Palamós, Calella de Palafrugell, Begur, Pals... Baix Empordà is one of the historical regions, and with more personality, in Catalonia.
Baix Empordà is a county located in the Costa Brava, where traditional customs, villages and natural environment has been perfectly preserved: we will find important natural landscapes as Medes Islands or les Gavarres, beaches of great beauty, the extense plain of Empordà... On the other hand, we will discover villages and towns with great charm and an excellent cuisine and many traditional festivals that will not leave us indifferent.
Environmental tourism resources:
Medes Islands: This group of islands located about 900 meters in front of the town of L'Estartit are protected by the Plan of Areas of Natural Interest due to its number of fauna and flora that lives in this area. Is one of the Mediterranean's most important natural areas. This islands offers caves and cavities of great beauty where all kind of natural species and animals lives, such as red coral. It is a strictly protected area where you can visit by boat or diving.
Les Gavarres: Gavarres massif is classified as an Area of Natural Interest since 1992, with a total of 28.548h. This territory had an important role in ancient times with a large number of human activities. Less formerly inhabited, you can find houses, churches and cultural remnants scattered throughout this area rich in oak trees. It has well-marked trails and the mountain bike centre of the Baix Emporda.
Outstanding beaches: Calella de Palafrugell, Tamariu, Aiguafreda, Sa Tuna, Sa Riera, Platja Fonda, Cala Castell, Cala Estreta, etc.
La Bisbal de l'Empordà: situated on the plain of the Empordà, the capital of the region maintains its long tradition of making pottery craft. We can discover its history in the Terracotta Museum of Ceramics of La Bisbal. We also emphasize the long tradition in the commerce of the antiquities, testimony of this is the prestige of its antique dealers. From this town we also must emphasize the Plaça del Castell and the large number of activities and the good atmosphere that prevails during its annual festival, held every year in mid August.
Ullastret: Iberian village considered the largest in the north of the peninsula and even one of the most important sites of the Mediterranean from this time. Outstand its extent and richness of its ruins, which together with the archaeological museum will help us to know their way of life. In Ullastret we can also visit the Church of Sant Pere de Ullastret, the walls and various civilian buildings.
House-Museum Castle Gala Dalí, Púbol: Salvador Dalí and Gala, his wife, lived in the medieval castle of Púbol during the seventies and early eighties. Since 1996, you can visit this spot, where you can see different works that the artist gave to Gala as well as dresses, sculptures and different types of objects of great creativity.
Pals: a few kilometers from the coast you will find this villa high on a hill, which is characterized by his beautiful medieval structure. All the old town is well preserved, with cobbled streets, defense walls and several Gothic buildings as the church of St. Pere that makes this town a Historic Artistic Site.
Other important visits: Begur, Peratallada, Monells, Palamós, Calella de Palafrugell, Cruïlles, Santa Cristina d'Aro and the Romanesque core of Romanyà etc.
Outstanding celebrations and activities:
Fira d'Indians, Begur: the first weekend of September, in Begur takes place this fair, which wants to commemorate the historical relationship throughout the nineteenth century between Cuba and local Begur citizens when this population was enriched by their businesses on the Cuban territory. These days the town is transformed offering markets, concerts, exhibitions of crafts and activities.
Dance of death in Verges: every Holy Thursday, Verges celebrates a remarkable representation of a tradition that goes back to the European Middle Ages. Different religious personages parade on this day, highlighting the dance of the skeletons and the different sounds that accompany the procession. This festival is considered Festival of National Interest.
Music Festival of Torroella de Montgrí: with more than twenty-five editions, the festival devotes its main hub in western classical music with small samples of other types and cultures. It is celebrated every year from mid July to late August in the setting of the church of Sant Genis and Plaça de la Vila.
Festival of Jardins de Cap Roig: in this incomparable setting, with views of Calella de Palafrugell and the sea, is held every July and August in the auditorium of the Botanical Garden the outstanding summer festival of Cap Roig dedicated to dance, world music, jazz, classical, etc.. with a large number of internationally recognized artists.
