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Swimming at the main beach of Palamos

Palamos main town beach looking south from the port June is upon us in the Costa Brava, so swimming season has started for the summer, though the water still has a chill and needs about another couple of weeks full on sun to really warm up. So we're back on our swimming series adding the beaches we didn't get to add last year.

Palamos is a former royal port and fishing town with a harbour large enough to take small cruise ships. The main beach at Palamos curls around from the fishing port with its market, Museu de Pesca and harbour where fishermen lay their nets out for maintenance. At the far end it joins with the beaches of Sant Antoni de Calonge and on to the rocky bays at Torre Valentina.

Palamos beach Costa Brava looking north towards the town The beach itself is very much a town beach with restaurants at the back and a long beach-side boulevard for taking a paseo in the summers evenings. Boules/Pentanca can be found being played at the back and the paseo has a children's play area and old now rusting canons looking out to sea. This is then a beach of activities - whether kite surfing in the windier autumn months, or taking boats or canoes out. On the sand itself are permanent volleyball courts and a sand football pitch.

The main part of the beach looks straight at the harbout and boats opposite so it's not quite a pristine open view to the horizon, but the older part of Palamos is attractive and there is a constant buzz of activity around the port

However, despite being long and broad, the beach itself lacks a little of the charm of the smaller bays and coves, feeling slightly artificial with the protective groynes. The sand is a little rough underfoot and a bit stoney. Swimming, because of the port/marina directly opposite is not particularly special though you can see fish even though it's a sandy bottomed bay. However, as the beach is easily accessible, it is a beach where you do see long distance swimmers in training swimming parallel to the shoreline to and from Sant Antoni.

Facilities at the beach

Being a town beach, all the facilities of the town are nearby. At the port end of the beach is a small funfair for children and several restaurants that look over the beach. The main town of Palamos with mainstream and souvenir shops is at the port end of the beach to the north. Across the beach are permanent volleyball nets, some football goals and a sailing centre and there are several chiringuitos (beach bars) directly on the beach. There are also regular lifeguards and lifeguard points along the beach. Behind the beach is a walk for paseo and areas for boule/petanque.

Sand quality

The sand is rough with occasional small stones and there are hard patches of compressed sand on some of the volleyball courts. At the sea's edge the sand feels finer but is not the fine sand of La Fosca or Castell further to the north.

Swimming

There is no steep drop at the town end of the beach, but neither is it a very gradual change in depth - so a bit half and half. The swimming is relatively plain - there are fish in the water, but no rocks and the bay is sandy, but being a long open stretch of water it is popular with people practising long-distance swimming. The presence of the boat and marina opposite mean that the lifeguards do whistle to warn people if they look as if they are leaving the marked swimming area.

Parking

A large open pay-for municipal car park on the sand takes the space immediately behind the beach at the town end with access via ticket and a pay-on-exit system. There is additional parking along the road that passes at the back of the beach - again paid for via ticket machines during peak summer months (free otherwise).

Walks and exploring

This is primarily a town area. The paseo walk along the promenade to Sant Antoni de Calonge is very popular. At the port is Palamos's famous Museu de Pesca (Fishing Museum) and there are the attractions of the older town of Palamos.

Next beaches

South to Sant Antoni de Calonge - North to La Fosca, Palamos

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