Exploring Catalan Villages from the Stone Age to Medieval Times Archaeology Tour
- In a private tour, explore the reconstructed Neolithic prehistoric village on the shore of idyllic Lake Banyoles, about 75 minutes drive north of Barcelona
- Visit the stunning and beautifully preserved medieval village of Besalú in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains
- Experience the tranquil, stunning countryside of Catalonia “away from the madding crowd”
- Immerse yourself in the charms of this Mediterranean region’s culture and heritage in an expert-led tour
- Have a traditional Catalan lunch in a local restaurant or have a gourmet Catalan picnic
Duration: Approximately 8 hours
Activity level: Light/Moderate
Tour leader Killian Driscoll and your chauffeur will pick you up from your chosen location, and you’ll start your tour driving out of the city with Killian introducing the day ahead, and answering any questions you may have.
Throughout the day, Killian will share with you his knowledge of the history and archaeology of the region, and the places you visit. You will be given an insight into the lives of the people that inhabited the area from the hunter-gatherers of the Palaeolithic to the first farmers of the Neolithic to the later medieval period.
To begin exploring the archaeology of the Catalan prehistoric and medieval villages in the Girona province, we'll drive about 75 minutes north of Barcelona. The first stop will be striking reconstructed Neolithic lakeside village of La Draga, at Banyoles near the foothills of the Pyrenees.
At La Draga you'll have a private tour of the reconstructed prehistoric village, which is an active excavation and open museum where you'll learn about the first farmers of the 'Neolithic revolution' and their way of life in prehistoric Europe and Iberia.
The Neolithic inhabitants of la Draga built their lakeside village over 7,000 years ago. Over the past 20 years archaeologists have been excavating the site. This has uncovered a wealth of information about the houses and structures, along with incredibly well-preserved wood tools, basketry items, pottery, and artefacts associated with the community's daily life.
From there you'll continue through the scenic Girona province to have your leisurely lunch in a local restaurant of your choice or your specially prepared, gourmet Catalan picnic.
After lunch, you'll visit the stunning medieval town of Besalú to explore the beautifully preserved mountain town, with the Fluvià River running through it on its way to the Mediterranean Sea. In Besalú you'll see the archaeology and history of this living, authentic medieval town. While exploring the winding streets and laneways, you'll learn about lives of the people who lived in the town and its environs, from the Iron Age (about 2500 years ago), Roman period, medieval period, to the present day.
Among the wealth of historical sites to visit is the 800 year-old Jewish bathhouse, overlooking the 11th century fortified bridge. The Jewish bathhouse - mikvah - is one of the last remaining in Europe, and part of Besalú's medieval Jewish quarter.
Driving back to Barcelona through the breathtaking scenery of the foothills of the Pyrenees, you'll stop at another Medieval village where you can have a relaxed coffee in a local cafe, followed by a wander through the village.