EMPORDA and surroundings


Albons Bellcaire d’Empordà Foixà Fontclara La Bisbal d’Empordà
Canapost Casavells Corçà Clots de Sant Julià Canet Cruïlles Marenyà Matajudaïca Monells Palau-Sator Parlavà Pals Peratallada La Pera Púbol Rupià Sant Iscle d’Empordà Sant Julià de Boada Sant Sadurní de l’Heura La Tallada d’Empordà Tor Ullastret Ultramort Verges Vulpellac

Agullana Castell Sant Ferran fortress Dali's Museum Figueres Maçanet de Cabrenys Lladó Llers L'Escala Les Escaules Peralada Pont de Molins Riumors Sant Miquel de Fluvià Sant Tomàs de Fluvià La Vajol Vilabertran Viladamat Vilanova de la Muga Ventalló

Besalú Porqueres Banyoles Cervià de Ter Le Boulou Maureilles Céret Saint-Genis-des-Fontaines


Costa Brava

Brand Costa Brava is 100 years old. The words were first mentioned in a 1908 article in the nationalist Catalan newspaper La Veu de Catalunya, a piece that is regarded as the birth certificate of the Gerona coast.

But while aristocrats and wealthy holidaymakers had been acquainted with the Côte d’Azur on the French Riviera since the end of the 18th century, it was not until a half a century after the 1908 article that the long stretch of Catalan shoreline began to come into its own as the original package holiday hotspot.

Following the devastating effects of the Spanish Civil War, Spain began to emerge from its international isolation in the 1950s, and Franco’s government identified the Costa Brava as a potential holiday destination.

The first package tours landed in 1954 to a sprinkling of sleepy fishing villages, before the rapid development of high rise hotels made way for flocks of sun-starved German and British visitors, with tourism quickly taking over from fishing as the coastline’s main industry. In 1965 the Costa Brava, or wild coast, was officially baptised, replacing the rather less catchy Marina de l’Empordà or Marina de la Selva.

Although the famous beaches may be synonymous in British minds with sun, sea, sand and sangria, behind the brash characteristics of the Costa Brava brand lies a delicate natural heritage. Last year also marked the tenth anniversary of the Carta de Tossa, a charter signed by coastal towns to protect the region’s wildlife.

The coast is home to the tiny islets of Illes Medes, Spain’s first maritime nature reserve, with a plethora of aquatic flora and fish, while a wildfowl reserve on the marshlands at l’Empordà has so far resisted attempts at development, giving every reason to hope the Costa’s next century will see it flourish like the last.

Emily Ford
March 14, 2009
The Times

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