So our first full day in Catalunya was about to begin. We would be spending the morning and afternoon in L’Estartit before heading off into the countryside in the evening for some culinary delights with I Cook It at La Vinyeta.
Good morning L’Estartit! What do you have in store for us?
The sun was shining as we opened the doors out onto our balcony at Hotel Medes II. As soon as we saw how close we were to the beach we knew where we’d be heading after breakfast.
We enjoyed our continental breakfast – Monkey was in heaven when he saw cheese and ham. That was him filled up for the morning. We were meeting up with our guide at 10am, so we had a bit of time to go for a wander and get our bearings.
Come on Mummy, I can see the sea! I love visiting Spain outside of the main summer months, when the weather is still normally better than at home, but not so hot to make exploring too strenuous for little ones. It was going to be a lovely sunny day, definitely t-shirt and sandals weather. Our hotel was just a few streets back from the beach and it was lovely to see the seaside town of L’Estartit wake up.
Daddy P found an information board (we noticed a number of different boards around L’Estartit during the day – always handy).
The sea looked so tranquil and we just enjoyed time together watching the world go by.
The promenade looked so tempting, we wanted to explore but it was time to meet the rest of our party. I had a feeling that we’d be getting up close and personal to this view pretty soon.
Illes Medes are the only islets along the Catalunya coastline and is a Marine Nature Park. The area is a popular scuba diving base and we were visiting on the only weekend of the year when people can actually explore the small islands on foot.
Remember I mentioned fireworks yesterday? We’d arrived in L’Estartit on the first night of a weekend of ‘Pirates I Corsaris’ festivities.
The Fireworks were announcing the arrival of the pirates rather than my cheeky Monkey. We were off on our own pirate adventure on board El Corsari Negre. Why pirates? Well the Illes Medes were used as a base by pirates in days gone by, for raiding trips along the coast. Ahoy me hearties!
The whole town of L’Estartit had really joined in with the pirate theme, it was lovely to see. Monkey decided to wear his favourite pirate t-shirt and once he noticed other children were wearing bandanas it wasn’t long before the full-blown Pirate Monkey was raring to go.
As we walked along the marina we passed market stalls offering all sorts of lovely goodies – I think Daddy P was quite glad I didn’t have the time to sample and purchase!
We looked at all the different sailing boats, glass bottom boat tours are really popular in this area. If we had more time in L’Estartit we would definately explore this option as the glass bottom boat tours offered various options. I spotted mention of Sant Martí d’Empúries and partially submerged ramparts, and a mental note was made – need to explore that in the future!
I was a little anxious about Monkey and the boat trip. He’s not done anything like this before, but he loved it. He grew up so much during the weekend, new experiences, meeting new people and making friends; he seemed to just know that this was a fantastic opportunity and that he really should enjoy every moment.
We spent a wonderful hour or so seeing the Illes Medes up close. It was so peaceful and we all just relaxed and soaked up the scenery. The water was crystal clear and Monkey got to help feed the fish – he got so excited when he could see them literally fighting each other to grab an easy lunch.
Once we’d left the ship it was time to explore L’Estartit itself. I love wandering through the pedestrianised streets of Spanish towns. Given more time I would have been off up side streets in search of hidden treasures.
We watched a bit of a pirate themed show in the town square before heading off for lunch. We’d been invited to dine at the restaurant La Gaviota back along the coast road, a short walk from the town centre itself. I’d read good things about the restaurant before our visit and wasn’t disappointed.
As well as good food, something wonderful happened whilst we were at La Gaviota. They have an outside playground for the children and Monkey happily left Daddy P and I dining and went off to explore by himself. Hello! Is this my son?? It just showed how happy he was in the environment and another major step forward to a little independence.
After lunch we had a couple of hours before we departed for our evening at La Vinyeta. I knew it was going to be a very late night for Monkey; so as much as my feet were itching to explore every inch of L’Estartit I knew a return to the hotel was a better option. The sun was shining, it was time to hit the swimming pool!
It’s true to say that L’Estartit cast a spell on us. It’s ideally placed to explore the area in more detail, only 45 minutes away from the city of Girona, and close to the Baix Ter Nature Park – so really offering something to everyone. The nature lover in me would love to go walking in the countryside, the history lover wanted to explore the fortresses I kept seeing in the distance. For Monkey the beaches were certainly calling as well as the playgrounds along the promenade.
L’Estartit – thank you for giving us a glimpse of your wealth of treasures. I also have some new additions to my map postcard collection.
Join me next week as we continue our Catalan adventure – Daddy P cooks up a storm with I Cook It at La Vinyeta, and we go our separate ways in Roses to see the town by bike and on foot.
disclaimer: we were guests of the Catalunya Tourist Board throughout our taster weekend. Our comments still remain our own, honest opinions