110 years of Pals Beach on the Costa Brava
This whole estate, which as a precedent of the Public of Pals occupied the entire seafront of that municipality Pals, had been auctioned in 1873 on behalf of Josep Martí Vivé by the State as a result of the laws on confiscation. He ceded it to Leoncio Tomàs Soteras, who subsequently sold it to Sr Nemesio de Cabrera Vidal, who sold it to Sr Coll.
This whole landscape was a vast tract of land, much of which had been planted by Pere Coll Rigau himself who, unwittingly, was beginning to shape much of the scenery of the Costa Brava.
Forty years later, in the summer of 1934, a small “troupe” of tourists, led by the painter Josep Maria Sert, visited the son of the influential Pere Coll Llach at his summer residence in Punta Espinuda which dominated, and still dominates, Pals Beach. In those times, my grandfather was the Commissioner General for Public Order of the Autonomous Government of Catalonia, a post he lost in a turbulent manner due to the happenings in October of that year.
Two young journalists, Carles Sentís and Josep Pla, who were members of that small expedition, left a written account for future generations of the impression that Pals Beach made on them from that privileged location.
According to Josep Pla, the painter, what he liked the best was the panorama of Pals Beach seen from Punta Espinuda, with the Medas Islands and L’Estartit in the background.
Monsieur Pomaret was spellbound.
At one point, Sert approached him, grasped him by the arm and said to him in a thick voice:
- Vous vous rendez compte, monsieur Pomaret?
And then he said that Pals Beach would one day be Paris beach.
I was impressed, because it had never occurred to me to think that Pals Beach could one day be Paris Beach. Monsieur Pomaret was even more surprised.
- “The Côte d’Azur is practically exhausted,” said Sert.
There is nowhere on the Gulf of Lyon that can compare with the beauty of this place. Within a few years, Paris will be two or three hours from here by air. The airstrip would be easy to build. The beach is virgin. It has no type of architecture. The sand is not muddy. It´s all there to be done. Ah! If the people of Paris knew about this sun, this sand, this sea, these pines...!
When the Civil War was over, during the tough post-war period, it seemed that Pals Beach had been forgotten by everyone: Dr Andreu had began to build a possible Casino – the Cap Sa Sal – in the neighbouring municipality of Begur and also, to drive the point home, the government of the USA and that of General Franco has signed a secret agreement at the end of the nineteen-fifties which would give rise to the creation of Radio Liberty: the anti-communist station which would occupy thirty-three hectares of these pine groves and ruin over a kilometre of that marvellous beach.
So it seemed that the tourist future of Pals Beach was permanently lost.
It wasn't the case: my father, worried about the bad effect of the "Antenas" had the brilliant idea in 1964 of starting to build the first nine holes of the Pals Beach golf course, the first on the Costa Brava. This was seen very positively by Sra Ivette Barbaza who also visited the works. Later, in 1970, the next nine holes were opened, thus gaining it its international classification.
Other top-class facilities, such as the Cypsela Campsite, the Sa Punta restaurant, the Golf Apartments, the La Costa Hotel, the Golf Serres de Pals and even a privately-managed natural area: the Basses d’en Coll, whose name recalls that great precursor, Sr Coll, were added to that initial project and between them they created the synergy necessary to achieve the sustainable tourism which has given - and is still giving - great prestige to the whole of the Costa Brava: those antennas have disappeared and the dream of the painter Sert has become a splendid reality.
Baltasar Parera Coll
At the Pals-La Costa Watersports School customers can practise a variety of watersports, such as kayaking, dinghy sailing, windsurfing or Hobie Cat sailing. The recently initiated can always hire some classes.
In the peak season, we offer our customers hammocks on the beach> service.
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