A dream holiday in L'Escala: the best activities!

L'Escala is one of the up-and-coming holiday destinations in Spain! Only an hour from the airport of Girona and 90 minutes from the cultural metropolis of Barcelona, this beach town offers a wide variety of personal and culturally enriching activities, traditional festivals, natural reserves and of course, beautiful beaches. If you don't know where to go on holiday this summer, visit L'Escala and be amazed by this fantastic corner of Spain!

Costa Brava beach

Visit the Archaeological Museum of Catalonia

Going to L'Escala without visiting the Archaeological Museum is like going to Rome without visiting the Colosseum. The museum is situated only a kilometre from the city centre, at an important excavation site that has been named Patrimony of Humanity. You will be able to visit what remains of a Greek commercial port from the beginning of western civilization, as well as a Roman forum that was the centre of the ancient citadel.

These ruins are real-life markers of the timeline of L'Escala. It was founded by the Greeks as a key commercial city in the sixth century BC, and later, during the Roman occupation, the citadel was reformed and enriched. Around the third century, the Franks invaded Spain and the rich history of this region was forgotten. It wasn't till the twentieth that the ruins were rediscovered, making it possible for us to revisit this important piece of human history. 

In the excavation area we can visit what remains of small Greek houses with mosaic floors, as well as the agora (the central square of a Greek town), parts of the stoa (a gallery lined with columns) and the 'sacred part' of the town, where the temples used to be. Two of the temples that have withstood the test of time are those of Asklepios (the god of medicine) and Zeus (the "father of gods and men"). Roman ruins include remains of cisterns, mosaics and tiled floors in houses and an oval amphitheatre.

Indulge at the Anchovy Festival

Spain is a country full of gastronomic events, and L'Escala is no exception to the rule. The main food industry in L'Escala is fishing, with its signature product being the anchovy, internationally recognised and beloved for its supreme quality and flavour. You could even say that anchovies are L'Escala's ambassadors!

Every bar and restaurant in town serves this delicacy, prepared the traditional way, with bread and tomato, or in the form of creative tapas. But the festival dedicated to this tasty fish offers you a unique way of getting better acquainted with the anchovy. 

In mid-September and early October the Anchovy Festival takes the streets of L'Escala. Several bars and restaurants compete for the title of 'Best Preparation of Anchovies'... and your role is to sample each and every one of them! You can follow a tapas trail, complete with an anchovy passport that you use to collect stamps for every tapa you have tried. At the end of the event your passport may even get you a prize or two! And the tapas themselves are cheap as well, they are sold for €1.50 each. Get ready for some unique gastronomic experiences!

Have fun at the Festival of Arts and Culture of Portalblau

The Portalblau Mediterranean Music and Arts Festival is one of the best summer events in L'Escala. It is already on its ninth edition in 2017.

If you attend this festival you will not only enjoy the best of local culture, music and art, you will also get to know L'Escala a lot better since several shows take place in historical buildings like the salt warehouse Alfolí de Sal or the amphitheatre in Mar d'en Manassa. Every year you can attend outstanding shows by artists from around the world. There is something otherworldly and unique about enjoying concerts, dance acts and circus performances in front of spectacular backdrops such as the Mediterranean Sea, architectural masterpieces and even historical settings like the Greek agora.

In 2017 the festival takes place from July 14th to August 6th. This year's programme includes an exhibition dedicated to "Flora Mediterranea", the new circus show of the Pitanga group, concerts of the famous Catalan guitarist Quimi Portet, and dance shows by dancer and choreographer Rafael Amargo.

If you want to take part in this or any of the other Mediterranean festivals, prepare early and book your holiday home in L'Escala to be in the heart of the town, close to all the important events.

Follow the course of the Fluviá river

The Fluvià river is one of the region's most important streams and passes close by L'Escala. Cycling along the course of the river is a popular pastime and the ideal way of discovering the natural territory surrounding L'Escala.

To start the tour you just have to go north from L'Escala to Sant Pere Pescador, a quiet fishing village that developed precisely because of the river and the trade it brought inland. From there, just start riding your bike on the route along the beautiful river and enjoy the stunning scenery, past Cinc Claus and into the area of l'Armentera, a good spot for birdwatching. On the last stretch of the route, you pass the beach of Les Dunes, a great place to take a break and relax.

Learn how dunes are formed

The Museum of Anchovies and Salt (MASLE) organises guided tours on foot to the medieval village of Sant Martí d'Empúries.


Along the way, you walk through beautiful dune landscapes and the tour guide explains eveything about the processes involved in the creation and fixation of these important natural elements that are not only beautiful to look at, but also important for the maintenance of ecosystems in the area.

The tour ends at vantage point Torre del Pedró, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the village and the Mediterranean.

Greet the Little Prince on Riells Avenue

One thing you must do in L'Escala is take a walk along the Avenida Riells, next to Riells beach, where you have the opportunity to meet several characters from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Although there are many character's statues along the avenue, the most popular one is the statue of the Little Prince himself, sitting on a stone wall and contemplating the coast and the Bay of Roses. Take the opportunity to take pictures with this iconic and beloved character.
But don't stay here, head to the beach because on the stairs at Plaça de l'Univers that give access to the beach, here you can meet the Fox who sits looking dreamily at the landscape. A little further you will discover statues of a rose, a baobab tree, volcanic rocks and palm trees that represent the constellations of the east. Go for a walk on Avenida Riells and be transported to the magical world created by Saint-Exupéry!

