Located just 30 minutes drive from Girona airport, to the north of Banyoles, is the striking town of Besalu. The town is situated inland, approximately 35 minutes drive to the Mediterranean coastline at L'Escala, famous for its roman ruins.
History & Architecture
Besalu was an important town in Roman times; when the Moors were expelled from this corner of Spain in the ninth century it was one of the first independent counties that arose. The town prospered, as it had done in Romans times and remained a place of importance well into the fourteenth century.
In appearance the town remains almost completely medieval, boasting some monuments quite out of proportion to its current humble status. Important monuments worth a visit include the Mikva, a twelfth-century Jewish bathhouse, the Romanesque church of Santa Vicenç (1018) and the ruins of Romanesque Santa María, on a rise overlooking the village. The 11 century Hospital, the late 12 century monastery of San Pedro and the church and monsatery of Sant Pere are all outstanding examples of the history of Besalu.
The may fine beaches and coves of the Costa Brava are within 30 minutes to one hours drive.
There is a weekly market on Tuesdays for local produce and gifts and check out the selection of locally produced sausages.
Leisure & Recreation
Besalu is perfect for walkers, cyclists and runners, with close to seemingly endless woodland, mountains and hillsides; the surrounding countryside is unspoilt and spectacular.
The volcanic zone of Garrotxa offers spectacular scenery and woodland. Visit Figueres for the Dali exhibition and the wonderful city of Girona, another city of historical interest, plus excellent shopping facilities.
The gastronomy of Catalonia is rich and varied. Principally it is the typical Mediterranean diet of fish and seafood with fresh vegetables, olives and olive oil rice and pasta.
There are many fine local restaurants serving excellent rustic meals, as well as more sophisticated cusine to satisfy the more refined palate.
Besalu has a temperate climate, with fairly mild winters, although rain is not uncommon; complimented by glorious spring and autumn months. The summers are always warm.