3. Costa Brava Full-Day Tour from Barcelona
This 12-hour tour from Barcelona explores the Girona coast, christened as the Costa Brava 100 years ago, due to its rugged coastline of small coves. Its superb natural beauty is apparent in several territories and protected areas, such as Cap de Creus, the Emporda Marshes, and the Marine Reserve of the Medes islands.
The area has also historically been a point of entry, transit, and settlement for different cultures and civilizations. Each has left a footprint, evidenced by the Greek and Roman sites in Èmpuries.
Depart from Plaça Catalunya at 8:30 AM, and take the motorway to Calella de Palafrugell, a small fisherman’s village of great architectural and natural beauty, where you will visit its incomparable bays for spectacular views.
Take an easy 15-minute hike along the Camino de Ronda to the town of Llafranc. The Camino de Ronda borders all of the Costa Brava, and was historically used to control smuggling. Today, you will discover beautiful spots that wouldn’t otherwise be accessible.
Explore the elegant seaside town of Llafranc, before heading to Pals at around noon. Located inland, on the top of a hill, the village is built entirely in an integrated medieval site. At the top, there is a 12th-Century cylindrical tower, which is visible from far away. Get stunning views of the Costa Brava and surroundings from the terrace, and walk through the cobbled streets of the old town, to appreciate the round arches, façades with pointed windows arches, and perfectly restored stone balconies.
Continue to l’Estartit, an important diving center due to its close proximity to the Medes Islands’ archipelago, of significant interest for the wide variety of flora and fauna that inhabit the area. You'll have free time to eat lunch and stroll around town, then board a boat at 3:00 PM to explore the area from the water. Cruise for 1 hour and 20 minutes to the outer islands for spectacular views, then continue to the stunning cliffs of Sierra de Montgrí, only accessible by boat.
Your final stop is the extensive Greek and Roman ruins of Èmpuries. An expert guide will take you on a guided tour of the site, the only one in Spain where both a Greek and later a Roman city existed together. Admire the remains of the city walls, the Acropolis, Market Square, and numerous other buildings. See the Greek port, dating from the 1st-Century BC, and the Roman city highlights, such as a mosaic floor in excellent condition, the Forum, remains of an Amphitheater, and several statues and vestiges of street frameworks.
Return to Barcelona at approximately 6:00 PM. You will arrive back at Plaça Catalunya at around 8:00 PM.