L'Escala is one of the most beautiful bays in the world and is a quaint, charming fishing village. The city has beautiful beaches with fine sand and has largely been spared of the tourism onslaught that has taken over some other Costa Brava towns. The bay of Roses serves as a perfect natural harbor for the town and has unusually sandy beach stretches in comparison to the otherwise rugged coast. There are several gems to be discovered in this quaint fishing village and both the natural beauty and historical relics of the town can be experienced and enjoyed.
Read on to find out about the best things to do in L'Escala, Spain:
1. Archaeological wonders in L'Escala
One of the most appreciated archaeological gems in L'Escala is the ruins of Empúries. These ruins are perhaps also one of the most visited structures by holidaymakers within Spain as well. Part of the legacy left behind by the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. These excavations are reachable less than 2 kilometers (1 mile) from L’Escala and can also be reached by foot via the beach promenade.
When at the site, explore the networks of walls, streets, columns, paintings and so on. There are also exhibits of the layout of houses that existed back then, an old factory and even an Amphitheatre that depicts how life would have been during the ancient civilizations. Revealing so much of the Catalan history, this Mediterranean beauty is hard to match.
Ruins of Empúries
Address: C/ Puig i Cadafalch, s/n, 17130 L'Escala, Girona, Spain
Website: Ruins of Empúries
2. Hit the beaches of Cala Montgo
Costa Brava is blessed in that it has some of the most beautiful beach stretches in the region. Perhaps, undeniably, one of the most popular ones is Cala Montgo which is situated between L’Escala and Torroella de Montgrí. Cala Montgo is essentially a sandy cove which sheltered from the northerly winds, making the sea warm place to swim in. The beach area is well equipped for visitors with public showers and toilets, hammocks, ample car parking space and so on. The Cala Montgo Cove is rounded in shape and shows that there used to be an original sunken dolina in the area. Additionally, archaeological excavations can be seen, showing that the Romans once used Cala Montgó as a landing pad.
Cala Montgó Cove
Address: 17258 L'Escala, Spain
Website: Cala Montgó Cove
3. Head out to Medes Islands and Baix Ter Natural Park
Medes Islands and Baix Ter Nature Park is situated within the Medes Islands archipelago which is about 2 kilometers (1 mile) away from the L’Estartit beach. With a surface area of about 23 hectares (57 acres), the archipelago is home to a wide range of marine flora and fauna. The island is also a prime spot for scuba diving enthusiasts.
To explore this area in leisure, you can approach one of the many glass-bottomed boat operators in the area. They run attractive boat trips around the islands, allowing you to enjoy the natural park sights and marine creatures. Some of these operators conduct scuba diving trips for those interested in doing so. One such reliable company is Aquatica Illes Medes, which operates all year round, conducting scuba diving trips as well as underwater marine viewing.
Aquatical Illes Medes
Address: Càmping Les Medes, Paratge del Camp de l'Arbre s/n, 17258 L´Estartit, Province of Girona, Spain
Website: Aquatical Illes Medes
4. Explore L'Escala in a boat
Done exploring L'Escala by land? Why not explore it from the sea now? L'Escala is a great place for you to get onto a boat and sail away as you watch the day unfold in front of your eyes. Explore the hidden beaches of L'Escala and capture everlasting memories. Boat trips can be hired to various neighboring islands like Cap de Creus, Cadaques and Costa Brava. There will be opportunities for you to visit underwater caves that can only be reached by boat. One reliable company that you can approach if you are interested in boat trips out would be Mare Nostrum. They offer various types of boat trips, depending on your interests.
Address: Carrer Maranges, 3, 17130 L'Escala, Girona, Spain
Website: Mare Nostrum
5. Indulge in water sports
Given that the sea is a blessing L'Escala has been bestowed with, there are many opportunities to make use of the sea to have fun. There are several nautical activities that either individuals or groups can indulge in. For instance, kayaking can be done on the coast and is suitable for all ages. Kayaking on the coast allows you to discover spots around the ruins of Empúries and cliffs of Montgo.
Other sporting activities like windsurfing, water skiing, and wakeboarding can be undertaken in L'Escala. The range of activities are endless and all you need to do is to head to any operator and book your sport. One such company is Funtastic Emporda, which has been in existence since 1978 and is one of the reputed companies in the city.
Address: Platja de Riells, s/n, 17130 L'Escala, Girona, Spain
Website: Funtastic Emporda
6. Cycle around town
Try something different if you can and explore the city by bike. Get lost by cycling and get the most of your exploration around L'Escala. When the weather is cool and pleasant, it is most exciting to cycle around this beautiful town. It is easy to rent a cycle in the city and many bike rental companies offer this. In particular, Nou Empordà Bikes will best serve your needs. They have many different types of cycles for rent and even cater to children. Prices are reasonable and you get several rental options.
Nou Empordà Bikes
Address: Avinguda de Girona, 54, 17130 La Escala, Girona, Spain
Website: Nou Empordà Bikes
7. Discover Catalan gastronomy
L'Escala, as regions, is well-known for its gastronomy. The town has a wide range of restaurants which offer different cuisines. The varied cuisine includes Italian, Eco-Mediterranean apart from the traditional Catalan cuisine and tapas. It is highly likely that any restaurant that you visit will be of good quality and many of them are especially scattered along old village of L'Escala and in St Martí d'Empuries.
Interestingly, anchovies are the town’s signature dish and you can find it being served in many restaurants around the city. Anchovies are so popular that food festivals like the anchovy festival and anchovy tapa trails are conducted in the city. Other Catalonian specialties which can be found include pig’s cheeks and other seafood like lobsters and squids. Do check out one of the best restaurants in L'Escala, Mas Concas. This restaurant is renowned for dishing out excellent Spanish cuisine at affordable prices.
Address: Cami de Cinc Claus s/n, 17130 L'Escala, Spain
Website: Mas Concas
With so many varied activities to do whilst in L'Escala, one should not have any hesitation when planning a trip to the region. People of all ages will be kept entertained, even if they stay only for a day or two.
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.