Located on the Baix Empordà coast, 50 km directly east of Girona, Begur is a delightful village with a permanent population of just over 4000, although in the summer months one can add another zero to that figure!
Begur is not only all about summer tourism though and there is plenty of history attached to the region too, with the ruins of its medieval castle perched on a hill overlooking the town and the coast.
The first documented mention of the Castillo de Begur dates to the early 11th century although evidence of prehistoric Iberian civilization has also been found on the hill. These days only ruins remain of the original castle, which went through three different periods of destruction. The first was in 1468 during the Catalan Civil War, the second caused by raids by the French in 1694 and finally in 1810 as a result of the War of Independence that occurred during the Napoleonic Wars. Restoration undertaken during the latter part of the last century means that the castle is accessible to people in wheelchairs or with limited mobility. The 360º views from the top are truly spectacular and are well worth the effort of getting up there. Looking up at the castle from the town the climb might seem a little daunting but don’t let that put you off – it’s really a lot easier than it looks!
Neoclassical Colonial Architecture
Of more recent historic interest are the extravagant neoclassical “Indiano” houses built by emigrants returning from the Caribbean. During the 19th century many Begurencs left to seek their fortune in the Americas, Cuba especially, and some of those who were successful returned and built themselves colonial style homes. There are over a dozen of these mansions, giving the town a classy and stylish feel. Every September the cultural relationship between Begur and Cuba is celebrated during the three-day Fira d’Indians
Once you’ve had your fill of history and it’s time to hit the beach you’ll be spoilt for choice! Some of the most gorgeous coves of the Costa Brava (or calasas they are called in Catalan) can be found right here in Begur. The northern most cala, bordering the long Platja de Pals, is the Platja de L’illa Roja (or Red Island Beach). This is a clothing-optional beach that tends not to get too crowded. A short distance south is Platja de Sa Riera, a larger, sheltered cove whose beach is split in two by a stream called Sa Riera which gives the beach its name.
Continuing further south we eventually come to the spectacular Cala Aiguafreda (Coldwater Cove). Don’t let the “coldwater” moniker deter you as the water here is particularly crystal clear and no colder than anywhere else along this coast.
Next is the secluded Platja Sa Tuna with equally transparent water and then a couple of kilometres further south (as the crow flies!) is Platja Fonda (Deep Beach), so-called as you need to walk down around 100 steps to get there. Both of these coves require a little more effort to access them and so tend to be a bit more tranquil but also lack the touristic services of the other calas.
There are three more coves at Fornells that are particularly popular for scuba diving before we finally come to the truly beautiful Cala Aiguablava the last of the Begur beaches. Again, the water is crystal clear, and the sand is finer than on some of the other coves. Not surprisingly, there are a few companies, easily found online, that offer diving excursions and boat hire.
Obviously, when it comes to beautiful coves Begur is not lacking, but if you prefer your beaches longer and wider then you also have Platja de Pals within easy reach so there’s something for everyone!
So, now that you know how much there is to do and see in and around Begur you’ll be wondering how to get there. If you don’t have your own wheels, fret not, there are plenty of public transport options. Begur itself is connected all year round to the nearby towns of Palamós, Platja d’Aro, Palafrugell and Pals, as well as to Barcelona and Girona, by the Sarfa bus company. During the summer season from 15 June to 11 September they also provide services from Begur to the beaches of Sa Riera, Aiguablava, Fornells and Sa Tuna. The main route schedules can be found here here and for the additional summer beach service timetables click here
For more info check out the website visit Begur