Today we bring you the opportunity to discover one of the most charming villages in the province of Girona: Besalú. It’s a municipality in the region of La Garrotxa in northern Catalonia, with an incredible history and medieval architecture.

If you’d like to visit its medieval corners and want to make the most of a weekend break in Besalú, you can’t miss our recommendations.

The origin of Besalú

The origin of Besalú dates back to the Middle Ages (10th century). Its name means a fort on a mountain between two rivers: the Fluvià and the Capellades.

For centuries Jews and Christians had an idyllic and peaceful cohabitation; the Jews were craftsmen, bankers and doctors, while the latter were busy working the land. Unfortunately, then came the black plague, which affected the Christian population significantly and it took them no time to blame the Jews.

In 1966, the town was declared a National Historic-Artistic Site because of its great architectural value.  Nowadays, diverse social and tourist projects are carried out in the historic center. There are excavations works at the moment looking for more archaeological finds.

A weekend in Besalú: What to see

The medieval bridge of Besalú

Without a doubt, the fortified bridge is the town’s most significant feature and although it has been rebuilt several times, it continues to maintain a medieval aesthetic that makes all its visitors fall in love with it. This stone bridge was built around the 11th century, with a Romanesque style.

Its columns rest directly on the river, which makes it a perfect landscape to walk around or take a picture on the bridge. In addition, this famous bridge is the first welcoming item upon arrival and appears in most of the postcards of the town, and even of Catalonia.

 

The old Jewish quarter and the Jewish mikvé

In the town of Besalú, ancient Jewish baths of the 12th century, known as mikvé, were used for the purification of the body. After analyzing the historical situation, it was discovered that, in addition to the famous mikvé, there had also been a synagogue with a school, a courtyard and a prayer hall. Moreover, it is the only medieval Jewish mikvé preserved in Spain.

In its surroundings, we can find the old Jewish quarter, located just outside the medieval bridge. This part of the town is one of the most visited for its unique alleys that look like a maze. In the middle of the Jewish quarter, we find the Plaza de la Llibertat, where Christians and Jews had their disputes.

 

The monastery of Sant Pere

In the Plaza Mayor, there is the famous Monastery of Sant Pere, a gigantic temple with a firm and sober facade built in 1160.

Inside the Monastery we can find a beautiful circular ambulatory with an unusual apse, typical in this type of monuments. It also contains the relics of San Primo and San Feliciano, one of the reasons why the town became a place of pilgrimage for many believers.

The church of Sant Vicenç

This is the original parish of Besalú, one of the jewels of Catalan Romanesque. Located in the old town of Besalú, the church of Sant Vicenç was mentioned in the 10th century. Although the current architecture dates back to the 13th century, the outer apse maintains its Romanesque style.

In one of the chapels, the Vera Cruz relic is preserved, where Jesus was crucified, another reason why the town was a place of pilgrimage.

The museum of miniatures

If you like curios or travel with children, you can’t miss the incredible museum of miniatures, next to the church. It has two rooms where you can discover miniature and microminiature artistic works, which can be observed through microscopes or magnifiers.

 

Would you like to discover Besalú and enjoy an incredible weekend?

If you wish to have more great experiences, find out about the three most charming villages in the Catalan Pyrenees… Go ahead and visit them!

Once again, Carnival will take place in February, and the streets will be full of joy and fun. In Catalonia this festival is met with great intensity. This old tradition has been celebrated for many generations and people long for it as it is one of the first holidays after Christmas.

If you like costumes and parties, you can’t miss this party. We are sure you will have a great time. The following are the best Carnival plans in Catalonia. We know it will be an unforgettable experience.

What to do in Carnival in Catalonia

Barcelona

The whole city is disguised to celebrate Carnival. There are Seven Ambassadors, each one representing one colour and one of the seven deadly sins. Local parties are held in the different neighborhoods, with an unceasing festive and cheerful atmosphere, and the local assemblies still have some autonomy to decide every year’s theme.

