Holiday in authentic Palamos (Costa Brava)

In Palamos, one of the most authentic fishing villages on the Spanish Costa Brava, a well-deserved holiday awaits you. Here, a wonderful climate, beautiful nature and a rich history meet. Add to this the picturesque bays, beautiful sandy beaches and delicious food, and you have everything you need for a dream holiday under the sun.

The fact that Palamos is relatively unknown and not overrun by tourists has allowed it to retain its charm. The resort is loved by Catalans themselves, by families with children and by holidaymakers looking for a quiet and idyllic base from which to explore the area.

Overview of Palamos

The characteristic town of Palamos has 18,000 inhabitants and is located in a deep bay on the Costa Brava. It borders Calella de Palafrugell to the north and San Antoni de Calonge to the south. Barcelona is only 115 kilometres away. Palamos’ history dates back to 1279 when the village was founded in order to build a new port. Successfully, because today Palamos is still one of the most important fishing ports in the area. Life on and around the sea is central here and therefore closely intertwined with daily life in the village. Because mass tourism has not yet reached this area, you can enjoy a lovely quiet holiday full of sun, beaches, history and fun activities, while the busy seaside resorts and big cities are just a few kilometres away.

Hidden coves and long sandy beaches

A holiday to the Costa Brava is not complete without a visit to the beach. Even in Palamos you can indulge yourself. The largest beach is Platja Gran de Palamos, located on the long promenade. The fine sandy beach stretches for 600 metres and offers a wide range of facilities. Because the beach slopes gently into the water and has few waves, it is popular with families with children. Cala de la Fosca is a little quieter than the main beach, but offers many facilities for a wonderful day by the sea.

If you are looking for intimate coves, visit Cala dels Canyers, Cala del Crit or Cala Margarida, which still have some old fishermen’s huts. The sea bed in the Palamos coves can be quite rocky, making it an excellent place for snorkelling. Cala S´Alguer in particular is a must if you want to discover the underwater world. The nice thing about the coast at Palamos is that a path connects almost all the bays and beaches, so you can take beautiful walks along the Mediterranean Sea.

The old town and the attractions of Palamos

The centre of Palamos is located directly behind the port. In the old district of Barrio de Pedró, you can wander through narrow, winding streets and visit Iglesia Santa Maria del Mar. The construction of this church started in 1334 and it has features from the Renaissance as well as the Gothic period. The Capella del Carme is a chapel from the 18th century, which was largely destroyed in a fire in 1938, but whose remains can still be seen. In Palamos, you will find the remains of fortifications in several places, which protected the inhabitants against attacks from land and sea.

With a large, central role for fishermen and marine life, a visit to the old fishing port is an absolute must. The best time of day is in the afternoon, when the fishing boats return to port and the sale of the fresh catch begins. On the edge of the harbour is the Musea de la Pesca, the fishing museum, where you can learn all about the history of fishing. There are scale models of old fishing boats and the centre of the museum is graced by an authentic, genuine fishing boat.

Local markets and shops

A visit to a local market is a fun way to experience a village or town. In Palamos, you are in for a treat. Naturally, there is a fish market, where the fresh catch is sold on weekdays from 17:00 to 20:00. From Monday to Saturday, the partially covered fresh market opens in the morning. On Tuesdays, the weekly market is held, where you can get clothes, bags and also delicious smelling herbs. In the surrounding villages, markets are also held so you can visit one every day of the week. Don’t need anything or tired of strolling around? Then find a nice terrace or café at the market and take in all the activity while enjoying a drink.

In the centre of Palamos and along the promenade, you will find numerous shops where you can leave with shopping bags full of clothes, souvenirs and jewellery. Large shopping centres can be found near Lloret de Mar, for example, while the cities of Gerona and Barcelona, 45 and 115 kilometres away respectively, are a shopaholic’s paradise.

Sports and recreation in Palamos

Because of its beautiful location on the Mediterranean, there are many activities on and around the water. One of the most interesting activities to do is to go snorkelling or diving, where you can discover the amazing underwater world. There are many coves in Palamos, where you only need a snorkel and swimwear to admire the fish between the rocks. Guided diving excursions depart from the modern marina to the east of the old fishing port, for instance to the Medes Islands.

If you are not into diving and snorkelling, we recommend a boat trip to explore the beautiful coastline of the Costa Brava. Glass-bottom boat excursions are also available, so that you can explore the underwater world without getting wet. Other water sports that you can enjoy in Palamos include paddling, kayaking and fishing.

If you prefer to stay on land, rent a bike or put on your hiking boots and take the most beautiful trips through the mountainous interior or along the Camino de Ronda, a path that stretches over 500 kilometres and connects the villages and towns along the Costa Brava and Costa Dorada.

The best excursions in the area

Although Palamos has everything for a great holiday, the surrounding area offers even more beauty. Charming seaside resorts, picturesque fishing villages and beautiful inland mountains characterise the Costa Brava. In the neighbouring Calella de Palafrugell, fishing boats lie on the beach and in the old village of Calonge just south of Palamos, you can visit one of the largest castles in the region. If you’re looking for small, idyllic villages where time seems to have stood still, you should visit Pals, Palau Sator and Peratallada, which form the “Golden Triangle“. You will feel like you are back in the Middle Ages with old castles, winding streets and charming squares. In the north of the Costa Brava, you will find Cap de Creus, one of the largest nature parks in Catalonia and therefore the perfect place for hiking and cycling. Inland, you can visit Gerona, the capital of the province with the same name, where the history of the viscounts, Moors and Romans have left their marks.

The best places to visit and the best festivities

You will not be bored for a moment in the lively centre of Palamos. There are numerous wonderful restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy a vibrant and gourmet experience during the day and the evening. Given the daily supply of fresh fish, a fish dish should not be missed during your holiday. Palamos is known for its shrimps and prawns, but delicious tapas or good paella can also be found on many menus. There are a few small discos, but if you want to really let loose to the beats of a DJ, in no time you can be in Lloret de Mar, the resort on the Costa Brava for dancing and wild parties until the wee hours. 

The Spaniards seize every opportunity to hold a festival or celebration and chances are good you will experience one during your holiday. An important traditional festival for Palamos is Festival Virgin de Carmen 15 and 16 July. With processions, dancing and a mass, the Virgin Carmen, patron saint of the sea, is honoured. If you are in Palamos in July, attending these festivities is highly recommended.

Great accommodations in Palamos

By now, you have decided that you will spend your holiday in Palamos. One important thing remains, your accommodation. A place you can retreat to and process all the experiences of the day and where you can relax with a good book or a glass of wine. There are several options in Palamos, including comfortable holiday villas in all price ranges, often with a lovely garden and even a private pool. Make sure you have all the comfort you need and book your dream villa in Palamos with Club Villamar.


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