El Castell cliffs
This town with excellent beaches and leisure opportunities is set right on the Costa Brava, on the coast of the province of Girona. The broken coastal relief provides both wide beaches and coves with clear water among the rocks. Its great variety of hotel establishments provides accommodation for all kinds of visitors, from those seeking greater contact with nature to those who want luxury facilities. Its cuisine, another way of getting to know the Catalan culture, offers excellent products from the sea.
A bay of fine sand, that of Palamós, interrupts the cliffs dominating the topography of the Costa Brava. This is where the town has been since the 12th century: a former fishing village which today is well equipped for tourism and leisure. The beaches, coves, sailing facilities and fishing port are the municipality's main attractions, although the medieval streets of its old town should not be forgotten. The whole outline of the coast can be made out from the nearby massif of Les Gavarres, which is wonderful landscape for walking or for any other sport involving contact with nature.Beaches and covesThe variety of this coast provides the visitor with the opportunity to enjoy the pleasant coastal temperatures and peaceful waters with beaches of fine sand. Beach bars, restaurants and lively promenades frame beaches as symbolic as the Gran Playa, the Playa de la Fosca or the Playa del Castell. On the other hand, those who prefer peace, quiet and the clear water of rocky-bottomed coves, ideal for diving, will enjoy Cala Margarida, Cala S´Alguer or Cala Canyers. The first of these is near one of Palamós' marinas and around it is one of the most luxurious developments in the area. The other coves are further away from the town centre and are surrounded by pinewoods reaching down to the sea. More summer holiday homes are dotted around the area. Los marinas are lively meeting places where travellers will be able to enjoy the coastline, the luxury boats and excellent restaurants. It is also a good place for booking a boat trip, hiring diving equipment, or doing many water sports. The fishing port, beside the historic centre, is the origin of the town. Here the yachts are replaced by fishing boats which return every day with freshly caught fish. It is worth going to the Fish Market, where Mediterranean products are sold and auctioned. The Fishing Museum also brings the visitor closer to one of the most important economic activities on the Baix Empordà coast.Local cuisineThis fish and seafood forms part of the traditional Mediterranean diet, which is deeply rooted in Catalonia. In Palamós the prawns are particularly outstanding. They are eaten grilled, boiled or in a multitude of stews. Sea urchins, Norway lobster, cuttlefish and squid are combined with game birds, cod or snails, creating recipes half way between the land and the sea. Wines from the Ampurdán-Costa Brava Denomination of Origin are the best accompaniment for these mouth-watering dishes. There are many restaurants, in the ports, beside the beaches and in the historic centre.Any route around the town must lead to interesting monuments, like the churches of Santa Eugenia de Villarromá or Santa María del Mar, in the town centre. The Plaza Murada and the Plaza de El Pedró form Palamós' main viewpoints, one over the bay and the other over the marina. Meanwhile, important Iberian archaeological remains lied on the Platjja del Castell, while the medieval caste of Sant Esteve is on the Platja de La Fosca.The Costa BravaTo the north of Palamós you can visit the seaside town of L´Estartit, from where a trip to the Medes Islandsan Underwater Natural Reserve formed by seven small islands, of enormous biological wealth - can be organised. Inland, the historic-artistic site of Pals, whose medieval streets transport the traveller back into the past, awaits you. On the way to Palamós, the ruins of the 15th century castle of Begur might be a good place to stop, as well as the Parador de Turismo at Aiguablava, beside a cliff that runs into the Mediterranean Sea. Pinewoods running down to the sand are the distinguishing feature of Palafrugell, where a visit reveals the Cap Roig Castle Botanic Gardens, the church of Sant Martí or the Josep Pla Foundation.The last section of the Costa Brava, to the south of Palamós, mixes marinas with fishing ports and summer holiday developments with traditional town centres. So, Platja d´Aro is one of the places where you will find the greatest variety of accommodation, right beside the beaches Beautiful monuments and some of the most extensive sporting facilities on the whole coast are the surprises of Sant Feliu de Guíxols. And in the county of La Selva you will have to stop at Tossa de Mar and Lloret de Mar. Beaches, coves with clear water beside interesting town centres where there are plenty of leisure opportunities are some of this area's distinctive features.
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