The chiringuitos are back!

Did you know, the word chiringuito (xiringuito in Catalan) originated from sugar-cane plantations in Cuba the 19th century?

When the workers stopped for a break, they would have a coffee drink they called a chiringo, the diminutive of which is chiringuito. They would erect a basic structure using the long sugar canes and leaves to provide shelter from the baking sun and over time the word chiringuito came to mean a basic outdoor bar.

The first chiringuito “beach bar” in Spain opened in 1913 in Sitges, Catalunya and nowadays they can be found on almost every beach during the summer months. They are licensed to operate from around March or April (depending on Easter) until the end of October. Some open earlier or shut down later than others, but when the season is done, they are dismantled until the next year. So, you can once again enjoy drinks on the beach, and don’t forget the seafood!

Some, like L’Onada on the main beach in Palamós occasionally even have entertainment. They have a piano on-site and a local character comes along, usually on Sundays, to bang out a few tunes!

Enjoying your lunch with a killer view

For all the time I have lived in Calonge, I have never really enjoyed any of the restaurants along the beach in Sant Antoni de Calonge, as quality and atmosphere are missing in most of them. Maybe there are one or two spots that are worthwhile, but my preference would be somewhere else for lunch or dinner during a day at the beach. Last Christmas we decided to take a stroll along the beach in Sant Antoni and we noticed a new dining spot: Mundet.

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Begur a delightful village

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 Castle
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.

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Pals

The Costa Brava is, of course, famed for its many beautiful beaches (and we’ll come back to those in more detail at a later date) but for today we’re going to focus on one of the lovely villages in the region that makes for a lovely day trip: Pals. In future blogs, we will cover other local hamlets, so this is just chapter one!

Medieval Village
Situated just a few kilometres inland from the sea, Pals is a well preserved medieval village that traces its origins back to, at least, the 7th century. In fact, its name suggests possible ancient Roman origins as “Pals” derives from “Palus” which meant ‘swampy place’ in Latin. The first documentary evidence relating to the castle of Pals dates back to 889 and the second to 994.

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