Empordà and the Costa Brava

It has been a year since I started to post seriously and regularly in this blog (well, as “seriously and regularly” as I am capable, which is very little).

My initial aim was to cover mainly the Empordà region, its wonderful coast (the so-called “Costa Brava”) and its immediate surroundings. I mean, very roughly speaking, an area extended from Barcelona (South) to the French border and the Pyrenees Mountains (North – Northwest). And the deep-blue Mediterranean Sea to the East, of course.

I also wanted to improve my English by writing and struggling with its nonsensical grammar in this blog.

I don’t know exactly what can have happened, but in the last few posts Covetotop ended up in the Swiss Alps. And I am afraid I am “inventing” a brand new English grammar in each and every post I write. Let’s face it: I cannot go on this way. I have to go back to the origins …

I am

You are

He/She is

We are … back in the Costa Brava …

Aiguafreda cove

Covetotop’s first post (apart from a pair of deathly boring forewords and overviews) began with a coffee by the sea …

Mediterranean coffee

I wanted to describe to a potential audience of billions of readers worldwide (by now, I have ten or twelve regular readers worldwide, but they are real, loyal and very friendly; blogging for them is well worth the effort) this beautiful coast …

Camí-de-Ronda

There are nice corners everywhere in the Costa Brava. You only have to hike a little (and to follow my instructions) to find them …

Costa Brava path

Mediterranean rocks

Secluded coves and beaches are superb. They are a mix of sand, pine trees and rocks …

Costa Brava beach

Summer beach

turquoise waters

I love this little region of the world. My very best friends live here …

Burro3

And Mediterranean girls are incredibly beautiful …

Mediterranean girls

Some specific areas of the Costa Brava attract tons of tourists in high season (July and August). Most of them come from the frozen North of Europe just to stretch under the sun and burn their skins. They never get out of the hotel, beach or discotheque, and are usually packed back to their homes, some days later, grilled and drunk. I do not blog for this kind of tourists. I just blog for bloggers, sensitive travellers and dream-travellers.

Begur 1 12

The old villages of Empordà are full of charm and history …

Costa Brava Cadaqués

medieval square

Pals

Local farms produce food of exceptional quality, and the countryside is simply superb …

Astonishing view

Baix Empordà

In a plethora of little vineyards grow little known outstanding wines. All of them belong to the Protected Designation of Origin “Empordà”

Alto Ampurdán

Empordanian wine

Empordanian olive oil comes directly from dreamland and it tastes accordingly …

Oli empordà

The Mediterranean Sea not only produces fishes and millenary myths, but the utmost peace of mind as well.

Faro San Sebastián Ampurdán

With such ingredients, and adding the crazy creativity of their inhabitants, it is not difficult to figure out that some of the best restaurants of the world were born in this region, from the mythical Ferran Adrià’s “El Bulli” to “El Celler de Can Roca” (currently, the best restaurant in the world according to the British mag “Restaurant”).

The hardest part of writing a blog like this one, is visiting all those restaurants and having lunch just for the sake of blogging.

I have had to try all kinds of local food in order to write my posts: from traditional dishes

Fisherman paella

… to the most ultra-modern ones …

ruscalleda's brandade

(No, I’m not wrong. The pic above isn’t a Mondrian painting, it’s cod brandade with veggies)

Some of the most creative people of the modern History live or has lived in Empordà, like Dalí, Picasso or myself (just kidding!)

Salvador Dalí was born in the Empordà region, in the city of Figueres. Since he was a child he was a little mad. He planted a cypress within a boat at his house’s main entrance, in Port-Lligat …

Salvador Dali house

Dalí was the greatest surrealist painter … Although he painted the real world very well too …

His English was … You’d better judge by yourself (if you have two minutes to laugh, click here) …

Another great Spanish master, Pablo Picasso, spent some time here (1910), in Cadaqués. Not far away, to the South of the Costa Brava, in Barcelona, there is a Picasso Museum worth visiting …

Picasso in Barcelona

But, you know, Mr. Picasso painted  beautiful Mediterranean  … mmm … “things”

Well, I’m glad to post about my beloved Empordà and the Costa Brava once again. My English grammar is as bad as always, but the sun is shining out there …

Bye!

crystal clear waters

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About Covetotop

A Mediterranean blogger
This entry was posted in Art, Beaches, Towns & Villages and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Empordà and the Costa Brava

  1. I love your photos, but they’re making me want it to be warm again RIGHT NOW!

    Also, I would never, ever have guessed that square of colors was food.

  2. lolabees says:

    Perfect timing! My husband and I booked a week in Barcelona this summer, and just last night I was contemplating a side trip to Costa Brava. I still need to do more research, so I will definitely use your older posts for that. Any suggestions or tips are always welcome, of course!

  3. trishworth says:

    I’m going there in May for a few weeks. I’ll be staying right beside the sea and will take photos like yours (not as good as yours). Covetotop, your English is so close to native that you shouldn’t worry about it. True.

    • Covetotop says:

      Thank you for that “your English is so close to native” … but I cannot imagine natives expending half an hour figuring out if something is at, or on, or in, or by … and always choosing the wrong word 😉
      I’ll try to post good information about the Costa Brava in next posts. I hope you’ll find it helpful. If you need specific information about any issue (i.e. Romanesque art in this area) please let me know it.

      • trishworth says:

        I want to visit monasteries with cloisters and towers.

