Description of Girona & Figueras
This page is about things to do and see in and around Girona and Figueres inland from the Coast Brava. Being that the Girona province borders with France and the long history of conflict, there are some interesting fortresses and walled towns that have their origins in Roman and Medieval times.
Catalunya is divided into four provinces, Barcelona, Lleida, Tarragona and Girona. Girona city is the capital of the most northern province in Catalonia and is located inland from the Costa Brava. Figueres is also a prominent large town in the Girona Province.
Figueres, pronounced 'fuh-geuh-res', is most famous as being the birth place of Salvador Dali and home to self curated Theatre Dali Museum which is one of the most popular attractions to visit when visiting Barcelona.
The funeral of Salvador Dali Took place in Sant Pere Church in Figueres before his interment inside the Dali Museum.
Geographically, Figueres is the most northerly large town or small city in Catalonia and is near to the French border about 90 minutes from Barcelona. Figueres was surrendered to France in 1794 and regained by Spain in 1795. During the Peninsular War it was taken by the French in 1808, recaptured by the Spaniards in 1811, and retaken by the French in the same year. Because of this Figueres was a strategic location to defend so Sant Ferran Fortress, the largest European fortress was constructed on a hill overlooking Figueres.
Figueres is also the home of the Catalonia Toy Museum A three floor museum in the centre of town that displays historic children's toys from medieval times to the beginning of the computer age.
Together these four attractions combine to make Figueres a good day trip from Barcelona.
South of Figueres is the capital city of Girona and was used as a filming location for many Game of Thrones scenes.
Girona's origins date back to the Iberians before being settled by the Roman's who named the city Gerunda. After the Romans Girona was conquered by the Moors multiple times and was settled by a Jewish community. In the Middle ages Girona was captured by French forces and returned to Spanish and Catalan control. Girona historic town centre, Forca Vella still retains its medieval walls which form part of a fantastic walking route that gives great vantage points over the city.
Tourist attractions in Girona include Girona Cathedral and the Jewish Quarter with its narrow winding streets on Girona Montjuic hill. The River Onyar passes through the centre of Girona and the houses are built backing onto this river with brightly coloured facades which can be viewed from the multiple foot bridges over the river. This is a popular photo spot for tourists.
Girona is most famous for it's spring flower festival called Temps de Flors Which sees the streets and squares decorated with floral displays. I highly recommend this as a day trip option as well as another day trip to visit all the attractions in Girona.
Nearby to Girona or Figueres
Salvador Dali had a castle home in the village of Pubol which he bought for his beloved wife Gala Dali. The village of Pubol is located between Girona and Figueres.
The Salvador Dali Museum in Figueres, the Gala Dali Castle in Pubol and the Dali museum summer house in Portlligat, Cadaques form what is called the Dali Triangle and many people ask if they can be visited all in one day. The answer is yes, theoretically, but if you allow two hours in each museum then even with 'efficient driving' it would be hard to complete all three within the opening hours of the museums.
During Easter Weekend, The medieval walled town of Hostalric hosts a medieval festival. Hostalric is South of Girona on the edge of the Montseny Natural Park.
Getting to Girona and Figueres
Hostalric, Girona, pubol (flaca) and Figueres are all served by the same railway line, The Regional Renfe trains that run from Barcelona to Portbou on the French Border.
Girona and Figueres, being principal towns are also served by RENFE AVE high speed trains from Barcelona that connect with principal cities in southern France.
For a more comprehensive guide to the train services, and train maps to all of these locations as well as tips and photo galleries, click on an attraction image below. I have also included tourist maps, brochures and walking maps where relevant.
Figueres Tour packages
If a self guided tour of the attractions in Figueres is not your thing, Our partner Tiqets offer some guided tours and organised bus trips.