The Roman City of Empúries
The fascinating ruins of Empúries are within walking distance of the house, at 1km. Stroll around them on your own or, alternatively, accompanied by your own English speaking guide. Tours organised in July/August only. Pre booking essential, Monday to Friday 08.30-15.00. Tel: 00 34 972 77 59 76
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.
Hire bikes and explore this fascinting part of Alt Empordá
The path that runs in front of the ruins runs from L'Escala to Sant Marti d'Empuries. It is a great way to see this part of the coast, where the pine trees go almost to the water's edge, and to be part of history as you pass the Greek-Roman remains. www.ciclesjk.com
Go to the beach!
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!
Catch the train from Figueres 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.
The experience of the so called 'Dalinian Triangle' for lovers of art and culture is a 'must'. The three parts to visit are his home in Cadaqués (pre-booking necessary), the Teatre-Museu in Figueres and the Gala-Dalí Castle in Pubol. This will be a long day excursion but very informative and entertaining! www.salvador-dali.org
Spend the day in Figueres
and visit the Teatre-Museu Dalí and enjoy the wacky experience, which will appeal to all members of the family. It is a lot of fun and well worth braving the queues! Afterwards, pay a visit to the lesser known Museu del Joguet de Catalunya (toy museum), also in Figueres. Tel: 972 504 585
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!
Pack a pic-nic and visit Banyoles,
which has the largest natural lake in Catalunya. Here you can swim, fish or go on a boat trip around the lake itself. You can hire rowing boats or book tickets for a boat trip from Bar Aquàrium, Pg Darder s/n, Banyoles. Tel: 972 58 09 23.
The Empordà 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.
Visit the Perelada 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
Take in the views!
There are panoramic views over the sweeping bay of Roses and across the plains of the Empordá to the Pyrenees, a veritable picturesque canvas of 'Mar i Muntanya.'
For watersports enthusiasts
there are good facilities, including waterskiing and kayaking. Kayaking Costa Brava organises excursions down to Tamariu. Tel: (00 34) 972 77 38 06. For divers, there is a diving school in L'Escala. International Diving Centre, Port de la Clota, 17130 L'Escala. Tel: (00 34) 972 770 077. www.internationaldiving.com
Sunday is market day in nearby L'Escala
and is well worth browsing for bargains among the stalls. Buy some lovely fresh fruit and vegetables and go back to Holganza and prepare a delicious lunch followed by a well-earned siesta by the pool!
Visit one of the most famous Natural Parks
- Cap de Creus. This unforgiving and rugged coastline is steeped in history and intrigue! Also worth visiting is the tortoise sanctuary in Gariguella. It's a small village just off the N260 from Figueres to the coast. While you are in the vicinity, do take time to visit the Monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes, which is in a fantastic location with breathtaking views of both the sea and the mountains.
See the famous 12th Century Bridge of Besalú
which must surely be one of the most well known landmarks in Catalunya. There are guided walking tours of the old town which leave regularly from the tourist office taking in the former Monastery of Sant Pere, the church of Sant Vicenç, the Jewish Baths and, of course, the Romanesque Bridge. The tourist office is open from 10am to 2pm and from 4pm to 7pm. www.ajuntamentbesalu.org.
Take your budding Lewis Hamiltons 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.
Go horse riding!
The Horse Club Castello d'Empúries is on the GI6216 north of Sant Pere Pescador. Tel: (00 34) 972 45 0808.
Spend a day at a water park.
Aquabrava at Roses is situated on the GI614, in the direction of Cadaqués. It is open from June-September from 10 am to 7pm. Tel: (00 34) 972 25 43 44.
Play a round of golf!
Go Quad biking in the village of Gualta or maybe enjoy a round of golf instead. Tel: (00 34) 972 76 04 50. www.empordagolf.es.
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