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We say... “There's something about Catalunya that keeps drawing me back. I cannot decide whether it is the dramatic tree lined coastline with sandy coves and crystal clear waters, the excellent climate, the exquisite cuisine, the feeling of belonging to a local community, or the relaxing atmosphere that envelops me within a short time of arrival. Other people have told me that it's the huge variety of pastimes for all ages that attracts them, with important roles being played by history, culture and sport to name a few. Whatever the magic ingredient is, it works every time!”
Pat Shipp
Area specialist for Catalunya

Visit... the Fishing Museumin Palamós and then watch the fishing fleet come ashore when the fish auction commences in the late afternoon. After this, round off the evening with a night cruise under the stars on a traditional Latin rigged Catalan fishing boat.

Meander... amongst the many varieties of exotic Mediterranean flora at the Botanical Gardens of Cap Roig. From here, soak up the magnificent views over the coastline that stretches from Calella to the dramatic cliffs of Cap Roig.

Taste... Xató salad in any local restaurant. Each claims to have its own 'secret' and special recipe for the sauce which accompanies the salad which may include any combination of lettuce, tomato, onion, cod, tuna, anchovies and olives.


Papoila
(Armação de Pera) - Algarve
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(Carvoeiro) - Algarve
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Estoi - Algarve
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Val Gran
Mallorca
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Aveyron - South West France
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Garfagnana valley - Tuscany
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Mallorca
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HOME | Catalunya Area Information

Catalunya Area Information


Catalunya, Spain, Llafranc
Catalunya could be described as a country within a country; an amazing diversity of landscapes, a people justifiably proud of their language and culture, traditions that date back thousands of years and world renowned gastronomic excellence.

Easy access by road, rail and air makes Catalunya an ideal destination for holidays, offering something for everyone; sporting facilities, cultural activities, fascinating places to visit and stunning beaches. Barcelona, surely the most exciting, modern city in Europe, is easily reached from any of the properties we offer.

The north of the region sits below the foothills of the Pyrenees. Dense forests of cork and pine trees surround the picturesque walled village of Sant Llorenç de la Muga, famous for its carefully restored stone houses, and nearby Maçanet de Cabrenys, reputedly one of themost beautiful villages of the Alt Empordá. Close by the vast natural reservoir of Boadella offers kayaking, whilst the medieval town of Besalú is famed for its stunning medieval bridge, complete with portcullis.

Within an easy drive are the beaches of Port de la Selva and Port de Llança, whilst the Marine Natural Park of Cap de Creus lies just to the south with the imposing monastery of St Pere de Rodes perched on the mountain behind.

Catalunya, Spain, Ullastret
To the south west of Figueres, Navata is well placed for the golf facilities of Torremirona and the tiny village of Lladó offers a taste of life in a rural community. A scenic cross country drive to the country beaches that line the bay of Roses takes in the Empordá Marshes National Park en route. Sant Marti d'Empuries, just a short walk from the famous ruins, is a perfect example of a carefully restored medieval village whose narrow streets open into a tiny square, under the shadows of the church, where there are a handful of restaurants serving fine local Catalan cuisine.

Heading south, the vast plains of the Baix Empordá are home to the stunning medieval villages of Ullastret, CruÎlles, Torrent, Palau Sator, Peratallada, Pals and Fonteta. The lively commercial town of La Bisbal is the centre of the ceramics trade and has a colourful market.

The market town of Palafrugell has three coastal bays within a few kilometres. Calella de Palafrugell, a pretty, white-washed fishing village plays host to the festival of the 'havaneres' or sea shanties, during the early summer. Stylish Llafranc has a perfectly formed bay with a tiny yacht harbour. Here you will find an array of traditional restaurants along the sea front serving an impressive range of tasty local cuisine.

Tamariu is the next beauty and, perhaps the most authentic spot along the coast, with its narrow horseshoe bay and sandy beach surrounded by pine clad cliffs. At night, the atmosphere is truly Mediterranean with fishermen preparing to put to sea at dusk in search of 'calamar' and sea bass and the sprinkling of restaurants come alive, prettily lit up and offering the freshest of fish from the day's catch.

Catalunya, Spain, Ullastret
As darkness falls local artisans offer their wares below the light of burning gas lamps and amateur jugglers and would-be violinists visit from time to time, adding to the magic of the evening. Picturesque Aigua Xelida has hidden coves and sits on a spectacularly indented coastline, whilst the other side of the pine clad hill reveals the stunning sandy bay and shimmering turquoise waters of Aigua Blava neatly tucked away out of sight, a secret waiting to be discovered.

Nearby, the hilltop castle town of Begur offers amazing panoramas and hidden alleyways and squares among the narrow streets of its old quarter. Below, its headland drops breathtakingly to the tiny shoreline villages of Sa Riera and Sa Tuna and beyond to the Mediterranean.

The Catalan fishing harbour of Palamós proffers a maze of back streets with hidden tapas bars and some of the best fish restaurants in the area. The wooded hillsides of Mont Ras offer superb facilities for mountain biking through the trees; alternatively the new 'Green Way' for cyclists and walkers links Palafrugell to Palamós via the picturesque country beach of Platja d'en Castell, backed by its protected nature reserve.

