Sant Feliu de Guíxols, Girona counties, Catalonia, Spain

Sant Feliu de Guixols is a town in the district of Lower Emporda and headquter of the judicial district of San Felix in the province of Girona, Catalonia. Sant Feliu de Guíxols is an Empordà town located in the heart of the Costa Brava which, thanks to its temperate climate, is surrounded by a landscape full of contrasts. The city, an old fishing village, preserves an important historical heritage that has as its main exponent the Benedictine monastery and its oldest part, the Romanesque Porta Ferrada.

Sant Feliu de Guíxols is a friendly and close town, which is alive all year round and has a rich and very varied offer of activities; municipality with quality of life that has all the services and that, thanks to the hospitality of its inhabitants and without losing the spirit of sea town, has become a host city. Discover the coastline of cliffs that break into small coves, stroll along the beach and let yourself be carried away by the charm of the natural spaces that surround it, such as Les Gavarres or the Ardennes massif.

The city of Sant Feliu de Guíxols is in the center of the Costa Brava, between the municipalities of Castell-Platja d’Aro and Santa Cristina d’Aro. It has traditionally been considered the capital of the Costa Brava due to the fact that Ferran Agulló named it from Puig de Sant Elm, east of Sant Feliu. It is 34 km from Girona and 105 from Barcelona. The head of town is located in the bay of Sant Feliu, between the hills of Sant Elm and Les Forques. Its climate is Mediterranean and temperatures are mild all year round. It is an important tourist enclave due to its status as a seafaring city, along with an important green environment.

The oldest data available, which speak of the existence of a primitive being in Sant Feliu or the surrounding area, are more than 12,000 years old. Around the current mas Ribot have been found a set of stonework that dates from that time, the Paleolithic. The second reference we find about human communities belongs to the Neolithic. Graves and some pieces of flint have been found in the Vilartagues area. Towards the end of the Neolithic and during the Chalcolithic (2200-1800 BC) some human communities lived in the neighboring mountains. Several funerary monuments have been preserved (dolmens and menhirs, the most famous of which is Daina’s Cave, inRomanyà de la Selva).

Ancient age
The history of Sant Feliu de Guíxols dates back to the 5th century BC. C. An Iberian village settled at the tip of the Guixols (also called Fortim or Salvament), a promontory that divides the bay into two parts. Obviously, 2500 years ago the sea went much deeper, so the strategic location of the village became optimal for defense and survival.

With the arrival of Romanization, towards the end of the 1st century BC, the population gradually left the mountain and settled in the plain, near the Comes stream.(currently still discovered in some sections), a fertile and stable place that allowed possible expansions, and which remained inhabited until the seventh century, the time of the invasions. In fact, the place of Guíxols was never completely uninhabited because geographically favored the establishment of a fixed population (near the stream, next to the two natural ports offered by the bay, in a sheltered place and near the fields), although the population density dropped dramatically.

At that time (seventh century) the legend of Sant Feliu l’Africà was formed, according to which the Christian martyr was thrown into the sea from the top of Punta dels Guíxols. Hence the popular tradition of the young hook to launch from there to the cry of “Valga’ns Sant Feliu.” and swim across the natural crack under the cliff from Calassanç Beach to West Beach. The joys of the glorious martyr Sant Feliu l’Africà are also known everywhere: “From the Guíxols you are thrown / into the sea, with a great wind. / An angel flies from the sky / and on the beach he has taken you / says / Calassanç from that day. ”

Around 940, the Benedictine monastery was founded on the other side of the Riera de les Comes, under the auspices of the martyr Sant Feliu l’Africà. In this way, then, the two names (Sant Feliu and Guíxols) were united forever. Highlights include the two towers that flank it (the Fum and the Corn) and the Porta Ferrada, a two-storey wall canvas formed by three large horseshoe arches on four cylindrical columns, of which it is not yet well known. well the function it had within the monastery. Meanwhile the village was forming: a small community of peasants and small landowners.

Middle age
In 968, the Frankish king Lotari presented the abbot Sunyer with a diploma confirming the assets of the Guixols monastery: the places of Guíxols, Fenals, Biert – Romanyà, the Ridaura Valley, Bell-lloc and part of Calonge. The times, however, were not easy and in 985 the monastery also received the effects of Almansor ‘s attack on Barcelona. Internal conflicts between the monks and the population led to a second ratification of the monastery’s property by Countess Ermessenda de Carcassonne. In Sant Feliu, in fact, the High Middle Ages were characterized by what we would currently call conflicts of competence, disputes between the monasteries in the area over different possessions. The incipient vocation of the hooked population towards the sea was also very important at that time. Several documents have been found relating to trips to Mallorca and Ibiza.

