The province of Girona lies in the northeast of Spain, bordering France and the Catalan provinces of Barcelona and Lleida. The most striking characteristic about this historic area of north Catalunya is undoubtedly its great diversity - internationally acclaimed beaches, spectacular mountains at the eastern tip of the Pyrenees, a rugged rocky coastline reaching up to the French border, and the green rolling hills of rural Gerona. This bounty of rural and coastal treasures, together with the mild climate that it enjoys, makes Girona a popular destination for visitors throughout the year.
The ancient walled city of Girona stands on a fortress-like hill, high above the confluence of the Onyar and Ter rivers. As the provincial capital it has a long and distinguished history. Founded by Iberians, the Romans later named it Gerunda and established it as an important stopping point on the Via Augusta, linking Iberia with Rome. The huge 15th century cathedral, boasting the widest unsupported gothic arch in the world, dominates the skyline, yet much of the city's attraction lies in exploring the mediaeval streets, especially around the charming Jewish quarter.
Girona hosts many exuberant fiestas in which traditional dances called "Sardanas" are performed. One of the most well known is the "Cantada de Habaneras" in Calella that takes place in July. For something more solemn, you can visit Verges in the Easter week and see the "Dance of Death".
Nearby, nestled at the foot of the Pyrenees, is the town of Figueres, forever associated with its most famous son, Salvador Dalí. Dali was born here in 1904, died here in 1989 and is buried here under the museum that bears his name; the remarkable collection of his works in the Museu Dali attracts visitors from all over the world.
Down the coast, the villages of Cadaques, Pals, Peratallada and Rose are well worth visiting, or better still, stopping at for a few days. In the early part of the last century Cadaques was a meeting point of many Spanish writers, poets and painters, including Lorca and Picasso. You can also visit Dali's summer house here yet the real attraction lies in the whitewashed streets and the atmosphere of this picturesque fishing village. Near Rose is the restaurant El Bullí, one of Spain's top restaurants - to be sure of a table you will need to book about six months in advance!