No matter the size of the fiesta, you will never get bored in the Catalan capital, as Barcelona is very well-known for its high-quality festivals.

Torelló

This town of less than 15,000 inhabitants suddenly increases its population to 60,000 during a festival called “Terra Endins Carnival”. Every year the “Rei Carnestoltes” stages a coup d’etat, breaks into the Senate and deposes the mayor.

The festival begins with some traditions as peculiar as “Senyoretes i Homenots” (a cross-dressing ritual).

Capmany y Vidreres

These are two small towns in Girona, where the ‘Ranxo’ is cooked in the main town square and distributed among the population. ‘Ranxo’ is a typical dish prepared thanks to the ingredients provided by the neighbours, such as potatoes, rice, beans, pork, beef and sausages.

If you are fond of trying local cuisine and enjoying a village life, this is a must.

Sitges

What can we say about Sitges? This town has definitely the wildest Carnival party in Catalonia. There are two main parades and the people that participate in them have been rivals for over a hundred years, with such competitiveness similar to a derby match in football.

Sitges Carnival has worldwide coverage and it attracts over 250,000 people during its busiest days. These are mainly for adults only, although the little ones also have their own parades.

Vilanova i la Geltrú

With the Carnival in its DNA, the people from Vilanova I la Geltrú consider this festival an act of resistance. During the postwar period, Carnival was banned throughout Spain, but the locals continued to celebrate it, even hiding it, so they kept it alive until the late 70’s, when the ban was lifted and the holiday was reborn in style.

Nowadays it attracts many visitors due to its great mystical performances and its amazing gastronomy and traditional dishes. The town’s website warns us that this is not a festival for lonely people.

As you can see, there is no way you can get bored in Catalonia during Carnival. The above has only been a short compilation of interesting places to visit at this time of the year, although you will also find other fabulous intense and joyful parties in other places throughout the region, whether in small and remote or in big and near towns. Help us make this list longer by visiting more locations and joining as many parties as you can.

Have a crazy and fun Carnival!

Barcelona is a huge city where you discover new things day by day. However, with 3 days we can enjoy all its streets and explore the best corners of the city to fall in love with it and return whenever we want.

Most of Barcelona’s routes are centered in neighborhoods such as Gracia or El Born, or on city themes, such as our specialized route in the Modernism of the city. However, if you mark an itinerary, you can enjoy every place that the city hiddes.

If you are thinking of spending a weekend or 3 days in the city of Barcelona, check out our tips.

The essentials of Barcelona

Barcelona is summed up in three words: Sea, History and Gaudí. Any tourist has to be able to enjoy these three characteristics if they visit the city.

The famous beaches of Barcelona, the incredible medieval history of the city and the works that the architect Gaudí left us in the city are three things that you can not miss on your 3-day trip in Barcelona. If you prefer, you can book our 3-day Tour in Barcelona to make sure you don’t miss any hidden places in the city.

Here we leave some of the sites and monuments that you can not miss:

What to see in Barcelona

Las Ramblas

Without a doubt, the most representative of Barcelona: Las Ramblas. It is the most famous street in Barcelona that connects Plaza Catalunya and Plaza Colón, full of tourists, street performers and restaurants. Las Ramblas has a length of 1.3 km and is divided into different sections recognized by several monuments such as: La Fuente de Canaletas, flower stalls, the parish of Santa Monica or the exit to the sea.

In this street you will find the greatest variety of cultures from different countries, so it is interesting to sit down for a coffee in one of its multiple terraces and contemplate visitors who walk the street from top to bottom.

 

La Sagrada Familia

It is the emblematic symbol of Barcelona, designed by Gaudí in 1882. It is a Catholic basilica with a neoGothic architecture that will become the tallest church in the world with 170m high. Construction is estimated to be completed in 2026.

La Catedral del Mar

The square of the Catedral del Mar is one of the essentials of Barcelona. It is a quiet area, where it is worth losing yourself around its streets to eat something and enjoy street music.

 

In this same square is where the famous Santa Llúcia Fair is held in December, where you can find many Christmas items and enjoy the Christmas air that surrounds it.

