another popular bike ride, somewhat longer and steeper, is up to Romanyà de la Selva.
The next little bay north of Palamos is La Fosca, very pretty, though the walk isn't, unfortunately, though it doesn't take long. However, from La Fosca the walk of less than an hour to the beach at Castell, more than makes up for it, with Iberian settlements to boot.

Girona Monuments Day Out 5

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 Cathedral
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.
Arab Baths
These are near the Cathedral and are definitely worth a visit if there are no queues.
Jewish Quarter
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.


Original Version Cinema

 Truffaut Cinema, Girona
Catch a great foreign film before or after dinner at this theatre. Cool venue and film presentations. Original version films, some have sub-titles some do not.
L'únic cinema de Girona on veure les versions íntegres de les pel·lícules estrangeres. 

Carrer Nou, 7 17001 Girona‎
972 22 50 44

Combine with a previous visit to the Cinema Museum, in the town centre, and you almost have another day out!

Dali Day Out 6

First stop is usually the Dali museum in Figueres, followed by his house in Port Lligat (Cadaques). This last has to be booked online and the museum ought to be also, to avoid queues. Added to these is the medieval Púbol Castle (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'! Els Angels 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 Sant 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.

 Salvador Dalí - A Soft Self-portrait

Barcelona link

Good link for what to do and what's on in Barcelona

Even Barça football club has a museum

History of Catalonia on this web of the Museum of the History of Catolonia, as you would expect...there's a good restaurant and terrace at the top, with a great view.


Chocolate Museum for a rainy day!



Croissants and hot cafe con leche on the terraces on the front in winter perhaps?
            Lots of artisan jewellery, 
clothes and artist's galleries 

You can walk from Cadaques to Dali's House-Museum at Port Lligat, following the coastal path. His and Gala's house was made up of fisherman's huts bought over time. Book online.



Cadaques - Puig Ferral 2 hr walk (Itinerari 5)
This leaflet i think is available in English in the area.
This is the only English description i've found of the walk but you can see the map in the catalan pdf address below.
It starts next to the petrol station, in Cadaques, on a narrow street that used to be a livestock trail to Cap de Creus. It is very visible once having crossed the roadway of el Faro, continuing up the mountain on a very narrow trail, with dry rock walls that border it on both sides. Upon reaching the Mas de la Senyora, leaving behind the walls that continued this old trail, the itinerary continues to the left on a dirt path that we will follow until reaching the equestrian centre of Mas Duran. We will pass through the middle of the property and follow the path down that brings us to the Area of Port Lligat.From here, we only have to return to the centre of Cadaqués.

Cap de Creus (Itinerari 15)
Another walk with an extremely helpful map (not) and marvellous description in catalan! Available in English i'm sure, somewhere, but the only place i've seen it was in the monastery of St Pere de Rodes, which is, anyway, definitely worth a visit, whereas it's usually too hot to do this walk.

Good idea-generating link

Here you have lots of ideas for activities on the Costa Brava, in and around the Girona region and useful addresses and links.

Roman Girona Route

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. 
Sometimes, about half way along, the door in one of the towers is closes 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 question is, which Wall? There's the Roman one, the Carolingian or Medieval one, (that's the one described above) and then there's the Vauban-inspired fortifications on the left side of the Onyar river (following the Jaume I road). This last one is a guided tour from the Tourist office, and i shouldn't comment, never having done it, but it seems strange, as there is almost nothing left to see of it. It is extremely interesting if you can compare the present buildings with the old postcards of how it used to be, but as a walk, it is not pretty. 
There are also lots of unkempt fortifications on the Montjüic mountain, which you can walk up or get the bus, but it's not a scenic walk at all. If you're interested though, i'll post more information about them.
The Roman Wall
Again which one? The first Roman walls of Gerunda, from 80-70BC, were surrounded by the 4 rivers - the Güell, Ter, Onyar and Galligants. They were built on the strategically positioned via Heràclia, later called via Augusta, by the Roman General Gneu Pompeu Magne. Then there were late 3rd century AD Roman walls which followed the same route. So it's the same thing as far as a walk goes. 
To tell the difference, look at the stonework. If you see large blocks of irregular or polygonal numulitic stone (Girona stone with little round fossils), it's from the original Roman wall. If you find large rectangular sandstone blocks (yellow), it's 3rd century.
Girona was founded by the Romans, despite being on the side of a hill, to defend the north south Via Heracles/Augusta route to Cadiz. That's all you're getting for now. Here's the route:

From the bottom end of the Rambla, c/ Argenteria, c/ Ballesteries, Pujada de Sant Feliu, pass Sant Feliu (Catalan)/Sant Felix (Spanish) church, don't go to the Cathedral, continue following the towers around the back of the cathedral, passing the Arab baths, going through the Jardins d'Alemanys, arriving at the Torre Gironella ruin - the highest point of the town. From here you continue along the top of the wall, going down to Torre del Telègraf. At this point go through the gateway underneath the tower and away from the university car park. You can see the Church of Sant Domènec and the university in front and the wall continues down on your right. Pass the church into the Plaça Sant Domènec (nice cafe under the tree shade, from where you can contemplate the Torre Rufina on the left).
Follow the steep steps down pujada Sant Domènec and turn right when you can to see the wall continuing up Escola Pia. You then retrace your steps a little to continue down to the Plaça del Correu Vell, where there used to be the 11th century Castell de Girona (no sign now). Only c/ de la Força in the Jewish quarter is left to do - the old cardo maximus of Gerunda.You are almost at your starting point here, once again. This encloses the 'Força Vella' and is the original Roman wall route, though with later Carolingian (9th-10th century) and medieval (14th century) on top. 

There are 3 visits you could add to the above to see most of Roman Girona.

1. In Sant Feliu/Felix church there are 8 white marble, Roman sarcophogi, mostly from early 4th century. They were found when the church was being built, in a necropolis along the via augusta/cardo maximus, outside the northern gateway to the city.

2. In Sant Pere Galligants church, there is the Archeological Museum which includes sepulcres from the mercadal necropolis ('el mercadal' was the town market situated at the bottom of the cathedral steps - just outside the Jewish 'call' or quarter.

3. In the Museum of History of Girona, c/ de la Força, there is the Mosaic of Can Pau Birol (3rd century).

A nice message - Gironalet Apartment

Muchas gracias por todo Liza. Hemos estado muy a gusto. Hasta la próxima. (Pamplona/Canada)(August 2012)

Cycling and walking links for the coast

Here is the Palafrugell area website - a really good one!

Here is the map of all the connecting cycle touring routes from the same site

Here is the Empordà website, also very good.

La Devesa .......... and it's swimming pool

From the Wall you can see a mass of plane trees on the edge of Girona, which you pass if you enter the city from the north by car. This is 'La Devesa' Wood, meaning land used for grazing and collecting firewood. This wood, some of the trees planted by Napoleon's soldiers on their occupation of the city between 1809 and 1814, is where the 'attracions' or fair ground is and where the summer and fiestas 'carpes' are - open-air bars with music. These open at night til late. During the day they are used for 'health walks' and jogging and there is the municipal outdoor pool. There is a ltitle route to follow within the 40 hectares of wood.
 From Plaça Independencia walk away from the river (Onyar)to where the taxis are lined up outside the post office. Keep heading in the same direction and you'll see them in front of you. 
From the train and bus stations, turn left as you leave and continue for 10 minutes to the end of the road. Again, you'll see them in front of you but you might have to pass some roasted chestnut stands, on the way....

From the apartment, the pool is a 13 minute walk, just long enough to work up a sweat... Take a picnic.