Medieval Villages in Catalonia

Visiting Colomers and Canapost

Medieval Villages in Catalonia: Visiting Colomers and Canapost

Visiting Colomers The BaixEmpordà region is a great place for cycling. You can do hills and mountains if you want to, or you can keep things fairly level. You can see modern cities and towns, or you can see medieval villages and ruins from all time periods.

Here is one route that I like. I leave my car in a parking lot next to the Ter River outside of Colomers and start pedaling. I cross the Colomers Dam and continue south on a dirt road for 2 or 3 kilometers. Then I veer off to the right to visit the ruins of a town called Sant Romà de Sidillà. It lost its battle with the Ter River in the Middle Ages and was abandoned. Nowadays, it’s being restored and there are different signs that tell visitors what they are looking at.

Returning to the dirt road and continuing south (but also cresting a long uphill stretch), I reach the picturesque town of Foixà, with its large castle on a hill and its view of the Mediterranean, the Medes Islands and the Montgrí mountain in the distance.

 

From there, I head east out of the town and then southeast, towards La Bisbal. Casavells marks the beginning and end of a loop. It’s a quaint, medieval town, and I get a kick out of the “GallinesFelices” (Happy Hens) farm, where neighbors buy eggs through a homemade vending machine.

From Casavells, I continue towards La Bisbal along dirt roads that skirt farm fields and dip into the (usually fairly dry) Daró River to come out on the other bank. I cross La Bisbal as well as I can and take a dirt road to the east to see a series of medieval towns: Fonteta, Vulpellac, Canapost, Peratallada and Palau-Sator. The ones I like the most are Canapost, with its medieval graves carved into the rocky ground behind the church; Pertallada, with its moat and cobbled streets (and Bo Derek, although I have yet to see her – maybe she no longer owns a house there); and Palau-Sator, with its fountain and gateway into the center of the town.

 

Leaving from the north side of Palau-Sator, I head northwest towards Ullastret. If I have time, I visit the Iberian ruins of Ullastret, where the museum offers a good idea of how the Iberian people lived before the arrival of the Romans.

From Ullastret, I head west, back to Casavells, Foixà and Colomers. It’s a long route, but I’ve never measured it. It’s probably in the 20- to 30-mile range, and it can take anywhere from 2 to 5 hours to do, depending on how intensively you visit different places. It’s not grueling, because the hills are long rather than steep (and what goes up also comes down!). It’s just a nice way to get a feel for the BaixEmpordà and the way people have lived there throughout history.

 

 

 

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