Beaches of the Baix Empordà

Beaches of the Baix Empordà
The following blogs cover the beaches around Pals, Begur, Tamariu, Llafranc, Calella and Palamos. Those who have already visited the area of Begur, Pals and Palafrugell before, know the beautiful diversity of the beaches in the direct vicinity. They are absolutely unique for Spain, and the one is even more beautiful and pleasant than the other.

The best aspect about it is that they are all different and have their own unique characteristics. You will find beaches with fine white sand, others with small pebbles or containing rocks and plateaus only. Some beaches are especially suitable for small children, while others, by definition are not. However, there are shared characteristics also: they are all located in the midst of wonderful green surroundings, with many pine trees, and they often have a comfortable sheltered location. Another shared characteristic: during summer it is difficult to park your car during certain moments of the day.

Really, we recommend you to visit another beach every day! However, we don’t mind to describe all beaches to you, so everyone can make their own decision. We will place them in order for you starting in the north and going down towards the south, with in this first blog the beaches of Playa de Pals.

Platja del Grau – Pals

This might be the most tranquil beach of the region, especially when you walk towards the mouth of the river Rec de Molí. To come here, you drive all the way around the golf course of Golf Platja de Pals and at the end you follow the road to the right. The beach is elongated, wide and of reasonably fine white sand. Also here is a large parking lot, which makes parking your car relatively easy. During summer there is lifeguard supervision and there are several nice beach bars like Ala Brava and Um Pals.

Additionally you can take sailing or surfing lessons here via Windsurf-Pals, both for adults and for children. Here you can also rent supplies for SUP, kayak, surfing, windsurfing or even a bike if you do not want to go out on the water. 

Something that you can’t do everywhere, but you can do on this beach, is rent beach beds. Furthermore, aside from the lifeguards there is also a post from the Red Cross and there are toilets available.

Platja Gran – Pals

The other beach of Playa de Pals is Platja Gran. This beach is nearest to the centre of Platja the Pals and connected to Platja del Racó and Illja Roja in Begur.

This beach is approximately 1.5 kilometres long and about 600 metres wide. Also here, beautiful fine white sand and enough space for children. The water quality in Playa de Pals is regularly tested and keeps coming out of the test as excellent.

You can swim everywhere, except from the enclosed areas where boats come to and from the beach. Just like Platja del Grau there is supervision and a post from the Red Cross. Toilets are available. 

A popular restaurant here, located directly next to the beach, is Sol i Mar. While you enjoy delicious tapas, a cold white wine, or a great lunch, your children will play in the white sand directly in front of you. 

The beaches of Platja del Racó, Illa Roja, Sa Riera and S’Antiga 

In our previous blog, we told you about two beaches at Pals: Platja del Grau and Platja Gran. Together, they form a long and wide sandy beach that is perfect for playing and sunbathing. You can practise all kinds of sports. Bring your own equipment, or hire it on the spot. As a bonus, this beach has a great view of the islands just off the coast of l’Estartit, the Illes Medes.

You can reach this island group from l’Estartit or even l’Escala on a glass-bottomed boat. But the Medes Islands are also great for diving! They are a protected nature reserve, and thanks to their many underwater grottos and caverns, enhanced by the clear waters and white sand, you can admire a great variety of beautiful fish.

Platja del Racó

Without your noticing it, Platja Gran in Pals transforms into Platja del Racó, in an area belonging to Begur.  So, it is more or less the same beach, but with a different owner, and therefore a different name. One thing is the same: beautiful white sand and a lot of space. This part of the beach is home to a small chiringuito, Spanish for a small beach kiosk/bar, called Guingueta in Catalan. It sells chilled refreshments and, most of the time, ice creams and snacks such as crisps or a toastie, which is called a Bikini here.

The end of Platja del Racó is marked by a large rock formation. At this point, you have two choices. One is to walk up the trail that runs along the coast in the direction of Sa Riera. This path, known as the Camí de Ronda, is lovely, not too long and affords splendid views.

Illa Roja

If you prefer, you can walk across the rocks to cross over to the next beach, Illa Roja – the Red Rock, in other words. This rock is a landmark of the area and is just a small distance away from this beach, which has a splendid location, hidden amongst the tall rocks and partly obscured by Illa Roja. For this reason, Illa Roja is a nudist beach. It lies behind the rocks, and the walking trail is right on top of the rocks, which makes it an idyllic spot with much privacy.

