A visit to the small town of Castelló d'Empúries
23.06.2012 - 23.06.2012
Weekend in the Costa Brava, Empuriabrava
After two marvelous day have passed, one in L'Escala and the other in Figueras, the last day had arrived and so we decided to visit Empuriabrava. And just like that we said goodbye to our lovely apartment in the pretty town of l'Escala, and begen heading to our new destination.
Empuriabrava is a maritime and urbanized locality of Castelló d'Empúries, a medievalesque town with a conglomeration of major tourist attractions ripe for visiting. The town is only 18 km away from Figueras, and can be reached by car or by bus (we went by car and it only took 10 minutes).
We found parking in front of Empuriabrava beach and, as usual, we found it too hard to resist and stopped by a typical marketplace. The coastline stretches across 10km and there are 3 beaches: Can Beach, Empuriabrava Beach (which boasts a blue flag award – a symbol of quality and wide range of services like beach and water sports), and finally, Rubina Beach, a secluded beach which is usually very windy.
Because it was so windy, we couldn't sunbathe, or hang around on the beach, but we did have the chance to walk through this maritime centre.
The most spectacular thing about this place are the canals that traverse the town. In fact, Empuriabrava has 35 canals, all of which are home to more than 5000 boats and vessels, making it one of the largest ports in the world.
After the walk between the canals, we decided to go to the Medieval town of Castelló d'Empúries (I would advice you to get there by car or use the public bus services). In less than 5 minutes we arrived and were stood outside the entrance of the town.
Getting out of the car and seeing the narrow streets and stone houses, it felt almost as if we had travelled back in time.
I have to admit that the walk through those streets was a wonderful experience. The streets were practically empty and the silence resonated across the whole town, it was almost mystical. We had only come across one bar and it was occupied by some elderly people who were seated and drinking their beers, completely indifferent to their environment.
Upon entering the town centre, the square of Mossen Cinto Veraduer, we found the Cathedral of Santa Maria, very impressive. This church was built in the thirteenth century above the ruins of a Romanesque church of which you can still see some remnants, like the bell or the baptismal font. The gothic styled interior has three aisles and lateral chapels on each side, and is considered to be the most important monuments in Gerona after the Cathedral of Girona.
On the streets there are buildings of great historical significance, such as the convent of Santa Clar and “El Portal de la Gallarda” - a medieval gate from the 11th century. Indeed, we found a restaurant in a place not so far to the left of the catherdral entrance, with a very beautiful terrace: “La taberna de los cols”.
Here we ordered from a set menu of 13 euros; olives, french fries, bread with tomato, crepes with spinach and goats cheese, and salmon with salad and potatos, and to finish, an excellent Catalan Cream (a typical Catalan desert similar to a crème brùlée).
Satisfied and with our stomachs full, we walked for a bit more around town and at 5 o'clock we decided to return to Barcelona.
I have to say that this weekend had more than fulfilled my expectations. The Costa Brava has many places to discover and visit, and really, they are totally worth the visit. Very recommendable!!