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Did you know that the British newspaper, the Telegraph, featured the beach of Llafranc as one of the best beaches on the Costa Brava and in February 2016 as one of Europe’s top hidden seaside resorts? One of the Costa Brava’s more cosmopolitan beach offerings, Llafranc beach offers a delectable cocktail of enticingly inviting waters, authentic fishing boats and glam yachts. Although it can get pretty packed in the height of the season, you should find yourself sunbathing along with other cosmopolitan types.
Part of the Palafrugell municipality, Llafranc is one of those spots that have attracted artists, film stars, the beautiful people and of course the rich people. It is a luxurious coastal town, where you would need a few million to buy a small house overlooking the sea.
One of my favourite things is the smell of pine trees. In Llafranc wandering around smelling their perfume is bliss. This is a great spot just to kick back and relax, where the most stressful point of your day is choosing your lunch. In the evening things can get even tougher, when you have to choose what to wear before you go for a romantic stroll, or a family wander, on the pretty promenade. Oh my, it’s tough at the top!
Although not the busiest town on this part of the coast, during July and August it does get very busy, and if you’re looking for a little bit more peace you may want to consider Tamariu.
It’s still a traditional Catalan town, which hasn’t succumbed to any major development. Llafranc is a good choice for couples and families who want to be in an enjoyable, but not too crazy resort. It’s perfectly placed to explore plenty more of the gorgeous Costa Brava, as well as the superb historical city of Girona.
As it’s part of the Palafrugell municipality, you have a couple of other interesting options almost on your doorstep. Check out the town of Palafrugell itself, the coastal town of Calella de Palafrugell, and the quieter option of Tamariu.
If the crystalline waters and smell of the pine trees don’t do it for you, then you’re in the wrong town. A place doesn’t need to attract famous people to endorse its beauty or impact on visitors, however in the case of Llafranc it has. The town has been a frequent favourite with film stars, writers and the relatively local lad, Salvador Dali.
Mostly if you visit outside of the peak months of July and August, you may have to put up with the sound of the waves as they lap up against the rocks, and birdsong. The contrast of the colours of this part of the Catalan coastline are enough Travel Chi, within themselves, to start healing any broken heart or inspire any creative type dealing with a block. Once upon a time a favourite haunt of the amazing Dali, was the Hotel Llafranc which later welcomed Tom Sharpe, the author of Wilt, as a long-term resident. So when you’re in Llafranc you know you’re following in interesting footsteps.
Llafranc was occupied by the Romans until the 4th century A.D. The Romans had arrived at nearby Empuries and as they favoured Llafranc, it became an outstanding centre of production for both pottery and wine.
Today you can see the leftovers of this Roman past, which include the remains of what was a winery nearby the church of Santa Rosa, and also wine press. Excavations in this area have uncovered some of the oldest homes of the civilisation.
The gorgeous Ruins of Empuries are around 36km away from Llafranc. This is one of the most magical, historical spots overlooking the sea that you’re likely to see in your life. For more information follow this link Ruins of Empuries.
The town’s beach is a fine sandy beach, around 330 m in length. It’s crystalline waters are embraced with plenty of greenery, where you can enjoy the wafting smell of beautiful pine trees. Just behind the beach there is a handful of hotels and restaurants, and some whitewashed, lowrise buildings.
GIV-6542 s/n 17200 Palafrugell
Tucked between Llafranc and Tamariu, Cala Pedrosa makes an ideal retreat if you’re looking for a secluded beach all of your own. A sheltered cove, edged by cliffs and conifers, the spot draws many in-the-know divers and snorkelers. Expect moderate waves and few other beach-goers. Approaching on foot is somewhat circuitous, so most of the visitors come by boat.
Around 1.5km away are these beautiful historical gardens and castle, which are a must do …The garden gradually makes its way down to the sea, as one terrace gives way to the next. In July this is where the music festival takes place, which has had some pretty serious names play at it over the years.
