Winter arrives and the surroundings of Girona are transformed with the explosions of colours and the fall of the leaves. Oranges, yellows, ochres... the great variety of forests and landscapes are dyed with spectacular colours, ideal for walking or taking photos. Today we bring you some of the most beautiful towns around Girona.
We begin the recommendations of charming towns around Girona with one of the most iconic: Banyoles. Half an hour away by car, Banyoles is a quiet town famous for its beautiful lake: its 6-kilometre perimeter is ideal for walking, cycling or simply sitting in one of the countless green areas to admire the beauty of the place. Birds, fish, and amphibians make the place even more idyllic. Banyoles is ideal for relaxing surrounded by nature, or resting and having a drink on the popular terraces in the other side of the lake. Admiring the sunset from one of its tables is one of those images that remain in the retina forever. It is also a place of pilgrimage for fans of landscape photography: the variety of animals and flora make Banyoles a vein of unforgettable images.
Besalú is a medieval town that will surely look familiar to you when you visit it for the first time. Its bridge is one of the most captured images by photographers and the streets of the town have appeared in multiple audio-visual productions (scenes from the movie El perfume or the series Westworld have been recorded there). The bridge, built in the 12th century, is 150 meters long and is one of the best entrances to a historic centre: just cross it and you will find yourself in a network of cobbled streets of the old Jewish quarter or Call. The Jewish community was established in the 9th century and coexisted with the Christian one until they were expelled in the 15th century by order of the Catholic Monarchs. Along with Girona, Besalú has one of the most important Jewish quarters in Europe. That is why the architectural legacy is very important and you can find buildings such as the mikveh, public baths from the 12th century that are found under the remains of the old synagogue (if you want to visit it, you must contact the tourist office).
Castellfollit de la Roca
One of the smallest towns in the area, but of great scenic value. Its houses, literally hanging from a cliff, are an attraction worth visiting. This basaltic rock of volcanic origin, about sixty meters high by almost one kilometre long, has been eroded over time by the waters of the Fluvià and Toronell rivers. There is a small metal bridge on the path that goes from the old town to the viewpoint of the cliff. In the old town, you will find the old and the new church of Sant Salvador, and the Clock Tower.
Rupit i Pruit
Located in the middle of the Collsacabra massif, Rupit i Pruit is a captivating beautiful little village. Its hidden streets, the rustic houses from the 16th and 17th centuries, the incomparable setting or the peculiar wooden suspension bridge make Rupit i Pruit a must. Also, if you like to go on excursions through nature, the routes are endless. The Risco de l'Agullola or the Salt del Sallent are some of the most beautiful places in the area, but also the most visited. However, the surroundings of Rupit i Pruit are full of extraordinary alternative routes.
La Fageda d'en Jorda, Santa Pau
One of the jewels of the crown of Garrotxa region. Near Olot, we find this beech forest that is dyed with colours in autumn. Walking along its paths is getting lost in a dream landscape where time does not exist, and everything flows at a calmer speed. This beech forest has grown on the lava flow of the Croscat volcano, a flat place with gentle hills. It is surrounded by multiple dormant volcanoes and the forest can be visited on foot or by horse-drawn carriage. All these characteristics have made the place a place of pilgrimage and inspiration for painters, poets, and other artists. One of the most famous was Joan Maragall, the Catalan poet, who dedicated a poem to him and of which we can find his monument in La Fageda.
If you enjoy being in the middle of nature or getting to know remote places, these towns will help you better understand the essence of Girona and its surroundings. Walking through its streets or paths is knowing the history and tradition of the place.