Llançà is a Spanish town only 14 kilometers away from Portbou, 160 kilometers from Barcelona and very close to the French border. Moreover, it is included within the county of Alt Empordà in the province of Girona, Catalonia in Spain. In addition, the town has a population of over 5000, according to the last census.
History of Llançà
The ancient city of Llançà already existed in 218 B.C. as a place to which people fled to escape the raids of Saracen pirates. In fact, the city is the perfect safe haven due to its strategic positioning: the town is high above the sea level, and is also almost completely hidden. Between 1718 and 1720, the wine and oil industries were developed and the region subsisted on exporting these products. In Llançà you will find some traces of French culture; for instance, churches with a French baroque style. In the 1960’s, the city changed considerably due to the heavy influx of tourism; which subsequently resulted in an improvement of the urban and demographic factors. The old fishermen’s home has been renovated and now houses the tourist center.
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Highlights of Llançà
However, given in almost all-coastal cities, the most popular activities that you will find will be at the beach. Likewise, Llançà doesn’t stays behind! Overall the town boasts an impressive 14 beaches, in different shapes and sizes. Among these, our favorites are:
You will find this beach between the fishing harbor to the east, and the mouth of the Valleta River to the west. The beach is 425 meters long and 30 meters wide; and is the perfect spot for families because of its silver sand (a mix of rocks and sand) and the crystal clear water with plenty of waves. Children can have fun swimming in the sea without having to worry about anything. Moreover, the beach has many facilities; including showers and toilets, wooden walkways to provide easy access to individuals in wheelchairs and strollers. Along the beachfront promenade you will find many bars, terraces, restaurants and shops. Bring you towel, a parasol and a beach ball and get ready for a day of fun at this beautiful beach!
Address: Passeig Marítim, 17490, Girona
This cove-shaped beach is one of the coolest beaches of the city where many people meet to spend a relaxing day. Here you will find fine golden sand and the Costa Brava‘s characteristic crystal-clear water. Set in a huge bay, this beach is smaller than Port beach, with a length of 170 meters and width of 80 meters. Here too you will find many facilities: showers, toilets, restaurants, easy access for persons with reduce mobility and there is even a lifeguard during summer. All of the wonderful services and natural beauty make Grifeu Beach one of the most crowded beaches of the city.
Address: 17490, Girona
If you are looking for a quiet beach without too many people, Embarril beach is the one for you. It’s more of a cove, with rocks instead of sand, but the water is the same crystalline clear. It’s the perfect natural place in which to hang out with your favorite book, lying on a comfortable towel and resting all day long without the deafening noise of the city. As this is a truly wild area, you won’t find any facilities here, not even showers or a toilet. So make sure you bring everything you need and leave nothing behind!
Address: Carrer Girona, 17490 Llançà, Girona
At the beaches of Llançà you will have the option to take part in a vast array of nautical activities, such as kayaking, diving, sailing, different types of boat trips and boat rentals, and windsurfing. We especially recommend snorkeling, which is a great activity to do with the whole family. Explore the underwater world of the Costa Brava without distancing yourself from the surface!
Llançà is also a great place for nature lovers, as there are two beautiful natural parks in the area, where you will be able to spend the entire day hiking and admiring the gorgeous views of the coast.
Cap de Creus Natural Park
The first of these is the Cabo de Creus Natural Park; this is a Spanish protected natural area located at the most northeastern point of the Iberian Peninsula. In fact, it was the first maritime-terrestrial park in Catalonia. The total area of the parks is 13,855 hectares; of which 10 781 correspond to land surface and 3074 ha to marine areas.
Address: Carretera Cap de Creus, 17488, Girona
Opening hours: Every day from 10:00 to 14:00 & 16:00 to 19:00 in the summer. And 10:00 to 14:00 & 15:00 to 18:00 in the winter.
Albera Natural Zone
The other one is the Albera Natural Zone, which is the only protected natural area crossing a national frontier. The natural area of national interest of La Albera is a Spanish natural monument on the northeast of the province of Gerona, in the Sierra de la Albera. It is made up of two sectors: the western one of Requesens-Baussitges, and the eastern one of San Quirico de Colera-Balmeta; separated by the Coll de Banyuls area. In addition, it constitutes a high quality ecological and landscape unit where the transition between the species typical of the Pyrenees and the typically Mediterranean ones can be observed.
Address: Carrer Amadeu Sudrià, 3, 17753 Espolla, Girona
Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 14:00
How to get there
- By car: To get to Llançà from Barcelona take B-10 and leave Via Laietana, Plaça de Pau Vila, Carrer del Dr. Aiguader, exit 22. Then take AP-7 and leave the AP-7 by exit 4 at Figures (25 kilometers from Llançà); immediately afterwards follow a section of national road N-II, and turn onto the N-260 which leads directly to Llançà. It will take around 1 hour and a half to reach Llançà from Barcelona.
- Bus: From Barcelona the Sarfa bus company operates a coach line passing through Roses and Cadaqués. It will takes around 2 hours to get from Barcelona to Figueres; then you will have to take a train from Figueres to Llançà, which takes around 15 minutes. The total cost for a one-way trip is around 20€ and 37€.
- By train: The regional train takes around 2 hours and a half to reach Figueres and then Llançà; and costs €13.50 for a one-way trip.
We recommend driving to Llançà for a day trip or weekend, as this is easier and faster than the train or the bus!
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