The then almost only communication route of Sant Feliu, the sea, allowed the town to play an important role in the trade of the time, and also in the attack and conquest of Mallorca led by King James I.. From the 13th century onwards, the population of Guixols began to become more aware of the feudal power held by the Monastery, and so the word university appeared to designate the population association. In 1258, Abbot Gerald granted the University the privilege of building shipyards, which would be very productive, over time, for the population.

In any case, the stability did not last long and, due to the confrontation between Catalans and French over the domination of the island of Sicily, the Gallic army burned almost all the houses in the town. Sant Feliu,the Great and, evidently, received the consequences. Although the invasion of the French in 1285 left a very deep mark on the collective consciousness of the people of Guixols, the city was rehabilitated again and the number of its inhabitants increased so much that at the beginning of the 14th century the population of Sant Feliu de Guíxols already had a legal organization in the style of the main Catalan cities.

As for the urban growth of the town, we know that in 1360 the town had 230 fires, at least about 1,200 inhabitants. The corner of the Riera de les Comes became smaller and the town grew, towards the sea and to the east.

Modern Age
During the 16th and 17th centuries the recovery of the village was slow and costly and the population suffered severe problems of famine, drought and plague. The town continued to grow, forcibly outside the walls, towards the Tueda stream, to the east. A new hospital was built on the north side, and a new Chapel of Sant Amanç that gives its name to this municipal sector. The basic economy of the time, apart from traditional fishing, was maritime trade with other Crown ports. War conflicts were the main events in these centuries. The most serious occurred after an attack by Philip IV on the Catalan fleet that was gathering in Sant Feliu to helpBarcelona in the framework of the Reapers’ War. The bandits also had a lot of influence. The famous Perot Rocaguinarda and others were present in the Sant Feliu area.

During the 18th century the town evolved a lot. At the end of the century it already had more than 5,000 inhabitants and was the second city in the region behind Girona (8,000). The fall of the walls at the beginning of the 18th century had a lot to do with it. As for the industry, there was a small “revolution” with the manufacture and trade of cork. The town lived years, even decades of economic splendor thanks to the discovery of this material, especially in the manufacture of cork stoppers. However, the monastery’s social repression and security problems continued.

In the first half of the 19th century the hook population continued to grow but had a decline and a subsequent recovery due to health problems. The epidemics didn’t quite go away at all. The population remained around 6,000 for decades. This was also an era marked mainly by changes in mentality, a growing anticlericalism. Special was the figure of Pere Caimó, a federalist, who when he reached the mayor’s office of the town, instituted a series of clearly progressive and republican decrees. This led to disputes with General Prim and he was exiled for a few years.

Years later, local politicians split into two blocs, Republican and Conservative, highlighting the 1910 election victory in the district ofBisbal of Sant Feliu de Guíxols Republican Salvador Albert verse Francesc Cambo, the leader of the Catalan right across the country. The victory was decided by the votes in Sant Feliu, which was then the largest city in the region. The local Republican majority was not because yes: in the village there was a broad labor movement. Of these years, the inauguration of two advances in transport and communication is also noteworthy: the railway station that connected Sant Feliu and Girona, passing through the Vall d’Aro (1892) and the seaport (1904).

From that time on, however, things got worse: the population, which had exceeded 12,000 at the beginning of the century, saw the year 1940 there were just over 7000. There had been relative peace during the first decades, but with the outbreak of the civil war, everything fell apart. Sant Feliu, like most of Catalonia, leaned towards the republican canton almost without exception. The working people organized the local Committee of the Anti-Fascist Militias. There were the first months of repression against anyone suspected of belonging to or collaborating with the Francoist side. The revolutionary outbreak did not last long, however, and soon the bombings and the sea attack of the Franco army, much more powerful, made the fighters give up. On February 3 of 1939 Sant Feliu was occupied by the national.

The post-war period was slow, but from 1955 onwards it showed clear signs of improvement, so that in 1975 the population already exceeded the threshold of 14,000 inhabitants. Meanwhile, life in the city had a development of the services sector that materialized from 1955 with the inauguration of several hotels and the widespread tourist boom throughout the Costa Brava.

