We will discover Puigcerdà and Llívia that are in the northern part of Catalonia and the town Villefranche de Conflent that belongs to France but we call the border between France and Catalonia, Northern Catalonia -as if it was ours, but its not, at least not nowadays-.
A day of route by car going around, enjoying landscapes and food and gastronomy of the area. Our tour started in Puigcerdà, at first sight, everything appeared to be closed, and in the end we discovered that we were visiting on a bank holiday in the area. But well we didn't come to shop, we thought...although some cheese and sausages would have been good to buy, but anyway there we were.
Puigcerdà is a very nice town with his artificial lake. We saw the church of Sant Tomàs de Ventajola in the town. We went to la Plaça Major, which is the main street in town to have some drinks and tapas on the terrace.
Puigcerdà is in a great location, very near from ski stations Pas de la Casa and Alp 2500 (La Molina and la Masella), it is a known area for ski lovers and Puigcerdà has always been the posh ski area in Catalonia.
After our short visit to Puigcerdà we went to Llívia, I didn't know that Llívia was a Catalan territory inside of Spain but actually the land is inside France. Llívia it is connected with Spain through a little road that belongs to France but when you enter the town you are in Spain. I was surprised by that and actually very interested in that so I looked for more information.
In 1528, the emperor Carles V gave Llívia the title of Town "Vila". It might be this title the most important fact in all history of Llívia, as the citizens a century later, used this title in the Pyrenees treaty to go against being part of France. So as a result of that treaty Llívia is part of Spain.
We had lunch in Llívia in the restaurant Can Ventura, amazing food for a menu of 20 euros per person, drinks not included. See our amazing menú of products of terroir as the french call it, the truth is that even though this part belongs to Catalonia is a very french town.
For starters, there was a courgette cream, a salad with duck gizzards and raspberries and pasta with basil and tomato with goat's cheese. Both dishes, amazing, the pasta had simple ingredients but the quality of food was amazing. Our second dishes were scallops with white beans and lamb ribs with red pepper. As a desert, we had some yoghurt with mango.
Villefranche de Conflent it is a medieval city from XI century, in the middle of the Pyrenees. The town is classified as one of the most beautiful towns in France and it is also within the Vauban constructions in Unesco heritage. Within the alleys and narrow streets on the town artisans have their shops and you can buy pottery, pastries and food, souvenirs, clothes etc...
You can't miss North Catalonia, food is amazing, beautiful towns and always all is so much better with good company!