Spain Guide


Roses Tourist Attractions Things to Do

Roses is ideally placed for exploring the stunningly beautiful Catalonian countryside, rugged unspoilt coastline and the medieval towns and villages which pepper the hinterland. There's also an excellent range of sports and leisure activities in the resort together with many historic sites to visit. Further afield, there are some wonderful day trips and excursions to be enjoyed including the fascinating city of Barcelona, 160 kilometre to the south.

Besides a wealth of watersports, you can also enjoy many other sports offered at local clubs and the town's municipal sports centre in Carretera Mas Oliva. The centre caters for enthusiasts of volleyball, football, basketball, handball, badminton, skating and table tennis.

There are tennis and squash clubs in the resort, several diving centres and a windsurfing and sailing school. Mini golf and go karting are among the many other leisure pursuits to be enjoyed in the unlikely event of you tiring of the all the beachfront activity.

For history buffs, Roses and the surrounding area have a wealth of ancient buildings, archaeological sites and historic monuments.

Take a free guided tour of the Citadel, courtesy of the local tourist board. This 16th century fortified military enclosure, at the eastern end of the town, covers more than 130,000 square metres and contains the remains of the original town of Rhodes, dating back to 776 BC.

Visit the ruined Trinity Castle, built in the shape of a five pointed star in 1544 as an artillery fortress under the orders of King Carlos V. The castle once had a garrison of 200 men with three terraces for batteries of cannons, howitzers and mortars set at different heights to defend the port and coast.

Below the castle stands one of the town's most famous landmarks, the lighthouse of Roses built in 1864 in the reign of Queen Isabella II. An earlier version of the lighthouse was in the form of a defence tower within the grounds of the Trinity Castle, designed to act as an aid to coastal shipping and to watch for pirate raids. After the castle was destroyed during the 18th century wars against the French, the lighthouse consisted of nothing more than a permanently lit wood fire.

Roses also has three "dolmens" (megalithic tombs) as reminders of the people who settled here as far back as the 3rd and 4th centuries BC.

Nature lovers will enjoy touring the two national reserves of 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.

Popular excursions include a trip to the Salvador Dali museum at Figueres, just 18 kilometres west of Roses, where you can see some of the famous Spanish artist's most important works.

Try to fit in at least one day trip to the fascinating city of Barcelona with its extraordinary cathedral, fabulous Gaudi architecture and famous fountains. A stroll along the pedestrianised Las Ramblas with its colourful flower stalls and street cafes is a must for any self respecting tourist.