The city of Sant Feliu was one of the most important centers of the Baix Empordà surotapera industry and until the crisis of the 1930s it was the dominant economic activity. With the start of development policy at the end of the Franco regime, Sant Feliu not joined completely to mass tourism, as did its neighboring towns of Platja d’Aro and Tossa de Mar. This meant that the city, which always acted with a certain capital within the area, did not have any definite and stable economic project. On the contrary, this helped maintain the maritime and traditional character of the city. In the long run, the remaining industry has been closing down and finally, Sant Feliu has turned to tourism as its main economic activity.

Sant Feliu de Guíxols is characterized by being a quiet town, with quality of life, and that stands out for the authenticity and temperament, cheerful and hospitable, of its people, of the hooks. A town full of identity, marked by the special and characteristic corners of the city: starting with its municipal market with fresh products of the day, quality, and local trade, with a close and welcoming treatment.

Walking along the sea railing or reaching the lighthouse, enjoying the views, the smell of the sea and the murmur of its people. Don’t miss the arrival of the fishing boats in the harbor early in the morning. Stop by to enjoy the balconies and windows of Indian houses and let yourself be captivated by the Ganxoneries: everyday anecdotal stories that tell the day-to-day life of the hookers with an ironic and humorous tone, and have been known since ancient times. Also walk through the Barrio del Puig where you will find witnesses of the most recent history with the Refugi del Puig and the Safareigs, places where you can breathe the fighting and tenacious temper of the hooks.

Main Attractions
Pedralta is the largest rocking stone in Europe. Next to it is a small hermitage dedicated to the Assumption of Mary. It is located between the towns of Santa Cristina d’Aro and Sant Feliu.

Sant Feliu de Guíxols is a very rich city from a cultural point of view. It has an important heritage and architecture that comes from ancient times, museums and exhibition halls, as well as a range of events and interdisciplinary festivals of international level and prestige. All these resources make it an ideal city to enjoy culture during leisure and holiday time.

Monastery by the sea
The monastery of Sant Feliu de Guíxols founded under the name of Sant Feliu l’Africà – a saint martyred in Girona – by the order of the Benedictines in the ninth century, the monastery of Sant Feliu is the most important building in the city and which accumulates more architectural styles, beginning in the pre-Romanesque and ending in the Baroque. Until the 19th century, the monastery was the most powerful institution in the city and this translated into an imposing, fortified and isolated building in the city.

The walled complex came to have thirteen towers, of which only two are preserved today. The main body of the monastery dates from the eighteenth centuryand was erected in a late baroque, sober but with sumptuous elements, such as the two access portals to the complex. Today, the most valued part is a porch attached to the church of the enclosure: the Porta ferrata. It is a piece of a cloister from the ninth century of which three horseshoe arches remain. Finally, the church was built in the ninth century and expanded successively, especially in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, in Gothic style. Today the monastery houses the city’s historical museum.

The architectural ensemble of the Benedictine monastery is the highest exponent of the town’s heritage. It preserves such important elements as its oldest part, the Romanesque Porta Ferrada (10th century), which has become a symbol. The church of Our Lady of the Angels, the Towers of the Horn and the Smoke are also part of the monastic complex, which currently houses the City History Museum, and will soon be the headquarters of the Art Collection Center Catalan Carmen Thyssen-Bornemissa.

The monumental complex of the Monastery is considered a Cultural Asset of National Interest. Its origins date back to the 10th century (Porta Ferrada) and is built on earlier structures from the Roman period documented archaeologically.

It is a fortified Benedictine monastery that has different construction phases until the 18th century, with the great baroque building.

The city was born around the Monastery, developed on the other side of the Monastery stream and struggled to get rid of the feudal pretensions of the abbots.

Apart from the Monastery, the city’s past, focused on the cork and tapestry industry, has left an important architectural legacy. The modernist houses on Sant Pol beach or the stately houses on Passeig del Mar, presided over by Casino La Constància, bear witness to this. as well as the Hermitage of Sant Elm, with one of the most spectacular viewpoints on the Costa Brava, from where Ferran Agulló christened it with this name and the Caseta del Salvament dels nàufrags.

Via ferrata
The Via Ferrada Cala del Molí is located in the coastal town of Sant Feliu de Guíxols (Baix Empordà). This route is the only one in all of Europe that is suspended over the sea, and is part of a set of works carried out by its builder Albert Gironès. He is a builder of high-altitude parks and a professional mountain guide. Among his works we can highlight the via ferrata of the Gorges of Salenys (Romanyà) and the Round Needles (Solius).