Dorothy Webster and Colonel Woevodsky bought the estate in 1927, at which stage they started to design and build the beautiful park and castle. This did not happen overnight, with the work continuing up until 1974.
If you travel around 63km, you can visit the Aiguamolls de l’Emporda Natural Park, which has an interesting landscape and is the second largest wetlands in Catalonia. See more about the park at Aiguamolls de l’Empordà Natural Park Catalonia.
Another natural park to put on your bucket list of where to go when in the area, the scenery here is especially spectacular – it’s about 82km from Llafranc – click for more information on Cap de Creus Natural Park
You have arrived close by to Dalí Country! Within a relatively short distance you can visit all 3 locations which form the Dalí Triangle or just choose one or two. Find out more by following this link to the Salvador Dalí Triangle.
A hop, skip and a jump away from Palafrugell is the delightful town of Begur, with its striking medieval castle and lovely scenery. It’s around 7km away. For more information check out the Begur Travel Guide.
Another place that is very close by, at a distance of 10km, is Palamos. What started as a village centuries ago, is these days a thriving tourist and commercial centre. However it still manages to blend the old and the new, which stands out especially in the port area.
You need to venture a bit further to go to Girona – but it’s totally worth it. This beautiful hub of history and culture is around 52 km away from Palafrugell.
You really don’t need to be a Dalí fan to go to Cadaques. Prettier than most postcards, Cadaques is especially picturesque. The road in and out is a wee bit of a challenge ..but it’s worth it. It’s located around 73km away. For more information go to the Cadaques Travel Guide. Dalí fans may wish to check out the
A superb carnival, with deep roots – which runs before Lent each year. There’s loads of different activities, lots of colour and fun ..and partying!
Spring is welcome with music, art and flowers around the private and public courtyards.
As one might expect of a fishing village, the main festival of Calella is in honour of St. Peter, the patron saint of fishermen.
Ever since 1966 the tradition of Habana singing has been going strong in Calella de Palafrugell. It all started off with a group of singers who met in the Can Batlle pub, and it was an immediate hit. These days its one of the events Calella is best known for!
2014 Entrance Fee Was €27.50 – Website: http://www.havanerescalella.cat/
This is a unique International music festival that is in the most amazing setting and attracts big names, each year.
This festival is the main summer festival and is held in honour of the patron saint of the town, St. Margaret. There’s Sardana dancing, activities for younger family members and lots more.
On 15 August, Santa Maria.
The Llofriu Main Festival happens on the third Saturday of August.
The Llafranc Main Festival is held in honour of Santa Rosa de Lima.
These is a jazz festival with lots of concerts dotted around the town. It has a special emphasis on young, emerging Catalan jazz talent.
This runs from around the end of January until March, when the sea urchins are at their best. This is not a street festival, but one where many of the local restaurants take part offering special festival menus. These feature sea urchins, but also offer typical desserts of the area.
A very old and typical dish of Palafrugell, that was made for Lent, and takes 5 hours to cook. It started out vegetarian but has been adapted over the years.
The Calella de Palafrugell daily market is on from Tuesday to Saturday, which like most towns and villages in the area, offers a good selection of fresh local produce. Shop like a local there and create a special holiday meal or two, if you’re renting accommodation.
Sunday morning is for sauntering around after a café con leche (coffee) and browsing or buying in the street market.
On the first Saturday of July, when the Habaneras singing is happending, there’s a craft market on in Calella de Palafrugell.
This is a craft market during the evenings in Palafrugell, in Carrer Pi i Margall.
On the Saturday before the 24th June (San Juan and Midsummer’s) there’s a wine and cheese market in Llofriu, which also coincides with the cork peeling festival.
In this area you’ll find a network of paths which are especially set up to be done either on foot or by bike. These connect some of the most charming spots in the area.
This is a great spot for those of you who like to snorkel and dive, and there’s a choice of a couple of schools in the town.
Another great way to take in this ready stunning coastline is to go on one of the boat tours, which takes you around the caves and the coves. You can actually choose from either boat tours or self drive options.