In this region, you can practice all kinds of sports. Walking routes by different paths and also enjoy the path that borders the Costa Brava. Diving at the Medes Islands, or even fly in a balloon in Ultramort.
In Castell d'Aro we can find the mountain bike center of the Baix Empordà BTT, where we will find a welcoming spot with information and services, and more than a hundred km of signposted walks all freely available. There are several cycling routes, highlights:
- Greenway (Via verda): route linking Girona and San Feliu de Guixols (39 km).
- Ter Route: cycling and hiking route that follows the course of the River Ter from the Pyrenees to the coast, passing through different regions of northeastern Catalonia. The last leg of the route passes through land Empordà.
Close to Baix Empordà...
Girona: city that gives name to the region. It’s dimension allows visitors to enjoy all its charms bye foot. The Old City is an important historical centre as it contains a wealth of artistic and architectural heritage. It was the heart of the Roman city of Gerunda, surrounded by parts of the old wall, now forming a path that we can walk (Paseo Arqueológico y el Paseo de Muralla), with a spectacular view over the city. You can also visit the Arab baths of XII century (Romanesque style) and different religious buildings such as the Monasteri de St. Pere de Galligants or the Basílica de St. Feliu. In addition, Girona offers many museums, leisure areas, restaurants...
Main visits in Girona:
- Cathedral of Girona: Cathedral called Santa Maria, situated on the highest part of the city, the impressive cathedral was built between the XI-XVIII centuries and has the widest Gothic nave in the world. We also find other styles such as Baroque, Romanesque and Renaissance architecture.
- Onyar Houses: houses hanging over the river Onyar, were built over the centuries and painted with vivid colours and are a beautiful and colourful image of this city.
- The Jewish Quarter: the historical centre of Girona, is one of the best and extensive preserved Jewish quarters in Europe. Until the fifteenth century a Jewish community lived in this steep narrow streets and nowadays we can enjoy of this architectural legacy and the medieval atmosphere. Ça Porta Bonastruc Center is considered the former synagogue, now converted into a study centre and museum. It is essential to get lost in these streets and squares.
Banyoles Lake: the largest natural lake in Catalonia and one of the few in the entire peninsula. It represents the most emblematic image of the town of Banyoles. It’s a lake with outstanding features, and nourished by underground springs that flow from its depths. It is a space with a great ecological value, rich in fauna and flora and is integrated into the Plan of Areasof Natural Interest of Catalonia. You can walk, bike all around the lake (8km)
Parc Natural dels Aiguamolls de l'Empordà: This wetland area is one of the most important and emblematic parks of Catalunya. After a great struggle to prevent urbanism in this natural landscape, in 1983 got his protection. It is a wetland created by the end of the river Muga and Fluvià (between St. Pere Pescador and Castelló d'Empúries) where we can find a great diversity of fauna and flora, especially bird species. Its almost 5000ha consist of lakes, areas of crop (rice), ponds, etc. Is possible to walk in the park through different paths, on foot, horse or by bike and in certain areas we can find bird watching huts, ideal to observe them in freedom.
Ruins of Empúries: located in an incomparable setting, next to L'Escala, we can visit the ruins of the old Greek city and Roman city of Empúries. Founded around the 500 BC, this was the front door of these two important cultures in our peninsula. At the moment we can make a visit to the archaeological deposit and the museum, where we can discover objects and the history of this city.
Cadaqués: located in the end of the Cap de Creus it has lived historically isolated of the rest of the Empordà, which has helped to conserve its almost virgin landscape. The streets are narrow and their buildings white, that next to its natural bay full of small boats makes this town one of the villages with more charm and personality of Catalonia. In the middle of the town the Church of St. Maria is raised, constructed in the XVII century with gothic style and painted totally white.
Theater-Museum Dalí, Figueres: one of the most visited museums of Spain, dedicated completely to the famous author and constructed on the rest of the old theater of Figueres. This was restored at the beginning of the Seventies, with the participation and help of the artist, who was personally in charge of each one of the details. The surrealistic building hosts a great amount of art works, like paintings, sculptures, photography’s of the author, etc. Under the main level of the building, we can find the crypt of the author.