Wine and Monasteries Route 1: Barcelona – Granollers – Girona – Figueres – Sant Pere de Rodes Monastery
- Distance: 103 miles
- Travel time: 2 hours
- Cost (tolls and gas): About 20 Euros
From Barcelona, take the A7 going towards Girona. About 25 miles from Barcelona, you’ll find the town of Granollers and to get there, you’ll cross the Alella D.O. region. If you want to take advantage of Alella wines, now would be the time. You can do that in nearby Tiana, or in Granollers itself.
Granollers boasts incredible architectural monuments, including its soportal (portico) which dates back to 1587 and is the city’s most emblematic monument. Another must-see are the old walls of the city. Construction started in 1221 and ended during the reign of King Pere III. The Sant Esteve church is another sight you should consider, such as the gothic Sant Esteve church, built in the 11th century.
After Granollers, continue on the A7 for about 47 miles until you reach Girona (called “the city of the four rivers”, pictured above). Go directly to the old city center, which is walled and in which you will find an eclectic mix of architectural styles, from medieval, to Roman, Arab and Hebrew. Girona is a very Catalan city, and the perfect place to get to know Catalan cuisine, as well as regional Girona cuisine. You can find the best places to dine while in Girona in the Girona section of our Dining Guide, and a more complete city profile in our Cities and Towns section .
From Girona, take the N-IIa for about 20 miles towards Figueres, which you will reach in about 50 minutes. Figueres is known to most travelers as the birthplace of famed Catalan surrealist Salvador Dalí (if you have enough time, we highly recommend that you visit the Dalí Museum-Theatre). The city of Figueres is also home to an amazing array of historical monuments. Close to Figueres you’ll find the Perelada Castle, which is now a restaurant and casino, located in the heart of the D.O. Ampurdán region. Beyond enjoying the singular beauty of the catesle, you can also do some wine and cava tasting in their winery. We highly recommend visiting the Cavas del Castillo de Perelada cellars.
Less than half an hour away is the Benedictine monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes, located on municipal border of the town of Port de la Selva. Built in the Romanic style, no one knows much about the origin of this monastery.
The area has great dining and accommodations for the culinary traveler. The type of Catalan cuisine served here is what is referred to as mar i muntanya, which means “sea and mountain”. From the sea, there is great selection of fish and other seafood directly from the nearby coast. From the mountains, meats, cheese and wild-grown products. The most popular dishes from this region are rice dishes, Suquet, Escalivada, sepia con guisantes, fricandó and pollo con langostinos.