Sant Feliu de Guíxols

 

Within the tourist areas of Costa Brava’s Baix Empordà, Sant Feliu de Guíxols enjoys a certain privileged position. There are over 10,000 permanent inhabitants and tourism is only one of the sources of income for the city. Even in the high summer season Sant Feliu retains its independent urban character. Tourists are welcome, but they do not determine the townscape.  Part of their independence is due to the city’s history, which gained prosperity through its shipyards, its own sea consulate and cork production. The main beach of Sant Feliu with its fishing boats and the proximity to the port presents a beautiful picture, but is less suitable for a bathing vacation. Anyone seeking swimming opportunities or water sports in Sant Feliu will quickly head for the surrounding beaches, for example at the sandy beach Sant Pol. This is about 1.5 kilometres north of the city centre and in-season can be reached by a road “train.”

Main beach  

Anyone seeking to enjoy the pre or off-season flair of the Mediterranean without missing urban life should find Sant Feliu de Guíxols particularly agreeable.

Sant Feliu de Guíxols is bordered by green areas and forests.  It maintains a full-year’s calendar of cultural activities to assure that you won’t be bored out-of-season. One highly regarded even, begun in 1962 is the international music festival “Porta Ferrada” which takes place in July and August. It is considered the oldest music festival in Catalonia. From the middle of June to the end of July lovers of folklore are especially served. During the "Mostra de Canço de Taverna" the restaurants and public places offer fisherman’s and worker’s music.

The environment is very varied and very delightful, with small bays and a wide variety of landscape. The coastal road south of Sant Feliu to Tossa de Mar (belonging already to the region La Selva, meaning the forest) is often called the most beautiful coast region of Spain.

 

The old part of Sant Feliu shows a rich structural inheritance of the best kind. There are also some very distinguished fish restaurants, not always inexpensive if one eats a la carte, but offering very good food.

The two Ramblas, Vidal and Portalet, as well as the beach promenade encourage a peaceful stroll. Not very large, but quite attractive is the covered market. The market is opened from Tuesday to Sunday in the morning.  In the summer the market is also opened on Monday.  On Sunday the market expands outside to fill the area in front of the market building.

The first written history of the area was from the IV century after Christ, with the building of the tower Turó dels Guíxols. In the first half of the X century a Benedictine monastery was build by this rapidly growing village. Even today there are remainders of the church (Plaça del Monestir) as well as the Porta Ferrada and the towers “del Fum” and “del Corn”

In the XVI and XVII century Sant Feliu experienced a rapid economic upswing, with fishing and boat building.  In the XIX century the cork industry was important. During this time most of the buildings along the beach promenade were built, at the Passeig del Mar. Many of them are still well conserved; particularly worth seeing are the Casino dels Nois, a meeting place of citizens of all ages.  Also, the casa Patxot and Can Sibils.  Despite a prosperous century this was also a time for an emigration wave to America. This economic process is documented very beautifully in the Museu d'Història of the city.

The Fiesta major needs a few days at the beginning of August, ending with a spectacular fireworks display.

Sant Feliu de Guíxols is 35 km from Girona, via C-250, 110 km from Barcelona (A-7 and N-II) and 33 km from the airport Girona.

The tourism office is on the plaça del mercat, 28; 17220 Sant Feliu de Guíxols: Telephone 972 82 00 51. E-Mail: turisme@guixols.net

CapCreus online, the Web-newspaper of the  Costa Brava: www.cbrava.com