Banyoles is most well known for its pretty lake which is popular with rowers, kayakers and swimmers. I can’t say any of those activities are of interest to me but I was happy to stroll along the lakeside taking in the views of the snow capped Pyrenees.
It was a beautiful afternoon and I briefly contemplated hiring a bike to ride around the lake but came to my senses and stuck to the relative safety of walking and photographing the lake scenery.
Even though the highlight of Banyoles is the lake, it’s worth taking the time to wander around the old town. Plaza Mayor is a great place to sit and enjoy tapas or a drink and the side streets have plenty of little shops selling Catalan specialities.
Wandering around the town you’ll come across a number of curious water features known as recs which were created by monks in the 9th century. Erin from La Tortuga Viajera goes into a bit more detail explaining how they came to be but for me it just added a little character to the town.
If you’re feeling thirsty, help yourself to some milk from the fresh milk vending machine located just off the main square. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a vending machine like this before and I don’t know why there’s a need for one but it’s an interesting concept.
Banyoles is an easy day trip from Barcelona or Girona and a relaxing place to spend an afternoon if you’re travelling around Catalonia.
On this trip to Spain I stayed as a guest of Charming Villas Catalonia. Check out their site if you’re interested in renting a villa to use as a base to explore the region.