Medieval Pals, A Treasure of the Costa Brava


Medieval Pals, A Treasure of the Costa Brava

With its narrow alleys, stone arches, ancient facades, nice balconies and old lamps, the medieval town of Pals is one of the treasures of the Costa Brava.

Costa Brava, Pals Narrow Streets

There’s more than just beaches to the Costa Brava. Pretty medieval towns, the Dalì Museums, delicious food and a wonderful vibe

Stretching from the French border towards Barcelona, the Costa Brava was developed in the 1950’s and promoted as a package holiday destination, mostly to tourists from Northern Europe, United Kingdom and France. Thanks to the good climate, nice beaches and great bargains due to a very favourable exchange rate (long before the introduction of Euro), the Costa Brava soon became very popular.

Costa Brava, Pals Stone Arches
But the Costa Brava is more than just beaches. It’s the land of Salvador Dalì (don’t miss a visit to the Casa Museo Dalì in Port Lligat, the Dalì Museum in Figueres and pretty Cadaquès) and home of beautiful hamlets like Pals.

Costa Brava, Pals, Old Street Lamp

Perched atop a hill, Pals exercises an immediate fascination. The houses have been lovingly restored, everything is well-kept and the tiny cobblestone alleys invite to getting lost, letting the eyes wander around to catch the overall beauty first, and then linger on the details.

Costa Brava, Pals, Small Cactus

As I walked up the hill I saw an old local man heading down a narrow street, alone, holding to the rail in the middle since the descent is steep. No trace of tourists in that perfect moment. And a strong feeling of what local life looks like when the visitors leave.

Costa Brava, Pals Cobblestone AlleysPals, Cathedral

There are many similar villages in Italy, especially in remote areas like the Molise and Basilicata regions. Some of them are home to only a few old local people, since the young ones left to settle in the city, study and hunt a job. Others come to life for a few hours during the day when a handful of tourists come by, and go back to their sleepy atmosphere before the sun sets.

Colourful PotsPals Pretty Streets
In Pals, beauty is all in the stones. The cobbles of the alleys, the rocks forming arches, the irregular stones in which the houses are built.

Pals, A Beautiful Corner

The cathedral is beautiful in its simplicity: a bare façade, adorned by a carved entrance door. White sculptures standing out against the stone with its warm colour.

Sculptures of Pals Cathedral

Further up the hill, I couldn’t help stopping every few steps to take one more photo, looking at the pretty and tasteful shops, until I reached the top and the medieval Romanesque tower, dating back to the 11th-13th Century.

Costa Brava, Pals Medieval Tower

From above I got a glimpse of the countryside , with the fields making green and yellow geometric patches, reminding how this is a rural area dotted with old farmhouses.

Costa Brava, The Countryside Around PalsPals, Alleys and Arches
On the way back I took my time to look further at the details, trying to savour every corner of this little town and one of my favourite treasure of the Costa Brava.

Pretty and Funny SignPals, Charming Street Lamp

Useful Information

How to get to Pals: the town is about 40 km (25 mi) from Girona and can be reached by car in 1 hour. Alternatively, buses operated by Sarfa connect Pals with Girona, Barcelona and other nearby towns.


Note: I was invited by the Costa Brava Pirineu de Girona Tourism Board to spend a few nights in a couple of hotels in the region, free to stroll around and explore on my own. As always, opinions and mine only. 

  • Muza-chan
    Posted at 15:23h, 07 May Reply

    Great photos…

  • Hanna
    Posted at 17:27h, 19 October Reply

    The town looks really atmospheric and beautiful. I love the medieval buildings and the small alleys!

    • Simon Falvo
      Posted at 11:24h, 23 October Reply

      There are plenty of towns like this in Spain, Italy, France and overall in most of Europe. I guess this is why no matter how much and far I travel, I remain a ‘European’ at heart.

  • Pingback:Medieval Pals, A Treasure of the Costa Brava | ...
    Posted at 17:22h, 06 September Reply

    […] Costa Brava is more than just beaches. It's the land of Salvador Dalì, world renowned chefs and home of beautiful hamlets like Pals.  […]

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