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3 Charming villages in Alt Empordà

Published on May 12th 2022

The Alt Empordà in the province of Girona will never cease to surprise you. It is the perfect place for couples and families to spend the whole year. We say that 'Girona enchants' because our province has everything. Beaches, gastronomy, wines, culture, nature, festivals and medieval villages.

Today we present you 3 charming villages, each with its own style and personality, located between the impressive Pyrenees mountains, natural parks and the calm of the Mediterranean Sea.

BESALÚ

Just 10 minutes by car from Torremirona, we find the village of Besalú. Besalú will surprise you as soon as you enter, with its impressive medieval bridge from the 11th century. Strolling through the streets, it seems as if the village has stopped in time. Discover the Jewish quarter or the wall of Portalet or the monastery of Sant Pere.

In 1966 Besalú was declared a national historic-artistic site for its great architectural value.

A curiosity: part of the film 'Perfume', based on the novel by Patrick Süskind, was filmed here.

Costa Brava Besalú

Don't leave Besalú without trying the gastronomic speciality of the region, the 'volcanic' cuisine with delicious dishes made with local ingredients.

The Pont Vell Restaurant always surprises its visitors with its magical location, at the foot of the medieval bridge, in a stone house and with its beautiful views of the town's iconic landmark.

In the centre of the town, and located in a historic building, after several renovations for different uses such as courthouse and monks' convent, since 1977 the Cúria Reial Restaurant offers a recommendable market, homemade and creative cuisine.

CADAQUÉS

Cadaqués, the 'lost' village in the Natural Park of Cap de Creus, traditionally a fishing village, is now one of the best known and most visited towns in Girona. 

It is famous because Salvador Dalí and his artist and intellectual friends used to spend their summers here. The House Museum, located in the Bay of Portlligat, was the artist's only permanent home, where he lived and worked until the death of the love of his life Gala.

But also other personalities such as Marcel Duchamp, Joan Miró or Pablo Picasso had their holiday homes here for years and left their mark on the village, which has artistic corners and a bohemian and authentic atmosphere. 

Don't miss the church of Santa Maria, located in the upper part of the centre, and the labyrinthine streets of the old town, lined with white houses.

Costa Brava Cadaqués

Without a doubt, the images of Cadaqués and its unique location make this town one of the most charming places on the Costa Brava. It is not surprising, therefore, that gastronomy has a place in its streets.

Oriol, Mateo and Eduard, Ferran Adrià's colleagues at the famous restaurant El Bulli, took the joint initiative in 2012 to transform the concept of "Pica-pica" with their Restaurant Compartir.  With the plate at the centre of the table, the atmosphere is undoubtedly conducive to generating a pleasant ambience for the enjoyment of modern-style cuisine, or also their more traditional proposals.

If you are one of those who can't resist tapas and rice dishes, and you want to feel at home, you can opt for Casa Anita, one of the oldest restaurants in Cadaqués, located in a village house.

SANT MARTI D’EMPÚRIES

It is a village belonging to L'Escala and has only 60 inhabitants. But Sant Martí d'Empúries is undoubtedly a "must" to visit during your trip to the Costa Brava.

Just a few metres from the town centre, Empúries was the gateway for Greek and Roman culture to the Iberian Peninsula. Empúries, which in ancient Greek meant "port of commerce" or "market", is now one of the most important Greco-Roman archaeological sites in the Mediterranean.

Discovered in 1908 on the initiative of the Barcelona Museum Board, chaired by Enric Prat de la Riba, and thanks to the initiative of the architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch and his team, the Empúries site is still alive today, with expeditions that allow us every year to build the story of our history. A visit to the Ruins of Empúries, home to the Archaeology Museum of Catalonia, is a guarantee of entertainment and a source of culture for young and old alike.

The old part of the town still preserves the medieval walls and the church of Sant Martí, located next to the main square. Behind the church of Sant Martí, on the top of a hill, it opens out to the sea and offers spectacular views of the sea and, in the background, the bay of Roses and Cap de Creus.

Costa Brava Sant Martí Empuries

There are few, but great options to enjoy the gastronomy in this unique village. Mediterranean gastronomy is evident in the restaurants that you will find in front of the wonderful church of the village. Among them, L'Esculapi, El Mesón del Conde or La Terrassa d'Empúries are the favourite restaurants of its visitors.