Pals, once a port but now set well inland due to silting, is a well-preserved medieval village that has been perhaps a little too well restored. Although very much on the bus-tour route in summer, and despite a handful of tacky ceramic shops, Pals is still a pleasant place to have a stroll, especially along the medieval walls, and there are a couple of agreeable bars and restaurants. The pretty church is rather spoilt by piped Gregorian chanting, but there is a lovely bell tower. Across the road from Pals itself are the rich lowlands backing the 6-km duned beach of Platja de Pals, dominated by a huge urbanizacion under tall pines clustered around the Pals Golf course, and, at least until recently, very tall CIA / Radio Liberty communication towers, redundant since 1989. Everything here is Wir Sprecken Deutsch, On Parle Français and English Spoken. I much prefer the lowlands northeast of Pals town. This is an area of citrus groves, wetlands, marshes, rice fields, and lumber forests of mostly birch, with a few old fortified masias. If you have time, turn in at the signs for el Moli de Pals to visit the ancient mill and work your way to the beach. Though the huge sand beach is of course very pleasant, the water becomes deep very quickly as you enter, and on windy days there can be a strong undertow. This is a great beach for kite flying. At the southernmost end there is a discreet optional nudity section with a nudist chiringuito.
Places to stay in or near Pals
- Más Roig masia – Totally rehabilitated XVIth Century farmhouse that preserves constructive elements of the Gothic Renaissance. A short distance from the medieval village of Pals, the hotel has a magnificent garden and a sensational restaurant offering empordanesa cuisine.
- Más Salvi – farmhouse hotel near Pals. This old Manor House dating from the XVII Century has recently been restored and is equipped with all modern conveniences. It offers its guests 22 luxurious suites set in an exclusive natural area of 70,000 square meters of privately owned woodland.
- Hotel Convent The hotel is an old renovated convent built in the 17th century by the religious order ‘Minimos’ in the beautiful coastal town of Begur.
- More hotels and places to stay near Pals
Around the web
Located 40 kilometres northeast of Barcelona along the Costa Brava, the medieval village of Pals is just as friendly as it sounds. Locally grown rice, marshy nature reserves, windswept beaches and a prehistoric dragon are just a few things that this little gem of a poble can offer visitors year-round.
This article was written by Francis Barrett. See also Francis' excellent guide to Ireland irelandbyways.com
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