A via ferrata is an itinerary equipped in a rocky massif with nails, steps, cables, chains and other materials that facilitate the progression to the user not accustomed to climbing, both in the vertical and horizontal sections, and allows you to enjoy the mountain and adventure in an exciting and safe way. Activity suitable for adults and children, experienced or uninitiated adventurers.

The Via Ferrada in Sant Feliu de Guíxols is the only one in Europe by the sea. Access is free, but you must be equipped. The route is divided into two stages, of easy and medium difficulty. Halfway, users who do not want to complete the most demanding section, can return to the starting point by climbing another path with safety cables. They are almost 500 meters of ascent and descent, between cliffs of living rock and an average height of about 10 meters above the waves.

Starting point: In Cala del Molí, in the middle of the route of the Camí de Ronda from Sant Feliu to Sant Pol. Parc Aventura has monitoring services with qualified and experienced guides, and all types of equipment rental to carry out the activity.

The Paseo del Mar and Els Guíxols
Opened in 1833 between the old medieval town and the beach ganxona, little by little this large urban space organized in the form of a banana tree-lined promenade was filled with stately homes that replaced the old medieval fishermen’s huts. Today, real estate speculation has destroyed most of the old mansions and the configuration of an eminently bourgeois promenade has been transformed into an axis of apartment blocks of any tourist coastal city.

The Patxot House.
Located at number 40 on Passeig del Mar, this house by the rich industrialist Rafael Patxot was built between 1917 and 1920 by the architect Albert Juan i Torner. It is the most important and luxurious preserved manor house in the city. For a long time the house housed an astronomical observatory of Patxot himself. It currently houses the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Navigation of Sant Feliu de Guíxols.

Stately homes.
As an industrial city with a strong bourgeoisie dedicated to the surotaper sector, Sant Feliu saw the appearance of large stately homes in the most charming places in the city. Among these constructions, the Albertí house (late 19th century), the Campana house (1911), the Gaziel house (1880), the Girbau house (1910), the Maynegre house (1898), the house stand out. Maruny (1909), the Pecher house (1894), the Ribot house (1904), the Sala house (1904) or the Sibils house (1892).

The town hall.
Built in 1547 in a sober style and adopting a very late Gothic style of construction at a time when it was built with Renaissance canons, the city council has survived all the war destruction and the real estate speculation. The current building has added a tower built in 1847 and a further extension of the 40 and 50th century xx.

The old train station.
This station on the Sant Feliu to Girona railway line was built between 1889 and 1892 by the architects Rafael Coderch and Gabriel March in an austere industrial neoclassical style. Symbol of progress for a long time, it served until 1969, when the line was closed. Today it serves as a public school.

Hermitage of San Elm
The Hermitage of Sant Elm. Hermitage with chapel (1723) dedicated to Sant Elm, located on a promontory with a panoramic view of the bays of Sant Feliu and Tossa de Mar. From the viewpoint (from where you can see the coast from Palamós to Tossa de Mar), the writer and journalist Ferran Agulló was inspired by it. for the baptism of this coast with the name of Costa Brava.

Building rebuilt in 1923, in the context of the city-garden of the urbanization of the mountain of Sant Elm (spa, fountains and gardens, modernist villas), promoted by the industrialist Pere Rius i Taulet. The hermitage had been, since the 15th century, a strategic fortification for the coast of Sant Feliu, demolished by the French in the wars of the late 18th century. Inside there are some beautiful allegorical paintings from 1923.

The Rescue
The lifeboat for the shipwrecked, Building built in 1897 by the Sociedad de Salvamento de Náufragos, to house fishermen and sailors who were shipwrecked on the coast of Sant Feliu and to store utensils. It shows pieces related to the original maritime rescue of the 19th century (lifeboat, rope boxes, lifebuoys…) and also contains audiovisual resources.

Casino de la Constància
The “Boys’ Casino”. Officially New Casino “La Constància”, this institution housed in a modernist Mozarabic building is better known by the nickname Casino dels Nois, as opposed to the rival, more bourgeois entity of the gentlemen’s casino (officially the Casino Guixolenc). The casino building was built by the architect General Guitart i Lostaló in 1888.

In 1889 the architect General Guitart i Lostaló designed this building with Arab reminiscences. The Casino dels Nois (as it was known) brought together artisans, workers, seafarers and petty bourgeois liberals, as opposed to the other large casino, the Guixolense, popularly called the Lords, conservative in nature. The current building still contains the same structure: game room, ballroom, staircase and library.

