- Countryside Med, mountains and mediaeval hamlets
- Country life Golf, grapes and gastronomy
This northerly region in Catalonia has scenery to satisfy your every whim – city break (Girona), beach retreat (Costa Brava) or country weekend (La Bisbal).
Between Girona and the Mediterranean, in the southern shadow of the Pyrenees, lies Empordà – split into Alt (higher) and Baixa (lower) Empordà – a rolling countryscape in north-east Catalonia of vine- and sheep-dotted hillsides topped with mediaeval hamlets tickled by the Tramontane wind. Whether it’s the region’s rich history, the surfeit of superb Catalan restaurants (El Celler de Can Roca, El Bulli) or the gaggle of golf courses that draw you here, you’ll find yourself stylishly tucked away from the crowds on the Costa Brava, yet near enough when you fancy a jaunt to its sandy coves and cobalt waters.
Do go/Don’t go
Like much of the Med, Empordà visitor numbers spike in July and August and the winters are mild but wet. Visit in May, June or September crowd- and cagoule-free warmth.
- Planes Ryanair flies from 11 UK airports to Girona-Costa Brava Airport | 40 minutes from La Bisbal by taxi.
- Trains Take the Eurostar (www.eurostar.co.uk) from London to Paris mid-afternoon; then take the evening Barcelona-bound trainhotel from Gare d’Austerlitz and wake up in Girona (www.raileurope.co.uk).
- Automobiles Exits five to nine of the A-7 motorway access the region from Barcelona to the south, Perpignan to the north. Those without wheels would do well to hire some – there’s an Avis (www.avis.com) desk in Girona airport.
- Taxis Taxi Begur (+34 630 980895; www.taxibegur.com) on the Costa Brava speak English and can arrange pick-ups from Girona. Taxi Alex (+34 659 550550) operates out of Estartit day and night. In La Bisbal, there is a taxi stand on Plaça Francesc Macià.