As you approach the border on the main road from Figueres to Besalu, you will notice a change in the countryside. Side roads lead to Maià de Montcal, which has a good bar/restaurant, and Beuda, dominated by a small inhabited castle and regarded as the centre of a significant area in terms of rural Romanesque architecture. The municipality embraces three or four tiny villages, and features several interesting churches, macias etc. and more than one very good bar/restaurant. There are some lovely walks and drives to be enjoyed around the area. Here it is easy to compare the contrasting flora of neighbouring basic and acid substrata, the former with blue aphyllanthes, rush-leaved jonquil, ramonda and dull ophrys, the latter with the fern Pellaea calomelanos (found here and nowhere else in Europe), cork oak and strawberry tree forests and the delightful creeping snapdragon. Local birds include the short-toed eagle, hoopoe, Thekla lark, crested tit, rock bunting, crag martin, blue rock thrush and rock sparrow.
This article was written by Francis Barrett. See also Francis' excellent guide to Ireland irelandbyways.com
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