The St. Sebastià lighthouse looms 178 metres above the sea. The area where the lighthouse is located was inhabited of old, as seen from the remains of the Iberian settlement of Sant Sebastià de la Guarda
perched on the hilltop.
A watchtower was built there in the 15th century, and as a result of the growing religious sentiment of the inhabitants, a hermitage and an inn were erected in the 18th century. The inn is now a four-star hotel. The lighthouse, which was built in 1857, is still one of the Mediterranean’s most powerful. Getting There:
Hikers can start the itinerary anywhere in the township of Calella de Palafrugell from its southernmost end, at Cap Roig
. But in this case you will be leaving from the northern end, past Canadell beach
Coming from Palafrugell along the highway, when you reach the roundabout that takes you to Llafranc (to the left) and Calella de Palafrugell (to the right), take the road that continues straight ahead, the Passeig de la Torre
. This road ends at a square with a small car park where you can leave your vehicle.
To the right of the hotel, you will find a narrow alley with a signpost indicating that you are on the GR 92 and the camí de ronda (seaside path).
Following the Route:
There are no doubts as to where to go, because the route follows the seaside and a half-hour later you’re at Plaça de Marinada square in the town of Llafranch, where you take the Garbí steps in front of the small Casa Mar Hotel.
The itinerary follows the Passeig de Cipsela, following the line of Llafranch Bay all the way to the end, where you reach the marina at the end of the promenade. To the left, steps with the GR markings lead you to the paved path that climbs up to the St. Sebastià lighthouse, lined with beautiful houses and offering breathtaking vistas along the way. Another half-hour’s walk and you reach a large lookout point and the lighthouse. And a few metres past that you will find the esplanade with the small hotel, where there is a car park. The hotel, hermitage and watchtower are surrounded by various lookout points. The ruins of the Iberian settlement of Sant Sebastià de la Guarda lie at the top of the hill.
From the Iberian settlement you can take the GR 92 to the Cala Pedrosa cove and to the Tamariu Bay, one of the many coves and inlets found in Palafrugell.
You can also follow a local path from the lighthouse that takes you to Palafrugell (4 km) and then back to Calella de Palafrugell, coming full circle back to the starting point.
Curiosities:Observations and Recommendations:
The seaside paths known as the camins de ronda are a series of footpaths that link together some of the Costa Brava’s coves. In the past, they were used by smugglers and by guard patrols alike.
They have been restored to provide pretty hiking trails, as they pass through some of the Girona coastline’s most emblematic locations, offering beautiful vistas of the coves and often passing through pine groves and by the occasional watchtower.
The network of footpaths that has been best restored and signposted in the Baix Empordà region can be found linking together the fishermen’s districts and the coves in the townships of Begur and Palafrugell, as well as different points of Palamós and Platja d’Aro and the entire coastline from S’Agaró to Sant Feliu de Guíxols.
You can take your car right up to the lighthouse if you wish to avoid the steps that climb up from the marina or walking along the paved road.
During the summer, a tourist train connects Calella with Llafranc and climbs up the hill to the lighthouse. It might be a good idea to combine a stroll down the seaside path and a train ride back into town, or vice-versa.
Palafrugell is a large town, and is well worth a visit. The writer Josep Pla was born there. You can find out more about the recommendable Josep Pla Route at the Josep Pla Foundation
. At the Cork Museum
you will get a good idea of how important the cork industry has been for the entire region. Palafrugell’s market
is one of Girona’s liveliest, with farmers’ stalls selling the excellent fruit and vegetables of the Empordà, and a large fish market.
While in Calella, you might want to visit the Cap Roig Botanical Gardens
, listen to havaneres (traditional sailors’ songs) and drink cremat (hot rum punch) in one of its taverns.