Just to remind you, to get to Sa Riera, you must take the clifftop path, the Camí de Ronda. Trails called  Camí de Ronda (‘the roundway’) are found all along the Costa Brava. They will take you to the loveliest parts of this coast. Some of these roundways are incorporated into the GR-92, the long-distance walking trail, which starts at Portbou on the French border and takes you all the way down to the Ebro Delta in southern Catalonia. This little trail between Pals and Tossa de Mar is the loveliest stretch by far. In this part of the country, the ‘Camí de Ronda’ paths are very suitable for families. The trails are varied and can be challenging, but you can seek shade under the pine trees, and there are plenty of opportunities for a refreshing dip in the sea.

Begur – Sa Riera

Despite operating on a small scale, Sa Riera is the largest beach in the municipality of Begur. It also has the most amenities. There is a chiringuito (for an explanation, refer to our description of  Pals). You will also find a number of restaurants, small shops and hotels with only a few rooms. Take a seat on one of the outdoor terraces, enjoy the ambience and tuck into tapas. You can also hire a canoe or pedalo, or even an SUP (stand-up paddle board).


If you carry on exploring Sa Riera beach, when you come the end, turn the corner. A narrow path, only suitable for those on foot, takes you to the tiny beach of S’Antiga. Only slightly bigger than a postage stamp, it makes a great spot for sunbathing at the end of a summer’s day, as it is sheltered from any sea winds.


After the big beach of Sa Riera and the hidden mini-beach s´Antiga, a part ofrocky coast follows, where you cannot or barely get to the water and in mostplaces, it is not allowed since a part of the coast here is a protected area,mostly the part in the front of the coast that is under water.

A few kilometres further away you get to the recess that is called Aiguafreda. The place is located beautifully protected in between two protruding rockformations, including Cap Sa Sal. You cannot really say this is a beach, asthere is almost no sand, but instead there are several platforms where you cansunbathe perfectly. The water in the bay is crystal clear and blue, whichproduces some beautiful pictures. At Aiguafreda it is also possible to launch aboat or a jet ski because a trailer ramp is located here.

On top of all that, there is a shower, a toilet and a parking place. Catering facilityis also present, there is an amazing bar directly at the beach where you canalso get tapas and other dishes. The bar is called El Vermut and it hasmagnificent view of the bay.

30 meters away from the beach is where you will find Hostel Sa Rascasse. Itwas built as a holiday home in 1916 when the bay was still a private bay. Laterit was made into the hostel, restaurant and diving centre it is today. You can possibly rent a tasteful room, but you can for sure eat a delicious meal,especially the fish dishes.

Sa Tuna

When you are done eating, you can walk back to the beach and take thebeautiful coastal path to the right of the bay. Via this amazing path you can walkall the way, along the coastline, to Sa Tuna, the next bay. It is not far, but forsure beautiful! When you look to the right you will see wonderful villas and, onthe right, you have the sea. It will be a 20-minute walk at most. In the distanceyou can see an impressive hotel/apartment complex of Cap Sa Sal. It was builtin the sixties as a luxurious hotel, but these days it is has changed into mostlyapartments with impressive view.

To the bend of the road to Sa Tuna you get the possibility to climb on the rocksfor the best view of this stunning mini-fishing village. The beach is in gravel, sothere is no soft sand here, however you can sit by the sea and swim in the,once again, crystal clear water. On the mini seafront promenade there are a fewrestaurants. at the beach you can find the well-known Hostel Sa Tuna, withdelicious fresh fish. They also have a few rooms, so stay over because themorning here is stunning! The sun comes up slowly above the rocks and puts abeautiful yellow glow on the houses in the bay.

Other cute restaurants here are El Furió, also on the sea promenade. Twentymeters up the small street, you arrive at the very nice restaurant called Es Plom. You can eat here outside in the street at a small table and if you arelucky there is live music and the Cuban ambiance of food and music will appear.