Modernist ensemble of Sant Pol
The Estrada house stands out, popularly known as the “Xalet de les Punxes”. It was built between 1890 and 1912, and the eight towers on the façade and central tower stand out. Nearby are the Casa Girbau Estrada and the Casa Domènech-Girbau, both built in 1910 by Josep Goday. These last two chalets show the flight of modernist tendencies towards the noucentistas.

The Municipal Market
In order to increase the hygienic conditions of the places of purchase and sale of fish and meat, in 1929 the Covered Market was built, with space for stalls and ice chambers in the basement. The sale of fish on the street was eliminated (basically on the promenade and on the Rambla). As it is written on one of the side walls, the building was designed by the architect Joan Bordàs i Salellas, and built by the master builder Narcís Franquesa.

The Cemetery
The current cemetery dates from 1833, when the City Council, in accordance with current regulations, built a new cemetery on the outskirts of the town. It consists of a civil (secular) part and a Catholic part and highlights modernist and noucentista pantheons, the tombs of some members of the Gesòria lodge, and that of the president of the Generalitat de Catalunya in exile Josep Irla i Bosch.

Parish of Our Lady of the Angels

In Sant Feliu various cultural events are held throughout the year. The festival of Sant Antoni Abat, before the Civil War the organization of the festival was the responsibility of the brotherhood or congregation of the Saint and the Sindicat del Tránsito Rodado. In the 50’s there is news that it was taken care of by a commission of members of the Transport and Communications Union, Grupo Tracción Sangre. Currently responsible are the Association of Sant Antoni Abat together with Galgos112, which have the support of the City of Sant Feliu de Guíxols and the Diputació de Girona.

The city of Sant Feliu is located in an area known for its carnival celebrations, which are held in February. Along with Platja d’Aro and Palamós, the Sant Feliu carnival is one of the most prestigious, as it has the direct participation of more than 3,000 people. The most important day of this holiday is Carnival Friday. More than 60 carnival groups from different towns in the Vall d’Aro and the province of Girona take part in the Rua del Divendresby the Paseo del Mar. In the evening, all participants gather in the Municipal Pavilion to celebrate “El Ball del Tongo” (name that has acquired the awards ceremony of the parade).

The Plant and Flower Exhibition Competition is one of the oldest held in Catalonia. it has taken the name of “Guíxols flors” and, as it was from the beginning, anyone can take part. It is held on the first weekend in May. The year 2013 was celebrated in the gardens of the Asil Surís.

In 1932, during the carnival festivities, on the occasion of the inauguration of the new recreational society Casal Llevantí, the Dazzling Jazz orchestra made its debut, offering regular performances year after year on the occasion of various celebrations.

The Porta Ferrada International Festival, instituted in 1958, is the oldest in Catalonia. This festival, which is held in the Port, the church of the Monastery and the Theater, has gained international importance over time and is one of the main festivals in Catalonia. It includes theater, music and dance. It is usually performed in summer, although in winter it has a worthy successor: Guíxols Escena and the Amateur Theater Competition.

The main festival of Sant Feliu is celebrated in August. It is the main popular festival of Sant Feliu de Guíxols. The festivities begin on July 31 with the proclamation, which is usually made by an entity or figure of relevance to the city. The main day is August 1. One of the most anticipated days is August 3, as the correfoc takes place through the streets of the city center. The closing, with a spectacular fireworks display, is usually held on August 4th.

The City Council of Sant Feliu de Guíxols and Carmen Cervera closed an agreement to open a Thyssen Museum in 2020 with 400 works of art by Catalan authors from the 19th and 20th centuries, of which 130 will form the permanent collection. The Baroness will donate the pictorial collection free of charge for 20 years. You can see works such as The Cathedral of the Poor by Joaquim Mir; Outdoor interior, by Ramon Casas, or Port of Barcelona, by Eliseu Meifrén.

Since 1981 it has been the headquarters of the Institut d’Estudis del Baix Empordà, founded by the master Lluís Esteva i Cruañas, a group of scholars who study the region in its cultural, geographical, historical and natural aspects.

Carmen Thyssen space
The Espai Carmen Thyssen is a center dedicated to temporary exhibitions that opened in the summer of 2012 with the exhibition Landscapes of light, dream landscapes. From Gauguin to Delvaux. The Espai Carmen Thyssen has become an artistic reference on the Costa Brava, placing Sant Feliu de Guíxols at the apex of a triangle -in terms of cultural offer-, along with Girona and Figueres. The center does not have a permanent collection and, so far, only presents temporary exhibitions from the Carmen Thyssen Collection from June to October.

