Pals is a beautiful medieval village located in the region of Baix Empordà, in the province of Girona. The village is situated about 5 km from the Costa Brava and is renowned for its stunning medieval architecture and panoramic views of the area.
The old town of the village is situated on a small hill and consists of a labyrinth of narrow cobblestone streets, stone houses, and buildings of significant historical and architectural value. Among the most notable landmarks is the Tower of the Hours, a medieval watchtower offering impressive panoramic views of the region, and the Sant Pere Church, a Romanesque church from the 11th century with an imposing bell tower.
What to See
It is recommended to start your visit to the village at Ca la Pruna, an imposing fortified house in Gothic and Renaissance style located outside the walls. It’s considered the current house of culture and features a permanent exhibition of wines and cellars from Catalonia.
Once you’ve seen the house, you can climb the Carrer de la Creu up to the Plaça Major. In this square, besides being a gathering place where the old market used to be held, there are several well-preserved buildings. Among them, the Casa de la Vila dating back to the 13th century.
The medieval nucleus is located at the top of the town and corresponds to the Barri del Pedró, which preserves elements of its past on the Carrer Major, the most important elements of the old walled enclosure: the Tower of the Hours and the Sant Pere Church.
Additionally, there is a Gothic Arch, known as the Portal de la Vila, which provides access to the Carrer Major, one of the most beautiful streets in Pals.
This street leads to the Sant Pere Church, a church built with stones from the ancient castle. It has a Baroque facade with remnants of an old temple from the 12th century.
In front of the church stands the Torre d’en Ramonet, dating back to the 13th century, one of the best-preserved towers of the city walls. There are sectors of ancient walls remaining from this wall, and you can follow its route almost entirely.
Before that, if you climb the stairs of the Carrer de la Torre, you’ll reach the Torre de les Hores, a Romanesque tower standing 15 meters tall, constructed between the 11th and 13th centuries.
Continuing along Carrer Major, you’ll reach the Ermita de Pals, a chapel located on the Can Pi Estate.
Inside the walls, the last notable building is Can Frailem. A property of the Vila Casas Foundation, it was once an old pharmacy. The building has a semi-circular arch, and above it, there’s a conopial arch window.
After crossing the wall, you’ll find the Mirador d’en Josep Pla, which offers a view of the landscape of the Empordà region. Finally, from the viewpoint, you can start the route known as the Passeig Arqueològic, which provides excellent views of the surroundings.
What to Do
In Pals, there’s a tourist train that offers various route options. On the Xiulet de Pals website, you can reserve the one that best suits your needs.
For literature enthusiasts, the Josep Pla Foundation offers an itinerary based on the author’s readings inspired by corners of the village. You can check the schedules, prices, and make reservations here.
There are various adventure activities such as exploring the rice fields on a segway or engaging in nautical activities. To test your skills, there’s also an adventure park with several zip lines, jumps, and walkways.
Additionally, Empordà and the Girona regions are known for their hiking and biking routes. There are different trails you can discover here.
If the weather is nice, you can also opt for a car trip to the coast, to the Platja Gran de Pals. This beach stands out for its urbanized area with numerous services and privileged views of the Illes Medes.
Pals is also famous for its rich cuisine, which highlights traditional Catalan dishes made with local products such as Pals rice, seafood from the Costa Brava, and wines from the region.
Where to Eat
There are around 40 establishments in the locality with a wide gastronomic variety, from traditional and family cuisine to pizzerias. Mediterranean cuisine stands out. In the center of the old town, you’ll find several options for dining among picturesque buildings, whether indoors or on terraces. Along the beachfront, there are beach bars and various restaurants in the more distant streets.
You can explore the restaurant options in Pals on Guiacat.
Where to Stay
To immerse yourself in this area firsthand, staying overnight is a good option. If you’re coming by car, you can choose to stay in a rural house located in the surrounding areas, where you can enjoy nature and explore the Girona province. However, in the Costa Brava towns, there is also a wide presence of hotels and apartments for lodging.
Check out where to stay in the Baix Empordà on Guiacat.
The Pals Town Festival takes place in early August. It features various activities for all ages, including water activities, dancing, concerts, and processions.
Best Time to Visit
Most people visit Pals in August, but we don’t recommend it as there are many people and parking can be challenging. The months of May and June are a good option to explore the village and its beach.
- See the Torre de les Hores.
- Wander the streets of the old town.
- Enjoy the natural surroundings with hiking routes or walks through the rice fields.
Additionally, near the beach, you’ll find the arrossars de Pals (Pals rice fields) and the Basses d’en Coll, a protected natural area inhabited by flora and fauna, including bird species that can be observed. It’s a marshland and dune area that’s well worth seeing and contributing to its conservation.
How to Get There
By car: From Barcelona, take the AP-7 highway towards Girona until exit 9 (Vidreres/Lloret) in the direction of Platja d’Aro. From there, follow the signs towards Palamós (C-31).
By public transport: There is a Sarfa bus line that connects Pals with Barcelona and Girona. There is no train station in Pals; the closest one is in Flaçà.