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Besalú is one of the most beautiful towns to see in Catalonia and Spain. It is a medieval village preserved in an astonishing way, and that from the shore facing the river Fluviá, generates a panoramic difficult to match.
How to get to Besalú.
Besalú is in the province of Girona, and in the region of La Garrotxa. Located at 150 meters of altitude, there is no difficulty to arrive, since it is a village well communicated by road. For those who want to arrive by public transport, it is a little more limited, with combinations as there is something direct, and something limited with timetables. Without a doubt the most practical thing is the car.
The distance from Barcelona to Besalú is 131 kilometres on the AP-7 and under normal conditions should not take more than 1.5 hours. But as I told you, in the route to share you will see the detail to add more points to stop (and extend more days).
Brief history of Besalú.
Like many villages with centuries of history,
What to see in Besalú.
Its Romanesque bridge.
Although it is not necessary to mention it in order to be included in your visit, the Besalú pedestrian bridge will probably be our main access to the village (as in my case). Especially if we park our car in the tourist car parks on the other side of the river Fluviá. It is the symbol of Besalú, the pedestrian path that connects with the monumental helmet and immerses us fully in the sensation of a journey through time.
This monumental bridge is mentioned since the eleventh century, and was rebuilt several times because of natural damage, such as human conflicts (the last major damage was after the Spanish Civil War when it was blown up).
With its 105 meters long and 30 meters high tower, there is no one who can resist the photo before walking it. After crossing the bridge is the turn to enter the streets of the village.
The Jewish baths.
Inside Besalú there was a Jewish quarter until they were expelled in 1435. The Jewish baths, for example, were recovered from this legacy and culture quite recently. And it is known that there was a synagogue of which only a few remains remain. The baths (miqve) were rediscovered very recently (in 1964) in an excavation, and are an authentic archaeological treasure that can be seen next to the river Fluviá on one side of the village.
The church of the Monastery of San Pedro de Besalú and San Juliá.
The Benedictine monastery does not remain standing, but its church with relics that attracted pilgrims for centuries. That is why the Sant Juliá hospital was built next to it in the 12th century. Both buildings can be admired and visited.
Part of the heritage inventory of Catalonia, this house is an example of Romanesque civil architecture among the best preserved of the medieval period.
Church of San Vicente.
Of Romanesque style and elements of transition, this church has been documented since at least the year 977. It is next to one of the largest squares in the village.
How long to visit Besalú.
The village can be explored extensively in a morning or an afternoon, as it is not too big. It has all the services, varied restaurants, cafes and shops that open especially on weekends. Not far away are villages like Santa Pau, another beautiful medieval town less known (and much quieter even on weekends). Besalú, in conclusion, has enough merit to become an objective and final point of a route with pure charm. Of course, you can also continue to Cadaqués, the Costa Brava, or towns such as Castelló de Empuries towards the coast.
The fact is that when travelling around Catalonia, it is not a question of thinking about how many days are enough, but how many days we could take to add more and more ideas that are so worth including in an itinerary.
(*) All the images belong to Matías Callone / (**) The visit to Besalú and the route was diagrammed as part of a trip through charming villages from Barcelona to Besalú organised by the Catalan Tourist Board.
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