Empuriabrava on the Costa Brava
Empuriabrava on the Costa Brava Reviews
Jun 02, 2007
Empuriabrava is a nice seaside town on the northeast coast of Spain. It is about 40 minutes by car from Girona Airport, and about 1hr 45mins from Barcelona. A taxi from Girona will cost you 85 euro, and flights are readily available from several European airports via RyanAir. Barcelona airport is a well served international airport and many airlines fly to it. If you fly into Barcelona, you can get a train to Figueres, which is about 15 minutes drive to Empuriabrava. I'd recommend flying into Barcelona (Girona is small and inefficient) and renting a car. A car will allow you to see more of the beautiful Costa Brava and may even work out cheaper than taxi fares.
Empuriabrava is a resort that is very popular with sailing enthusiasts, with many houses having a boat mooring to their rear garden. Empuriabrava's many canals provide excellent boating facilities, and the town was built specifically for this purpose.
Possibly the best feature of Empuriabrava is it's huge, deep beach, which is vastly spacious and provides plenty of room. Unlike other beaches which can get very crowded, in Empuriabrava you can always find a decent space to set up on the beach, which is very handy if you like playing sports or games on the beach!
There is an aerodome in Empuriabrava that is very popular thanks to its skydiving facilities. There is a rarely a fine day that you won't see many divers floating in the blue skies above you! Light aircraft and ultra-light aircraft also are catered for here, so it's ideal for those with their own small jets.
Nightlife in Empuriabrava, like most of Catalunya, doesn't start until the early hours. There are several night clubs around the town, including Passa Rella, which is on the beach. This night club boasts an indoor pool and you will find "free" passes in every store and bar in the town. It's worth mentioning that these passes grant you free admission into the club but have an obligatory drink condition, so even if you don't purchase drink while in the club, you'll still end up paying for them!
There are several excellent bars in the town, including The Orange Kiwi, whose previous owner was from New Zealand, although it's recently been taken over by a Spaniard. This bar has an ultra-relaxed atmosphere and serves decent lunch fare. The Barazza is a French owned bar which is very popular during the day for coffee. It can be a little quiet between 10 and 12 at night, but it's a nice place to drink in. Another good place to go is Si Kim. They have some delicious fruity cocktails that you should try. They are loaded with alcohol so prepare for a stumbling walk home :)
The general tourist population of Empuriabrava is comprised of German, Spanish, French and more recently, English, visitors. Staff in most places speak Catalan and Spanish, and most places have basic German and French. You will find that some places don't speak any English at all so it's best to know the basics of Spanish at least to get by.
There are many good restaurants in Empuriabrava, including several Chinese restaurants. My favourite is Bahia De Oro, on the Gran Reserva section of the beach. It's very inexpensive and defines the meaning of service with a smile! The Pattaya is an excellent Thai restaurant located on the port. El Churrasco is a steakhouse that makes a mean Chicken Curry on a Spit and excellent entrecotes and other steaks. The peppers filled with beef is a nice starter here. El Capitan is one of the more expensive restaurants here, and serves a good range of fish. Their Cream of Leek soup starter is to die for! Port Grec (next to Pattaya) is a sensational Spanish restaurant. If you eat here, expect Spanish (slow) service, so relax and make a night of it, and be sure to try the Stuffed Pork Steak (Port Grec).
In many restaurants you will be given bread and allioli (sometimes at a charge) after you order. Be sure to taste this allioli, it is heavenly! Some may also bring you shot-type drinks at the end of the meal, and will ask whether you want sweet or dry (seco). Most places don't add a service charge, and a few euro tip is usually sufficient, and 10% is generous. It is customary to tip in bars if there is table service or if you order food.
I have been to Empuriabrava many times now and hence know the place fairly well. If you want any particular info don't hesitate to ask me!
Part of the Empuriabrava, June 2007 travel blog
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