Less than 20 miles from the French border, the lovely town of Roses couldn’t be any more Spanish. It’s one of the larger resort towns in the Costa Brava region, and there was something special about it that has me wanting to go back for more. Roses was settled by Greek explorers in the 8th century, but the transformation of this town from a fishing village to a more international resort backdrop happened as recently as the 1960’s.
The promenade in Roses is just beautiful. Walking from one end of the main hotel zone area to the other is about a 30 minute walk; on one end, the strip ends on a breaker with great views back over Roses as well as to the beaches further down the coast in the other direction. And all along the coast you have lots of small shops, cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy the view. And if you’re up early enough, there’s even a very popular salsa dancing class out on the beach! (For those wondering, I was out on a run. Not that I have anything against salsa.)
Just outside Roses is one of the world’s busiest skydiving stations, Empuriabrava. They’re a well oiled machine and an amazing number of skydivers jump here every hour. You don’t have to skydive if you don’t want to; just sitting on the benches and watching the planes take-off and the divers land (including stunt teams from all over Europe as well as tourist jumping in tandem) can be a lot of fun. I opted for the scenic flight, which affords you some great views across the entire coast, such as the shot above. It’s quite a small plane though so if you’re scared of heights, that’s probably not a good alternative to the skydive – stay on the ground!
Last but not least is the citadel, which sits on a large hill to the end of town – you might not notice the citadel, as it faces outwards towards the sea, but as you get closer it is quite easy to spot because of it’s strange architecture – the old citadel has had some new construction and fixes and today it’s undergoing continued transformations to turn it into more of a cultural centre. It also gives you great views over the town as well as out to sea.
Have you been to Roses? What did you think?
Special thanks to Visit Costa Brava & Iberia for hosting us during this trip to the region.
Posted : Monday, June 20th, 2011 at 11:00
Andy Hayes is a travel journalist currently based in Seattle, Washington. When not soaking up the Pacific Northwest lifestyle or enjoying life on the road, he is spending time hanging out on his own travel lifestyle magazine, Sharing Travel Experiences.