Founded in 1177 by King Alfonso I of Aragon, Count of Barcelona, Puigcerdà, meaning “Cerdanyan hill” in Catalan, replaced Hix (now a village in the French part of Cerdagne) as the capital of Cerdanya in 1178.

Flying from Girona airport with a few hours to kill? Empúries, (coming from the Greek “Emporion” meaning market place or shopping centre) lies midway between the Costa Brava town of L’Escala and the tiny village…

I’m assuming you’ve already gasped at the Parc Güell, gazed at Gaudi, stared at the Sagrada Familia, and marvelled at Miró.
For me the charm of Barcelona is to be found in its more homely treasures, on foot or by its efficient public transport system.

Over the past five or six centuries, Girona has undergone twenty-five sieges and been captured seven times by a variety of famous French generals. Today, it is Mr O’Leary and his Ryanair army who have…