Palamos and St. Joan
The structure of Palamos is based on the historic city centre, the area of industrial expansion, the town of Sant Joan, the coast and the surrounding houses. The old town has its origins in the settlement built within the walls where the inhabitants lived, fearing attacks by land and sea, whether by pirates or military disputes.
The old town of Sant Joan starts with the houses and homes built around the square and the church. Sant Joan de Palamos became a municipality in 1942. The following are some of the notable features:
- The Santa Maria Church was built in 1417 with the chapel added in 1349. You will find a collection of sacred art and an altarpiece designed by Isaac Vermey Hermes, a native of Utrecht (Netherlands), which was made in the late sixteenth century.
- Located in the old town of Sant Joan de Palamós, the church of Santa Eugenia de Vila-Romà dates from the eighteenth century, although it was built on the site of an early tenth-century chapel. Carme Chapel, the church for the poor in front of the old hospital, which is the base of the current regional hospital. Built-in the eighteenth century, today it is a cultural centre, a gateway to local heritage and an art space for Ezekiel Torroella.
- Palamós Cemetery. Here you can find the Creu del Portal, a cross dating from 1593 that was located on Plaça dels Arbres and has been at the entrance of the cemetery since 1904.
- The Barri del Pedró district and the Eixample. The Barri del Pedró is a neighbourhood filled with the light characteristic of the Mediterranean Sea, culminating in the park of the Augustinian Convent (1568-1835) and the square of the same name. The Eixample is an area built in the late 1800s to meet industry demands by expanding the city and including the train line running between the coast and Girona.
The port and fishing
King Pere II bought the area around the city in 1277, who wanted to have a strategic position north of Barcelona in the struggle for expansion and dominance that took place around the Mediterranean. In 1279, the same king drew up a city charter for everyone who wanted to live in the village, then known as “Palamors”.
Today, the port is one of the most important seaports in the province of Girona and has a commercial dimension alongside fishing, tourism and culture. Not to be missed: The Fisheries Museum, housed in a former ship shed, the first museum dedicated to fishing around the Mediterranean. The museum also has fishing boats, real floating museums that you can visit.
The Fish Marketplace
The Fish Marketplace, where you can watch the fish auction with the local fishermen every evening from Monday to Friday. L’Espai del Peix, a gastronomic experience that is part of the Fisheries Museum, where you can learn how to identify, prepare and cook fish, from traditional fish dishes. There are courses, cooking shows, workshops and tastings of typical fish dishes. The fish market is part of the municipal market, and every afternoon you can buy fresh products from the fishermen’s boats.
You can find Maritime Palamós along the coastal path that leaves the main beach, climbs to Pedró, then heads east along the coast towards Cap Roig, stopping at Calella de Palafrugell. You can see the Maritime Harbor, Morro del Vedell Bay and the steps to Margarida Beach at the foot of Cap Gros. The path leads us to the beach of Fosca, a shallow beach on the southeast. The highlights around Castell are: The castle of Sant Esteve de Mar, dating from the 12th to the 13th centuries, is part of Palamós origins, although it ended its days as a country house.
The bay of S’Alguer
The bay of S’Alguer is a small seaside village and is a site of national cultural interest due to its beautiful views. It used to be a fishing village and dates from the fifteenth century. It housed fishers and was a place to store fishing gear and equipment, although the area is now used for recreation. Castell Beach: This area has been isolated and well maintained, preserving the raw natural beauty. It is an example of the Mediterranean landscape in its purest form.
The village of Castell
The Iberian village of Castell: the sand stops at the cape of sa Cobertera where you can get closer to the archaeological site of Iberian settlers (dating from the 6th century BC to the 2nd century AD), discovered in 1935 during the excavation of the cliffs around la Foradada. A fisherman’s hut in the bay.
A rugged coastline
From the top of the Castell, you can see the rugged coastline: the bay of Senia, Cala Canyers with its fountain by the sea, the inlet of Corbs and the bay of Estreta, all the way to Planes. It marks the beginning of the municipality of Mont-ras. The last cove has a restored fisherman’s hut, a traditional Catalan stone building sheltered from the north wind.
The beautiful landscape is the combination of the plains around the river Aubi, the Gavarres mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. The Gavarres Mountains are an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and representative of the North Mediterranean coastal mountains.
If you follow the surrounding paths, there are many things to see: The castle of Vila-Roma stands on the southern slopes of Monteagut and dates from the thirteenth century. In 1812, the French army destroyed it as they retreated, and it has gradually disintegrated ever since. In the centre, there is a wall of about 10 meters, probably the remains of the tower. The Bell-Lloc Church was founded in 1272. Sant Josep Oriol gave it his blessing in 1675. The fishermen restored it, and there is an annual pilgrimage every September.
To get the best panoramic view of the city, you have several options. These are our suggestions: Plaça Murada, a natural viewpoint from which you can see the harbour and the main beach. Writers like Josep Pla and Joan Gomis have enjoyed this place in the past. The new pier and breakwater are a popular spot for a stroll. Under the beacon at the entrance of the harbour, there are views of the open sea, where you can see the passing ships and see the patient fishermen.
The lighthouse offers views of the bay, Gavarres Mountains and Ardenya. The best times to go are at sunset and around 7 a.m. when the boats take to the sea. The Pedró district, the highest part of the city, has the ancient architectural remains of the Augustine Monastery, which face east. The Windmill, used as an air-raid shelter during the Civil War and reinforced at the top, offers fantastic views over the Aubi River and the town of Sant Joan de Palamós.
From the top of Cap Gros
You can see the entire city from the top of Cap Gros, a nearby mountain. From the pine forest near Gori, you can see the Formigues Islands and Pallarida S’Alguer Cove as you breathe in the scent of the trees.
The pure Mediterranean. Sa Cobertera, or sa Corbatera de Castell, is the headland from which you can see the unique landscape of the beach and the plains around the castle, the last natural space on the left along the Costa Brava. Dolmen de Montagut, a high mountain that has preserved its cultural heritage, the Dolmen de Montagut, which dates back to the Chalcolithic and Bronze Age.