L’Estartit-Torroella de Montgri Spain Travel Guide
On a sunny day, approaching the town of l’Estartit, you can see a beautiful mixture of vibrant colours and interesting landscapes. The harbour is dotted with boats, and low rise whitewashed and pastel coloured buildings are supported by the landmark of the town. The landmark, which is in the municipality of Torroella de Montgrí, is the Rocamaura mountain, which appears to stand guard over the pretty tourist town.
Whether it’s lovely safe shallow waters that you’re looking for, that lap up against a golden sandy beach, or whether it’s the interesting combination of different landscapes that do it for you, there’s no doubt that L’Estartit has its charms. However like any place that has become a tourist haven, these charms have diminished to some extent over the years.
You can still feel the maritime traditions, in this town of a little over 3100 residents. Located only 1km away from the Medes Islands archipelago, it’s also great spot for those who enjoy diving. It’s a pleasure to wander around the town’s narrow streets, or hang out for a little while in the vibrant street – Santa Anna.
The town was designated to be an official Catalan family tourist destination, back in 2007. This means you can expect that the area goes that extra mile, in making your family holiday more relaxing. For example you can find a kids club on the beach during the summer season.
Within the area, between the different natural landscapes and the two towns that make up the municipality, there’s a feeling of contrast and choice. Torroella de Montgrí is a town with character, where life, just as it has for a long time, throbs around its main square. The streets and the area of square and transported back to different periods of history, and this is an ideal place to go on a Monday morning, if you like the buzz of a local market. It’s also perfect because of its acoustics for outdoor concerts, which are free during the summer.
On the other hand, down at the coast, there’s a coastline the goes on for around 15 km. This means you can choose from little coves, which can be found on the rocky coast, or a large, fine sandy beach which goes on for around 5 km. This is especially suitable for young families, as the water is shallow.
Imagine that the busy marina area that you can see today, originated out of five fishermen, back in 1716, who discovered excellent fishing grounds. It was from there that it has developed, and not unlike some other spots, it was from the 1960s onwards the tourism became integral to its existence.
Check out the L’Estartit Weather Averages
Things To Do
Torroella de Mongrí town deserves a visit, there’s something funky about the kind of haphazard way the buildings are put together on the main square.
Within the municipality, you can enjoy quite a varied coastline, of around 50 km in length. Probably around two thirds of this is made up of rocky shores and coves, and one third is beach.
Platja Gran l’Estartit – Main Beach
The main beach is a long beach which can be divided into three distinct beaches. The vast majority of tourists will gravitate towards the main part of the beach, which can be found opposite the town’s residential area. On this beach you’ll find a free amphibious chair for those who have reduced mobility. Also during the height of the season, in July and August, there is a children’s club.
The children’s club, known as the Mini Beach Club, puts on different forms of beach entertainment for kids between the ages of 4 to 10 years old. There’s plenty of fun, games, water games, outdoor sports and workshops. It’s located in the wooded area, just where you enter the beach from the Avinguda de Grecia.
The second beach that makes of this area, is called Els Griells beach. Although it is not used as much as the main part of the beach, its situation is pretty, as a is by the Ter Vell Nature Reserve.
The third beach is more challenging to access, and is also by the nature reserve. La Pletera beach is the beach to go to if you’re looking for more peace and quiet, and natural beauty. Also if you are a dog owner, this is the part of the beach where dogs are meant to be allowed.
Although it is tempting with so much on hand in the main beach area just to relax there, but the area also has some beautiful coves. Many of these are around half an hour or more walk from the main town area, but well worth it for those who wish to explore a little bit further than the main beach.
Cala Montgó is a bit further afield, and is can be accessed either by road or by mountain tracks. If you’re driving or cycling there its journey of around 20 km by road. If you decide to reach it by mountain tracks it approximately 12 km.
It has a rather fascinating round shape to it, which is believed to have happened because originally there was sunken dolina, which got flooded and then became enlarged by the sea. I would definitely recommend a trip there, and whilst you’re there you can imagine how the Romans used to land there. Archaeological excavations have identified this Cove as a landing place for the Romans.
Considered to have possibly the best ecosystem in the Western Mediterranean, the Medes Islands is made up of seven islands and islets. For those who appreciate nature, this is a great variety of flora and fauna. For scuba-divers, it’s a little paradise. Also when you visit, the views over the Gulf of Roses are spectacular.
The Montgrí Castle is symbolic of the area, and was constructed between 1294 and 1301. Even if you’re not a history buff, you should go to see it for the 360 degree views it affords you over the surrounding countryside.
Maritime Museum – Can Quintana
31 Ulla, Torroella de Montgrí Phone: 972 755 180 Website: http://www.museudelamediterrania.cat/
Located in one of the most historic buildings in the town of Torroella de Montgrí, is Can Quintana, which these days is home to the Maritime Museum. This is a good spot to immerse yourself in the Maritime culture of the area, and learn some more about the Medes Islands, and the area’s history. It normally has plenty going on, with both permanent and temporary exhibitions.
