The Heart of the Costa Brava
The Old Towns of Palamós and Sant Joan
Palamós, founded in 1279 in order to defend its royal port, was born as a stronghold and did not fully acquire its urban character until the nineteenth century. Violent raids, such as those suffered at the hands of the forces of Barbarossa, the Turkish pirate, in 1543 and the pressure to withstand the continued presence of troops belonging to different flags, made it so that only slow economic and demographic growth was possible. Ever since the 1970s, the port’s attractiveness to tourists marked the start of a new and fruitful economic activity. The urban fabric of Palamós can be felt in the Old Town, the industrial Eixample area, the town of Sant Joan, the coast and its farmhouses. On the other hand, the old layout of the town of Sant Joan begins with the neighbourhood of country houses and artists’ homes located around the square and the church. The annexation of Sant Joan de Palamós in the municipality took place in 1942.
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The Port and the Red Shrimp
The Port of Palamós evokes the history of the French, Turkish, English or Italians, who were always sailors, which tells about the origins and evolution of the city, as well as its times of great splendour. Currently, the Port of Palamós is the maritime port for the entire province of Girona, and it is the third most important port in all of Catalonia in terms of commerce, fishing, tourism and culture. The main fishing product to come out of Palamós is the prized red shrimp (Aristeus antennatus), which a specialised fleet of boats takes to the market daily. The Palamós Fishermen’s Guild and the Palamós Town Hall promote the Palamós Shrimp Mark of Guarantee to ensure the origin, traceability and quality of the product in its journey from the boat all the way to the end consumer.
La Fosca and Paratge de Castell
Along the coast to the east in the direction of Calella de Palafrugell, we can enjoy the walkway that departs from the Gran de Palamós beach. We head towards Pedró and cross the marina and Cala Margarida to arrive at La Fosca beach, which faces southeast and known for its black rock that splits the beach in half. If we continue along the walkway, we find the Sant Esteve de Mar Castle, a historical part of the origins of Palamós in the 12th-13th century. Further along, from the Gori pine forest, you can see the picturesque houses of Cala S’Alguer, a Site of National Cultural Interest, which were the old fishermen’s barracks from the 15th century. Then we arrive at De Castell beach, a natural area that has remained isolated and has managed to preserve the rawness of its landscape, all thanks to the will of its people. The Iberian town of Castell allows us to get a closer look at the archaeological remains of the Iberian site (6th century BC up until the 2nd century AD). And among the cliffs is La Foradada, pure Costa Brava that wraps us up in its magic, making our way through magnificent coves; Cala Senià, Cala Canyers tucked away on the seashore, Cala Dels Corbs and Cala Estreta, all the way up to Planes.
The “Green Route” Palamós-Palafrugell
The “Green Route” that links Palamós with Palafrugell, also known as the “Petit Train Route”, is 6 km long. This path runs along a part of the old route of the so-called “petit train” that connected Palamós with Girona, passing through Bisbal d’Empordà. The current-day route crosses through the municipalities of Palamós, Mont-ras and Palafrugell, with sections that go to Vall-llòbrega and to the beaches of Castell and La Fosca. Kilometres: 6 km on the main route – Vall-llòbrega section: 0.5 km. – Section to Castell Beach: 1 km. – Section to Mont-ras: 800 m. – Vertical incline: 1% - Difficulty: Low.
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The Valley of Bell-lloc
Palamós is known as a coastal town, and the sea is its main symbol of identity. However, in reality, the mountains surrounding the town are just as interesting as the coast. You will be able to discover these mountains and their history all throughout the network of trails in the Bell-lloc valley: with the Bell-lloc sanctuary and the Vila-Romano castle, standing on a plateau on the southern slope of the Montagut, dating back prior to the 13th century. The landscape of Palamós is the harmonious combination of the Aubi plains, the Gavarres and the Mediterranean. The Gavarres Mountains, included within the Plan for Spaces of Natural Interest, are representative of the coastal mountain ranges of the northern Mediterranean system.