Rugged nature awaits among the towns of the coast of Girona
The province of Girona combines the two main natural attractions of Catalonia. Next to France, it enjoys the landscape of the Pyrenees but also the coastline that winds down from to the neighbouring country. This stretch of coast of more than 200 km, that extends to the mouth of the Tordera river in Blanes, has been given the touristic name of Costa Brava (Wild Coast).
The route starts to the south, in Lloret de Mar, an important tourist destination that conserves examples of its heritage in corners such as the Iberian settlement of Puig de Castellet, the romantic gardens of Santa Clotilde, its castle, the 11th century chapel of la Sant Quirze and some houses of indianos (rich Spanish emigrants returning from America). From this town to the next, you can enjoy some of the best coves on the Costa Brava.
Tossa de Mar is another of the most charismatic and beautiful towns in the region. This town of Roman origin was historically linked to the Monastery of Ripoll. Its walled medieval centre, the Vila Vella (old town), is a delight for strollers, with its cylindrical towers still standing. Other monuments worth highlighting are the Roanas towers, Tossa church or the Governor's Palace. You musn't forget to contemplate the gothic Casa Can Vicenc, the chapel of Sant Miquel or to visit the Municipal Museum, a reflection of the artistic movement found here in the 30s.
The next town is Sant Feliu de Guixols, another lovely tourist village nestling in a craggy landscape. Its mix of abrupt vivacity and remains from the past give the village a very special essence. Apart from its beaches, the most important monument is the majestic Romanesque monastery of Sant Peres de Rodes. The current building was built on the base of a 10th century convent, whose remodelling was finished in the 13th century. Other points of interest are the Municipal Museum, its towers, the Mercado Cubierto (covered market) or the Arch of Sant Benet, without forgetting the promenade.
The next place worth mentioning is that formed by the castle and Playa de Aro beach. Its fine sand is one of the most important leisure resorts on the coast because of the number of bathers during the day as well as the night time escapades of residents and visitors. A phenomenon also explained by the abundance of accommodation, shops, bars, terraces and discos that surround the beach. Castell d’Aro castle offers the counterpoint; the medieval, cultural stamp that won't give in to the tourist boom.
After visiting the Greek ruins of L’Escala, you must travel a long stretch before reaching the next bay on the coast that starts in Roses, an ancient Greek colony, midway between the sea and the mountains. There are many beaches, coves and rocky cliffs in the area, suitable for a wide variety of water sports. Other natural assets are the parks of Aiguamolls de l´Empordá and Cap de Creus, while the historical assets are confined to the Ciudadela, an ancient Renaissance defensive complex.
The last emblematic town on this coast Cadaqués, situated to the north, on the Cap de Creus peninsula. In the area of the Natural Park of the same name, you can enjoy incredible landscapes of paradisiacal beaches and remote coves. At the end of its bay is the historic fishing quarter that has inspired artists throughout time, therefore there are many museums and galleries, especially the Casa-Museo de Salvador Dalí. A cultural touch to this stroll through charming towns on cliff edges and blue flag beaches.