Spain is well known for its many regions of natural beauty, but perhaps the most scenic area of all is the stunning Costa Brava.
The name means Wild Coast or Rugged Coast in Spanish, and this picturesque stretch of shoreline from the French border down to near Barcelona in the country’s Northeast corner certainly lives up to it.
We first visited many years ago on one of our rare kid-less vacations back before our empty nest days, but it was completely by accident. We had rented a car in Paris with the plan to drive to Barcelona, but we got too tired so we pulled off the highway and into the seaside town of Roses to stop for the night.
We had a marvelous evening of food and fun along the waterfront and loved it so much that we spent the next two days exploring the area. It was such an incredible time that we never made it to Barcelona! Luckily, we did a few years later and fell in love with it too.
In fact, the entire area is high on our list of places we want to visit again now that our kids are all adults. It would be perfect for one of the multi-generation vacations that we have started doing over the last several years.
The idea began with us renting a big house for Thanksgiving so that we could all stay together and now it has become our favorite way to travel together.
We can’t think of a better way to see this part of Catalonia, so while looking online at the possibilities in the area we found the best local charming houses available and many of them would be just perfect. Some even have swimming pools.
One of the advantages we like about renting a house is that everybody doesn’t have to do the same thing. Often we split up, so that some of us could go off for a day ay the beach, or drive up the coast, while others could explore the nearby towns and villages such as Girona.
As the capital of the province with the same name, the city is quite bustling for its size. Yet it also has a great deal of Old World charm. Much of the ancient fortifications, parts built back in the first century BC by the Romans, are not only still standing, but open to walk on top of the walls for excellent views. There are even a few towers remaining that allow visitors to climb inside.
The old Jewish quarter, that thrived in the 12th century, is also well worth a look and has been deemed one of the best preserved in Europe. The narrow stone streets and stairways make for some wonderful wandering in the afternoon.
The Catedral de Girona, dates back to the 12th century as well and is a superb example of the Catalan Gothic style of architecture. From the church it is easy to walk along the river and find all sorts of shopping and cafes.
With all of this, the town is so captivating that some of us could consider checking for a Holiday rental Girona and stay a few days.
Meanwhile the rest of us could explore along the shore and hope to find a place as magical as we did on our lost adventure all those years ago.
Maybe we could even find the little bar in Roses where we nearly fell off of our stools laughing while trying to converse with our bartender, Jordi, in a dizzying combination of Catalan, Spanish, English, Italian, and made-up hand signals.
Or make it all the way down to Barcelona.
David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com
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