There have been different exhibitions every year: 2013 (Sisley-Kandinsky-Hopper), 2014 (The ideal in the landscape. From Meifrè to Matisse and Gontxarova), 2015 (Barcelona – Paris – New York. D’Urgell in O’Keeffe), 2016 (The Illusion of the Far West), 2017 (An Ideal World. From Van Gogh to Gauguin and Vasarely), 2018 (Evolving Nature. From Van Goyen to Pissarro and Sacharoff) and 2019 Iconographies: From Sorolla to Picasso and Valdés). All were well received by both the public and critics.

The Espai Carmen Thyssen is distributed between the second and third floors of the Palau de l’Abat, in the monastery of Sant Feliu de Guíxols, a monastic complex of the Benedictine order with Romanesque roots. On the second floor of the palace we find rooms 1, 2 and 3 of the exhibition. In this area of the residential building were the services of the monastic institution itself, as well as the uses of administration and secretariat.

The Carmen Thyssen Space is deployed in five more rooms (from 4 to 8) on the third floor of the former abbey residence. This level has an air of stately home, of small rural palace, endowed with a great natural luminosity. The floor was the abbot’s private space (with his personal room and office) and also the area where he received political and ecclesiastical dignitaries with a room, dining room and a room for guests.

The Espai Carmen Thyssen has tackled the eighth season with the exhibition Iconographies. From Sorolla to Picasso and Valdés, together with the Bancaja Foundation as a consolidated center. The project envisages the expansion, both in terms of activities and spaces, in the near future with the aim of being located in parallel with its counterparts in Madrid and Malaga.

Sant Feliu de Guíxols History Museum.
From this center located in the old Benedictine Monastery, the life and evolution of the Monastery of Sant Feliu, and the works that have occupied the society of Guixols over the centuries: fishing, cork and tourism linked to sea bathing. The School of Fine Arts that functioned from the beginning of s. XX is the reason for the area dedicated to artists linked to the city. From the collections of rural doctors and especially that of Dr. Martí Casals i Echegaray(1903-1983) you can visit the Rural Doctor’s Space. In the Caseta del Salvament de Nàufrags, in arranged visits, the boat collection and all the utensils of the brigade of the Sociedad de Salvament from the end of the 19th century are preserved. The specific health and rescue collections of shipwrecks give it special relevance.

At the main headquarters, within the monumental complex of the Monastery of Sant Feliu, a Cultural Asset of National Interest, the evolution of the city and its relationship with the Monastery of Guixols in the area of the Monastery and the town are explained and you can also take a tour of the El suro space and the Josep Albertí exhibition.

Visiting the History Museum and the Monastery you also have access to the circuit of the medieval towers of the Monastery, passing by the tower of the Horn, the interior of the Porta Ferrada and accessing both the foundations, where there are the remains of a mausoleum Roman, as in the viewpoint of the Torre del Fum, with a magnificent view of the city. In addition, the museum has a sub-headquarters dedicated to Maritime Rescue within the same rescue station of Sant Feliu de Guíxols with a house equipped in the Fortim (1890), a Dawson headlamp (1890), the rescue boat Miquel Boera with its corresponding stroller (blessed in 1898) and lots of other accessories. Today you can see all these objects in their original location along with an audiovisual that will help you get into this interesting world.

Toy History Museum
In a palace of the twentieth century Catalan is the Toy Museum, which has a collection of over 3,500 pieces dating from the years 1870-1980, the majority of Spanish manufacture. In its journey we will be able to know the history from the beginnings of the can to the plastic. Includes monographic rooms: model train, street of terror and dolls.

Maritime Rescue Museum
The Sant Feliu de Guíxols Shipwreck Rescue Station is a unique heritage set of original materials. The boat and other lifeboats are on display in their original location at Punta dels Guíxols. The exhibition is complemented by audiovisual resources that help to understand the historical and social context.

Events and festivals

Porta Ferrada Festival
The long cultural and festive tradition of Sant Feliu de Guíxols is manifested in events such as the Porta Ferrada International Festival –of music, theater and dance–, which is celebrated in the summer months and is the oldest event in Catalonia. The carnival, the Tavern Song Show, the Festa Major, the September fairs or the procession of boats of the Virgen del Carmen, are other events that become great festivals during the year.

The Portaferrada Festival is an Empordà, Catalan, Mediterranean and European festival. The Porta Ferrada Festival, born in 1958 in Sant Feliu de Guíxols, is the most traditional summer festival in Catalonia. Unique on the Costa Brava for its proposal open to all artistic disciplines, it has the participation of established names and emerging talents from the international and national scene.

