Girona is a fantastic historical city with some beautiful buildings but, if you want to do something a bit different, here are nine things you might not have considered.
1. Visit An Organic Farm
A great organic dairy farm you can visit is Granja La Selvatana. Anna, the farmer, is a very interesting woman. She used to be journalist but gave up that life to take over her grandfather’s farm to have a better quality of life. She is very passionate about organic products and is keen to spread the message to encourage more people to use organic products. Making them affordable is top of her list. I tasted some milk and yoghurt that had been produced on the farm. The milk had a naturally sweet taste and the yoghurt was very smooth and not the slightest bit acidic. I had the opportunity to milk a cow and feed an 11 hour old calf.
2. Visit/Stay At An Agroturisme
You could visit or stay at a farmhouse like Agroturisme St Dionis, which is a beautiful old farmhouse that has been restored. They produce a range of fruit, vegetables and beans. You might even be able to have a go at drinking wine in the most unusual way and even plough a field. It’s a very warm and welcoming place and I can guarantee that you will have a fantastic breakfast. I even got the chance to plough part of a field.
3. Go Hiking
There are many hiking trails. I only had the opportunity to do a short forest trail walk around Canet d’Adri. The area has a volcano that has been dormant for 100,000 years so it’s pretty safe and really scenic.
Depending on the time of year, you might come across some wild asparagus. You will see Cork trees like the one below.
4. Be A Casteller
Ever fancied being part of a Human Tower? Well, you might just have an opportunity here. I jumped at the chance of taking part in one of the towers. It was really fun and interesting actually taking part and experiencing it as an insider rather than just watching, although it is amazing to watch the pros!
5. Kayak On The River Ter
Or what about kayaking on the River Ter in Bescano? I had a great morning doing just that and I didn’t fall in.
6. Visit An Underground Air Raid Shelter
This is a really unusual thing to do and might not be a way you would want to spend your time in Girona. However, I found it a really eye-opening experience. You not only get to see what an air raid shelter is like but you actually get to experience what it would be like to be in one if there was an air raid attack. The underground shelter is one of three that were built during the Spanish Civil War.
When I was there, the guide turned off the lights so we were in complete darkness. It was eerie as we stood in silence listening to the wail of the siren and the bombs as they landed. It was much louder than I thought it would be. I tried to imagine what it must have been like for all the people who had to go through it for real. One thing that can to mind was wondering what it would be like outside when the bombing ended. Of course, for us, nothing had changed because, thankfully, it wasn’t a real air raid.
7. Buy A Designer Ice Cream
It’s a bit quirky but, if you’re going to have ice cream in Girona, you have to try one at Rocambolesc, which is owned by Jordi Roca, one of the Roca brothers. The ice cream is surprisingly inexpensive. I had vanilla and then, for research purposes only, baked apple. You might even be served by Jordi himself, as I was.
8. Visit Raphael Maso’s House
Raphael Maso may have been one of the most outstanding Catalan architects in the early 20th Century but he did not receive the same recognition as others such as Gaudi. If you are interested in architecture and history then a visit to Maso’s house is a must when you come to Girona. He designed some of the furniture in the house as well. In addition, it gives you a rare opportunity to see inside one of the houses on the river in Girona’s old city that you can only normally see and take photographs of from a distance.
Also, take a walk around Girona to see some of his work, like the building below. There is a cafe on the premises so you can make the most of the interesting architecture whilst having lunch or enjoying a drink.
9. Visit A Local Brewery
Apparently, it takes 6 hours for one person to bottle 2,400 bottles from one vat of beer using the machine below. That certainly made me appreciate the beer much more after hearing that.
If you are interested in doing any of these activities, or would like more information, you can look at the website for Girona’s Visitor Centre.
I would like to thank Girona’s Visitor Centre and the Costa Brava Tourist Board for the inspiration and all their help.