Try two (kind of) extreme sports

Paddle surfing

Extreme sports are usually something that only the most daring and adventurous do, but in L'Escala you can get an adrenaline rush with almost no risks. Hot-air ballooning and paddle surfing are two totally safe and yet adrenaline-fueled sports!

To discover the Costa Brava by air, you can book a flight with one of the hot-air balloons of Globus Empordá, which organizes flights in the nearby region of Empordà. If you want to explore the coast by sea, paddle surfing is the best way to do so! At Montgó beach in L'Escala you can rent all the equipment you need and even get an instructor who will teach you how to practice this fun combination of surfing and rowing.

Go surfing, windsurfing and diving


The beautiful coastline of L'Escala offers plenty of opportunities to surf, windsurf and dive! These activities give you a unique way to experience the Mediterranean Sea.

Everywhere you go, you can find sport centres and operators where you can rent the equipment you need. Some of them also give you the option to book lessons. For example, if you want to surf, windsurf or kitesurf, you can learn how at the Ion Club. For scuba diving and snorkeling you have plenty of options too, such as Dive Paradis, Mateua Dive or Orca Diving Centre.

Whatever water sport you wish to learn, you can learn it on your holiday in L'Escala!

Go 'de tapeo' and clubbing afterwards


What do you prefer for a night out? A glamourous bar, a tavern, bars on the beach, a nightclub? No matter what your answer is, you will find it all in L'Escala!

In Porto de la Clota you can find one of the most popular bars of the city, the Octopuss Tapas & Music Club. It opened its doors in 1995, and today it's a landmark of the city. Its magnificent terrace where you can dance to live DJs and enjoy one of the excellent cocktails is a favourite among locals and visitors alike.

If you prefer to go from bar to bar, there's no better place to go than the lively Les Barques and Port d'en Perris neighbourhoods, where the streets are lined with bars and cafés. Some of the local's favourite bars are the traditional El Café and El Caravel bars, and the modern La Medusa. Another great area to go bar-hopping is Sant Marti d'Empuriés with its many beach bars, such as Va i Ve on Riuet beach and Chiringuito Coconut on Sant Mari beach. Regardless of where you choose to go, you will find the best live music and lively DJ parties accompanied by good cocktails and the omnipresent tapas!

Visit the medieval village Sant Martí d'Empuriés

Travel back to the 9th century BC at Sant Martí d'Empuriés, a beautiful village with a rich history! With its cobbled streets and stone houses, Sant Martí has a unique atmosphere. It used to be one of the most important ports of the Mediterranean, with trade relations to Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Greeks. It was the heart and soul of the Empuriés region till 1064.

The town's most visited parts are the medieval elements, mostly in ruins or reconstructed. They tell the story of Sant Martí like no history book can. Visit the medieval wall that has been mostly preserved, and take a look at the church of Sant Martí, built in 1538 on top of a pre-Romanesque structure from 926. Another must-see is the imposing medieval castle that inspired the writer Victor Mora to create his Capitán Trueno (Captain Thunder), a comic book about a knight with the same name who lives in this very castle.

The village connects to the Passeig d'Empuriés, where you can visit one of the many beaches of L'Escala and end the day by relaxing next to the sea.

Spend a day in Girona

Girona, Costa Brava

Girona is one of the largest and most important Catalan cities. It is so close to L'Escala that you just have to pay it a visit! And if you feel like just a day isn't enough to see this marvellous city, check out the holiday rentals in Girona for a city trip in style! 

Among its main attractions is the gothic Sant Feliu church, built in the 14th century and the imposing cathedral of Girona which was built in 1416 in a mix of gothic and baroque styles. The Arab baths that were built in 1194 still stand and you can even bathe there yourself! Another landmark you cannot miss is the Independence Square, named after the battle between Spanish troops and Napoleon's army that eventually resulted in the independence of Spain. There is also plenty of culture in Girona, with one of the highlights being a visit to the Jewish Quarter of the city and the Bonastruc Ça Porta Centre which houses the Jewish Museum of Girona.

Fun fact: many scenes of the Game of Thrones were shot in Girona! Fans will be delighted to visit many backdrops from the series in real life.

Activate the 5 senses in the Montgrí Natural Park

The crown jewel of L'Escala is the Montgrí Natural Park, an immense ecosystem with mountains, beaches, dunes, gorges and islands. Together with the Medes Islands and Baix Ter, the region was declared a protected natural area in 2010. It offers over 8,000 hectares of raw nature.

The park has free access and is only a short drive from the city centre of L'Escala. It is a great day trip to go on with children, since the Montgrí Park stimulates all the senses and immerses you in nature. Enjoy the views, the smells of the beautiful flora and try to spot some of the many birds that live here (such as the peregrine falcon, the European eagle-owl, the Montagu's harrier and several seabirds).

And do not forget your bathing suit, because there is nothing like taking a dive at one of its virgin beaches, with a stunning view of the Medes islands on the background. The Montgrí Park is a paradise for everyone who loves to experience to nature!

L'Escala is definitely a must-visit destination for everyone, whether you love history, sports or nature! The region is waiting to be discovered, so come for a visit and enjoy the beaches, festivals, cultural heritage and hundreds of activities!