Catalunya, Spain
Just inland, the hamlet of Vall Llobrega lies quietly amidst vines and woodland and boasts two respected local restaurants. Follow the back road through the wooded foothills of the Gavarres mountains via the hamlet of Romanyá, famed for its two excellent restaurants. Heading west towards Girona, the very local village of Santa Cristina d'Aro offers a mix of shops and restaurants and a varied range of sporting opportunities. The countryside around the hamlets of Bell Lloc and St Miguel d'Aro is ideal for walking and cycling.

The hidden cove and small marina of Cala Canyelles lie just south of the stunning corniche that runs from Sant Feliu de Guixols to Tossa de Mar. Pine trees cling to the cliffs that run down to the water's edge and the crystal clear waters are popular for both divers and snorkellers alike. From the sandy beach it is possible to hire a kayak and explore this rugged coastline from the best vantage point: the sea.

The Catalan capital, Barcelona, teems with life and atmosphere, unforgettable architecture, wonderful museums, a Gothic quarter, a thriving port, vibrant 'ramblas', the best in shopping, traditional bars and restaurants... and so much more. This colourful and exciting city is seemingly inexhaustible and easily traversed via its efficient public transport system.

Local Cuisine

Catalan cuisine encompasses flavours most of us all love - tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, onions, dried nuts and lots of dried herbs. The Catalans are justifiably proud of their culinary skills and some typical dishes include chicken with prawns, quails with grapes, snails with tomato and chorizo or lobster with chocolate.

Most meals start with 'pa amb tomáquet', bread rubbed with tomato and garlic and then drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with salt. This is often topped with anchovies, red peppers or chorizo.

Catalunya, Spain

Local Fiestas

An important part of life in Catalunya, fiestas range from local village celebrations to large scale organised activities. Most villages acknowledge their patron saint's day with a 'feste'. To herald the start of summer, the festivities of Sant Joan are held on the night of 23rd June, with the traditional dessert after dinner being 'coca' a type of sweet bread accompanied by a glass of cava. Informal fireworks are then enjoyed until the early hours.

On the National Day of Catalunya, 11th September, large scale celebrations take place all around the province, culminating in the dancing of 'sardanas' and fireworks into the night.

Climate

Catalunya has a Mediterranean type climate, with hot, dry summers and mild winters. While summers are hot and at times humid, in coastal areas the afternoon heat is usually tempered by sea breezes and the influence of the Pyrenees means temperatures are more comfortable than in the south of Spain.

Getting there

Girona is served by the low cost carriers and is the closest airport to the majority of our houses in Catalunya, being just under an hour's drive from the Costa Brava. Alternatively a range of scheduled airlines and low cost carriers offer flights to Barcelona, which is less than a 2 hour drive from our properties. For those who prefer to drive, Catalunya is easily accessible by road.

Catalunya News and Events For Catalunya
Within a relatively small area Catalunya has an amazing variety of landscapes, from the peaks of the Pyrenees to the pine-clad coves of the Costa Brava, the sophistication of Barcelona to a wild interior dotted with medieval ruins. Our villas in Catalunya reflect this diversity - we have stone-built mountain cottages that are ideal for walkers and seaside houses perfect for families. In the interior we have a collection of masies - large grand country houses - suitable for larger groups. All our villas in Catalunya have private pools.

Beaches on the Costa Brava
The Costa Brava is home to some of the most spectacular beaches to be found in Spain. On the Costa Brava you will find a beach to suit everyone. It might be the long sandy beach at Castell, where you can sit on the beach, look behind you and see nothing but lush woodland – one of the many hidden gems on the Costa Brava. Further up the jagged coastline, you will stumble across the three impressive seaside fishing villages of Calella de Palafrugell, Llafranc and Tamariu – from each one of these you can swim out to sea, look back and think to yourself ‘I can’t believe places like this still exist!’ Small and pretty, bustling and thankfully unchanged, you can sit in one many cafés and simply watch time go by or enjoy a seafood lunch at one of the small family run restaurants. You could stay on the Costa Brava for two weeks and go to a different beach every single day – all only a short drive from many of our houses – none will disappoint. By Steve Eccles,
25/03/2014

Cycling on the Costa Brava
One’s first thought might be that it is too hilly to cycle in and around the beautiful coastline of the Costa Brava, and whilst this may well be the case if you were to literally followed the coast, it is nowhere near the same experience once you rise up from sea level. The Baix Empoda has an extensive network of trails, well suited to cycling at a more leisurely pace. The trails are clearly marked with pictorial ‘cycle’ signs and there are plenty of resting points along the routes. Cycling is a great way to explore this beautiful region of Spain, taking in many Monuments, Churches, Monasteries and even vineyards on route. Various models of bicycles can be hired from CiclesJK in Palafrugell Tel: 972 61 07 09 By Steve Eccles,
Steve
24/03/2014

Costa Brava by Train!
An interesting article about travelling from Kent to Tamariu (Catalunya) by train. By Steve Eccles,
24/03/2014

High speed between Girona & Barcelona
Clients holidaying in our villas in Catalunya may be interested to know that the AVE high speed train is now operating between Girona and Barcelona, linking the two cities in a journey time of only 37 minutes, and currently costing a reasonable 15.70 Euros each way. By Lauraine Pearl,
from Pat Shipp, Catalunya area specialist
10/01/2013