ANY Info on Begur on Costa Brava

Old Feb 12th, 2005, 06:30 AM
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ANY Info on Begur on Costa Brava

Hi
my husband and I are returning to the Costa Brava (Begur area)for a holiday in June. The last time we were there was 1972!! I know a lot will have changed but we are looking for quiet unspoilt beaches and harbours to visit and lovely restaurants. Any tips anyone? Many thanks anne
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Old Feb 12th, 2005, 12:02 PM
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ttt for anne
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Old Feb 12th, 2005, 01:43 PM
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Look at Aiglablava[sp]---lovely small inlet close to Begur. The Parador is very good but there is also a private hotel.
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Old Feb 13th, 2005, 04:42 AM
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Thank you, I did hear it was a beautiful place. it's our 30th wedding anniversary while we are away and wanted a really soecial restaurant to celebrate. tried for monthe to get in at El Bulli near Roses with no joy. Any suggestions anyone.best wishes anne
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Old Mar 1st, 2005, 10:29 AM
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How wonderful for you! My husband and I were in the area last May and found it to be absolutely delightful.

We stayed at the Parador in Aiguablava (http://www.parador.es/english/paradores/ficha.jsp) You can use Bancotel coupons there (http://www.bancotel.com/scripts/hote.../CambioPestana) Search Girona hotels if that link doesn't take you to it) Modern building, but an absolutely gorgeous setting. The restaurant was good -- wonderful wine at great prices. It is a hotel restaurant though -- not the kind of place where locals would spontaneously burst into song and wish you happy anniversary. All the same, very nice meal. There is a lovely sandy beach in a cove you can walk down to, but you have to be a bit of a billy goat to get there. You can also drive down to it, in fact that lot is the overflow parking for the Parador -- this made the parking situation a little tricky (longish walk up a hill) so keep that in mind if that's an issue. But that was the only drawback, in general the place was beautiful and so, so peaceful. Unless the remote location is a drawback -- the Parador is really the only there is there on it's beautiful pine tree perch.

A car is a must, obviously. We drove up the winding but beautiful coastal roads the first evening we were there, stopping in the little coves of Sa Tuna (tiny, tiny -- you will think you are going the wrong way, but you end up at a little rocky beach with a couple of nice places to sit outside and have a copa) and Sa Riera -- a much bigger sandy beach. Lovely and tranquil, but not deserted, little cafe, little shops. The driving is on winding narrow coastal roads -- not to be undertaken at night and/or after several glasses of wine. We are in our 30s and big Madrid fans so this forced us to slooooooowwwwww down and do most of our vino consumption ("when in Spain . . . . ")in the Parador -- which I remember as a very nice experience.

We also visited the towns of Begur and Pals. Begur is close to the coast but not on it. Just a lovely little village, again perched up on a hill, sandy colored stone buildings, little bakeries and grocery stores. Charming, but definitely a market town -- real people live here and it is, I assume the center of life for the area. Pals is a beautiful medieval town further inland. Seemed more like a museum piece than Begur, at least the parts of interest. Spent the better part of an afternoon there -- we had perfect weather and I found it to be magical.

We also went to the Ibero-Celt (am I getting that backwards) ruins at Ullestrat (sp?)which I found fascinating, but then I am kind of an old stone dork. Self-guided tour with a nice little museum. Get yourself a good detailed Michelin map to find all this.

http://www.begur.org/ -- only in Catalan, but you might as well get used to it now BTW, I learned from a local that Begur is pronounced "Bah-gur"

After a few days in this area we headed to Girona, which is a vibrant university city. Loved it. The old quarter was an open air museum. Amazing. We stayed at Hotel Ciutat de Girona. Great location, great service and rooms. All new. Hell of a time finding there parking lot -- nearly got divorced over that, but otherwise great. Confirm where to park and that the price is actually B&B -- we only got one B.
http://www.venere.com/templates/go.p...en&htid=202015
Many good restaurants in Girona -- we ate at one across the river from the old part of town -- I can't remember the name of it (grrrrr) Read about it in a NYTimes article, but when I now search, I don't get the article. Here's one that looks good, though:
http://travel2.nytimes.com/mem/trave...5AC0A9659C8B63
It recommends Mas de Torrent as a hotel.

