THE GAIÀ CASTLES AND THE ELS MUNTANYANS WETLANDS

Castell de TamaritCastell de Tamarit
ALTAFULLA
TORREDEMBARRA

Start the walk on the beach of Altafulla, and in a southerly direction, ON the incomparable promenade Botigues del Mar promenade, one of the untouched jewels of the Costa Daurada (Golden Coast). The white houses next to the sand of this neighborhood of Altafulla stay anchored in time and turn the walk into a return to the coast of our grandparents. The quarter was built for merchants to store merchandise and fishermen, nautical equipment and nets. When the tour ends, you may have to take off your shoes to walk the sand until you reach the first castle on the way, Tamarit Castle.

You have to go all the way aroundthe building and the old Vila Closa de Tamarit to have a one hundred percent satisfactory view. Follow the very rocky camino de ronda, The Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance styles are combined in this 12th century castle, which protected the town from pirate invasions during the Middle Ages. Nothing suggests that a century ago it was almost in ruins and abandoned. Today it is majestically exhibited after the American philanthropist Charles Deering and the Catalan painter Ramon Casas rehabilitated it from top to bottom. It is privately owned and usually can not be entered. But if you're curious, you have two options. You can enter some Sundays during the church mass or you can get married and have a big party and rent the whole castle to make a treat more than sounded. You choose!

At the foot of Tamarit Castle, if you can withstand the cold, you can soak in the beautiful Cala Jovera – it is always a better idea to do this in the summer. It is one of the most unique corners of Costa Daurada (Golden Coast) and offers a picture postcard.

ALTAFULLA CASTLE AND VILA CLOSA

With a short drive, you reach the old town of Altafulla. It is fantastic to see how the triangular battlements of Montserrat Castle cut the sky. The view will be from behind, just outside the walls of Vila Closa, where it is integrated. The watchtowers have just given it the appearance of fortification. The castle has its origin in the 11th century and the last military service it lent was during the Spanish Civil War, when it hosted troops and militiamen. It is privately owned and can not be entered, a pity!

Once inside the walls, Sant Antoni d'Altafulla Square, at the foot of the castle and the church of Sant Martí, is a perfect place to take the cool and let the children play without fear of losing them. Indeed, there are few corners as beautiful as this and so little crowded in all of Catalonia.

The enclosed space formed by the castle, the church and the rectory has become one of the places with the best acoustics in the country. In summer there are cycles of concerts and poetry. And the genuine note is a "ladies hairdresser", which should also be one of the oldest in these regions. In summer, guided tours of the Vila Closa - declared to be of national interest as a walled historical center - are to be booked in advance. Joana, the guide, puts so much emphasis amd loves her home village so much that she will

captivate you.

BY FOOT OR BICYCLE TO ELS MUNTANYANS

It is difficult to discover the marshy Els Muntanyans wetlands without having any previous reference. That is why we strongly recommend it to you with this TripIdea. With the exception of the Ebro Delta, there are no more dunes on the Catalonian coast (muntanyans) and coastal natural areas such as these marshes. The extraordinary value of this area lies in its singularity and in the excellent preservation.

The natural area has 62 hectares and is crossed by footbridges and paths suitable for walking or cycling with the family. Of course, you need respect and patience to observe the fauna that is concentrated here: ducks, red-tailed lizards or even flamingos. The seven-kilometer beach - between Creixell and Roda de Berà -, which protects Els Muntanyans, is a natural seafront like few. A secret worth knowing.

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