Are you looking for a getaway from Barcelona? I’m sure you have heard of Costa Brava, full of enchanting spots… Have you heard about L’Estartit? A beautiful beach town with some special characteristics…
L’Estartit is a small town (not so small during the summer months) famous for its unique view and for the Illes Medes, an archipelago composed of several uninhabited small islands. These islands are protected and are home to different species of flora and fauna. But there’s more to do in this special small town….
They are the main attraction of the town, and you’ll find lots of companies offering diving and snorkeling activities in the area to have a look at the wonderful fauna under the water. If you don’t want to dive or swim, don’t worry, the famous Nautilus boat with windows in its lower part is the perfect way to do it. There are other companies offering different kinds of tours with different boats to the islands, which are only 1km off shore.
A bit of history
L’Estartit was basically a fishing village until the touristic boom of the 60’s. As in many other towns in the Costa Brava area, lots of hotels, flats and apartments were built at that time. This is obvious in the nowadays physiognomy of the town, which still keeps part of its charm. Take Santa Anna street and you’ll find local shops, touristic stands, cafes, bars… all for different tastes and kinds (from tacky souvenirs to nice presents, from cocktails and refreshing juices to ice cream and pinchos). I would suggest to start in the peaceful and nice square with the church and walk towards the seafront. In numbers 24 and 26 in Santa Anna street you’ll find the Americanus houses, a couple of twin colonial style houses built at the end of the 19th century by Catalans that had been lucky in their journey to America and had returned to live the end of their lives in their hometowns. They were called the Americanus, and they typically built beautiful colonial style houses (reminiscent of the places where they had made their fortune, Cuba and other Spanish colonies) and planted palm trees in front of them. There are lots of examples around beach towns in Catalonia, but in the case of L’Estartit they also built a clock tower, that is well conserved today and that stands next to the houses. Another historical peculiarity that you’ll find in the town are cadenys, very narrow alleys among streets that served as run off channels for the rain water on its way to the sea, but also as a shortcut to walk around the town.
Torroella de Montgri, and its nice castle on top of the hill, is just a few kilometres away. The best way to explore the area is renting a car, and visit beautiful towns like Pals, Palamós or Palafrugell. The beaches in the area are absolutely beautiful and stunning.
It will take you around 1.5 hours to drive from Barcelona to L’Estartit, but there are also bus lines that connect Barcelona and the Costa Brava towns, including L’Estartit.
If you’re travelling to Costa Brava for a few days and you’re staying in Barcelona as a base, remember ShBarcelona offers great rentals in different areas of the city.