Castelló d’Empúries is a town and municipality in the Alt Empordà region of Costa Brava, Girona. Likewise, it is approximately 9 km east of the city of Figueres, home to the famous Dalí Theater and Museum. The strategic location of the charming town allows visitors to further learn about local arts and culture, while for instance also enjoying the natural environment and spectacular landscapes that the region has to offer.
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History of Castelló d’Empúries
Castelló d’Empúries became the capital of the Empúries county in 1079 after officials began to realize that the former capital of Sant Martí d’Empúries was too easily overtaken by pirates. In the same vein, at this point the count moved there and it became the judicial, political and economic center of the lordly jurisdiction. Between 1325 and 1341, the town expanded significantly; until it was joined with the Crown of Aragon and Catalonia in 1385. From here on the country went through a great economic and demographic crisis.
In the 18th century, however, with the draining of the lake, the adaptation of the land to sowing and the introduction of new crops there was a suden boost agriculture; which became the predominant sector in the area until the second half of the 20th century and the arrival of tourism. Did you know that in 1809 the 113th Regiment de Ligne of Napoleon’s Army fought in Castelló d’Empúries?
Activities in Castelló d’Empúries
Upon arrival to Castelló d’Empúries you will have several choices in terms of activities. You can either choose to explore the city center, which holds a rich architectural heritage, including the remarkable 14th-century Gothic church of Santa María with its Romanesque bell tower. Moreover, walk over to discover the City Hall, the 14th century Grand House, the 11th to 12th century arcade of La Gallarda, the old exchange Lonja de Mar, the bridge of Pont Vell, the 11th century convent of Santa Clara and remains of the ancient city wall.
Why not take a break at Plaça de les Cols? and try some of the local specialties with an ice-cold beer on the terrace of Les Cols restaurant. We highly recommend their Patatas Bravas (fried potatoes with spicy bravas sauce and alioli).
- Address: Plaça de les Cols, 6, 17486 Castelló d’Empúries, Girona
- Opening hours: Every day from 10:00 to 23:30
Sports and waterways
How about hitting the water in those summer days? The nearby Empuriabrava is the largest residential marina in Europe with some 24 km of navigable waterways. This is a great place to rent a boat for a day or to skydive. Skydive Empuriabrava is actually the center with the most skydiving jumps across Europe.
The city is also a very popular place to do many water sports; including sailing, surfing, windsurfing, water-skiing, para-skiing, fishing, diving, etc. And don’t forget your sunscreen when heading down to Platja Empuriabrava, a 1.5 km beach, which is a whopping 90 to 100 meters wide. The area boasts a vibrant nightlife, with plenty of fantastic bars and nightclubs in which to dance the night away.
And for nature-lovers, we recommend the Aiguamolls de L’Empordá Nature Reserve, the most important system of vegetation and fauna in the region. This area is very popular for its fantastic bicycle and hiking routes. The park is home to a huge variety of native species of flora and fauna. Visit the gorgeous Muga River, which divides the park into its two geographically characteristic halves.
- Address: Carretera de St. Pere Pescador a Castelló d’Empúries, GIV-6216, Km 4.2, 17486 Castelló d’Empúries, Girona
- Opening hours: Every day from 09:00 to 18:30
How to get there
- Train: Get a train from Barcelona or Girona to Figueres, 15 m from Castelló d´Empúries. Next, take the Bus Sarfa towards Castelló de Ampurias and Empuriabrava.
- Car: Remember Spanish roads have tolls! Keep a bit of spare change, most have card machines now however. Directions by car are as follows: By motorway AP-7 or state road N-II. The exit of the motorway is the nº 4. State road C-260, direction France. The road that takes to our municipality is the C-260, taking the Figueres-Roses exit, direction Roses.
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