Pals Spain

The picturesque town of Pals is easily overlooked when tourists visit Spain’s Costa Brava. Located in Catalonia and just a short drive southwest of Barcelona, this medieval town offers travelers both a charming city experience and ways to enjoy the region’s natural splendor.

Pals is an old town, set atop a hill with an attractive mixture of architectural styles. Some of its towers date as far back to the fourth century. It also has a beautiful Romanesque tower built during the medieval period known as the Torre de les Hores. The Gothic Quarter of the city has been undergoing reconstruction and has narrow cobblestone streets, stone balconies, and various arch designs (pointed and semicircular) running throughout the facades of various buildings.

Medieval Streets of Pals, SpainThe Church of Sant Pere brings together the various architectural styles present in Pals in a single building. It has a Romanesque base, upon which you’ll see a Gothic nave and apse. The church’s bell tower and portico have been done in the Baroque style. Its Underwater Archeology Museum, housed in fifteenth century fortified house, is worth a visit both for its building and its exhibition of the history of Catalan cavas and wines.

The starting point for enjoying Pals’ natural beauty is the Josep Pla viewpoint. Named for a renowned Catalan author and journalist, this viewing area overlooks the lush fields of Emporda and the Medes Islands just off the coast. You’ll want to go Platja de Pals for two miles of golden, Mediterranean beachfront. The conditions of the sea here make it a good place for surfing and swimming. You can also tour by boat or participate in beach sports, like volleyball.

Pals’ location along the Costa Brava has given the little town its share of historic importance as well. Some historians contend that Christopher Columbus embarked on his first voyage to the New World from Pals. More recently, the United States took advantage of its location jutting out into the Mediterranean to establish aerial towers to relay broadcasts of Radio Liberty during the Cold War.

Home to fewer than three thousand locals, Pals is a tiny corner off the beaten track in Costa Brava well worth visiting. A lazy afternoon spent meandering through its ancient walkways or sunning on the beach, it’s untouched atmosphere provides a perfect traveler’s hideaway.


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