down from the antique castle to the old village is like being in the
Middle Ages. The first Lord of Begur, Arnust de Begur, reigned at
the beginning of the 11th century. The castle of Begur is the
clearest remainder of that era. Also, in the nearby picturesque
village, Esclanyà, you will find some special buildings, like the
church of Sant Esteve d'Esclanyà and the castle of Esclanyà, both
built in the year 1280.
The watchtowers were
built in the 16th and 17th century and were used against the attacks
of the Moor pirates. The towers are characteristic of the Begur area
and are witnesses of the historic conflicts in the Western
Mediterranean. Hunting and selling corals were the major activities
in this coastal village at the start of the 16th century. However, a
crisis in the coral industry, caused by the Phylloxera bacteria,
forced the locals to cross the Atlantic Ocean towards countries like
The Costa Brava
(meaning rugged coast) is one of the most beautiful, pollution-free
areas that still exist on the Mediterranean. Stretching some 200 km
along Spain’s northern coast it includes beaches like Playa d'Aro,
Palamós, Roses and Platja de Pals but also gorgeous smaller beaches
located between rocky coves like Aigua Xelida, Sa Tuna, Sa Riera,
Platja Fonda and Aiguablava in Begur.
Between the sea and
the mountains you will find charming and wonderful villages still
standing within their medieval walls such Pals, Peratallada,
Torroella de Montgrí and Palau-Sator. Inland you will come across
rice fields, lavender yields and sunflower plantations with road
verges spilling over with poppies and daisies. You will be reminded
of time in history visiting the Greek archaeological sites at
Empúries, the citadels in Begur and Torroella de Montgrí keeping
watch against seaborne pirates as well as the numerous ancient
masias fortified with towers to guard against hostile armies.
The area was a Greek
colony before it was won and treasured by the Romans. Successive
migrations since have confirmed what the local people have always
known - this is the area that has it all!
The climate, the
spectacular coast scenery lit by glorious clear light and the
pollution-free sea sparkling in every shade from jade to indigo blue
make this an ideal place for summer beach fun. The majestic Pyrenees
are only two hours’ drive away from the coast, offering excellent
ski facilities and providing a spectacular backdrop to the beautiful
The local produce,
cuisine and wines are world famous. The local people, industrious
and energetic as they are, still know how to enjoy life and a good
fiesta will bring out the whole village. The local folk dance, the
Sardana, may not seem a tourist event but it is celebrated several
times a month by the whole community just for the simple fun of it.
The ancient churches tolling out the hours, the museums, the summer
music festivals (classical, jazz and rock) and the giant outdoor
discos surrounded by woodlands provide for every cultural taste.
The absolute golden
triangle of the region is the area bound by Calella de Palafrugell
and Platja de Pals, the municipality of Begur. Begur is the Riviera
of the Costa Brava, today’s version of the Cap d’Antibes on the Côte
d’Azur except that this region lacks the over-development and
shabbiness of the old French Riviera.
Key dates in Catalan