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Banyoles ~ Besalú - Olot in Costa Brava
Side Trips & Excursions on the Interior Costa Brava

 

Side trips along the interior of Girona Province in Costa Brava offers attractive touring and spectacular views.

Banyoles is the first sight located 18 km. on the north east of Girona. Pla de l’Estany and Garrotxa are the attractive districts worth visiting there. Lake of Banyoles here is an exceptional phenomenon in Catalonia that is set in a limestone basin and fed by subterranean streams from the River Fluvià. It has a tectonic origin and it divides the Ampurdan plain from the Garrotxa mountains. The lake is shaped like an irregular figure of eight and its perimeter is over two km. long. The calm waters are very ideal for rowing. The environment and surroundings around the lake are very ideal for attractions such as nature walking, trekking, cycling or simply enjoying the beautiful landscape while dining and wining.

There is an old Benedictine Monastery of Sant Esteve (St. Stephen) worth seeing in Banyoles. It is a Gothic and Neoclassical building housing interesting art exhibits. Main Square (Plaza Mayor) is another sight to take in the town center. The lively weekly market that is held here for more than 900 years worth visiting. A visit to the famous Banoyoles Jawbone belonging to a hominid dating back to 19th century is an historical attraction to take. The region offers great landscape dotted with old farmhouses among crops and small historic villages. On the road from Banyoles to Olot, a natural wonder awaits the travelers. It is the Garrotxa Volcanic Nature Reserve. It is the most important volcanic region on the Iberian Peninsula that is stretching over a surface area of 120 km2 and ends within the boundaries of several towns near Olot.
 

Besalú, one of the most picturesque and most visited towns in whole Catalonia should be the travelers' next stop before going to the Garrotxa Volcanic nature Reserve in Costa Brava. It is a beautiful mediaeval town carved in Jewish culture. The Churches of Sant Pere, Sant Vicenç (St. Vincent), Santa Maria and Sant Martí (St. Martin) are the traces amongst the vestiges of Jewish culture. The mediaeval bridge is a nice sight serving the historic old town. A few kilometers from Besalú, following the route of the Fluvià River Valley, there lies the town of Castellfollit de la Roca worth visiting. It is located on a spectacular promontory. The landscape in the company of a church and the houses is spectacular.

Olot is situated in the dead centre of the volcanic area. It is an important inland town that has an intense cultural tradition. The Olot Pictorical School is a good example of this culture in the company of charming and beautiful environment of the town. Trekking, nature walk, hiking and horseback riding along the volcanic area is very popular attractions for the visitors. Applying the information offices and obtaining the best trails is recommended.

 


Besalú


Olot


Garrotxca Volcanic Nature Reserve

 
When it comes to the Garrotxca Volcanic Nature Reserve, there are three places to see providing special and unusual views. They include the rounded hump of the Mt. Montsacopa Volcano that offers a great bird’s eye view of the city of Olot; the Batet high Plateau with its spectacular panoramic view over the Garrotxa valleys and the Pyrenees; and finally the Jordà fageda (beech tree grove) that is beautiful and tranquil spot in the middle of the forest. Garrotxa volcanic area is also an interesting historical site of the village Santa Pau. It is a calm village laid out around its imposing castle. A visit to the village and experiencing the local tastes such as fesols and small white beans would be excellent.
 
 
 
   
 
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