Gerona is a beautiful city in the Spanish province of Catalonia and is renowned for being the most popular city to live amongst the Spaniards. A visit to Gerona effortlessly blends old and new Spanish traditions. Gerona trades the big city bustle of its near neighbour Barcelona for a more relaxed feel, and it is the perfect city to stroll around. The old and new towns are separated by the Onyar River. The picturesque old town is still surrounded by the ancient city walls, which are well worth the climb as you gain a panoramic view of the city from the top. Restaurants serving Catalonian food take advantage of the climate by offering diners the option to eat outside. The beautiful cobbled streets of the old town, flanked by tall old houses, trace their history back to the days of the Roman Empire when Gerona was an important Catalonian city because of its position at the meeting point of the Ter, Onyar, Galligants and Güell rivers. The visitors will enjoy simply walking around the old town, and a visit to the city’s cathedral and its second church the Església de Sant Feliu are recommended. The famous Arab Baths are also worth seeing. Many hotels and the newer shopping area are in the new town on the other side of the Onyar.
Gerona is blessed with a warm climate and it is at its least crowded in the shoulder seasons of March to May and September to November. These very pleasant months are also among the cheaper times to fly. December to February are the off-peak season, but temperatures can reach near to freezing point, even if the days are more temperate. August is exceptionally hot, and many local residents leave Gerona for the seaside. The Folc de Sant Joan Festival is a lively Catalonian festival that is celebrated each year in June and offers an extraordinary experience that few visitors will forget. The Strenes Festival at the end of March each year offers the opportunity to hear new music.
The layout of the city and its compact nature means that a car is unnecessary and parking spots are difficult to find. Consequently, Gerona is best explored on foot especially as many of the city’s secrets can only be uncovered as you stroll around, finding your favourite cafes, shops and bars by chance.