Paradisiacal bays and wild coasts
Reaching the Platja de Castell afoot
It said that they still exist, those calm bays of the Costa Brava. However, most of them cannot be reached by car. In June, we explored some of them afoot. We recommend starting this trip on a weekday, and as early in the morning as possible. Then you might find idyllic, blissful silence.
Equipped with hiking boots, swimming things and everything we need for a picnic, we began our way on a hot day in June. We park close to Calella de Palafrugell, just in front of the Jardins de Cap Roig. A few steps lead to a clearing, close to the park’s entrance. We pass the clearing and reach the main walking route GR 92, at the rim of the forest. It will take us about one and a half hours to make it to our goal. We follow the signs reading Poblat Ibèric and Platja de Castell. The shady path through the forest leads past a huge building with sea view.
Behind the majestic hedges, life seems to be full of privileges. Now and then, we see all-terrain vehicles. There, we usually find small paths leading down to the sea, and tiny, calm bays. Eventually, our route diverges. A steep track is leading uphill, and away from the major route GR 92. Now we have to climb, but in the end we are rewarded for our endurance. The view is amazing. This is the Costa Brava as it is presented on beautiful postcards: Pine trees, bowing in the wind, crystal clear water shining deep, deep down like a blue mirror crowned by spray. Yachts bob up and down on the water. Like lazy walruses, rocks are scattered on the shore. Wild cactuses show their fiery buds. On the horizon, there are sail boats, travelling with the wind.
Canoes enter a tunnel, which is leading into the cliff. At the other side, there is the Poblat Iberic. This Iberian settlement on Cap Sa Coberta was found in 1943 and has been archaeologically excavated during the years that followed. The settlement itself was probably built around the 6th century BC and existed until the first century BC began. Even back then, people must have loved the sea view. From the walls of the former settlement, the view onto the silent sandy bay, which is still in its natural state, is breathtaking. Between Palamós and Calella de Palafrugell a small personal paradise can be found here. The small bar close to the coast is all that gives evidence of tourism and civilisation; for now, we do not have to share sea and shore with anyone. Plunging into the cool waves is exactly what we need now, after the exhausting climb.
For the way back, we have decided to take a walk along the shore. This gets even more exhausting than we thought. The first part of the way leads us back to the steep path and to GR 92. A few metres along the way, we take a turn right though, and walk back to the cliff line. Many bays, so beautiful they seem to be from a dream, are signed out now: Cala Senià, Cala Estreta and El Crit.
Fixed steps lead to Miradors with brilliant views. The small, slightly stony bays are especially loved by those preferring to go skinny-dipping. Here, no bars disturb the silence. All is calm, and sun, and sand, and sea. We have brought our picnic and decide it is about time for a short
Siesta, which we spend partly in the sea. Unfortunately, we cannot stay here and have to leave this beautiful place all too soon. Back we go, to the steep paths leading up to the parking lot.
Our advice: If this route seems too long, or if you want to visit the Platja de Castell only, we recommend you go there by car. Take the C 225 to the exit called Camping Benelux. There, turn right, and then left after 500 metres. Here you will find a parking lot. We can also recommend the footway (20min) leading from La Fosca past an old ruin, picturesque fishers‘ cottages and a shady forest of pines. Maps and information are available from the tourist information Baix Empordà in La Bisbal.
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