Heading to the Hills – Besalu

It was with reluctance that we upped sticks and left lovely Palamos on Easter Monday. We thought it would be a quieter day on the roads before the Spanish mass exodus on Tuesday. We had intended stocking up on Spanish wine at Mercadona down the road but of course it was closed so that was a pain. Never mind, we fuelled up and once again hit the highway.

Just a short distance away and slightly inland lies the town of Palafrugell. It’s a bustling little place built around a 16th Century church. It has a lively daily market and lots of antique and bric-à-brac shops. The beaches around this coastline are spectacular. You do have to get your walking boots on if you want to see the best ones. Calella de Palafrugell (not to be confused with the other Calella) is a gorgeous spot with whitewashed villas as are neighbouring Llafranc and Tamariu. The coastline is wild, rocky and stunning with turquoise waters. We will definitely return here and spend more time next trip. We were very sorry not to be able to access Pals and Cadaques due to their 3.5 ton weight restriction and steep access as both of these places look amazing. Have a glance at Google if you need a second opinion. Do visit them if you are able. It had certainly made us think seriously about having a little scooter in the back garage. We didn’t have time to hire a car this trip which would be another option.

Anyway, the plan is to head inland for a couple of days and visit the Medieval town of Besalu. It’s been highly recommended by my old school pal and we’re ready for a change of scenery, although, I’m always sorry to leave the sea behind. The route is relatively easy and there’s not much in the way of traffic once we get out of Palafrugell. It’s a bit of a shock seeing the snow covered mountains ahead. Looks like there’s been a fresh fall too but we are going in the direction of Andorra and it’s still ski season up there. The parking is quite busy but we find a space without issue and set up camp. NB. the camperstop is on the right hand side if you are approaching from the Girona side. The dump and fill facilities are here. However across the road to the left is a much bigger Carpark, far more suitable for bigger Motorhomes and much more pleasant. Parking is free. Bonus! My dear Miss Stevenson, I thank you most sincerely for this place, it’s incredible. I owe you one!

The Medieval Town of Besalu lies around 30 miles north of Girona. I know from friends who have been to Girona recently that we should have afforded it a visit but neither of us feel up for a big place so on this occasion we have bypassed it. I’m sure we’ll regret that. Jo and Karina our caravanning friends say it’s a photographer’s dream. Anyway, I digress! Back to the job in hand. Besalu! The eleventh Century bridge, Pont Fortificat, spans the gorge over the River Fluvia at the entrance to the town. Once you get over the bridge and through the huge stone arches, the ancient town is a mass of historic stone buildings and dark narrow streets. These open up into two tree lined squares. The squares or Plazas are alive with cafes, bars and little shops, mostly selling touristy stuff but interesting nonetheless. There is a very impressive thirteenth Century Casa de la Vila, (Town Hall) and a Benedictine Monastery, Eglesia de Sant Pere. In the heart of the town you will find several super delis with loads of regional goodies on sale, a couple of Artisan bakers and Butcher and even a Fishmonger. Phew, we won’t go hungry (little chance of that!!). In the mornings, a few market stalls set up in the main square. We stocked up on some really good olives!

The town had a flourishing Jewish Quarter back in the day. It’s ritual bath house can still be seen on the terraces down by the river. There is a Miniatures Museum just off the main Plaza and another general Museum which was closed when we tried to visit. This place definitely gets my vote, it’s just lovely, so glad we came.

We head back to the van after coffee and cake. It’s Easter after all so melt in the middle chocolate muffin is the order of the day, yum!! We collect the hound and head back out to do the river walk below the town. It’s a gorgeous evening. The lazy river ambles through the valley, it’s so tranquil down here, as if someone has slowed the clock down. Back to Casa Wadsworth then to scrub up for ‘date night’! We’ve eyeballed a cute little pizza place with a woodfired oven. Can’t wait to see the castle lit up at night!

We have ‘prinks’ at the van and then away we go. It all looks so different when the tourists have gone home! Once the sun goes down, the bridge is spotlighted from below and the air is filled with the heavy scent of woodsmoke. We have a delightful evening. What a charming place this is.

And so to bed my lovely friends. Tomorrow is a big day as we shall be away over the Border and Back into my beloved France. Will check in with you then but in the meantime, thanks for reading. Night night, sleep tight, hope the bugs don’t bite ❤️

3 comments

  1. Michelle,

    Your blogs are beginning to bring the book Chocolat by Joanne Harris to mind especially this one and your description of Besalu at night. Keep them coming there is a book in there somewhere………………………….
    ps if you haven’t read Chocolat I think it would be up your street.

    bonne-journée

    Hels Grant and Rascal

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Michelle
    I am so happy you enjoyed Besalu, every time I visit the Costa Brava I’m there. It’s a wonderful place. You don’t owe me anything mate. Enjoy the rest of your travels, I’m enjoying reading where you’ve been.
    TTFN 👋🏻
    Miss Stevenson 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

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