Ignasi, our local guide from Barcelona says that ‘if you are looking for authentic Catalonian, then Girona would be the place to go.’ Girona is known as the city of three rivers and as a result it has many bridges to explore. This may sound silly but each of the towns 11 bridges are distinct in style and offer unique perspectives into this beautiful destination. The most notable of the bridges was designed by non other than Gustave Eiffel and embodies his distinctive structural work. The bridges lead to the colourful side of town. In comparison to the older Roman side of the town, these colourful houses bring light to the area and a re certainly photo worthy.
Girona cathedral is also another worthy attraction to visit. This cathedral, though dating from the 11th Century has notable influences and additions made to it throughout the years. Take the 90 steps to reach the door of the cathedral and explore its accompanying museum. The museum houses a large and impressive 11th Century tapestry called Tapís de la Creació, the tapestry of creation.
If you want to experience a panorama of the town then take a few hours out of your day to walk along its encompassing walls. Ascend spiral staircases in watch tours, enjoy a view of the distant Pyrenees and explore secret gardens. This walk goes up some steep hills so please be advised to take plenty of water with you.
In Girona you will also find the most romantic restaurant in Girona and it won’t break the bank. Le Bistrot restaurant is very popular with the locals, which goes to show it must be good Spanish cuisine. Chair and tables are placed outside up the Pujada de Sant Domènec which is a gorgeous street that embodies the whole of the city. The best part of this restaurant is that it’s affordable with there speciality pizza coming up under €10.
If you are looking to escape the buzz of the city and trek through some wildlife take a visit to Montserrat. We’d definitely recommend a day for this trip. The rock formation of the mountain is unique in its razor like structures. In order to get to the mountain we’d recommend travelling by train. Catch the train from Plaza Espanya and head to Mansura on the R5 Line. You have the option of trekking the mountain walk to get to the top or you could take the cable car.
Even though there is a number of places to purchase some delicious food on Montserrat it can be a little pricey and often crowded. We would recommend visiting a local market before making the journey to the mountain and create a make shift picnic to enjoy in front of the views.
Once at the top of the mountain you can take in the panoramic views of Catalonia. You should get to the mountain early on in the day and explore the architectural buildings at the top of the mountain first and then take a trek later so as to avoid the crowds. At the heart of this sanctuary you’ll find Saint Maria abbey. This abbey holds so much history and inside is decadent in its decoration. Admire the Patroness of Catalonia which is a statue of the Madonna as is believed to have been made in Jerusalem. Even if you aren’t religious you will still be able to find beauty in the statue’s craftmanship. If you are in to your history you should also explore Monserrat Museum which has over 1500 artefacts on permanent display.
Sant Jeroni is the summit of Montserrat mountain and you can get there via a trip on the funicular. Alternatively, to really take in the views that the mountain has to offer you should take the 3.5 hour trek. Make sure to take plenty of water with you if you are planning on taking this trek.
Whilst on the mountain you should also take the opportunity to ride on the Santa Cova funicular railway. As always on the mountain, the journey offers endless spectacular views. This takes you to the Rosari Monumental which is home to sculptures made by Gaudi as well as other Catalonian artists. As always on the mountain, the journey offers endless spectacular views. You will also find the Cave Chapel. Legend has it that an image of the Virgin Mary appeared on the rock and so a chapel was erected to mark this important spot. This is a significant pilgrimage site that many travellers are drawn to from all over the world.
Though this is located in La Costa Brava it is advised to spend a day just exploring this. Dali’s work is most prominently recognised for his ability to take his reality and warp it into surrealist art. Catalonia was Dali’s place of birth and so is the perfect setting to experience his work. Begin your journey in Figures at the Dali Theatre Museum which is a spectacle in itself let alone its precious content. Figures is where Dali was born and died and so holds particular significance to the artist. This is no ordinary museum because Dali was no ordinary artist and he was the designer of this personal archive. This museum transports you to Dali’s surrealist world and is absolutely marvellous.
The next stop on this Dali tour is his house in Portlligat. The museum is an excellent view of his artwork but his house offers a portal into his inspiration for his work. The house is situated on the waterfront and offers stunning views of the coastal village of Cadaqués. Please note that you must make a reservation to visit the house and this will include a guided tour.
The final point of this triangle tour is Gala Dali’s Castle in Púbol. Gala was Dali’s wife. In the early stages of their romance Dali promised he shall get his love a castle. The castle was bought in a state of deterioration. However, the couple expertly renovated the 11th century building and maintained its traditional aura.
This experience of the Dalí Triangle is truly breath-taking and a unique day trip.