Stray beyond Barcelona and you’ll find that Catalonia has some delightful spots for the adventurous boater hoping to make the most out of the Med
Gulf of Roses
I have a soft spot for the Gulf of Roses because, as an impecunious student, I once sheltered from a nasty mistral here, anchoring in the north corner off a crescent beach.
Near the border with France, this grand bay was a strategic passage anchorage in the days of sail, but now has three interesting and very different marinas within a couple of miles of each other.
The vast complex of Empuriabrava (pictured below) has over 4,000 berths in quasi-Venetian canals lined with villas, apartments, shops and hotels.
Residents moor in front of their properties, go shopping by boat or zip out to the beach. Empuriabrava is an amazing creation and it’s fun to explore and ogle all the boats and villas.
A smaller, more homely canal marina, Santa Margarita is entered between two splendid beaches. The low marshy land west of the marina provides a marvellous open outlook.
Port Roses is an agreeable marina within an old fishing harbour, next to a beach on a pleasant seafront.
The berths are sometimes buffeted by north-westerlies off the mountains, but no sea gets in past the breakwaters. The enjoyable Restaurant Bitàkora overlooks the marina and there are many good bistros in town.