Empordà

The Empordà is an attractive area in the province of Girona, in the north-east corner of Catalonia. Its natural pass between the mountains at La Jonquera is the most common connecting route between the Iberian Peninsula and France and the rest of Europe. Its landscapes greet the majority of tourists and travellers coming from the north. This characteristic, along with its broad access to the Mediterranean, has historically made it a well-connected area open to the influences of other cultures, despite its profoundly rural and agricultural character. It was no accident that the first Greek settlement on the Iberian Peninsula was found here.

Illustrious personalities like Narcís Monturiol (creator and inventor of the submarine), Josep Pla (writer and chronicler of 20th-century Europe) and the amazing Salvador Dalí were born and developed their highly-personal characters in these lands.

Pla called it El meu país (My Country). What is surprising is how in such a small region there could be such a great variety and contrast of landscapes. We find everything from the broad and peaceful beaches of Palamós to the turquoise-hued waters of small coves in Begur; from the Gavarres region to the ancient mountain range of Montgrí, in the Baix Empordà. We can cross the Aiguamolls [marshes] with their flocks of migrating birds, and then reach the often-snowy mountain peaks of the Albera and the Salines, or take a walk amongst lunar-like rock formations on Cap de Creus, in the Alt Empordà.

Its skies are world-famous, especially thanks to Dalí, although many artists and painters have chosen to live and work under its bewitching light.

This region has all the ingredients needed to make a place idyllic: the friendliness of its planted fields, with vineyards and olive groves lined by rows of cypress trees protecting them from the harsh tramontana wind; or the charm of its medieval villages, always built onto small hills to protect them from the attacks of Berber pirates. For decades now, the Baix Empordà has been a richly-appointed tourist destination, where many urbanite Barcelonans have their second residences. In contrast, the Alt Empordà is wilder in character. Its condition on the border with France and greater vulnerability to the mistral wind of the tramontana makes it rougher around the edges and more extreme. It has much more character, and that is where we live and where BRAVANARIZ has its base.