The 10 best things to do in Banyoles and the Pla de l'Estany region (Girona)
The holiday house Can Xargay is located in the village of Mata (municipality of Porqueres) and here we offer a list of 10 activities to do in Banyoles and the region of Pla de l'Estany.
- Excursion on foot around the Lake of Banyoles. The surroundings of the lake have a special attraction: the green contrasts with the blue, the plain of the water with the mountains that surround it from afar; serenity, beauty… All this offers as many sensations as possibilities to participate: walking, contemplating, fishing, thinking, running… For every moment, for every situation and for every time of year the landscapes of the lake they are stimulating and welcoming.
- A visit to Les Estunes. It is a space of great natural value and this is revealed by its declaration as a geotope, an area of geological interest, and its inclusion in the Special Plan of Natural Interest. Travertine balms and cracks; oaks and spongy oaks; the beautiful legend of the Goges, the sharp silence and the cool shade, the climbing ivy and the discreet songs of the birds invite you to a quiet walk full of the peace of the place. The goges, aloges or water women, according to the legends, had it as their place of preference and reveled or spun there all night. They say that on serene nights someone still hears their songs and from afar you can see the glow of their parties.
- Can Ginebreda forest. A Mediterranean forest of 40,000 square meters that has become an open-air museum housing the sculptures, especially erotic, by the artist Xicu Cabanyes. The walk allows you to see more than a hundred works and also visit the artist's workshop. An open cultural and leisure space. Xicu Cabanyes is the author of more than 100 sculptures that awaken our senses and emotions.
- Romanesque church of Sant Andreu de Mata. It is a 12th century church with a single nave and barrel vault. The first reference to the parish is in 1019 when Bishop Pere Roger of Girona and the counts of Barcelona Ramon Berenguer and Ermessenda donated the church to the canonry of Girona. Its belfry with a steep roof on four sides with a wooden framework stands out. You can visit the church every Sunday at 11am.
- Estany d'Espolla. The groundwater that feeds this lake is part of the same lake system of Banyoles, and this intermittency is due to the higher altitude, 50 m, with respect to the Lake of Banyoles. Depending on the time of year, we can find it full or empty. It measures 360 m long by 145 m wide. The lake of Espolla is fed by a set of intermittent springs that behave like an overflow, of a karstic system of groundwater circulation. The beach is crowded during the rainiest periods, usually in the fall and spring. The pond overflows the waters towards the Fluvià and overcomes a drop of more than 80 m.
- Guided tour of the Baixador de Mata. The recovery of the old Mata stop, together with the reconstruction of a passenger car, has no other purpose than to remember that train of "sewn and patched" wagons that connected us with Girona from 1926 to 1956 and perpetuate its memory.
- Excursion by bicycle along the greenway (cycle lane) of Pla de l'Estany. The route brings us up close to landscapes with unique natural elements, and is largely included in the Estany de Banyoles Natural Interest Area. It crosses an important water area. In the initial section it follows the Ter, then the Terri river, borders the Lake of Banyoles and brings us near the Clot d'Epolla - Lake of Espolla (a temporary flood pond) and to the agricultural and forestry area of the Pla d'Usall.
- A visit to the prehistoric caves of Serinyà. Studies show that we are in one of the best sites in Western Europe to learn about the transition from Neanderthal man to modern man. About 200,000 years ago (Middle Paleolithic) its guests were the preneanderthals (Homo heidelbergensis); later (between 90,000 and 39,000 years ago) Neanderthals lived there and finally, during the Upper Paleolithic, the caves were a refuge for modern man (Homo sapiens). They all inhabited this place during the last glacial episodes, when the landscape was very different from today.
- Get on the Pinxo de Banyoles Train. This tourist train has inherited the name by which the tram that connected Girona and Banyoles was popularly known from 1928 to 1956. The route offered by the Pinxo Train allows you to enjoy nature and the landscape around the lake until you reach the Romanesque church of Santa Maria de Porqueres. Then guide through the historic center of Banyoles through the main points and attractions of the old quarter.
- Discover the ponds. Calm waters of changing colors over time; diverse and leafy vegetation with reeds, rushes and riparian trees that give life to a wide variety of animals: ducks, jackdaws, fish, amphibians…