miércoles, 18 de marzo de 2009

48 hours in… Girona

This corner of Catalonia is the perfect mixture of gothic and modern. And don’t worry about getting lost there; it’s all part of the fun.

Why go now?

From April the weather is warm enough for sunbathing, by July it’s too hot even for the Catalans, so May is perfect, although it’s also not bad after the searing heat has passed in September. In fact, Girona makes a great destination at any time of year due to its mild climate.

Touch down

Ryanair ( ) flies daily from and to Girona. There are regular flights to Girona from numerous different Spanish and European cities. Girona-Costa Brava Airport is situated about 12 kilometres outside the city, and has good transport connections with the city centre. It is easily accessible by car, bus or taxi.

Get your bearings

Girona is in the north-east of Spain. It has a beautiful historic Jewish quarter that is easy to see on foot. There are lots of museums, and the stone buildings are all of stone squashed down narrow, cobbled, relaxing, old streets. We can see lots of quaint bars and restaurants in this area too, and it’s great ideally situated for antique shopping. We can find old buildings, botanical gardens, shopping centres and a lot of outdoor sports.

The city boasts a beautiful Historic quarter that attracts many visitors.

Check in

In and around the city we have accommodation to suit all budgets: hotels, apartments, guesthouses, hostels, camp sites and rural accommodation. You will find what you are looking for whether you are travelling alone or in a group, with your family or on business. Here in Girona, we want you to feel as if you were at home.

Take a hike

Girona has all the charm of a large city but without the crowds; a very “human-sized” city that will leave you walking around awestruck with your eyes wide open and your mouth agape at all it has to offer.

Window shopping

In Girona you will find everything! It is well worth taking a walk around the city, just window-shopping or trawling through the market stalls on a Tuesday or Saturday, or having a look at the street markets that set up throughout the year. The scope of shopping possibilities is just one more attraction for visitors. The historic centre has been “pedestrianised”, allowing the visitor to combine a walk around the city with a look at some of the wide variety of shops. Many shops have sprung up in the 'Eixample' area as well as in the new areas of Palau-Montilivi and Güell-Girona. Located near the north and south approaches to the city are specialized shopping centres and hypermarkets.

Cultural afternoon

Girona offers a very extensive range of things to do. The city, a great stage where centuries of history are captured in spectacular monuments, invites you to lose yourself in a walk around the Old Town. It also has an intense cultural life, with strongly characteristic events taking place each month of the year. In addition, Girona is today a source of cultural production with regular, critically acclaimed seasons of theatre and music. However, if sport is what you are looking for, both the city and surrounding areas have all the means available to practice any sport you choose. Girona makes it all possible.

An aperitif with “tapas”

Like anywhere else in Spain, the people of Girona are a tapas-eating people. Tapas are traditional little finger foods and snacks that are served with liquor. They can range from a few olives, to bigger portions of gambas (shrimp), sausages (chorizo), cheese, to full meals. All over Girona, one won't have any trouble locating a tapas bar to sample some of the house tapas. In fact, wherever there is one tapas bar, there are guaranteed to be other bars not very far away.

Dining in style

There are many restaurants in Girona and a wide range of types of cuisine to sample: Catalan, signature, Mediterranean, oriental, fresh from the market, vegetarian, Basque and fusion. Furthermore, the city lies in an area of great culinary dynamism and enjoys a privileged geographical position that offers up a wide variety of ingredients and exceptionally high quality products from the sea and the countryside. Girona has become a city that is both receptive and transmissive in terms of professionals, new techniques, new dishes, ideas and concepts. Today, Girona, the Gironés region and Catalonia represent one of the main sources of world gastronomical creation. I recommend “El Romaní” in downtown, where we found a new very familiar and youthful air restaurant run by the two friends of name Imma.

Sunday morning: a walk in old town

WANDER through the maze of streets that makes up Girona's centuries-old Jewish quarter. Not much has changed since its inhabitants were expelled by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1492.

The Jewish Museum (Centre Bonastrucca Porta, carrer Sant Lorenc) tells the story of this vanished community. The Banys Arabs (carrer Fernan el Catolic), a former Muslim bathhouse dating from the 12th Century, is a relic of another vanished ethnic group, the Moors of Spain.

Spiritual insight

Reputedly having the widest gothic nave in the world (approx 75 feet wide) and one of the largest of any style outside of Rome, this is a fascinating cathedral to bring yourself closer to your soul (as many great cathedrals do). Packed full of local history (it’s been rebuilt in parts since the 14th century - the bell tower dates back to the 11th century).

Out to lunch

For lunch in Girona try El Celler de Can Roca, which is the best of the new spate of restaurants appearing in Girona and represents the success of the campaign to transform Girona into one of the most fashionable cities in Spain. Run by three young brothers, the intimate restaurant holds only 12 tables. The cuisine creatively transforms traditional Catalan dishes into contemporary Mediterranean fare. Start with an avocado purée, and for dessert you can't pass up the mandarin-orange sorbet with pumpkin compote. The prices are very high, but the quality will not disappoint.

Write a postcard

From the 10th to the 18th of May by "Girona Flower Festival" the city bursts into bloom once again.The rich cultural heritage of Girona Old Town together with the abundant woodlands and varied flora of nearby Saint Daniel Valley unite in harmony during 'Girona Flower Time'. The festival is brought about year after year through the admirable effort of the people who use their talent and originality to adorn every corner of the monumental city of Girona with flowers and colour, and this year invite us to explore the inestimable heritage of the Valley.

The icing on the cake

Girona offers its most emblematic sight; which are the Houses on the Onyar --the river flowing through the city--, painted in bright colours against the impressive background images of the church Sant Feliu and the Cathedral.

1 comentario:

MCM MIGUEL dijo...