London may be getting a lot of press recently, as people are starting to get excited about the upcoming Olympics, but elsewhere in Europe plenty of other captivating destinations are also on the rise. This may be due to particular events planned for 2012, or new attractions that are beginning to draw in returning and new visitors. Rough Guides recently named 5 of their top destinations to visit in 2012, and the province of Girona made the cut.

For years, the small Catalonian city of Girona was known as the place to fly to in order to reach Barcelona, thanks to cheaper flight routes. Recently however, the region has become a destination in its own right, and it also happens to be one of the only Spanish provinces in which real estate prices have remained stable.*

The region has become popular amongst the foodies too. Girona is now well-established as a gastronomic paradise and the Costa Brava, the region in which Girona resides, is home to over 20 Michelin-star dining opportunities.

Although Girona boasts an assortment of architectural styles, the overall impression is of an overwhelmingly beautiful medieval city, whose attraction is heightened by its river setting. With several excellent museums and a cathedral rivalling any other in the region, it is hard to resist the lure of simply wandering the superbly preserved cobbled streets, particularly in the Jewish quarter.

With the proximity to airports, golf courses, leisure facilities, coastal towns and the superb choices of restaurants and shops of course , Girona is the ideal destination to visit this year. If you are a keen foodie, you must try some of the delicious tapas on offer around the city. Experts recommend staying at least three or four nights to truly appreciate the charming city, especially if you want to explore some of the surrounding countryside.

If you decide to visit, keep an eye on for updates on what might be going on while you are there!

* Lucas Fox International Properties