Portbou Guide | Costa Brava


Portbou

Lying as it does along the French frontier, Alt Empordà is a zone of transit. It has an open, creative personality, linked to a geographical phenomenon that gives it a distinctive identity: the north wind, or Tramuntana, which can attain up to 150 kph and was described by the writer Gabriel García Márquez as a “tenacious [wind] that contains the seeds of madness”. The wind is also responsible for the astonishing quality of the light.

Portbou, Colera, Llançà, El Port de la Selva and Cadaqués, the northernmost towns on the Costa Brava, line one of its wildest stretches of coastline.

Portbou, once a village nestling in a remote cove, grew rapidly after an international railway terminus was built there in 1878, making it a stopping place for many travellers (the present station is an impressive building). Exiles from the Civil War fled north through Portbou and other frontier towns in 1939, and others fled south to escape Nazi persecution.

One was the German philosopher Walter Benjamin (1892-1940), who committed suicide there and is buried in Portbou cemetery, a veritable outlook point facing the sea. 



Portbou Map

  • Hotels(4)
  • Beaches(6)
  • Sights(1)
  • Nature reserve(1)
  • Castles(1)
  • Buildings(1)

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Portbou Photos

Cala de les Tres Platgetes, Portbou

Playa Petita de Portbou, junto a la Playa Grande, en la misma bahía

Platja Gran de Portbou

Cala de les Tres Platgetes, Portbou

Cala del Pi, Portbou

Platja del Claper, Portbou

Villages near Portbou

  • Colera
    2.7 miles away
    >>

    Colera is one of the quietest ports throughout the Costa Brava. In direct contact with nature, with little urban development, and few miles from both Cap de Creus and the French Red Coast (Côte Vermeille), this village has many devotees precisely because of its calm and familiar environment even in midsummer.

  • Llançà
    6.7 miles away
    >>
  • Vilamaniscle
    9.6 miles away
    >>

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