La Barceloneta

It is the most recognized beach in Barcelona. It was a fishing district in its origin and continues to maintain its aesthetics, so it is a very pleasant visit that we recommend.

It is the ideal place to see the sunrise, since the sun rises from the center. However, if you have more time, we recommend visiting the amazing beaches offered by the Costa Brava, near Barcelona.

El Port Vell

One of the perfect areas to stroll and enjoy the sunset at its best. Although it is usually crowded with tourists, it is very interesting to see the different boats of the port and enjoy the views of the sea from here.

The port area has a shopping center called Maremagnum that houses the Aquarium of Barcelona, where you can also spend the day.

Parc Güell

The best known garden in Barcelona. It is a park with architectural elements designed by Gaudí that opened in 1922, becoming one of the main tourist attractions of Barcelona.

 

The huge garden has 17 hectares and different wavy shapes, animal figures and mosaics made with the famous technique of “Trencadís“, which consists of working with pieces of colored ceramics. The architect was inspired by the forms of nature, giving a color and a political and religious symbolism to the entire park, which is undoubtedly worth contemplating.

Casa Batlló

It is one of Gaudí’s masterpieces in the city. Located on the Paseo de Gracia, it has several guided tours that show the original rooms designed by Antoni Gaudí. The facade of the building is a significant sample of what you can find inside. However, we recommend seeing this and other modernist buildings on the same street with luxury brand stores.

If you are still not sure which route you want to follow, you can book our 3-day Tour with which you will enjoy the best things to do in Barcelona.

 

In this article we want to give you the names of the most charming places in the Catalan Pyrenees. We will bring you closer to the world of natural landscapes in complete fusion with villages of the Pyrenees of your dreams. We return to our thematic line of sites to visit.

Discover the most welcoming villages in the Pyrenees

We cannot do a review for all the villages we would like, as it would be an extensive list. So this time we will give you the names of the 3 most charming villages in the Catalan Pyrenees that for some reason attract the attention of tourists.

1. Vielha

It is the best known city of the Catalan Pyrenees, it is the capital of the Aran Valley. At almost 1,000 meters of altitude, it is surrounded by peaks that show the high mountains, on average over 2,000 meters high.

Tourists usually appreciate this natural space for sports and enjoy a unique complement: culture and gastronomy. The Aran Valley represents a great culinary offer that is palpable in Vielha.

2. Taüll

One of the villages of the Aran Valley that you can not miss. It is curious how a town that does not reach 300 inhabitants houses two Romanesque jewels such as the Church of San Clemente and the Church of Santa María, both Unesco World Heritage Sites.

With all this heritage and history and because of its proximity to the stations, it is normal to see how they blend perfectly in its mountain-looking local streets.

3. Camprodon

It is a small town in the province of Girona with a lot of charm, located near the river Ter. The origin of the name is due to the Monastery of San Pedro, located in the same town, built in the middle of the 10th century.

Another of the points most visited is its Bridge Nou, built in the thirteenth century. Without a doubt, Camprodon has an architecture and historical monuments that must be visited at least once in a lifetime, without forgetting its picturesque streets and famous sausages.

Pont Nou (Camprodón)

These are some of the most charming villages in the Pyrenees today. It is clear that we could give you more information with each one, and even more names, but we have chosen these to redirect to what really interests you.

 

Do you dare to discover the Catalan Pyrenees and enjoy an unforgettable vacation?

One more year we can enjoy the most medieval atmosphere of Catalonia thanks to the residents of the town of Vic.

More and more people decide to get lost in each of the magical corners that the town hides in these dates.

For many years now, on the famous December bridge, the citizens of the town decide to adorn the streets with positions that recreate different trades of the medieval era and with entertaining shows that give a medieval air to everything around them.

All about Vic’s Medieval Market

From December 6th till the 8th, the historic center of Vic is transformed into a medieval market with exhibitions and with different merchants, taverns, artisans, etc. dressed in costumes of the time, to be able to move the visitors in time, they have even managed to turn this into a custom for tourists who decide to walk through this medieval market, many of them also dressed in costumes of the middle ages.

