L´Estartit to L’Escala
L´Estartit is a medium-sized resort dedicated to budget holidays for British and German families. It would be of little interest but for the Isles Medes, a cluster of small islands, tiny islets and coral reefs just offshore. L’Estartit has no less than seven scuba diving clubs, and is the embarkation point for glass-bottomed boat tours of the 21.5-hectare underwater Natural Park, teeming with red and black coral and fish and crustaceans and cephalopods of all sorts. The boat trips also take in some spectacular stretches of coastline. The steep hill behind the town (from which rocks fall now and again) is crowned by an old fort which until recently was occupied by the U.S. Coast Guard as a navigation satellite monitoring station.
L’Escala, the first Costa Brava town in the Alt Empordà, is a holiday resort and fishing port at the southern end of the Gulf of Roses, and is famous for its delicious anchovies. The centre of the town, with its narrow streets sloping down to the rocky coastline, is genuinely appealing. I lived near here for over a year, and can quite recommend the nightlife; a pair of discos / nightclubs on the outskirts, Marte, and especially La Luna, are better than most. The southern suburbs are horribly built up, but Cala Montgó is pretty. There are footpaths into and over the rocky promentory leading to some deserted calas and all the way south to l’Estartit.
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Las Islas Medes (barcelona-metropolitan)
The islets are known mainly as a diving destination, though non-divers can enjoy them, too, by going snorkelling or boating. As the natural habitat of some 1,350 classifications of marine life, the waters around the Illes Medes rank as one of the top scuba diving spots in the Mediterranean, and are the unparalleled diving paradise of the Costa Brava
This article was written by Francis Barrett. See also Francis' excellent guide to Ireland irelandbyways.com
Information about the Ampurdan
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Accommodation in the Ampurdan and the Costa Brava