Besalú visits

A historical gem

Besalú is without doubt one of the most beautiful medieval villages in Spain. You only have to walk across the famous Romanesque bridge (12th century) and you immediately imagine yourself in the Middle Ages! The many narrow cobblestone streets with artisan stores, just half an hour's drive from the Costa Brava beaches, make a visit to Besalú a popular outing, for young and old alike. Read on to find out what there is to see and do.

Across the bridge in Besalú

The famous bridge dates back to the 12th century and symbolizes Besalú. The 105-meter long, deflecting bridge, consists of seven arches supported on rocks of the Fluvià River. Finished with a 30-meter-high tower, the bridge gives you a picturesque entrance to the old center, packed with cozy traffic-free streets. Besalú is the place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the coast.

Almost nowhere else in Spain do you step so tangibly into the past as in the Catalan village of Besalú

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Strolling through Besalú

In the narrow alleys where you go up and down stairs, you will come across surprising businesses like a store with handmade leather bags or a small restaurant with a terrace. On the central square are regular markets with artisan products, on Tuesday is the regular fruit and vegetable market. The many local stores sell traditional (handmade) products made of wood, clay, ceramics and iron. Perfect shopping for souvenirs or a gift and it offers a nice change during your beach vacation on the Costa Brava.


From movie set to nature preserve

Besalú has barely 2500 inhabitants, it belongs to the region of La Garrotxa which is known for its volcanic past. Along the impressive city wall lies the bank of the river Fluvià, surrounded by greenery and nature and where you can take beautiful walks. You can even enjoy paddling in the river's clear waters. And did you know that Besalú, along with other towns like Barcelona, Girona and Figueres, was the scenario for the famous film Perfume? The medieval setting is perfect for it.


Besalú has well preserved its medieval structure, which is what makes it unique. Some highlights:

  • Beyond the imposing bridge of Besalú, in the center you will find the ancient church of the Monasterio de San Pedro with impressive carvings on the façade. Right behind it is San Julián, at the time a hospital for pilgrims.
  • The center of Besalú is dominated by the San Vicente church (13th century) with Romanesque-Gothic architecture. Above the altar of the church is a beautiful Gothic rose window, and an imposing tomb from the 15th century.
  • In Plaça Llibertat square (16th century), you can enjoy the historic setting on the terraces with a drink. Markets still take place under the square's romantic colonnades. The Comte Tallaferro street is also cozy, with many arcades and antique facades.
  • Another attraction in Besalú is the Jewish ritual bathhouse or "mikvah" and synagogue. The mikvah in Besalú is an underground bathhouse and one of the few preserved Jewish bathhouses in Europe. It is accessed via a stone staircase from a 12th century house, in Romanesque style.

Events in Besalú

Every year at the end of August the great medieval festival of Besalú is held. The village is then filled with street musicians and jugglers displaying their skills with artisans working in various market stalls selling natural and handmade products in the background. At the artisan fair you can taste delicious local products such as dried sausages or cheese, honey, bread and pastries. A cozy and impressive event, check the exact dates on the Besalú Municipality website.

Snacks and drinks #bonvidatips

There are many restaurants in Besalú. For example, on Plaça Prat de Sant Pere, surrounded by old arches, you will find cozy terraces where you can eat well. From a menu del día (daily menu) to pizza and fresh paella. Advance reservations are not necessary.

In the smaller squares and narrow streets are the more exclusive businesses. Here the restaurant El Pont Vell (old bridge), located at the foot of the Romanesque bridge with magnificent views, is the number one spot. The carefully selected and only local ingredients and wines make for delicious traditional seasonal dishes. You can reserve a table at El Pont Vell's website.

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