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Must-see medieval towns

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Must-see medieval towns

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On the coast, inland and in the mountains. We invite you to take a leisurely stroll around twenty or so towns with a medieval soul.

Alt Empordà, the region where the Pyrenees rise up and which extends to the Mediterranean Sea, is home to a handful of small towns that have preserved their medieval origins. This can be seen in their narrow cobbled streets, imposing walls and porches, old defence towers and castles, Romanesque churches and chapels and, especially, the walls that protected their inhabitants and that continue to enclose them either partly or completely. Sant Llorenç de la Muga is a clear example and an essential stop on your route, as is the small town of Lladó, the beautiful town of Peralada and the town of Castelló d’Empúries, home of the beautiful Basilica of Santa Maria.

Sant Llorenc de la Muga. Maria Geli Pilar Planaguma

Sant Llorenç de la Muga. Maria Geli - Pilar Planagumà. Arxiu Imatges PTCBG.

Throughout the year, many of these towns hold festivals and fairs that revive their medieval roots. So do some towns in Baix Empordà that boast of having been born and raised between the 5th and 15th centuries. Who hasn’t heard of Monells, in Empordanet? Or of Púbol, where Dalí bought a castle as a gift for his beloved muse Gala. Or Ullastret, a precious little treasure close to the most important Iberian settlement in Catalonia. Pals is beautiful, and Vulpellac, a delightful discovery, but if there is one place you absolutely must visit, it is Peratallada, considered one of the most beautiful medieval towns in Spain in 2023 by National Geographic magazine.

Other travel magazines, such as Traveler, have named Tossa de Mar one of the most important medieval towns in Girona. And it is. Located in the La Selva region, it contains every possible attraction plus one more that gives it its unique character: the sea, lapping at the very foot of the medieval walls.

Peratallada. Hecktic Travels

Peratallada. Hecktic Travels. Arxiu d'Imatges PTCBG.

Continuing our special route we arrive in Garrotxa. Here, visitors are also astonished and awed by the medieval towns of Santa Pau, Castellfollit de la Roca, with its spectacular profile at the top of a cliff, and the extraordinary Besalú with its famous seven-arched angular bridge over the river Fluvià. It seems that time has stopped in these places, with beauty in every tiny detail and a sensation that a quiet life is possible. You will experience the same feeling when wandering the streets of Madremanya or Sant Martí Vell, in Gironès, or exploring the heart of two medieval towns in Pla de l’Estany, Crespià and Sant Miquel de Campmajor. Moreover, in the latter, those who love country landscapes and Romanesque bridges will find a pleasant surprise.

Besalu. Hecktic Travels

Besalú. Hecktic Travels. Arxiu d'Imatges PTCBG.

We close this article in two counties of the Girona Pyrenees, which also hide authentic gems. In Cerdanya we recommend a leisurely stroll through Ger and losing yourself in the streets of Llívia, where the oldest pharmacy in Europe is located. And in Ripollès, we invite you to see and experience three authentic wonders: the villages of Beget, Camprodon and La Roca. In the latter, perched so high up that it offers breathtaking views of the entire valley, rest the remains of one of the most representative artists of the Dau al Set artistic movement, the painter Joan Ponç. How could this little corner of the world be any more charming

Beget. Alvaro Sanz

Beget. Alvaro Sanz. Arxiu d'Imatges PTCBG.

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