Esglesia 9, Torroella de Montgri – Phone: 972 758 057 Website: http://www.fundaciomascort.com
Casa Galibern is a colonial, noble home which dates back to the latter part of the 19th century. Owned by the Mascort Private Foundation, this is its headquarters. Visitors can enjoy a cultural seminars and exhibitions, based on the foundation’s core objectives. Its objectives are also noble, like the property itself, which are:
– To promote the enjoyment and understanding of art
– To encourage study and knowledge of history
– To protect and defend wildlife and nature
Museum Palau Solterra
Esglesia 10, Torroella de Montgri – Phone: 972 758 057 Website: http://www.fundaciovilacasas.com/en/museums-and-art-galleries/
Owned by the Vila Casas Foundation, this is a wonderful 15th century building with a combination of Renaissance and Noucentista architecture. It’s a museum of contemporary photography, which exhibits works from both international and national artists. Currently there are around 200 photographs to be viewed. If you wish to arrange a guided visit of the building, you will need to make an appointment to do so.
Medes-Montgrí & Baix Ter Natural Park
Established in 2010, this natural park blends three different landscapes into one protected area. It has a total area of 15,209 acres, and you can choose from 17 different itineraries to explore it. It encompasses the Baix Ter wetlands, the Montgrí area and the Medes Islands.
Here you can explore the official map of the Medes-Montgrí & Baix Ter Natural Park and you can also check out the different itineraries here.
There are a couple of guided tours that you can do during the height of the season, normally from around 15th of July until 28th August. Be sure to organise these beforehand to avoid disappointment, as they are only on selected days of the week also, and in a different language depending on the day.
The Torroella Water Mine
The water line is a medieval infrastructure which is of huge cultural importance to the town. This 40 minute tour takes you down into the depths, where you can feel secrets of how the town developed. Currently the cost of the tour is €4.00. At the time of writing the English-speaking tour is running each Wednesday at 12 noon.
1000 Years of History and Legend
This is a great way to discover the culture and character of the town of Torroella de Montgrí. The route is suitable for all family members, and gives you the opportunity to witness 1000 years of history and legends. It lasts for 90 minutes approximately, and the cost is €5.00. At the time of writing the English-speaking tour starts off on a Friday at 6 PM.
Where to Sleep
Camping Castell Montgri
Located only around 10 minutes drive away from the beaches of the area, this camping has absolutely loads to do for all the family. Plenty of children’s activities are offered, sporting activities, there is a bike club and a running club as well is a mini club, and a mini disco.
Within the campsite, there is an authentic animal farm. This is somewhere where your children can understand more about contact with animals, as well as organic farming. Activities and workshops take place here. There’s also an artisan market that takes place on a Sunday.
For the competitive sports person there’s plenty of activity in that department too. The campsite runs tennis, basketball, football and bowls competitions.
Night-time continues to be very lively also with the music buyer, a big screen, a disco and various might shows, not to mention their own special talent show.
Carrer Villa Primavera 12, Estartit – Phone: 972 751 909
This campsite is quite centrally located in terms of access to the centre of Estartit. It has quite a nice shade it set up, thanks to the pine tree, plus it’s only 350 m away from the beach.
In terms of rentals, you can choose from mobile homes, caravans, tents, bungalows and apartments.
Camping La Sirena
C/ La Platera, L’Estartit 17258 – Phone: 972 751 542
This camping is also in a pretty good location in terms of accessing the town and the beach.
Where to Eat
Torroella de Montgri
This general market happens in the buzzing town square, Plaça de la Vila, on a Monday morning.
This is a general market which takes place on a Thursday morning in the Avinguda de Roma.
For a bit of an adrenaline rush, you can go go-karting, at Go Karts L’Estartit.
Ctra. Torroella – l´Estartit, km. 2- Phone: 972 757 215
With the fabulous choice of landscapes and the 17 itineraries that are highlighted in the section about the Natural Park, cycling in this area is wonderful. If you haven’t brought your own bike with you, there are rental companies both in L’Estartit itself and also in Torroella de Montgrí. Below you can find links to the three companies which have websites.
This company rents electric bicycles.
Bicicletes David doesn’t currently have a website, but is located in Av. Lluis Companys 69, Torroella de Montgrí. His phone number is: 972 759 625
Either known as the L’Estartit Riding Club, or the Mas Paguina Riding Club, this is the place to go if you wish to go horse riding, in the area. The people who run the club have over 40 years experience.
The marina is perfectly situated right by the town’s centre, and all sorts of different water activities are on offer. You can go kayaking, jet skiing, kite surfing, paddle surfing and windsurfing. Of course the area is extremely well known for its wonderful snorkelling and scuba diving. There is no lack of options when it comes to snorkelling and scuba diving, with over 10 snorkelling centres within the area. It’s also possible to hire boats and go on fishing trips.
Tennis players can find courts at a variety of locations in the area, such as Hotel La Masia, Camping Les Medes, and more as detailed below.
Hotel La Masia – http://www.masia.com/presentgb.htm
Camping Les Medes – http://www.campinglesmedes.com/
Club Nautic Estartit – http://www.cnestartit.es/en
Clbu Tennis Emporda – Phone: 695 064 208
Mont-Pla – Phone: 972 751 002
L’Estartit Tourist Information
Passeig Maritim, L’Estartit – Phone: 972 751 910
Torroella de Montgri Tourist Information
Carrer d’Ulla, Muse de la Mediterrania – Phone: 972 755 180
Below are the most convenient airports in Catalonia, for accessing L’Estartit-Torroella de Montgrí
Distance from L’Estartit to Girona Airport: 53 km
A list of destinations and airlines/tour operators which serve the airport can be found here at Girona Airport
Distance from L’Estartit to Barcelona Airport: 150 km
A list of destinations and airlines/tour operators which serve the airport can be found here at Barcelona Airport