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Pals

  • Pals

    Photo: Ajuntament de Pals

    Pals, with approximately 2,400 inhabitants, is located in the very middle of the Empordà and comprise three areas (Pals, Masos de Pals and Platja de Pals). It is one of the best-known and most visited municipalities in the region thanks to its beautiful scenery and the wealth of its historical and patrimonial legacy.

    Pals has one of the most beautiful and best preserved Gothic quarters in the Empordà. As you walk through the narrow cobbled streets of the medieval town, by day or night at any time of year, the light reflecting off the sandstone buildings with its ochre and gold tones will surprise you. Here, you will find the Plaça Major, Visigothic tombs, the church, the castle, the Torre de les Hores, the walls… which you leave behind as you follow the route to the Josep Pla viewpoint from where you can contemplate the beauty of the Empordà plain, overlooked by the Montgrí mountains with the Medes Islands in the background.

    Pals has a wide beach, ideal for families and for people who love water sports. The beach is divided into two sectors because of its length. To the north is Platja del Grau, peaceful and shallow with fine golden sand. To the south it links to Platja Gran, which is deeper and has coarser sand. Both sectors have restaurants and bars with terraces, shops, etc. You can enjoy it from north to south with the family, doing water sports, walking or simply contemplating the scenery, the waves and the views with the Medes Islands in the background.

    Pals also features a natural setting of marshes and rice fields, which is ideal for an outing on foot or by bicycle or simply for looking at and enjoying the landscape. The Basses d’en Coll de Pals, a protected space in this Natural Park, is an area of marshland with dunes and native vegetation (white willows, elms and reedbeds) of great ecological value where rice is grown. It is a gathering and nesting site for various bird species (such as the little bittern) and other animals and it is a very special part of this natural reserve. In this place, which used to be the route of the river Daró, there is a bird watching centre in the middle of flat and pleasant itineraries that you can do on foot or by bicycle.

    Since 1994, the cycle of activities relating to the world of rice has started with the Pals and Rice Cuisine gastronomic campaign, organised jointly by the council, restaurants and rice mills. This gastronomic event is intended to publicise the quality of this product that has such deep roots in Pals. During the spring months, the restaurants in the town that participate in it offer their clients a menu based on the traditional arròs a la cassola made with rice from Pals as the main course accompanied by starters and deserts depending on the style of each establishment. The campaign also features a series of events including guided tours based on the history and traditions of the world of rice, short cookery courses, local produce markets, conferences and workshops.

    The cycle of rice continues with the Traditional Rice Planting celebrated in the municipality every year in June. The town’s oldest farmers give the audience a demonstration of how, before mechanisation, rice used to be planted by hand standing in the water. The event is complemented by a country breakfast and activities relating to this artisanal craft.

    The rice sown by hand in June is harvested in October following the same procedure: during the Traditional Rice Harvest the town’s veteran farmers show how this task used to be done before mechanisation by cutting the ears of rice with a sickle, making bundles of them and placing them on a wooden “boat” pulled by a horse. The festival ends with a large rice meal for the public.

    To complete your visit, Pals has a wide and varied tourist offer including restaurants and accommodation (hotels, camp sites, apartments, guesthouses, rooms, rural tourism, etc.), which is ideal for families and sport and nature lovers and which invites you to choose the option that best fits your expectations. This distinctive and personalised offer is constantly improving and enables you to design a stay to your own taste.