Birdwatching- Aiguamolls de l’Empordà

Bird watching has become a very popular pastime and finding and differentiating bird species is quite a challenge.

Just a few kilometres from Can Bayre is the Natural Park of the Aiguamolls de l’Empordà, marshlands in which you can enjoy a quiet stroll or take some binoculars to observe the different bird species more closely.

Els Aiguamolls de l’Empordà is one of the natural open spaces in Catalonia where most animal species can be observed and it is, without a doubt, an ideal place for bird watching. Birds use this place as their refuge and resting place and there are more than 300 species, many of which are protected and are extremely beautiful.

The birds are the main wildlife attraction. To date, 329 species of birds have been spotted, of which 82 species regularly nest in the park. Species linked to water environments are the most representative and plentiful ones found.

During migratory periods (February-June and July-October) thousands of birds use these marshlands to rest and feed.

www.parcsdecatalunya.net

Mediaeval towns

Among the numerous towns in the Alt Empordà region that are well worth a visit, we would particularly mention Castelló d'Empúries, a mediaeval site with a Gothic-Romanesque basilica; the historic part of Peralada, with the 11th-century cloister of Sant Domènec and the convent of El Carme with its Gothic Cloister; the 11th-century Romanesque monastery in Santa Maria de Vilabertran; the enchanting village of Sant Llorenç de la Muga which conserves the walled mediaeval layout and the old 14th and 15th-century bridge or the historic village of Sant Martí d'Empúries, founded by the Greeks.

www.castello.cat
www.trobadors.org
www.museucastellperalada.com
www.mhcat.net

The Dalinian Triangle

It is made up of the Theatre-Museum in Figueres, where you can admire works such as Dali’s Galarina, The Spectre of Sex Appeal or Leda Atómica; Dali’s house in Portlligat, where the painter set up is home-workshop and which preserves furniture and personal objects that belonged to Dali, and Gala’s Castle in Púbol which Dali gave to Gala to fulfill his promise to make her the queen of her own castle, and where the private rooms of his muse can be visited, as well as her collection of haute couture dresses. Gala is buried in the crypt of the castle.

www.salvador-dali.org

L’Escala and Ruins of Empúries

L’Escala is a fishing town that is famous for housing the Greco-Roman ruins of Empúries, one of the most important archaeological sites on the Costa Brava. The ruins are in a beautiful setting next to the sea. Just 500 meters from Empúries, is the charming village of Sant Martí de Empúries with its nearby Greek Wharf.

Beaches: we recommend Cala Montgó, Riells and the beaches of Empúries.

www.mac.es
www.costabrava.org

Cadaqués and the Cap de Creus

The Cap de Creus is a Natural Park of great maritime-land interest with numerous species of plants and animals which are unique in the world. The part that is on land includes towns such as Cadaqués, Llançà, Port de la Selva, Pau, Palau-Saverdera and Roses. In Port de la Selva, there is the 10th to 12th-century, Romanesque-style monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes.

The coast of Cap de Creus has great landscape value with impressive cliffs and bays and spectacular underwater richness. There is a mythical lighthouse on the point of the Cap de Creus.

Cadaqués is right in the heart of the Cap de Creus in the northernmost part of the Catalan coast. It still preserves its old center with cobbled streets and white houses in which the church of Santa Maria is worthy of a mention. There are numerous museums and art galleries.

Beaches and bays: Cadaqués, Cap de Creus (Cala Jugadora), Llançà (Grifeu, Cap Ras, etc.) El Port de la Selva, Cala Montjoi, Cala Jóncols, Colera, Bahia de Roses (Almadrava).

www.costabrava.org
www.visitcadaques.org
www.parcsdecatalunya.net

L’Albera Natural Area

This is an area that is rich in historic and monumental heritage, with dolmens, megalithic monuments, Romanesque churches, the 11th-century castle in Requesens and the Monastery of Sant Quirze in Colera. The flora and fauna of the area are particularly worthy of a mention, as well as the Partial Natural Reserve of Sant Quirze in which the Mediterranean tortoise is protected. The Albera Tortoise Reproduction Centre can be visited in Garriguella.

www.parcsdecatalunya.net
www.tortugues.cat
es.salines-bassegoda.org

Baix Empordà

You can visit the mediaeval villages of Pals, Peratallada, Monells or Romanyà, villages with great monumental interest; you can walk along the coastal paths; bath in the beautiful bays of Begur, Calella and Tamariu or visit the Iberian settlement in Ullastret.

www.costabrava.org
www.baixemporda.cat
www.empordanet.com

Girona

El Barri Vell or old town contains the city's most important artistic heritage which includes the Call (the Jewish quarters) which is one of the best-preserved mediaeval centers in Europe, the Carolingian city wall, the Cathedral with the widest Gothic nave in the world and the Arabic Baths at the foot of the city walls. The churches of Sant Pere de Galligants, Sant Feliu and Sant Nicolàs, as well as the renowned houses overlooking the River Onyar are also well worth visiting.

www.girona.cat
www.ajuntament.gi
www.gironatempsdeflors.net

Besalú and the Garrotxa

Besalú is a mediaeval historic-artistic site which is considered to be one of the best preserved in Catalonia, with its Romanesque-Gothic churches and monuments. The Jewish quarters and Miqvé or Jewish baths are worthy of a mention, being the only Jewish baths site discovered on the Iberian Peninsula to date. The majestic Romanesque bridge over the River Fluvià is another of the remains of the Count of Besalú.

The Garrotxa is the region of the volcanoes; in the Natural Park of the Volcanic Area of the Garrotxa Region, you can visit the well-known Santa Margarita, Croscat and Roca Negra volcanoes. The first has a spectacular crater, with the unique feature that it has a small Romanesque hermitage built inside it.

Halfway between Santa Pau and Olot is the Fageda d'en Jordà, an incredibly beautiful beech forest.

Other villages of interest: Santa Pau, Beget, Sant Feliu de Pallerols, Els Hostalets d'en Bas.

www.besalu.cat
www.turismegarrotxa.com
www.parcsdecatalunya.net

The South of France

The South of France is relatively nearby and it is worth visiting towns such as Ceret with its Modern Art Museum and its weekly market on Saturdays; the coastal town of Colliure which, at the beginning of the 20th century, attracted numerous artists and where the poet Antonio Machado is buried; Perpignan; Castelnou, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful towns in France and is a fortified- walled mediaeval town and Elne, with the marble cloisters in Saint Eulalie Cathedral.

www.sunfrance.com