What should we know about the Alt Empordà?
Alt Empordà or Alto Ampurdán is a region that is located in the province of Girona. It has a total area of 1,357 square kilometers, which makes it the fourth largest region in Catalonia.
Thanks to its large area it houses up to 68 different municipalities, the best known of which are: Figueres (capital), Roses, L’Escala, Castelló d’Empúries and Vilafant. In addition to limiting with other Catalan regions such as: Garrotxa, Pla de l’Estany and Baix Empordà, it borders France to the north.
The most used ways to get to this region are the following:
Car. The C-65, C-31, C-66 and C-252 roads cross the region.
Bus. Buses leave from the main cities of Catalonia to this region. In addition, line L1 bathes Figueres and through line 405 we can go from Roses to Figueres.
Plane. The main Catalan airports are at the following distance: Girona-Costa Brava 45 kilometers, Barcelona-El Prat 165 kilometers, Reus-Tarragona 245 kilometers and Lleida 290 kilometers.
Train. Figueres, being a very populated place, has a fairly large train station that offers different types of services: high-speed long-distance trains, medium-distance trains (leaving from Barcelona) and commuter trains (RG1 commuter line from Girona that departs from Hospitalet de Llobregat and goes to Figueras).
Regarding its geography, we can highlight the Albera and Salinas mountain ranges in this region. In addition, it is part of the Axial Pyrenees (nucleus of the mountain range). For this reason, it has different peaks and peaks: Neulós, Roc de Frausa, Roc del Comptador, etc.
It is also noteworthy that there are two large rivers in it: Muga and Fluviá. Thanks to the first, the Darnius Boadella reservoir of 363 hectares of surface and 60 cubic hectometres of capacity was built.
The 5 towns that you must visit before leaving
Since there are a total of 68 municipalities in this region, it is difficult to choose just five. We have chosen the ones that we present to you taking into account the total population and the number of places of interest that they host:
Figueras, Figueres in Catalan. It is the capital of the region and the most populated municipality of all with more than 45,000 inhabitants. The most notable places of interest are: the castle of San Fernando built in 1743, known for being the largest architectural monument in Catalonia, the church of San Pedro in the Gothic style and the Salvador Dalí tower museum.
Rosas, Roses in Catalan. It is one of the most touristy and thanks to this its population has grown a lot in recent years. It has two places of interest that we love: the citadel of Roses and the castle of the Trinity. On the one hand, the citadel is a fortification dating from the seventeenth century and in which you can see Greek and Roman remains, etc. On the other hand, the Castillo de Poncella or Trinidad is another fortification. In the latter case, it is from the 16th century.
L’Escala. It is in this municipality where the Greco-Roman remains of what was the city of Ampurias are found. You can visit the early Christian basilica, the Asclepius enclosure and other ruins.
Castellón de Ampurias, Castelló d’Empúries in Catalan. It is another town with a great history and in which we can find all kinds of civil heritage buildings: fish market, prison, hospital, customs, Carlist tower, laundry, etc. Likewise, it also has a great religious heritage.
Vilafan, in Catalan Vilafant. It has different population centers and all of them are well known: Vilafan, Les Forques, El Camp dels Enginyers, Nucli Antic and Arengada north and south. We highlight as a place of interest the church of San Cipriano built in the 12th century and the set of Iberian and Roman remains.
In addition to the five above, there are also other well-known municipalities in this region, such as: Llers, Avinyonet de Puigventós, Palau-saverdera, Vila-sacra, Vulajuïga and Sant Miquel de Fluvià.
What to do during our stay in the Alt Empordà region?
It is a region with a wide range of possibilities. We highlight the following activities:
Visit of ruins. As can be seen in the description of the localities, in Alto Ampurdán there are many Iberian, Roman and even Greek remains. Therefore, we recommend that you visit at least some of them. In San Martín de Ampurias (belonging to the municipality of La Escala) we can find the ancient city of Ampurias also known as Empúries or Blaberura. It is an ancient Greek and Roman city that was founded in 575 BC.
Visit of museums. Thanks to the cultural wealth that this region has, we can find different museums, all of which are very interesting. We recommend: the Toy Museum (in Figueres), Salvador Dalí's house museum (in Cadaqués), Dalí's theater museum (in Figueres), Ecomuseo-Harinera (in Castelló d'Empúries) and the Ampurias archeology museum (in La Scale).
Dalí. Salvador Dalí was born in Figueras in 1904 and lived in Cadaqués, therefore, in this region we can follow in his footsteps. As we have mentioned in the previous point, we can visit the Dalí house museum in Cadaqués and the Dalí theater museum in Figueres.
Beaches. Much of the region is on the coast and because of this we can enjoy its beaches and coves. Some as well known as: Cala Lladó Beach (in Roses), Cala Rostella Beach (in Roses), Cadaqués Beach or Caials Beach.
In addition, you can also do more risky activities such as parachute jumping in Empuriabrava, diving in Roses, doing vertical jumping in San Pedro Pescador or taking balloon rides.
Somrurals is from Alt Empordà, and you?
In addition to this, the following regions also make up Girona: La Cerdanya, Garrotxa, El Ripollès, Gironès, Baix Empordà, La Selva, Ripollès, Pla de l’Estany or Osona.