This old fisher village is my favourite place in the whole country, and has been since I was a kid -when we used to spend our summers there. Yes no lies. The charming village has something (apart from lovely memories) that takes me there at least once a year, so I believe it has become necessary for me. Calella de Palafrugell (never mistake it for “Calella”
a town closer to Barcelona), is one of the few villages in Costa Brava still spreading that special feeling of relax
, old life of fishermen and happiness, full of secret cobbled streets, white houses with blue or brown wooden doors,traditional fishermen houses
. Costa Brava has a special charm but believe me there is nothing like this place. Silence, peace, beaches, coves
(they look magical, I don’t need no Caribbean having these), routes along the coast and mountain, cliffs…uhmm just writing about it makes me want to leave the office and head north. WHERE IS IT?
This place is in the north of Catalonia but still close if you live in Barcelona or its surroundings. Belonging to the Costa Brava
area, it belongs to the town of Palafrugell
, quite close to go by bike or taking a long walk to the village.
Its neighboring village is no other than the other lovely and charming Llafranch
, a similar place (but I do prefer Calella like a thousand times before), and they are connected by a “camí de ronda”, a very nice walk surrounded by pine trees, rocks and the sea at your feet, with benches and enough shadows thanks to the trees –in case you visit it during a hot summer day…
You can also visit Tamariu
, very close to the village, and Begur
. I suggest you go up to Far de Sant Sebastià
(lighthouse) where you can get stunning views of these villages
together, the fabulous sea and mountains. WHEN TO GO
Of course it gets busy during summer
, it used to be super calm and great but the word spread (of course!) and now it’s impossible to find a spot in the beach or place to park at certain times. But it’s a must, and I suggest you spend a day
there and you can even make a route around the villages
in Costa Brava (if you are there in summer). Plus, luckily there are not a lot of hotels there so there is no massive tourism like in other Costa Brava towns which honestly have become super ugly due the big hotels (Lloret, Platja d’Aro…).
As I am in love with this place I’d say you can visit Calella any time of the year. Winters are cold and the village is empty, but storms and snow look beautiful in those beaches. WHAT TO SEE AND DO Botanical Garden & music festivals
: Calella de Palafrugell has a wonderful botanical garden “Jardí Botànic de Cap Roig
” which holds a well-known music festival in summer (Festival de Cap Roig) with national and international singers that fill up the place, Rod Stewart played here last year, as well as Sting the previous one, and this summer nice names are coming: Anastacia, Passenger, Pretenders, Norah Jones, Umberto Tozzi, Andrea Bocelli and Jason Derulo among others. Another famous musical event is the annual habanera meeting
, which gathers thousands of people at the beach of Port Bo
, all terraces, benches, boats..are full of people in silence watching how the bands sing the traditional Catalan coasts songs. Beaches and coves
: there are several which link the village to its neighbours via the coastal walk. The most known beach may be “Canadell
” and “Port Bo
”, surrounded by fishermen houses and a famous restaurant in the village (Les Voltes) in front of “Les Voltes
” beach. Then you have Platja Sota Can Calau
and Port Pelegrí
, Sant Roc
and El Golfet
(really small but wonderful ones). Local shops
: I am in love with its local shops, everything white and blue and pink flowers on the walls. Clothes are summer-like and give you the feeling of holla holidays! Restaurants:
- Les Voltes: quite expensive but you seat in front of the beach, with excellent views, food and service.
- Calau: Spanish and Catalan appetizers (tapas) and good service and treatment (Carrer de les Voltes, 8)
- La Blava: lovely, white and blue place. Very fisher-like. Good food and stunning views. (Carrer Miramar, 3).
- Sol i Mar: Good tapas and rice (paella or arròs caldós). (Miramar, 19).
- *not in Calella but in Far de Sant Sebastià, the Far de Sant Sebastià hotel: a chill out place where you can have lunch or just a drink, with chill out music and it’s fabulous because apart from the nice feeling and views, its setting is perfect to get that summer breeze on a hot August day.
HOW TO GET THERE CAR.
PLANE + BUS
- Bcn-Palafrugell (135km), via AP7 direction “France” and taking exit 9 (Vidreres/Lloret) direction Sant Feliu de Guíxols and Platja d’Aro, to Palamós (C31) and taking exit 331 (Palafrugell Sud).
- France(frontier) – Palafrugell (80km). Via AP7 direction Barcelona and taking exit 6 (Girona Nord) direction La Bisbal/Palamós (C66) and exit Palafrugell Nord.
- El Prat Airport (BCN). There are trains to go to Sants (Central station in Bcn) and from there you can take a train direction Portbou (www.renfe.es), stopping at Flaçà. Then you need a bus (www.sarfa.com) going to Palafrugell.
- Girona Costa Brava Airport (www.aena.es): there are daily buses that go to Girona (www.sagales.com) and in Girona you have buses going to Palafrugell (www.sarfa.com).
- Nearest station is Flaça (www.renfe.es), which has a bus station (sarfa) to go to Palafrugell and then Calella.
This is my favourite place in the world I tell you, where I can escape from everything and find my inner peace (as stupid as it sounds) and truly feel happy. Walking around these streets and from village to village surrounding the coast always brings me the best memories of past summers with the family.
I love to come here with them since we all do share memories and have our "family day" but for the past few years I have come here with friends and last year I came with Judith, we had lunch with great views in front of the beach, talking (gossip & drama) and then burning kcal walking up to the lighthouse so we could take fab pictures.
Whenever someone from abroad or any part of Spain comes to Bcn and asks me about places to see and things to do I always always talk about this charming and small place. You can find lots of pictures I have took over the years and many visits on Malibluemymind's Facebook page