Spain Guide


Roses Spain

Roses is located in the Spanish region of Catalonia on the Costa Brava. This is the biggest resort on the northern stretch of the Costa Brava, just 30 kilometres south of the French border. Roses is steeped in history with origins going back to the 8th century BC when the first settlers arrived here from ancient Greece. The 1960s saw the arrival of international tourists who have since transformed this centuries old fishing port into a thoroughly modern and popular holiday destination.

The town's location on the ruggedly beautiful Costa Brava, at the north eastern end of the wide sweeping bay of Roses with good transport links to all the major European capitals, meant it was ripe for development as a major tourist centre. The last 40 years have seen the advent of modern high rise hotels, apartments blocks and a sports and leisure industry to satisfy the needs of the most demanding tourist.

Yet this remains a fairly quiet, relaxed resort, retaining much of its original charm without the brashness which now characterises some of Spain's biggest coastal resorts.

The town was originally named Rhodes by the Greeks in honour of their homeland. The Romans later developed a thriving fishing industry here and today Roses is home to the Costa Brava's largest fishing fleet, based alongside the modern yacht marina.

Those interested in the region's rich history and culture will be delighted by the wealth of ancient sites, monuments and buildings which still remain as reminders of ancient civilisations.

The Citadel, at the eastern end of the town, was built in 1543 as a huge fortified enclosure of more than 130,000 square metres. You can take a free guided tour of this impressive military enclosure which contains the remains of the original town of Rhodes, dating back to 776 BC.

The natural beauty of the area immediately around the town is one of the resort's biggest assets. Roses spans two important nature reserves the Creus Cape Peninsula, home to globally unique species of flora and fauna, and the Parc Natural dels Aiguamolls de l'Emporda, declared a protected area in 1983 to protect the Emporda marshlands.

The Emporda reserve is made up of cane fields, floodplains, coastal lakes, salt marshes and dunes. It's a haven for bird and other wildlife; there are several bird observatories around the lagoons, wild animal recovery centres and a stork breeding centre run in collaboration with Barcelona Zoo.

But it's the beaches, of course, which are the biggest magnet for most tourists. The coastline of Roses boasts endless stretches of fine sand which sweep around the bay to the south of the town. And either side of the resort there are numerous rocky coves, delightful shingle beaches nestling at the foot of the cliffs and totally unspoilt hidden corners only accessible on foot or by boat.