The Girona and Besalu Tour is a full day and private tour. If you are staying in Barcelona, we will pick you up at your hotel or residence in the city and a professional driver and a guide will take you to an amazing day out of the city. Girona and Besalu are two of the best places to step back in time. Two quintessential European towns with the perfect combination of history, culture and legend! Explore stone walls with centuries of history, winding streets with hidden legends behind every curve, local shops and markets.
This is one of our client’s best loved tours!
Girona and Besalu Tour: a trip to the past
Girona, the Roman city, and Besalu, the Medieval town, are magical places. Both offer you the opportunity to immerse yourself the culture and heritage of the region. And to do so in spectacular settings soaked in history and legend.
Girona, a Roman town in origin, was once called the Three Times Immortal city. The layout of the city, surrounded by 4 rivers , made it such an important stronghold. Let yourself go and transport back to a time when the rivers ran full with barges and local merchant goods. When you first see the the skyline dominated by the Cathedral, you will understand why Girona is a city where legends and history combine. Delve into the small squares, duck under the stone walkways, get lost in the local gardens. It was no surprise when HBO chose to film Game of Thrones season 6 there. Also, Girona is home to one of the best restaurants in the world: Celler de Can Roca!
The medieval town of Besalu was one of the most important towns of medieval Catalonia. Beyond that, it remains one of its most beautiful. Imagine a walled town with an old stone bridge, smack in the middle of a national park. Add a river and bustling local shops and you have Besalu. Crossing over the 1000 year old bridge is just the beginning of your experience. Stone buildings, narrow alleys leading down to the river, you can just imagine the scene 500 years ago. Stop for a cup or coffee or a Ratafia, the local liquor while overlooking the river and the green volcanic landscape.
Both Girona and Besalu are renowned for their Jewish heritage, a none-too-common element in Spain.
Highlights of our Girona and Besalu Tour
The Girona and Besalu Tour is private. This means we can custom-designed it to fit your preferences and needs. But here is a list of the sites we usually visit during this tour:
The Cathedral of Girona
Girona’s Cathedral has its origins dating back to the 11th century. From its position dominating the skyline, the cathedral calls. This is not just another church, however. Along with 7 centuries of history and legend, it also hosts a spectacular treasury featuring one of the oldest tapestries in Spain. Our expert guides will explain the legends that bring it all to life, from traitorous brothers to witches to Charlemagne’s seat. So much more than a church and a piece of history, your visit brings you closer to the culture and people.
The Jewish Quarter in Girona
It is one of the best preserved examples of a Jewish life and culture during the Middle Ages. Is it odd to discover one of the largest Jewish Quarters a stone’s throw away from the cathedral? Come and discover why. As you explore the narrow streets, can you feel the magic? The old doors, , the corner cafe, and hidden treaures abound in this tightly packed area. Moreoever, one of the most important Jewish philosopher’s of the middle ages called Girona home: Nahmanides.
The Jewish Purification Baths (Mikveh) in Besalú.
This 12th century construction is one of the very few surviving Mikvehs from this time period in Europe. This exclusive visit (only accessible with key) literally takes us down into the belly of the city.
The Church of San Pere in Besalú
When you are facing a building over a thousand years old, the simple fact of its existence is often awesome enough. But when you walk inside, you’d swear you were in some Robin Hood-esque movie. The austerity of this building, dating back to 977, provides wonderful example of pre-Gothic construction.
The Romanesque Bridge in Besalú.
It is easy to imagine Besalú as frozen in time. That’s because we start our visit crossing the old stone bridge. Rising over the River Fluvia, you find yourself transported immediately to that time, and almost want to look over your shoulder for carts. Built at the time when Besalu as a major commerce center, it was designed to give or cut off access to the walled city.
Other options we can include in the tour
Depending on your preferences, we can also include:
- A guided visit to the Jewish Heritage Museum in Girona. The Jewish Quarter hides a number of great treasures. A visit to this converted synagogue takes us into the very soul of the medieval Jewish community. Their influence, the history and the impact of the Inquisition make it a mandatory stop for anyone interested in Jewish history. But also for anyone who wants a fuller picture of life 600 years ago.
- A stop at Castellfollit de la Roca. A town built on the edge of a cliff. Picture a basalt cliff rising 50 meters straight up, with a town perched right at the top. Castellfollit is one of the most amazing and photogenic sites in Spain. We will also take you to the foot of the cliff for the best views!