Castel d’Escales is magnificently positioned
in the heart of Catalunya’s famed “Golden Triangle” which stretches between Begur, Girona and Sant Feliu, the unspoilt area of the Costa Brava. Barcelona is 90 minutes to the southwest and the French border is 35 miles to the north.
Catalunya is an autonomous region within northeastern Spain with its own original culture and official language, Catalan, a Romanic language formed between the 10th and 11th centuries. For social, cultural and political reasons Catalan is presently used alongside Castilian Spanish.
This region is temperate, tranquil, and equidistant from the Mediterranean Sea and snow-capped Pyrenees. Its nature, climate and history create a setting of haunting beauty that never fails to seduce, with its lush vegetation, rocky cliffs and pine woods outlined against the blue and green immensity of the sea.
The Costa Brava’s pristine Mediterranean coastline is a short drive from Castel d’Escales and offers secluded coves and long stretches of golden sand beaches with clear water perfect for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and sailing. The coast is dotted with active fishing villages and is famous for excellent fresh seafood.
In addition to the coastal areas, many different and picturesque inland landscapes provide an endless variety of activities for everyone, including nature and sports lovers. This diverse region boasts some of Spain’s most stunning golf courses, a natural volcanic park, scenic hiking trails and walking excursions for all ages, spas with Roman thermal baths, horseback riding, historic botanical gardens, vineyard tours, hot air balloon rides, and an impressive network of biking trails favored by Tour de France riders.
Artists thrive here and Catalunya has produced and influenced a host of legendary luminaries including Gaudi, Miro, Dali, Rusiñol, Casas, and Picasso. In addition to Barcelona’s dizzying selection of museums and the extraordinary architectural wonders of Gaudi, you’ll find a superb offering of museums and historical monuments throughout the entire region.
Some of our favorites include Figueras, home of the world-famous Salvador Dali museum; the series of hiking trails located behind the castle; Greco-Roman ruins overlooking the sea at the archeological site in Empúries; the beautiful medieval village of Besalú with its 12th century Roman bridge; and the Jardins de Cap Roig summer music festival in Palafrugell (the 2012 line-up included Bob Dylan, Tony Bennett and Madeleine Peyroux). These are all within easy reach of Castel d’Escales.
Also not to be missed is the ancient city of Girona, a beautiful jewel of the region, resplendent with history and an abundance of attractions and cultural events for its modest size of 96,000. Untrampled by mass tourism Girona is only 10 minutes by car from the castle.
Built on an ancient route linking Spain to the rest of Europe, Girona has been voted by Spaniards as the most pleasant place to live in Spain. The provincial capital, its focal point is the medieval and historic Old Town, which spreads out beneath ancient walls and watchtowers on the east bank of the River Onyar.
The Old Town’s charming pedestrian only cobbled streets are compact and easily walkable. Highlights include the spectacular cathedral dating from 1680. Recently restored, it has the widest nave of any Gothic cathedral in the world.
The medieval Jewish quarter, known as the Call, was home to one of Iberia’s most important Jewish communities at the start of the 9th thru the close of the 15th centuries. Girona’s Call is legendary and it’s believed the Kabbalah was first written down here. An extensive restoration project is underway to rediscover the little-known, mystical past of Jewish and Catalan history.
Catalunya is also known for cutting-edge design and fashion and Girona is full of chic and stylish shops that rival those found in Barcelona.
Last but not least there’s the Catalan food and wine! Arguably this has been the most important and influential region for creative and visionary chefs in the world for the last decade.
Catalunya is famous for culinary innovation and intensely personal food and is celebrated for its handcrafted expressive wines and elegant sparkling Cavas.
A rich assortment of Michelin-starred restaurants are within easy reach of Castel d’Escales including the Roca brothers’ El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, a world-renowned destination for culinary nirvana. Voted #2 on “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants” list in 2011 and 2012.