Montgrí is an imposing massif, dominating the entire central Ampurdanese plain. From many angles it looks like a bishop in repose, the castle being his ring. The castle was built by Jaume II, The Conqueror, in the 13th century to keep the Counts of Empúries in check. The easiest way up from the southern side involves an hour-long zigzagging climb beginning at the end of carrer Fátima. The castle was left unfinished, but you can walk along the battlements and enjoy spectacular 360º views. A wire fence has been installed for safety, but the battlements are not for agrophobes or vertigo sufferers.
Fransesc Gimeno: Un poble empordanès/An Ampordan village (Torroella de Montgrí. Note Montgrí in the background) (1918)
There has been considerable development in recent years between Torroella de Montgrí and the coast, on both the slopes of Montgrí and beside the river Ter. There are some pleasant strolls around here, especially along the riverbank accessible from the bridge rebuilt by political prisoners after the Spanish Civil War. Just to the south of Torroella, there’s a little lane that snakes east to the mouth of the river Ter. The beach there has particularly fine sand, and nearby restaurant Picasso specialises in a local delicacy, elvers. For many centuries, the old port of Torroella and its later nucleus of fishermen in L’Estartit, together with the defenceless and long-suffering peasants scattered over the area in the masies farming units which were typical to it, had to suffer raids by North African pirates based on the Medes Islands. They sought protection in the 17th century by erecting twin lookout towers that are still standing on either side of the road linking Torroella to L’Estartit.
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