If I find any other good info, I'll try to pass it on! Have a wonderful time Anne! (from another Ann
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Old Mar 8th, 2005, 06:28 AM
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Thank you sooooo much for this info Ann. We are really looking forward to our trip. I have even sent for a CD Rom on learning Catalan! bets wishes
anne
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Old Mar 8th, 2005, 07:26 AM
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Good luck with the Catalan! And very good of you to get into it. I'm assuming you speak/read some Spanish -- if so you will be able to decypher most of the written Catalan, but it doesn't hurt to prepare in advance. I found a list of vocab in the back of a Lonely Planet guide to Barcelona and photocopied it. It did come in handy.

If you do speak Spanish (Castellano, I should say) pretty well you can certainly speak it in Catalunya. I was talking to a Catalan native (in English) about the situation and she said that in her opinion it would be very bad form for a Catalan to be "snotty" to an American who was trying to speak anything other than English.

I did find that if I just launched into Spanish I would sometimes get a rather cold response (especially in Girona). What I finally figured out and what worked very well, was this: I would enter at store (or start a conversation in a restaurant by saying Good Morning/Evening in Catalan. Then in Castellano explain something like this: "Excuse me, I'm American and don't really speak any Catalan. I do speak Spanish -- is that okay?" After that they would be falling all over themselves, telling me how great it was that I spoke (I would say "get by in") another language and oh my gosh of COURSE I don't speak Catalan, my goodness how in the world would anyone expect me to speak Catalan . . .etc. We were all very happy then and business got taken care of very effectively and pleasantly.

Good luck! Oh, and HAVE FUN!!!! You will love it. Beautiful, beautiful part of the world.
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Old Mar 8th, 2005, 09:13 AM
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OOOOhhhhh I may have problems with the language, I can only say please,thank you and good bye in Spanish but i just thought it would be nice to offer similar pleasantries in catalan. The Cd I have ordered is Talk Catalan and from the reviews i have read it sounds basic-which is just what I need1 Wish me luck best wishes anne
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Old Aug 5th, 2005, 08:19 AM
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Well got back from Begur 3 weeks ago and have still not come back down to earth. fabulous food and I mean fabulous!! restaurants a sgood if not better than top notch london restaurants. Scenery/sea/people wonderful!!! planning on going back next year!
best wishes
anne
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Old Aug 11th, 2005, 02:22 PM
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Woo hoo! Sounds like you had a ball. We would love to hear more . . . . or if you'd rather, do you still have my e-mail address?
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 03:35 PM
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Hi Anne, I hope you check your postings from time to time... Here is a question from Anne # 3. We are off to the Costa Brava this July. Please post about your trip, any specific restaurants etc. We are staying near Pals but its very hard to get much info. Hope you pick up!

Anne (3)
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 05:49 PM
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Anne 3- Carmen Amaya (famous flamenco dancer. . . the definition of flamenco dancer, actually) passed away in Bagur and her old house is a small museum. I enjoyed the visit, but I am obsessed with flamenco.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 08:00 AM
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Hello Anne #3 and hi again Anne#2!!!
where does the time go. It seems like no time sinceI was posting for last years hols. Anne #2 how was your trip to Europ. Any plans for this year?
Anne no 3 I have to dash just now but I will come back and post some links for you. The Begur/Aigua Blava/Sa Tuna/ Sa Riera area is very close to Pals. The area is absolutely beautiful. The people are fantastic. Learn a few words in Catalan and they will love you forever. The food everywhere is excellent even in the little pizzerias and tapas bars. Not to be missed Dali museum in Figueras. go early. I think they may stay open until late in the summer. Are you staying in Pals old town or Platja de Pals? The restaurant in the Sa Punta hotel http://www.hotelsapunta.com/restaurantUK.htm
is a michelin starred restaurant is wonderful. The tasting menu is about £25 and fabulous. Don't be put off by the pics on the website they don't do it justice. Another fabulous restaurant is the Castell D'emporda http://www.castelldemporda.com/lang_en/home.aspx which is quite close to Gala's house in Pubol. They do a great set lunch menu for about £10.00. We returned in the evening-very magical. Sa Tuna is a tiny tiny cove with a couple of seaside restaurants which are excellent. Aigua Blava is beautiful too. I could go on and on. Will come back to you with more links soon.
best wishes Anne PS Mas de Torrent is wonderful-not stayed ,only eaten there. There is a fabulous restaurant in Monells which I can't remember the name of. Also look at egullet.com there are loads of recommendations there too!pps Did I say I have a reservation at El Bulli in june? I'll explain the secret of my success next time
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Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 02:55 PM
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Hi Anne #1 - Thanks for posting - You are a star! We are in fact staying in Hotel Castell D'Emporda for 4 nights. I hope it will be nice, it looks lovely. Thanks for the recommendations. I looked at El Bulli site and they are all booked out for 2006, but I might try the day/week I am there incase of a cancellation.

