Spend some time exploring the Gala Dalí Castle in the nearby village of Púbol,
latterly the home of the painter’s wife. On display inside are the paintings and drawings that Salvador Dalí gave to Gala, along with a collection of her haute couture dresses. The garden is decorated with a series of sculptures and elephants! Open daily, from June to September, from 10.00 to 18.00, but closed on Mondays outside of these dates. Tel: (00 34) 972 488 655.
Take a drive around the villages in this part of the Baix Empordá
which range from unassuming farming villages to the carefully preserved and restored medieval hamlets. Worthy of a visit is Foixá where the magnificent castle of the Counts of Empuriés dominates the skyline. Follow this with an excellent value lunch at Can Quel, which is a favourite of both the local Catalan community and visitors from France, who like to pop over the border to sample the cuisine.
Visit the Anchovy and Salt Museum at L’Escala.
. The town is famous for salting anchovies and the museum is the ideal place to learn about this industry, which has been practised since the 16th Century to the present day, a heritage which is unique to the Catalan coast. Open daily. Avinguda Lluis Companys, 1, 17130 L’Escala. Tel: (00 34) 972 77 68 15. www.anxova-sal.cat.
Catch the train from nearby Flaça and visit Barcelona for the day.
There is so much to see and do in this vibrant city. Take the open topped tour bus and hop on and off at the different sights. After a lunch of delicious tapas save some energy for shopping in the elegant shops.
Visit the fabulous city of Girona for the day,
taking in the beautifully restored Jewish Quarter, the Arab Baths, the cathedral, its museums and the many shops. Why not pay a visit to Cacao Sampaka, C/Santa Clara, 45 to indulge in the finest products using chocolate – cakes, drinks, spreads, ice creams to name a few!
Explore the various country beaches along the Bay of Roses,
ranging from small coves, which are ideal for snorkelling, to long stretches of fine sand. Sailing and windsurfing are very popular on the Bay. In fact, the World Windsurfing championships have been held here!
Visit the spectacular Greek and Roman settlement of Empuries.
Enjoy a lunch of fresh anchovies from L’Escala – a local speciality. On the way back, visit the pre-roman Iberian settlement of Ullastret and see how life was 2,500 years ago compared to today’s world!
Take a day out and visit Besalú,
which is the provincial capital of the Garrotxa and has some beautifully restored buildings as well as the famous Romanesque bridge, which was built in the 12th Century but restored in 1965.
Enjoy a guided walking tour around some of the sights of the Baix Empordà.
. Among those on offer are tours of the La Bisbal d’Emporda, to include a visit to the Ceramics Museum, tour of the Romanesque monasteries, Besalú or Figueres to include the Dalí Museum. www.nikduserm.com or Nik@nikduserm.com.
Drive across to the majestic bay of Llafranc
and then spend the day relaxing on this gorgeous beach. Perhaps rent a kayak or try snorkelling off the rocks at the side of the bay. Before returning home enjoy a cooling drink on the promenade and do some ‘people watching.’
The Empordá Marshes National Park
is nearby and is the home of many interesting species of plants and animals and a haven for migrating birds. These marshes are all that remain of the old lakes which were drained in the 18th and 19th centuries to make way for crops and cattle. They are situated in the bay of Roses between Castelló and Sant Pere Pescador. Hide in one of the camouflaged cabins and count the numerous species of birds.
Dalí by night – an evening with a difference
Only possible during the month of August, the Teatre-Museu Dalí opens between 10pm and 1am. The entrance fee includes a glass of cava and, weather permitting, an audiovisual show in one of the inner terraces. After your visit enjoy a nightcap at one of the many outdoor bars and soak up the atmosphere of Figueres, which comes alive at night as the locals congregate to exchange news with each other in the warm summer air.
Visit the Peralada Castle Museum
and see how cava is traditionally made. Sample this or the delicious red or white wines which are equally famous. As a treat, try the Wine Spa at the Hotel Golf Perelada. Tel: (00 34) 972 53 88 30
Visit the colourful Friday market in La Bisbal
and afterwards check out the numerous antique shops. La Bisbal is the centre of the ceramics industry in Catalunya and there are numerous shops selling a dazzling array of brighly coloured wares.
Take your budding Lewis Hamilton’s go-karting!
There is a track on the road GI632 between L’Escala and Torroella de Montgri. Tel: (00 34) 972 77 19 57 or (00 34) 639 76 94 60. Info: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take a stroll beneath the archways “Voltes”
situated along the main high street of La Bisbal and visit the renowned cake shop “Sans” and buy one of its famous delicious “Bisbalenc” cakes.
Take one of the cycle tours around the countryside of La Bisbal
especially along the banks of the river Daro. Bikes can be hired from the Tourist office in La Bisbal: C/L'Aigueta, 17. Tel: 972 645 500. They also have information on the local cycle tracks.
Explore the local countryside and visit the many ancient stone villages
that make up what is known as the “Golden Triangle”. Stop for lunch at the Restaurant L’Arc Vell in Peratallada and enjoy a meal in the confines of its peaceful walled courtyard. After lunch visit the fascinating farm museum in the tiny village of Palau Sator
Walk amongst all the different exotic Mediterranean flora and fauna
at the Botanical Gardens of Cap Roig, Calella de Palafrugell, where you get magnificent panoramic views of the coastline that stretches from Calella to the cliffs of Cap Roig.
For the motor sport enthusiasts visit the Circuit de Catalunya,
just off Exit 13 of the AP7. Guided tours are available to include entry to the paddock, the control tower, the podium, for example. www.circuitcat.com. Maybe the ladies could indulge in some retail therapy at the same time at the nearby outlet shopping centre La Roca Village. www.LaRocaVillage.com
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