As always, our trip to Spain starts in our favorite bar – La Vinya del Senyor (God’s Vinyard), opposite the beautiful and iconic Catalan Gothic Basílica de Santa María del Mar in old Barcelona.
Foothills of the Pyrenees
Leaving the Abbot Oliba Route, we head east walking for a week in the foothills of the Pyrenees through the volcanic zone of La Garrotxa (“Rough Land”) to visit the small, isolated medieval villages.
Figueres is the capital of Alt Empordà, a Denominación de Origen (DO) wine producing area in NE Catalunya. We could not believe our luck when we arrived on the day of the wine festival. €10 buys 6 wines and a very nice glass to keep.
Costa Brava: Portbou to Castelló d’Empúries
The path from Portbou to Llançà follows the coast, with a couple of hills thrown in, walking along the old path (Camí de Ronda) once used to deter smugglers.
Costa Brava: Sant Pere Pescador to Sant Feliu de Guíxols
From Sant Pere Pescador it’s about 10km to the ruins of Empúries, established 575 BC by the Greeks and invaded by the Romans in 218 BC.
We are leaving the Costa Brava for a week to walk to the historic city of Girona on a Rail Trail and back to the coast via a mountain path.
Costa Brava: Sant Feliu de Guíxols to Blanes
We had left Sant Feliu de Guíxols a week before to make the Girona circuit so after a bus back from Pals we set off on the Costa Brava GR92 again.
The Concurso de Castells (Human Towers Competitions) was the main attraction. We’ll miss the main bi-annual event at Tarragona, but the smaller competition bringing together 11 of the best castell groups at nearby Torredembarra more than satisfied us.
The Romans arrived In Tarraco (now Tarragona) In the 2nd century BC. It became a major and very rich city, the capital of Roman Hispania. Ancient Roman Tarraco is World Heritage.