Know the program of activities

The Vic fair offers a program with multiple recreational activities such as dances, street shows, music and children’s activities, and an interesting demonstration of different trades that will transport us to the medieval era.

Admission is completely free and the medieval fair is open from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. during the three days.

 

News about Vic’s Medieval Market 2019

This year, unlike the previous ones, we will be able to see the recreations of medieval crafts and a new space for the sale of Christmas products called “Ja es Nadal al Medieval!” With 20 exhibitors located in the Plaza dels Sants Martirs.

And if you have some time left, you can not miss the opportunity to visit the medieval town of Rupit and Pruit, located very close to Vic, where you can immerse yourself a little more at this time.

 

¡No te la puedes perder!

 


Images: osona.com (Mercat Medieval de Vic), jordicarrio.com (Mercado medieval de Vic).

La Nit dels Museus

This Saturday 18th of May, won’t be just any night, from 19h to 1h Barcelona’s museums will open its doors to everyone till the late hours of the night and yes completely free! With guided tours, workshops, concerts, shows and family activities.

There is different routes available, to start this amazing journey from differents areas of the city.

Museums at night, locally called La Nit dels Museus, is part of an international cultural event that started in 1997 in Berlin but now takes place in over 120 countries around the world. Barcelona is on of the cities that participate.

This year, Nit dels museus arrives at the 15th edition.

The event always falls on the Saturday that falls on the same week of International Museum Day (DIM) which is celebrated annually on May 18. It is an event organized by the International Committee of Museums (ICOM) since 1977, which aims to raise awareness among citizens about the role of museums in the development of societies.

From the port of Barcelona to Tibidabo and Besòs to the Llobregat, in the city of Barcelona and its metropolitan area there will be many things happening on the night of May 18th. A total of six routes and more than eighty centers in Barcelona, ​​Badalona, ​​Cornellà, Esplugues, L’Hospitalet, Sant Adrià, Santa Coloma and Sant Joan Despí that open their doors to enjoy during this night there will also be light shows, concerts, exhibits, guided tours and workshops… To make it easier for you to choose, we recommend to go to the official website and find a complete list of museums that participate. Various institutions have united to offer a nocturnal route for the event.

Nit dels museus around Catalonia

Girona

The museums of the Museums Network of the Comarques de Girona add to the initiative of the Night of the Museums offering open doors to their collections. A wide variety of museums with different themes await you: art, history, archeology, science, ethnography… Many complement the action with concerts, guided tours or family shows that take place both at Night Museums and throughout the week.

Tarragona

In the counties of the Camp de Tarragona and the Terres de l’Ebre, you can enjoy the Night of the Museums at the Museum of Tortosa, the Valls Museum, the Conca de Barberà Regional Museum and the Alcover Museum. All of them will open their doors at night and have also scheduled various activities.

In Tarragona city, for the fifth consecutive year, museums celebrate such a special night with ‘The Journey to the constellation Museum’, a night itinerary that takes place through seven museums and cultural centers of the city based on a common concept of universal character. They participate in CaixaForum Tarragona, the Port of Tarragona Museum, the Tarraconense Biblical Museum, the Diocesan Museum, the Modern Art Museum of Tarragona, the Archaeological National Museum of Tarragona and the History Museum of Tarragona.

Lleida

The Network of Museums of the Lands of Lleida and Aran, formed by the Noguera Museum, the Museu Comarcal de l’Urgell, the Diocesan Museum of Urgell, the Cervera Regional Museum, the Ecomuseu de les Valls d’Àneu, the Museum Dera Val d’Aran, the Museu de la Conca Dellà, the Museu d’Art Jaume Morera, the Guissona Museum, the Museum of Lleida and the Diocese and the County of Solsona, joins the commemoration of the Night of Museums with different Activities that combine visits to exhibitions with dance, music, shows or tastings of products.

We love Barcelona. We love Catalonia. We want you to fall in love with it too!