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Medieval towns in Spain's coastal provinces
21 September 2020 @ 19:55

LIFE in the Middle Ages has become quite fashionable lately, centuries after it all happened or – as some would say – didn't happen.

You probably think of jousting, jugglers, giant feasts in torchlit courts with massive cake-and-ale bowls being passed around the communal table (not recommended with the Covid pandemic), or maybe plagues, poor sanitation, witches being drowned and blood tests using leeches. Fairytale-like castles may pop into your head and, fairly uniquely in western Europe, a Spain where the majority of the population was of Arab origin and the predominant religion was Islam.

“I loved studying the Mediaeval era at school,” one Spanish lady told us.

“It was basically 1,000 years when nothing happened.”

But everything that makes 'Mediaeval' trendy in the 21st century begs to differ: From the spectacular glittering Moors and Christians festivals, to the Middle Ages-themed craft markets in the early months of the year, to novelists such as Ildefonso Falcones, Spain's answer to Ken Follett of Pillars of the Earth fame (and he's always on the bestseller shelves, too – his latest tome and prequel to the former, Las Tinieblas del Alba in Spanish (The Evening and the Morning) has a whole display unit dedicated to it at the moment in hypermarkets and bookshops in Spain).

Then there's the architecture, of course. Moorish castles abound in the country; in fact, there are so many of them that a huge number only have about a paragraph of historical detail about them published anywhere – nobody's bothered to research every single one, or they'd be spending another 1,000 years on them. And even many small villages retain what was left of their 'city' walls, with their arched entrances; lots of these started out life as humble, Arab-owned farmsteads in the Middle Ages.

If you're hoping to live or spend your holidays somewhere within striking distance of a beach – even if it's not exactly on your doorstep – but find yourself seduced by the magic of all the good bits about the Mediaeval era (the parts that don't include plagues and leeches), you'll find plenty of towns and villages on Spain's coasts that feel as though you've stepped off a plane into the early years of the last Millennium.

Here are some of the most stunning Mediaeval towns in coastal provinces (of course, there are plenty others a long way inland, too, with their own unique charms – but we'll come back to you later on those).


Girona province

Close to the wonderful modern madness of the Costa Brava are towns that will take you back hundreds of years – some of them right on the beach, and some a short-ish drive away, but close enough for a day trip.



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