Situated just an hour north of Barcelona, Girona can often be overlooked in favour of her big sister, but this compact Catalan town is certainly worth a visit.
An ancient hub, formed before even the Romans invaded, it is the capital of the Girona province in Catalonia and is situated at the confluence of four major rivers. On the east bank of the waterway, the Old Town resides, all narrow cobbled streets winding up the hill town which is tucked behind a city wall which protected the residents of Girona from Napoleon's troops in 1808. In fact, Girona's ability to withstand the many attacks by various enemies earnt it the title 'immortal' in the 19th century after surviving five consecutive attacks.
The popular La Rambla walkway which follows the river is packed full of bars and cafes, where visitors can relax and take in the view while enjoying local Catalan wines and tapas dishes. The medieval Old Town is packed full of Romanesque and Gothic buildings, but the jewel in its crown is the cathedral, on which work began in the 11th century, but was only completed in the 18th century. It has the widest Gothic nave in the world and a Romanesque cloister.
Visitors looking for great views across the town can walk along the ancient walls and no visit is complete without wandering the tightly wound streets of the Jewish quarter, on which construction began back in the 9th century.
Girona also has an impressive collection of museums, an archaeological museum and art exhibition are complimented by a cinema museum and two other cultural centres dedicated to the town's Jewish history and also the cathedral. As well as its ancient wonders, this university town also has a young, modern feel to it. It is full of trendy bars and unique shops and is consistently voted the best place to live in Spain.