An hour away from Barcelona, Girona, the little sister to the Catalonian capital, may be one of Spain’s most charming cities. A city of food, culture, and gorgeous Old-World streets, Girona can be a vacation all its own or serve as a home base for Royal Holiday members wishing to explore Catalonia. Girona remains free of much of the bustle of its bigger neighbor, as well as other Spanish tourist destinations, and may be the perfect place for the Royal Holiday member who wants to enjoy small-city Europe at its most chic and unique.
Royal Holiday offers two choices for staying in the region, both of which offer unique advantages depending on the time of year. Those who want a bit of beachside fun during their Catalonian exploration will want to stay at the Guitart Central Park Resort & Spa, located on Costa Brava in the city of Lloret de Mar. The resort offers guests an easy walk to Lloret and Fenals Beach as well as comfortable studio and ambassador-style hotel rooms, five pools, and numerous terraces overlooking the resort’s lovely gardens. For a more rustic setting, Royal Holiday members will choose to stay at La Molina Resort & Spa in the Pyrénées. With both studio and presidential-sized condominium lodgings that come complete with kitchens, it’s perfect for groups of any size who want to hit the slopes or enjoy the region’s incredible natural beauty. The ski slope Pista Larga’s cable cars are directly accessible from the hotel, thus making it perfect for a winter holiday.
However, the main attraction in the region remains Girona, and whether they stay in Molina or Lloret de Mar, Royal Holiday members would do well to visit the city, where they can experience more of the unique joys of Catalonia. The ancient home of the Iberians and Ausetani, Girona also served as the home of a Roman citadel, a Visigoth fortress, and a Moorish settlement prior to becoming part of Aragon and later Spain. Royal Holiday members who can tear themselves away from the sea or the ski slopes will find Girona to be one of the most thoroughly charming cities in Europe.
Those who wish to learn more about the city’s history should visit the many excellent museums in Girona; the best, the Museum of Jewish History, tells the city’s story through the lens of the Jewish minority that lived in the city for centuries. To experience more of the city’s past, Royal Holiday members can walk along the Passeig de la Muralla, the walls surrounding the old city, which provide incredible views of the city and the surrounding countryside.
The social center of the town remains Placa de la Independencia, a cheerful space filled with cafes and bars. In a city well known for its excellent cuisine, the best restaurant is El Celler de Can Roca. Considered one of the world’s top restaurants, it is often booked months in advance. Naturally, Girona isn’t the only reason to visit this beautiful region, but Royal Holiday members staying in Catalonia owe it to themselves to make the trip. This gem of a city has enchanted millions of people over the centuries, and it is bound to enchant more in the future