I cant wait to hear your experience there! Have a wonderful time. THanks again.
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Old Mar 24th, 2006, 04:56 AM
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Hi Annie
you lucky girl! You will not be disappointed. The hotel is beautiful. I hear that Mas Pau near Roses is ver good. There is a restaurant in Girona I think it's called Can Fabes and is run by 2 or 3 brothers. It gets fantastic reviews on the e gullet site.
Don't miss going to Sa Tuna and Aga Blava beaches. In July i suggest going early in the morning. In Sa Tuna the restaurant with the large white parasols is the one we preferred. Car parking is limited -you won't see any coach parties in this area.
If you are interested in walking there is a coastal path that you can follow right round this area and it can be accessed from all the beaches. Sa riera is another lovely beach. there is a car park behind the beach which is monitored by the most glamourous attendant you will ever meet. She is very smiley but is v v conscientious!! Will look at more links for you. I can send you some pictures if you like but sometimes its nice to see places first hand. have a good weekend. Will be in touch soon.
Anne
ps Maribel has made references to the Costa Brava on this site too. i know she has a website...http://maribelsguides.com/
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Old Mar 25th, 2006, 05:02 AM
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Anne thank you. This is great! Im getting really excited, up to now it was difficult to find any info on this area.

I LOVE the look of Can Fabes. Also I found a restaurant in Sa Tuna called Hostal sa Tuna, was that the one you liked do you remember?

Also, are there any towns you would skip? and any you would not miss? I am playing with stopping at Tossa de Mar on the drive up and driving the coast to Guixols. Then the other towns I have marked out are Girons, Figueras of course, and then Sa Tuna, Sa Riera, Aigua, Cadaques, Besalu and into France for Ceret and Collioure.

Pals, Palafrugell are two more.

One last question, is it really the norm to go out for dinner at 11:00pm? and how far in advance would you make reservations for nice restaurants?

I really appreciate all the info you are giving me.
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Old Mar 25th, 2006, 09:05 AM
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Hi Anne
book now for the likes of Can Fabes, Mas Pau, Mas de Torrent but restaurants in Sa Tuna, Begur, Aigua Blava should be OK if you book a few weeks before. The thing to remember about that area that most homes are second homes for lots of Barcelonians. July is the main holiday season too. Can't remember the name of the Sa Tuna restaurant but we will be back on the 20th June so I can give you details then. If you let me have your e mail I might be able to mail you as we go along on our hols as we are hoping to have a wi fi connection at our villa. Eating out is generally later. We once arrived at a restaurant at 8 pm and the staff where aghast!!! It is not unusual for people to dine at 11. When we were away last year people were only leaving the beaches at 8 pm.
best wishes
Anne
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Old Mar 25th, 2006, 09:15 AM
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Anne
read this lovely article
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...gewanted=print

BR
anne
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Old Mar 25th, 2006, 09:20 AM
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thanks Anne you are the best! printing this out & taking it to the gym right now! I am also emailing you with my email address, would love for you to keep me posted if you dont mind.
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Old Mar 25th, 2006, 12:35 PM
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anne
an e gullet link for you
http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=47885
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