      • Covetotop says:

        My suggestions:
        1- Sant Pere de Rodes: old (founded in the X century), half ruined (Napoleon war, civil wars etc), and there are no monks in it, but it is a jewel of Romanesque art. National Monument. Its location is awesome too. Not to be missed. It is very close to El Port de la Selva village. The views of the Mediterranean sea from the monastery are almost divine. And within its walls you’ll be transported to another dimension …
        2- The old city of Girona, its cathedral (its nave is the widest in Europe), its Romanesque monastery of Sant Pere de Galligants … The whole old city of Girona is a marvel to visit and wander around.
        3 – The Gothic church of Castelló d’Empúries -it’s almost a cathedral, very interesting-.
        4-Monastery of Santa María of Vilabertrán. Romanesque.
        5.- Not far away from Vilabertrán, around Rabós d’Empordà, there is a little known “magic” monastery (Romanesque period) named Sant Quirze de Colera. I love this monastery. It is located in a very beautiful valley, surrounded by the Pyrenees mountains. Sadly, last summer there was a terrible fire in this area and I don’t know how much this particular landscape has been damaged. Actually, I don’t want to know it. Risk of depression. I wrote a mysterious post in this blog, named “Alt Empordà”, a few days after that disaster of July 2012. That post was my emotive and “secret” homage to that beautiful area (the Alt Empordà county).
        6.- For Romanesque Art lovers, an interesting route -although a little long- is Besalú, Sant Joan de les Abadesses (outstanding monastery), the village of Camprodón and, perhaps, if there is any strength left, Ripoll (the monestir’s portal is a masterpiece).
        7.- There are a lot of little rural Romanesque churches in the whole area … and medieval villages …
        And much more …

      • trishworth says:

        WordPress is tricky with replies to replies, and so it’s only a few moments ago that I found this long reply of yours. I’m very grateful for all these suggestions, and will let you know if I get to these monasteries. I’ll be in Spain for some of the time and will also stay in France near the Fr/Sp border, near the Mediterranean, so if you know of any monasteries in that corner…

      • Covetotop says:

        Of course you have very interesting monasteries in the South of France. My favorites -just one day or even half day trip from Spain- are: 
        1.- St Martin du Canigou: Romanesque. A little bit “too reconstructed” -and you notice it-, because it was almost destroyed by a heartquake some centuries ago. But its still very nice, and its location is awesome. If you visit it take into account that you’ll need to hike for a while -no cars allowed on its path- and the Canigou is quite an impressive mountain. You’ll have to park your car in Casteil village. In that area I stronly recommend to you visiting the neighbouring little village of Villefranche de Conflent (very nice and some very good restaurants there)
        2.- St Michel de Cuxa (St Miquel de Cuixá in Catalan; this is/was Catalan territory too, like the Costa Brava). Half of its cloister is now in New York 😦 but it’s still worth visiting. Much more easy to visit than St Martin du Canigou.
        3.- Cathedral and cloister of the village of Elne.
        4.- Fontfroide Abbey, Southwest of Narbonne. Awesome. (And it has a very good and “reasonable” restaurant)
        5.- In general terms, this area of Southern France, very close to the Spanish/French border, is very beautiful and it’s full of history and legendary locations. Look for the Cathars’ Country.
        6.- I don’t know why, but I’m a fan of a mysterious Romanesque sculptor known as Maître de Cabestany, who worked in this area quite a few centuries ago. I have posted about him and his works, places to visit etc -and I plan to post more about him in the future-. As far as monasteries are concerned, visit my following post (link): https://covetotop.wordpress.com/2012/05/21/following-the-steps-of-the-master-of-cabestany-the-sarcophagus-of-saint-sernin-saint-hilaire-abbey-southern-france/
        I hope WordPress will allow this long reply to reply to reply to appear on your screen … 🙂

      • trishworth says:

        YES! WP allowed the very long reply-reply-reply… I’ll print out all your suggestions, French and Spanish, and take the list with me. Since you’re interested in improving your English, I’d like to point out that heartquake and earthquake contain the same letters but they are very different misfortunes. 😆

      • Covetotop says:

        Oh my! Yes! “earthquake, earthquake” ! 😀

  4. A nice place well told. Kudos!

  5. well Cove Top, despite your concerns about your english grammar (no need to worry, generally it looks pretty good to me- and i teach it!) this is a great piece. I was really pleased to stumble across it. I loved in Barcelona for a few years, albeit many years ago, and this brings back many happy memories of trips up the coast. Funny, informative writing and great pictures too. Love it. Thanks for posting. 🙂

  6. oh, and one more thing.. I love that picture of the mermaids!

  7. This is a really good blog but you have an unfair advantage and that is the region you are covering.. By the way was Miro from that area or was he further south?

    • Covetotop says:

      Thank you! Poitou-Charentes isn’t bad either … Anyway, I agree with you, the beauty of my blog (if any) comes directly from the land, not from the blogger.
      Joan Miró was born further south, in Barcelona, and he lived and worked a lot of years in the island of Mallorca.

  8. Pintaba a su manera = he painted in his own way 🙂 Yet again, I’m dying over all the beautiful shades of blue!

  9. Thank you for sharing the beautiful photos. Many people I know have been to this specific region, I hope to visit it someday. A couple of your photos remind me of our central coast in California!

    • Covetotop says:

      Thank you for your comment, Arleen. As an artist, perhaps you’ll like to know that Carmen Amaya (one of the best flamenco dancers of all times) lived and died (1963) in the little village of Begur (Empordà). Her house, named “Mas Pinc” is wonderful. I took one of the photos featured in this post very close to that house.

  10. harri8here says:

    Oh my word. Your use of English is as clear and beautiful as the water you have photographed. Each of your entries is a sensory experience.

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