"L'Escala: ruins & anchovies" Top 5 Page for this destination La Escala by jantichm

La Escala Travel Guide: 49 reviews and 109 photos

L'Escala is my second town. It's located in the most touristic area of the Catalan shore: the Costa Brava, between l'Estartit and Sant Pere Pescador (at the southern end of the Golf of Roses).

L' Escala is the most southern seaside town of Alt Empordà, and it's about 130 kms from Barcelona and 35 kms from Figureres.

It's an important fishing village famous throughout Spain for its delicious sardines and anchovies.

The center of l´Escala, with its narrow streets sloping down to the rocky coastline, is genuinely appealing. Unfortunately l'Escala has soffered for the wild and speculative buikding. A despite of this horrible situation it's possible find quiet and nice places. They are basically located into the rocky promentory leading to deserted beaches stretching all the way south to l'Estartit.

Although lots of turists come here for holidays in July and August, the rest of the year is a quiet village. Well, if Tramontana (the wind of the north) respects you.

A little bit of History

The oldest origins of l'Escala are in Empuries.

Empuries was a Greek colony founded in the 6th century BC by Greek seafarers. They came from Greece for the purpose of opening up the rich markets of the Iberian Peninsula to the Greek world. At the time Empúries was a somewaht inhospitable place inhabited by indigenous people with a primitive culture and economy. The colony was called Emporion, which means market in Greek.

The city grew thanks to a flourishing trade with the peoples of the Peninsula. Its strength and culture had enormous influence on the evolution of the native tribes in the surrounding area; the upshot of this process was the birth of local Iberian culture.

In 218 B.C., on the outbreak of the Second Punic War, Roman warships anchored in the port os Empúries, the first step on the road to Roman domination of the Peninsula. Later Romans decided to set up a military camp in Empúries which was to be the nucleus of a new city, founded around 100 B.C. During the reign of the Emperor Augustus, the Greek and Roman cities were physically and juridically united under the name of Municipium Emporiae. Whilt Gerunda (Girona), Barcino (Barcelona), Tarraco (Tarragona) and other Roman cities on the Peninsula gradually grew in importance, Emporiae waned as the years went by. The city was abandoned in the second half of the 3rd century A.D.

In the fourth century A.D. the present monumental site of Empúries was a huge cementery (on the site of the ancient Greek city) laid out around a paleoChristian basilica.

During the Middle Ages the population settled on a nearby hill, Sant Martí d'Empuries, which was the centre of the Empuries county.

L'Escala begins to appear in writing texts about 16th century. It was a small fishing village depending of Empuries county. Its name has its origins in the Latin word Scala. However, the village had an important growth during the following centuries and it got to be the municipality capital in 1766.

Until 70's of the last century survived like a small sailor town, but during the last three decades a lot of houses and apartment buildings have been built and now there isn't more land for building. Ecologist groups fight to save the sites with most ecologic value, but it's very difficult to avoid macroprojects like golf courses that normally are accompanied by large speculative deals.

Interesting places to visit

In spite of this situation l'Escala has a lot of things to offer a traveller or tourist. It's possible to walk across the narrow pedestrian streets of the old town where you can admire the white sailor houses that your can compare with Cadaques.

Around l'Escala you can visit a lot of interesting sites. If you like historical sites you can visit Empureis ruins, Sant Marti of Empuries or the nearby Castle of Torroella de Montgrí.

But if you prefer nature there's two interesting NP:' Cap of Creus' and 'els Aiguamolls de l'Empordà'.

There're good beaches too. The best ones are in Cala Montó and around Empories ruins.

  • Last visit to La Escala: May 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
  • Add to Trip Planner (?)
  • Report Abuse

Reviews (9)

Comments (1)

Top 5,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 2 2 9 2

Badges & Stats in La Escala

  • 9 Reviews
  • 10 Photos
  • 0 Forum posts
  • 3,245PageViews

Have you been to La Escala?

  Share Your Travels  

Latest Activity in La Escala

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (5)