Palamós, the heart of Costa Brava

Helena Guerrero Gonzalez | Live the World

May 29, 2024

Palamós is, without a doubt, one of the charming coastal towns which has turned Costa Brava into such a popular summer destination and the place that many people consider its heart. Although in terms of population, around 18,000 inhabitants, which multiply in summer, Palamós is a typical fishing town with a lively old quarter and large beaches designed to welcome visitors, including friends and families. If you take this place as your next tourist destination, you cannot miss all the beauty its beaches, places, monuments, food and culture offer its people. 

When considering accommodation, there are many options available. I almost always prefer having an apartment as it definitely feels more local, and I think this lovely flat could make the perfect place for your staying. The huge terrace looking at the sea is a big plus, and the views are great. It is in a good location, and the area is ideal for activities like hiking and cycling. However, if you are looking for something in a more central location and would like more luxury and comfort, this hotel could be a great choice. The historic Hotel Trias is located opposite the beach in Palamós, a 3-minute walk from the fishing port. It offers an outdoor pool with magnificent views of the Costa Brava. The spacious, bright rooms are elegantly designed and feature wooden floors. Besides, the property's modern restaurant serves creative Mediterranean cuisine.

Palamós' ports and seafaring tradition

Despite being a seafaring town, its main source of income comes from tourism. In fact, the centrepiece of your visit to Palamós will probably be the port, where you may be surprised to learn that, in recent times, it has become a stopover for large cruise ships in the Mediterranean, with some 40 ships arriving each season.

© Istock/Laurence Berger

Palamós is a town that faces the sea on all sides, with two harbours on either side of its traditional fishing quarter. Facing west, and as an extension of the Gran Playa, is the fishing port, one of those on the Mediterranean coast where you can still see the fishing boats arriving every afternoon and where the fish from their daily work is sold at the fish market. This is an event definitely worth experiencing. And facing east, you will find a modern marina which is fully occupied by pleasure boats.

Castell Beach

Palamós also has the prestige of having a cove, Castell Beach, considered the most unspoilt beach on the Costa Brava. Moreover, this corner is next to an ancient Iberian settlement, which has not suffered from the urban development vortex. 

It has become one of the last remaining extensive and unspoilt sandy beaches on the Costa Brava because in the 1990s, the residents of Palamós, through a popular referendum, avoided keeping it free of buildings and housing developments. That is why, in my opinion, it is one of the most unique and magical beaches of the many ones Palamós offers. It is surrounded by reed forests and cultivated fields, and Castell Beach is 375 m long and 40 m wide. It is crescent-shaped, with fine golden sand, ideal for bathing and swimming as it is shallow and the seabed is sandy.

© Istock/J2R

You can reach this amazing beach by Camí de Ronda, a path that runs along the Costa Brava and was initially used by serenaders as a means of surveillance. One of the most beautiful stretches of the Camí de Ronda is the one that runs from Palamós to Calella de Palafrugell, a distance of about 11 kilometres. I highly recommend exploring this stretch somehow. One of the best options is joining this activity, which will show you the Palamós’ fascinating neighbourgh, Calella de Palafruguel. You can admire panoramic views of the Costa Brava on a scenic route from Palamós to Calella de Palafrugell and join this cruise aboard a classic 1903 boat to learn about the maritime culture and explore breathtaking Mediterranean coves.

All in all, Palamos is the greatest fishing town of Costa Brava and, most likely, its top destination and its heart. The town has two impressive ports due to its long seafaring tradition and history. But it is known worldwide for this and its many coves and beaches, some of which are very unspoilt, such as Castell Beach, where you can spend an unforgettable holiday.

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