Spain’s Mediterranean coast from Barcelona all the way west down to Sanlucar de Barrameda is a
magnet for sun-starved northern Europeans.
Huge numbers of tourists cause increased prices, beaches, towns, restaurants, and hotels that are
crowded. Hospitality employees are less attentive than they should be.
In short, everything tourists use are either in short supply, or is overpriced.
Girona, only 100 kilometres north and east of Barcelona, is a city of 100 000, and is now becoming
a magnet for tourists looking for destinations that have maintained their original atmosphere.
Girona fits this description perfectly. It was fist inhabited by Iberians, then Romans arrived. They
built the citadel (today a tourist site) and called the town Gerunda. Visigoths were the next rulers,
followed by Moors, who stayed for several centuries, then were expelled by Alfonso I of Aragon in 1015.
Jews inhabited Girona for centuries until 1492 when Catholic kings forced them to convert to
Christianity or leave town.
Girona managed to keep its medieval character due to its location along the River Oya, and small size.
May to October is the best time to visit Girona, although throughout the year temperatures never dip
below 0 C.
Millions visit Girona to enjoy its narrow, medieval winding, well-preserved cobble stone street. Many of
the tourists are day trippers from Barcelona, but you can stay in Girona (accommodations are far less
expensive than in Barcelona) and make daytrips to Barcelona.
The Cathedral was originally built as a mosque by Moors. Church of Saint Felin stands out
architecturally, and Placa de la Independencia in city centre is very popular because of its
Medieval layout and character and is now full of cafés and restaurants.
The colourful buildings along the River Oya are of architectural interest.
Arab baths deserve a visit to experience how Moors maintained hygiene thousands of years ago.
Spaniards eat very late dinners (9 – 12 p m), but tourists prefer to dine around 7 p m. Cafes
catering to tourists are open after 8 p m , but between 4 – 8 p m all are closed for “siesta”.
If interested in staying in Girona, you can visit Figueres, (has a museum devoted to
Salvator Dali), Toroella de Montgri, an old town full of artists, Madremonya that boasts a
Girona will likely become a more popular destination in 2012 and beyond. Visiting it soon
offers an opportunity to see and experience this medieval city on the Mediterranean.