Rooted in Sant Feliu de Guíxols, the festival permeates every corner of the Empordà town with the best cultural offer in a unique showcase to fully enjoy all its proposals. On the street, in the squares and on the stages; music, theater, workshops and many more complementary activities become essential protagonists in the town’s summer.

The gastronomy of Sant Feliu de Guíxols is known for the quality of its raw material, both in fish and vegetables and in fruit and meat. The culinary culture maintains a tradition that comes from ancient times and today is reinterpreted on the stove, both with traditional cuisine and signature dishes. Highlights include the Ganxó Blue Fish Cuisine and seafood dishes such as fish suquet, anchovy suquet, cod and peixopalo (unsalted dried cod).

The city has restaurants ideal for meeting the needs of all types of tourists and visitors: from signature restaurants, seafood, market cuisine, tapas… to gastronomic campaigns and fairs specialized such as the Mercat del Brunyol.

The gastronomy of Sant Feliu de Guíxols is known for the quality of its raw material, both in fish and vegetables and in fruit and meat. The culinary culture maintains a tradition that comes from ancient times and today is reinterpreted on the stove, both in traditional cuisine and in signature dishes. Highlights include the Ganxó Blue Fish Cuisine and seafood dishes such as fish suquet, anchovy suquet, cod and peixopalo (unsalted dried cod). Throughout the year, a multitude of gastronomic campaigns are carried out, in which the city’s restaurant establishments take part.

Throughout the year, a multitude of gastronomic campaigns are carried out, in which the city’s restaurant establishments take part, and we highlight in particular:
Popular Urize. Event of the hedgehog campaign in the Juli Garreta Gardens with the tasting of 6 hedgehogs and a glass of cava.
Gastronomic Campaign of Cod and Fish. The different restaurants in the city offer Gastronomic Menus based on this typical traditional species from Guixols, throughout the campaign.
Ganxotapes. For some years now, an important gastronomic campaign based on tapas and montaditos has been taking place in Sant Feliu de Guíxols, which is famous throughout the territory. It has the participation of most restaurant establishments in the city and the level is exceeded edition after edition. The tapas are elaborate and signature cuisine. An edition is made in the spring and another in the autumn. Participating users have very interesting prizes. The promotion consists of a tapa + 1 drink for 2.5 euros, or 1 menu of 6 tapas + 2 drinks at an open price.
Brunyol Market. Market that marks the start of spring and the tourist season. Sample of craftsmen and trades related to Brunyol (typical SFG dessert), with a wide range of workshops, tastings and shows for the whole family.
Blue Fish Gastronomic Campaign. Traditional hook campaign that has been carried out in Sant Feliu de Guíxols for more than 25 years, based on the main activity of the Guixols fishing pier, which has historically been trawling and spider fishing. Of these two modalities, the second has survived, the cobweb, which responds to the name of the boat that catches the local blue fish yesterday and today. And it is as a result of this excellent product that a gastronomic show was organized between the months of May and June, which is when the fish is most nutritious and tasty. During the campaign there will be a presentation on the Rambla A. Vidal, with the presence of the participating restaurants, which serve tastings of blue fish to those present.

Natural space

The seabed
SFG’s seabed is without a doubt one of the most important dive sites in the Mediterranean. Snorkelling, scuba diving and freediving are very easy and safe to practice, as they are less than twenty minutes from the port of Sant Feliu. Thanks to the depths ranging from 2 to 40 meters, diving is allowed for both beginners and advanced. Its fauna represents 90% of the coastal fauna that can be observed in the Mediterranean. The absence of sediment, as there is no stream nearby, means that its waters enjoy an average visibility of 20 meters.

The fauna that lives and passes through our reef goes like the moonfish, which can be seen very well from the surface and can reach 3 m, to nudibranchs, colored beings, sometimes in the form of poquemon, of which more than 200 species have been cataloged. The biodiversity of the SFG reef is so rich that all cephalopods are represented: cuttlefish, octopus, squid and all those that are able to change shape and color in less than a second to camouflage. -so of its predators.

During the season it seems that we live a live documentary, with surprises and last minute guests, as when by chance we visit the second largest whale in the world, with almost 28 meters in wingspan, the Common Whale, of the family of the blue whale. Or any school of fish that stop for weeks at our reef shelter. Because it is protected by buoys, neither the noise of the boats nor the fishing bothers them for their reproduction and development.