Platja Fonda

Platja Fonda is a peculiar beach close to Fornells. The beach consists of pebbles and a tiny bit of sand. The beach is mainly used by the locals here, since the beach is not a very touristic place. It is very wild and not discovered by many people. The beach is surrounded by a big wall of rocks, so it has a lot of shadow, especially during the sunset. The beach is only reachable by stairs, which are in good condition but are steep. The access is a bit difficult to find, so that is why the beach is still unspoilt. This is also why the beach is called, “deep beach”, Pl atja Fonda. The beach also has a lot of rocks you can use to jump off of and you can do a great amount of snorkelling since the water here is amazing.

There are three things that you really need to know:

  • The beach is very busy, especially in august, since it is the beach where are the local people go. If you want a good spot, you can best go early. A lot of people suggest before 10:30 in the morning.
  • There are no facilities since it is just a local beach. Only in summer there is a small car that sells some drinks, but you can best take your own drinks and food.
  • The pebbles can get really hot if they are in the sun, so remember to take your own flipflops that you can wear while walking on the pebbles.

The beach is 130 meters long and 35 meters wide so there is a lot of space, just make sure you get a good spot since it can get really busy. The beach is really shallow for the first few steps, but after this it falls really quickly. The ocean is deep, so it is perfect for people who love to swim in oceans. It is known to be for people who want to escape the comfort and touristic places for a while and just enjoy the nature. There are parking spots nearby, but this can get busy. The water here is not as crystal-clear as at the other bays, but this doesn’t mean that the blue water is not nice.

There is also an abandoned house on Cap de Rubi was owned by Dr. Arruga, a catalan ophthalmologist who was staying in Begur. Over there is also the coastal path that leads to Fornells and the harbour of Fornells.

To make a conclusion, the beach here is unspoilt and wild, the water is beautiful, and it is amazing place if you want to escape the tourism. However, don’t forget to bring your flipflops, water and food, and it can get busy in summer. Aside from all of that, this beach is a guaranteed perfect day.


Fornells is a small village, which has beautiful coves, and holds a beautiful harbour. The village is an original place with the original beauty still intact, as it is surrounded by pine trees and it is at the beautiful, crystal clear sea. The village has an amazing harbour which is one of its main features since you can walk to the amazing coves via a coastal path from here on out. These coves are perfect to swim, relax and sunbathe. The harbour itself is small but in summer it is filled with boats.

When you walk to the south from the coastal path you will be heading towards Aiguablava, where you will first pass Cala port de ses Orats, the first cove, where you can lie down on the fine sand next to the stunning sea that is perfect for swimming. This beach is 15 meters long and 10 meters wide, so it is not big however, it is really calming and nice.

When you continue the path, you will then pass Cala d´en Malaret, which is also made up of fine sand, but the cove is a bit bigger than Cala port de ses Orats, since it is 17 meters long and 15 meters wide. When you are relaxing in the cove, that is surrounded by majestic rocks, you will have a stunning view on the beach of Aiguablava and the luxurious hotel. Both these coves have an amazing opportunity to observe the underwater life in the crystal-clear water. Further along the coastal path you will arrive at Cala Port d’Esclanyà; a cove with pebbles both in and out of the water. The beach is however way longer; 85 meter long and 15 meters wide. Along the whole coastal path, you will see houses which look like they come straight out of a painting.

If you decide to walk the path to the north starting at the harbour, you will walk in a small tunnel which is dug out of the mountain. This tunnel will lead you to the n´Estasia cove. This creek is 20 meters long but only 5 meters wide, so it is not big.  From this beautiful cove you will be able to see Cap Rubí, an impressive rock with a beautiful villa on top named the Dr. Arruga Villa.  This small but beautiful consists of pebbles in and out of the water. When you go back to the start point you can also find a possibility to relax.

Close to the harbour there is a small platform which is perfect for sunbathing and take a dive in the crystal-clear water. The waves are calm and the water is crystal clear. From here you also have an amazing view on the mountain ( as you can see in the picture) which is covered in beautiful green trees and white houses.

To conclude, Fornells is a beautiful, small village with an amazing harbour and a beauty that can not easily be found in different villages because of the amazing location with the pine trees and the beautiful sea. You can also walk to some amazing coves from the visit. This amazing village deserves an amazing visit.

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