Hike to Cap Roig botanic gardens

Southwards from Llafranc goes is a picturesque hiking trail. The aromatic pine trees surround the walking trail going along the coast, built on the side of the rocks. Just about a quarter of an hour walk away is the neighbor town of Calella de Palafrugell (that of course if you dare to rush past the charming scenery and sights of the most beautiful neon and teal blue water, otherwise it will take longer).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Calella de Palafrugell is known for its July music festival – The Cap Roig Garden Festival that has been featuring really big names, for such a small relaxed spot.

Calella with its several little coves and beach spots is a great place to stop over for a dip in the sea and also to stock up on water and snacks(or eat at one of their numerous restaurants). This is quite crucial, as moving on there won´t be options to get food along the way and even at the Cap Roig botanic gardens is just a lonely vending machine, in case you get hungry.

p1010080

However, moving on along the rocky sides of the coast, the hiking trail gets rather narrow and wild and oh so beautiful, with a few tunnels going straight through the rocks. Reminded me a little of Cinque Terre hiking trail in Italy.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Cap Roig botanic gardens may take a few GPS skills to find(as it is situated not straight at the end of the hike), but are easily reachable by foot.

Cap Roig botanic garden is one of a kind along the Catalonian coast and holds nearly 1000 botanical species from all over the world and sculptures by renowned Spanish and international artists. It is here where the July Music Festival really takes place.
Back in 1927 the Russian colonel Nicolai Woevodski, lover of drawing and architecture, and his wife, English aristocrat and decorator Dorothy Webster started building their dream. The works continued up to 1974.  The castle and its gardens are today their legacy.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

All in all (together with swim breaks and snack stops) took us 8 hours to hike from Llafranc to Cap Roig and back. It takes about 1.5h to have a proper look around the botanic gardens.

Advertisements

Quietly picturesque Llafranc

Next stop after Figueres and our base-camp over the next few days was the picturesque little town of Llafranc. Early September when the kids had returned to school and most of the tourists finished their holidays, the season was winding down and coming to an end. This was a perfect opportunity to  avoid the crowds.

Llafranc is a small costal town on Costa Brava, adjacent to Girona that has managed to retain its cute low-rise 2-3 floor houses and avoid getting the high skyline, so sadly destroying the natural beauty of several Spanish resorts.

Frequented by film stars and artists of the 20th century, Dali himself used to stay often at the Hotel Llafranc. The artfulness of the town is reflected even on the meter boxes that sometimes appeared covered with paintings.

img_3534

Surrounded by the hilly coastline, the little cove offers calm getaway to kick back and unwind. With sweet pine smell in the air, combined with the sea breeze cooling your skin in the hot sunshine, this is a great place for relaxation.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As gastronomy  makes up a great part of the holiday, from my experience I would recommend La Sirena restaurant for a dinner directly on the beach – great ambiance and good food. I am usually not big fan of calamari rings, as they often tend to taste like rubber bands. However the ones I had at La Sirena were really eye-opening for me, making me realise they can actually taste amazing, if cooked properly!

For the dessert the place to go is restaurant Jani, for the best coconut flan in the world!

However I would not recommend getting a paella at the Hotel Llafranc restaurant – my great hopes were bitterly(or should I say “saltily”) disappointed.