Sant Feliu de Guíxols, a corner of the Mediterranean where biodiversity surprises experts and novice underwater adventurers. It has important marine resources, such as the area of Cala Ametller, Punta de Garbí and Cala Vigatà, which due to their ecological richness are a paradise for divers. Points that are part of the Marine Zone for Biocognition, a project that is working to ensure the protection of the area and its tourist compatibility.

The main objective of the project is to counteract the significant deterioration that the state’s marine ecosystems are suffering and to comply with European Directives and State Laws on issues of conservation of marine biodiversity. In addition, the aim is to compensate for the lack of investment and conservation policies for the marine environment that guarantee the maintenance of this natural heritage of great value and biological and tourist richness.

The Marine Biocognition area is divided into two areas: Cala Vigatà and Cala Ametller. From here, you can develop many underwater activities in the coves and beaches, discovering the different diving areas of Sant Feliu de Guíxols, in a different way. Below we detail where you can find all these activities.

Coves and Beaches
Sant Feliu de Guíxols has a multitude of coves and beaches with exceptional characteristics, including the Bay of Sant Feliu and the Beach of Sant Pol, with their characteristic bathing houses. These are beaches to live where, apart from enjoying the bath and the sun, we invite you to practice some of the many nautical activities to discover the seabed or enjoy the charm of the small coves, diving, kayaking, sailing, windsurfing, paddle surfing, snorkeling… with a wide range of activities for all ages; as we also suggest you take a boat trip to spend a few hours on the high seas, and get to know our coast from the sea.

Nautical Activities
The coast of Sant Feliu de Guíxols is full of contrasts. In the middle of cliffs, we find splendid coves, some rocky and others of fine sand. From the south we can highlight Canyerets cove, Vigatà cove and Port Salvi, among others, until we reach Sant Feliu bay. To the north, Sant Pol beach still retains the beauty of 19th-century buildings and clear, calm and shallow waters.

The marina, commercial and fishing port, which allows the entry of large boats into the bay, is the link between the city and its maritime origins, the result of a very close relationship with the Mediterranean, which has lasted until in our day. A walk to the lighthouse of the pier reflects in a panoramic way the connection of Sant Feliu de Guíxols with the sea. As for water activities, on the beaches you can practice sailing, diving, guided diving, fishing trips, kayaking, windsurfing, water skiing, ski-surfing or ski bus. You can also rent boats with or without a skipper to get to know the coast from the sea.

You can also enjoy the Vies Braves. The Vies Braves are a public network of sea and open water routes for the practice of sports, leisure and educational activities. These itineraries are signposted and marked and allow everyone to enjoy the “open waters” safely. Vies Braves is a public-private initiative, unique in the world, which promotes the territory as a tourist destination for the practice of open water swimming and snorkeling. The Via Brava in Sant Feliu de Guíxols is 1.8 km long. More information

The town offers a wide network of signposted paths that invite you to take different routes both on foot and by bike. You can follow the cliffs and coves along the path or get lost on the paths that take us through the Gavarres and the Ardennes massif. The contrasts of the environment and the landscape of the area – typically Mediterranean – constitute one of the attractions of the municipality. Sant Feliu de Guíxols is surrounded by large natural areas such as Les Gavarres or the Ardennes massif, with a network of signposted paths that make it easier to discover the surroundings. Walks, viewpoints and routes, to do with the creatures and some more daring…

Greenways and road bike
The VIA VERDA, popularly known as the “bike lane”, allows you to connect the city with the interior plain to Girona and Olot. It has now become of great tourist interest, thanks to the recovery of the old train route of Sant Feliu de Guíxols. The greenway of Sant Feliu de Guíxols is the beginning and end of the old Carrilet, whose route was Olot-SFG. Upon arrival in the city, by the sea, you will find the Tinglado building, a space where you will be greeted with all the comforts. It is what is known as the Km. 0 of the Carrilet Greenway. You can do the greenway on foot or by bike, while walking or participating in races such as the Trailwalker.

Sant Feliu de Guíxols has been certified in 2015 by the Catalan Tourism Agency as a destination specializing in the reception of road cycling, which guarantees services specially adapted to the needs of groups of cyclists who want to enjoy this practice group sports. Some of the advantages that these groups enjoy are finding accommodations that facilitate parking for bicycles, workshop for bicycles, spaces for cleaning bicycles, also specific menus for athletes, flexible hours of meal service, among many other services. In addition, users have a wide variety of itineraries adapted to all levels, amateurs and the most professional, memorable landscapes and an enviable climate throughout the year.