Tour of Girona: Ruins of Empúries and beaches with charm

We suggest a tour by bus or minibus to discover the most famous Greek and Roman ruins on the Mediterranean coast and enjoy the beaches, the food and the beauty of the villages in the Empurdà.

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Departures from:

Barcelona, Girona, Figueres and Lleida

The ruins of Empúries are unique because an ancient Greek settlement - Emporiae – coexists with the remains of a Roman city founded later. Through this point the Romanization of the Iberian Peninsula began, and besides, the place has superb views of the Mediterranean. It is not the only attraction of this route by minibus rental that will take you through one of the most beautiful regions of Spain, preferred by travellers for over fifty years: the Empordà.

In the morning: Empúries ruins

The tour begins at the archaeological site of Empúries.

Visit the ruins

Empúries is a privileged location situated in the town of L’Escala, on the south part of one of the most beautiful bays in the world according to UNESCO, the bay of Rosas. The ruins can be visited in summer (June 1 to September 30) daily from 10 am to 8 pm, in winter (November 15-February 14), from 10 to 5 pm, and the rest of the year from 10 am to 6 pm. Admission is € 4.50, and children under 8 do not have to pay.

View of the greek ruins

View of the greek ruins
Credit photo: xn-espaaescultura

On the Greek side you can see the remains of the city walls of the V century BC, the market square and other buildings, while the Roman part shows mosaics of ancient well preserved domus as well as remains of an amphitheatre and forum, with several statues. To make the most of the visit I recommend hiring the services of a tourist guide if you go in summer, because it is cheap (€ 3,-) and very useful.

Bath in Marina beach

Getting out of the site through the Marina door you can access a beach where part of the ancient Greek port has been preserved. If you come in summer, it's not a bad idea to take profit of a swim in the clear waters of the Costa Brava, in order to get some relief from the heat. You have two hours to re-enter the ruins with the same ticket after visiting the beach.

Visit and lunch at Sant Martí d'Empúries

After the visit to the ruins, take the minibus for few minutes to head to the medieval village of Sant Martí d'Empúries, in the town of l'Escala. Near the town hall in the Plaça Major, find the restaurant "La Terrassa d'Empúries", a cosy restaurant with a terrace where you can enjoy the shade but where it is better to book in advance because it is usually crowded during the beach season. The tapas menu is very satisfying and has a good price (€ 15,-), although the star dish is definitely paella. To book you can call 972 773 204.

View of the restaurant La Terrassa d'Empúries with locals and tourists enjoying the place

View of the restaurant La Terrassa d'Empúries with locals and tourists enjoying the place
Credit photo: estartit

A walk in Sant Martí d'Empúries

While you're waiting for the bus I recommend a stroll around the village, to see the wall that is built on Greek remains, and the Sant Martí church, dating 1528.

Small streets with a lot of history in Sant Martí d'Empúries

Small streets with a lot of history in Sant Martí d'Empúries
Credit photo: costabravagirona

In the afternoon: the charm of Calella de Palafrugell

After around forty minutes by minibus you will get to the fishing village of Calella de Palafrugell, separated from l'Escala and Empúries by no more than 40 kilometres. It is one of the most charming villages in the Costa Brava and in Catalonia.

The beach of Calella

Beach of Calella, a place to enjoy the sun, water and sand

Beach of Calella, a place to enjoy the sun, water and sand
Credit photo: calella-de-palafrugell

The small fishing boats, the clear water, the diversity of the seabed make the beach of Calella de Palafrugell an ideal place for you to spend an afternoon. The village streets are also worth a walk, and you can make it more attractive by enjoying a delicious ice cream cone.

End your day with a Mediterranean menu

The restaurant "Les Voltes" is an institution at Calella de Palafrugell for the quality of its food and its beautiful views. As you will have reached 7 pm by now, it is just the right time to visit it and taste any dish on the menu, especially fish or any kind of rice with seafood. If you want to try the specialty of the area and taste a different flavour, you can order "garoines" or sea urchins, but you must know that they are only served from January to end of March, so if you go to this location in summer you will not find them. You have to eat the urchin by dividing it into halves carefully and taking the red part with a spoon to place it on a slice of bread. A delicatessen that can only be found in this part of the Costa Brava! The average cost to eat at this restaurant with an appetizer, a main course and dessert can be around € 25,-, but you can find a menu of € 22,-, which is also satisfactory.

View of Restaurant Les Voltes and its surroundings

View of Restaurant Les Voltes and its surroundings
Credit photo: calella-de-palafrugell

Tell the driver of your coach to seat and have dinner with you, because he is the one who has taken you to all these sites and all day long. During the return trip to Barcelona or Girona you have the right to take a nap on the bus as the Greeks and Romans of Empúries did after enjoying a good meal.

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If you liked this bus tour and plan to organize this or a similar tour in the area of Girona Province than we advise you to view our list of mini bus and coach hire companies in Girona . You can also start organizing your Girona Province bus trip by directly requesting multiple Girona coach hire quotes so you can compare bus rental options online before booking.

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