Girona and Costa Brava: discover them in Spring
Text: Juan Pedro Chuet-Missé. Photos: Tourist Board Costa Brava – Girona
Can the Costa Brava can really only be visited and enjoyed in Summer? Of course not. Its abundant offer of activities, places to visit and suggested itineraries of discovery make these regions in the Girona Province an ideal place to visit during Spring.
Dalí’s Route: What a paradox. Whilst in Barcelona there is not even one street to honour the genial painter from Empordà, in these lands he is the protagonist. The Dalí Theatre-Museum is located in Figueres, and it is in fact the most visited museum in the whole Catalonia. Many paintings, sculptures and works on paper that reflect the legacy of one of the most universal artists of the 20th century can be seen in the facilities of the old town’s theatre. And in the small town of Cadaqués, maybe one of the prettiest towns in Catalonia, looking out to the promenade you can discover reproductions of the seascapes paintings he made during his youth; whilst the House-Museum in Port Lligat (2 km away) lets us know the time he used to spend with his wife Gala among the Costa Brava’s coves. A short distance from there stands the House-Museum Gala Dalí at Púbol castle, in the town of La Pera, that Dalí gave to his muse as a gift and where she is buried.
Gastronomy: Although his restaurant is already closed and converted into a foundation, the legacy of Ferran Adrià and of the restaurant El Bulli in Cala Montjoi (near Roses) can still be noticed: few provinces in Spain can boast of having 16 restaurants that together have 20 Michelin stars. Among them the renowned El Celler de Can Roca must be highlighted. It is the creation of the Roca brothers and is currently considered to be the best restaurant in the world. On the other hand, wine tourism continues to grow, a type of tourism that combines the tasting of exquisite wines from DO Empordà with the opportunity to stay at high stand hotels, get wine-therapy massages, and all in the middle of the vineyards.
Historic legacy: The lands of Girona were, several centuries back, the property of lords, barons, counts and nobles who would spend their lives between alliances and battles. Legacies from the past include a great number of towns, castles and fortresses that, -some in ruins, other restored-, allow us to discover how life was in the Middle Ages. The medieval cities of Tosa del Mar, Pals or Peratallada are worth a visit, as well as the old town of Girona if you want to know the Jewish inheritance, the wonderful bridge of Besalú, the monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes; or if you wish to go back in time even further, at Empúries you can see how the Greeks lived, or the Iberians in Ullastret.
Activities: Maybe this is not the time of the year to practise water sports, but in Spring it is still possible to keep practising professional diving in the sanctuary of the Medes Islands, make up one’s mind to jump using parachute at the Empordà, or for less risky spirits, to get in a balloon to see beaches and mountains. Other options are to travel through the hills and green paths that replaced the old railways, or through mountain bike trails for the bravest cyclists.
For more information about activities in Girona and Costa Brava, please visit the website www.costabrava.org.