Things to do in Autumn
Ah! Our favourite time of year in Catalunya! It’s cooler, less crowded, they celebrate Catalunya Day on 11 September, the mushrooms are out in force…what else could you possibly want!
The mushrooms on the left are called Rovellons – they are a great delicacy here, almost as prized as the cep.
Of course, if you have kids at school, then it really has to be the Summer. But of you don’t have kids, or they are older, or you want to get away for a romantic long weekend without them, then this is a place to consider very strongly! If you are sick of City weekend breaks, or want to spend a day or so in Barcelona but want something different too, then this could be it.
You can usually dine al fresco with no problems whatsoever. The sun is generally clear and bright – obviously there are cloudy and rainy days too. The temperature is lovely. If you are lucky, you may be able to swim in September (almost certainly) and October (possibly) in outdoor swimming pools. These photographs were taken in October and November…
On these pages we give you a flavour of the things that go on from September to November in and around Sant Feliu de Guixols.
Should you book with us, part of our service is to let you know what is going on so you don’t miss it! Sometimes things can happen at quite short notice. At other times, you are told what is going to happen, but not necessarily exactly where or when… But our local spy gives us all the relevant information.
Of course, you can still do Dali (three magnificent sites to visit, each with unique insights into the man, the artist and his life).
If you like history, Empurias, Peratallada etc are great places to visit – and perhaps even better when the sun is not quite so hot.
Barcleona is fabulous at any time of year and of course Barcelona’s “Festa Major”, the Merce, happens in September – stunning!
You can go anywhere for an art fix. All of the places mentioned above, La Bisbal, Girona etc etc etc will satisfy your artistic cravings. And not to forget Sant Feliu’s own Thyssen gallery in the monastery.
There are lots of different stalls to explore along with Girona itself which is well worth a day’s visit.
The Fair takes place in Carrer Santa Clara, along the Pont de Pedra (the stone bridge between the old and new towns).
11 September (see the pictures in the slider above) is the biggest “celebration” in Catalunya. But by “celebration” we don’t mean rejoicing. On 11 September Catalans mark the date that they lost their independence. However, even though there is nothing to be pleased about from a Catalan point of view, it does not stop everyone commemorating the date with a very large party indeed!
One of the most exciting events to get to see is the “Correfocs” – basically “running with fireworks”. A whole town or village will be wired up with fireworks, professional firework runners will also have them strapped to their bodies, people dress up in hideous masks, bands play patriotic music and the most amazing sights and sounds ensue!
There will be the very patriotic sardanes danced everywhere. The band, using ancient instruments, starts up and two or three people will join hands, starting to dance. Then a few more people join and a small circle is formed with the joined hands held high. Bit by bit, more people join until you have a very large circle and everyone dancing! In 2013, Catalunya is aiming for the biggest human chain of joined hands ever! Sant Feliu de Guixols was practicing theirs in the middle of August – including people in Kayaks!!
The feasting and dancing will go on all day and night, possibly all week… and an exceptional time will be had by all.
Barcelona’s Merce is an enormous street party, running for nearly a week around 21 September. There are dragons, human castles, sardanes, music, feasting and goodness knows what else to behold. It goes on late into the night, so you might want to book a cheap place to stay for a night or maybe two, but that’s relatively easy. And when you come back to Maremar, you will really appreciate the peace, quiet and lack of jostling crowds!
From around 6th to 11th September, Castell d’Aro holds its Annual Summer Festival which is full of fun things to do.
And Girona has a weekly crafts fair from September to December for those unusual Christmas presents…
Of course there are lots of other, smaller things on (see the list we have created to give you a flavour of October), but there is so much to do in September that we didn’t want to overload you with information. But to give you a small taster, in 2014 we already have planned (in addition to the major events noted above):
- The “crazy” antiques market in Palafrugell, with a special area for kids.
- The Cadaques Summer Festival
- “Bandit cuisine” at Sant Hilari de Sacalm, about an hour away by car.
- Any number of feast days nearby.
In October, there are additional cultural events. Here is a small list taken from what was on in the Costa Brava in 2013…
- Creative Patisserie Fair in Sant Feliu in early October.
- Medieval market (with everyone dressed up accordingly) in Peratallada on two days in early October, about 30-40 minutes away by car.
- Custom motorbike fair in Sant Feliu in early October.
- The basket fair in Salt, about 30 minutes away, near Girona..
- The Platja d’Aro beer festival in mid October – great to visit, but not to be living near! 10 minutes away in a car or bus.
- The pumpkin festival (!) in S’Agaro (part of Sant Feliu), minutes away from the centre).
- In mid October, Castell d’Aro holds one of the most typical and classical celebrations in its calendar of festivities: the “Aplec del Remei” event, at the Remei hermitage.
- The Palafrugell Jazz Festival, about 30 minutes by car.
- Lots of art exhibitions in and around Sant Feliu.
- The “Norway lobster” (crayfish or “escamarlan” in Catalan) festival starts in early October and goes on ’til December in Palamos – yummy!
- Girona’s “tasting fair” in mid October.
- Peralada’s (not to be confused with Peratallada!) gastronomy fair in mid October.
- At the end of October, Girona hosts a festival of Sea Shanty (Havaneres) singing.
And that’s really a quick overview with not even a nod to the landscape, flora and fauna!
As for November… well, it quietens down a bit…just a bit!
- In late October/early November we have the Sant Narcis Fairs and Festival in Girona. A lot of the action takes place in Parc de Devesa, but events also take place across the city. For a week, the city of Girona fills with festive activities for all tastes: sardanes (Catalan National Dances), theatre, concerts, markets, etc.
- Peralada has an Autumn festival to honour the feast of Sant Martí. Throughout the weekend there will be be traditional dancing, music and entertainment in various locations across the town. Combine this with a trip to the Roman site at Empuries…
- If you fancy a bit of a “tapas crawl” in Sant Feliu de Guixols itself, have a look at “Ganxotapes tardor”. Best to get the brochures from the information centre at the Monastery or in a shop as there are quite hard to read on the web.
- The markets are still going strong and most of the restaurants are open.
There are many more things on the go a little further afield and not forgetting the whole of Dali land which is open all year round.