Girona has a genuine spirit, quiet atmosphere, beautiful city centre, with a distintive ‘soul’, typical of this area of Spain, with a peculiar mix of mediterranean and pireneus influences.
The compact old town can be visited in one day, but spending few days here is a pleasure and it will let you discover the original catalonia region, far away from the massive number of tourists that you will meet in Barcelona.
Girona has an international airport wih many low-costs flights. From the airport there is a bus every hour (ticket costs 2,30Euro), in 20 minutes you will arrive at the main train/bus station, not far from the city centre.
My first suggestion is to stay at Equity point hostel.
This is the best and cheapest accomodation available in town.
Location is perfect, in the big and central Placa Catalunya, directly in the city centre and not far from the train/bus station.
The hostel has a friendly staff, clean rooms and nice common areas, with a wonderful roof terrace, where you can enjoy the view of the city.
Breakfast is included in the price.
Girona has a well preserved city walls, in the northern part of the city.
A walk along the walls will give you a perfect view and understanding of the city, you can also appreciate the natural environment that surround the city, green land and mountains.
The old town has a medioeval architecture, with narrow streets and houses built with stones. The Cathedral of Santa Maria de Girona is also a beautiful landmark and symbol of the city.
Girona has a small river and many bridges with scenic and coloured houses along it.
If you are staying more days there is also a beautiful city park, on monday with a vegetables and fruits market.
If you want to see how much they are ‘commited’ you shouldn’t miss the ‘feria’.
‘Feria‘, in andalusian region, is the city fair. It’s an event that involve the whole city and it keeps the traditions.
You will see the ladies wearing traditional ‘gitana‘ dresses and men riding horses with traditional and fancy spanish countryside dresses.
‘Feria‘ falls usually few weeks after the ‘semana santa’, it is celebrated in the biggest andalusians cities and towns.
Sevilla has the biggest and most famous one (however over crowded and touristy).
What’s happening during ‘feria‘? Party, party, party and…party!
In Sevilla it starts, with fireworks, on monday at midnight and it lasts until sunday midnight, when, again, a fireworks show will end the event.
Sevilla has a specific zone of the city dedicated to the feria, don’t worry you can’t miss it, just follow the pictoresque crowd and you will find yourself in a space with small ‘caseta‘ – stands decorated in andalusian style, where is possible to drink, eat, sing and dance flamenco and sevillana for almost 24 hours per day.
Unfortunately most of the ‘casetas‘ are private and you need to know someone to get in, several public ‘casetas’ are available too, but, according to locals, the fun and atmosphere are not the same.
Cadiz is one of the oldest cities in Europe, its name is tight with the america discovery.
Geographically the city is one of the southest in Europe. It is almost an island, surrounded by the atlantic ocean, connected to the european continent only by an istmo.
Cadiz was under domination of the ancient carthaginians, phoenicians, greeks, romans, arabs…which means that the city has assimilated a bit of all these cultures and histories.
How to get to Cadiz? Closest airport is at Jerez de la Frontera, however from Sevilla or any other destination in Spain I strongly recommend to use blablacar, it’s way cheaper than bus or train. An example? Train from Sevilla costs little more than 15€, a blablacar ride is 7 or 8€…
An hostel in Cadiz is Cadiz Inn Backpackers, very close to the bus and train stations, in the old town.
Here some reasons to visit Cadiz:
-Seafood and ‘caracoles‘ (snails): both are typical from here. For a cheap seafood try at ‘La gorda te da de comer‘. You can get caracoles and a ‘caña‘ (small glass of beer) for 3€ in many andalusian bars
-Carnival: One of the most known and funny carnivals in Europe
-‘Cuba’: The old city has something that remind Havana, scenes of the James Bond movie ‘Die another day’ were filmed here. Also people in Cadiz are very friendly and talkative.
-Sherry: The famous drink to be fair is not from Cadiz but from Jerez de la Frontera, just 30 km far from the city
-Beach: The best reason to visit Cadiz! One of the best city beaches in Europe. Go to ‘Playa la Caleta‘ for the beautiful sunset.