Situated right on the Cap de Creus peninsula, Cadaqués is one of the most symbolic places on the Gironese Costa Brava. Its rocky coast, fringed by beautiful beaches and quiet coves, forms one of its main attractions, together with the incredible landscape offered by the Cap de Creus Natural Park. At the head of Cadaqués bay is its historic quarter, with a Mediterranean air and deep seaside flavour. The source of inspiration for internationally famous painters and artists for decades, today this centre enjoys an intense cultural life, as witnessed by its many museums and art galleries, among which the Salvador Dalí House-Museum is outstanding. Cadaqués is the ideal starting point for getting to know the rest of the county of Alt Empordà, full of historic places, surprising natural areas and abundant archaeological remains
Port de la Selva
El Port de la Selva is on the northern Costa Brava, and is outstanding for its varied landscapes, its beaches and its mountains, such as Sant Salvador and Puig de Queralbs, part of the Sierra de Rodes Mountain range. The first historic references to the settlement go back to 974, although it did not become a fully-fledged village until the 18th century, with the construction of its first church. Fishing was the main economic activity in the village until the arrival of tourism in the 20th century. Despite all this, Port de la Selva retains the charm of a small fishing village, with a great many monuments and archaeological remains, such as the Taballera dolmen, the Serra de Rodes medieval site (made up of Sant Pere de Rodes Monastery, Sant Salvado Castle (13th century), Santa Elena Shrine and the village of Santa Creu), and Sant Fruitós Church. El Port has been part of the Cabo de Creus Nature Reserve since 1998. The village has some of Catalonia's best beaches.
Besalú, in the province of Girona, is a monumental example of the Catalan Middle Ages. Located in the region of La Garrotxa, the town is only steps away from the spectacular scenery of the Volcanic Zone of La Garrotxa Nature Reserve, on the last spurs of the eastern section of the Pyrenees of Girona. Cobbled streets and façades are the most distinguishable feature of the city centre, as can be seen in many spots. The rich medieval legacy brings the visitor closer to both religious and civil constructions, and to the vestiges of a Sephardic quarter that used to exist in this town during the Middle Ages. Civil architecture works include the 12th-century Romanesque bridge that crosses the Fluvià river; the building of Cùria Real, devoted to law enforcement; and the residence of Cornellà, with a great Romanesque arcaded gallery. Among religious monuments, we must point out the churches of Sant Pere, Santa María, and Sant Vicenç, alternating Romanesque and Gothic elements. Also worthy of note is the lavish ornamentation of the church of Sant Julià (17th century). In addition, in the Jewish quarter we can visit medieval public baths that were devoted to Hebrew ritual ablutions. [ Més informació ]
Eighteen kilometres away form Girona, in the vicinity of the Volcanic Zone of La Garrotxa Nature Reserve, we find the town of Banyoles. Between Sierra Rocacorba and the Fluvià and Terri rivers, this town enjoys an incomparable natural setting. Surrounded by green hills, on the shore of Banyoles lake, the city centre was arranged around two points: Vila Vella, where we find the church of Santa María del Turers (14th century) and the Neoclassical monastery of Sant Esteve; and Vila Nova, whose most interesting site is its arcaded square, where we find numerous ancient buildings. The historic heritage of this town also includes Pia Almoina, a medieval, 14th-century construction, and Llotja del Tint, from the 15th century. Also, the traveller should not miss the Regional Archaeological Museum, which exhibits, among other things, a Neanderthal jawbone. The lake is also a great choice to visit. At different points along its six-kilometre-long perimeter we can hire small vessels to go rowing, fishing, or canoeing. [ Més informació ]
Castelló de Ampurias is located near the mouth of the Muga river, in the gulf of Roses. Its strategic location lets the traveller enjoy the local arts and culture, as well as the beach, the sun, and the natural environment. Entertainment and leisure activities are designed around three main choices: Villa Condal, the coastal area of Empuriabrava, and Aiguamolls Park. The city centre of Castelló de Ampurias holds a rich architectural heritage, which includes the remarkable 14th-century Gothic church of Santa María, which has a Romanesque belltower, and resembles a cathedral. We also find other interesting buildings such as the City Hall, the Grand House (14th century), the arcade of La Gallarda (11th-12th century), the old exchange Lonja de Mar, the bridge of Pont Vell, the convent of Santa Clara (11th century) and remains of the wall. When it comes enjoying the beach and the sun, Empuriabrava is a wonderful place, with sea channels, and a marina equipped with numerous facilities and recreational services, as well as an intense nightlife. Lastly, the visitor can visit the Aiguamolls de L’Empordá Nature Reserve, the most important system of vegetation and fauna in the region. Més informació ]
Located in the northern plains of Figueres, in the region of Alt Empordà, the village was the capital of the Perelada County since ancient times. It was the Viscount of Rocabertí who erected the great castle which, once remodelled in the late 19th century, has reached our days as a casino. The town still has several constructions from the Middle Ages, such as the Romanesque cloister of the convent of Sant Domènec, and the old Gothic convent of Carme, present site of a museum and library, created by Miquel Mateu. [ Més informació ]