Where is Besalu?
The medieval village of Besalu is located in the province of La Garrotxa, inland from Girona and the Costa Brava. The nearest beach is Sant Marti d’Empuries at 45 minutes. Cadaques and Begur are both one hour by car from Besalu.
The history of the medieval village of Besalu
In medieval times Besalu was an important capitol with far reaching powers. From around 1300 the importance of the town slowly diminished. Many important buildings still remain including the church of St Pere which was consecrated in the year 1003.
Today the 12th century Romanesque bridge is perhaps the most prominent focal point of the village. Spanning the river Fluvia, the bridge was constructed on top natural rock formations and as a consequence the bridge is angled rather than straight.
The first mention of the bridge is in a document dating 1075. The bridge has been repaired and modified over the centuries most recently during the Spanish Civil war when fascist troops of General Franco blew up two sections of the bridge. It was repaired again in 1965.
Curiously the population 1000 years ago was roughly the same as what it is today (around 2500 people).
What to do in Besalu
Even though Besalu is a small compact village there’s still plenty of things to see and do. The village is a worthwhile day trip from Barcelona or the Costa Brava. Besalu has two Squares; Placa Major (main Square) in the heart of the village and the nearby Placa St Pere. Placa St Pere is actually the bigger Square of the two and is where the church of St Pere is located.
The village has many connections to it’s Jewish past heritage including the 12th century purification baths or Miqvé. One of only three Miqvés in Europe it can be visited with a guide from the Besalu Tourist office.
On one side of Placa St Pere one finds Circus Land – a museum showcasing the history of Circuses throughout the ages.
Besalu was also one of the filming locations for the second series of the popular HBO show Westworld.
Both Squares have a good selection of bars and restaurants serving lunch and dinner meals.
Getting to Besalu
The village is located on the C66 coming from Girona and the N260 coming from the direction of Figueres. The nearest beaches are St Pere Pescador and Sant Marti d’Empuries which are both around 45 minutes by car. Cadaques is one hour by car as is Begur.
Barcelona Besalu bus timetable
Besalu is also connected by bus to Barcelona, Girona and Figueres. The Barcelona Besalu bus timetable can be found on the Teisa website.
Besalu villa rentals
We have visited all of the properties on our website on multiple occasions. Our aim is to offer un-biased opinions on each property and help our clients choose the best property for their needs.
Locally based we offer a free Costa Brava concierge service to all our clients and can help arrange extra services and activities. We can give suggestions of day-trips and put together bespoke days out including some of our off the beaten track favorites.