Enjoy our quick guide to Empuriabrava, a popular tourist destination located within the municipality of Castello d’Empuries in Spain’s Alt Emporda.
Formerly built on a swamp, Empuriabrava now boasts of over 40 km of canals and a population that reaches up to 80,000 during the summer season.
In the northern part of the town, you can find the so-called Skydive Empuriabrava which offers a number of air sports that caters to all levels of skydiving enthusiasts.
Below we feature an expat interview with Pascal Messelier of Immo Plaza Spain who covers the Empuriabrava area.
Specifically, we asked Pascal on the advantages of choosing Empuriabrava as a place to live and the value for money that one can get if you decide to stay permanently in the area.
Pascal, thanks for helping our readers. I guess we should start off by asking what would you say would be the advantages to living in Empuriabrava compared to other Costa Brava towns?
It is flat, easy to get to the beach and center. There are more ways to get in and out of Empuriabrava. So in high season, you are never stuck in traffic. Huge beach that has a slow contact with the sea, ideal for small children to play.
Would the area not suit certain types of people, i.e. are there any possible downsides?
This area, the “Bay of Roses” (called out in 2012 by National Geographic to be one of the most beautiful days of the world) only has advantages. Clean air (no industry), good reachability (car, highspeed train, flights from Girona and Perignan, 45-minute drive from Empuriabrava) and close to the French border. Only 1.5-hour drive from the first ski resort.
What proportion of the local population are Spanish?
Twenty percent, I think. You better check this through another person or website or give a call to the town hall itself: castellocat.
What are your favourite things to do in the area?
Everything! Culture, gastronomics (specialty of combining mountain and sea ingredients), sports, all kinds possible!
Can you give us some insider tips to the best bars or restaurants?
Of course. What kind of restaurants and bars? Restaurant Compartir in Cadaques for example. Typical Spanish bar is Rincun Cubano in Empuriabrava. I’ve got more if you want…
Are there many facilities such as doctors and dentists, shops etc?
Yes. There are enough and they all stay open on a yearly basis except from a few shops (typical summer clothing shops).
Are there smaller villages nearby that you might also recommend?
Figueres (Dali Museum); Rosas (biggest and most important fisherman’s village once passed the French border); Escala and Sant Marti D’Empuries with its ruins; and Escala known for its anchovies.
What are the nearest international schools and how good are they?
In Rosas and Figueres I think. Better look it up via Google. No idea. Do not have kids.
Coming onto buying property, what is the market like now in terms of prices going up, or down or staying the same?
Prices of properties are more or less very fluctuant. It depends on the area and the owners (most of them are foreigners). It also depends on whether they need to sell their property soon or they are not in a hurry. Other factors that can affect the price include whether they are coast properties or inland properties; whether they are old foreigners who are selling (mostly coastal properties) or new foreigners who are selling (mostly coastal properties although these are bought in the high times, before the crisis); and whether they are locals or Catalan people who are selling. Moreover, only people with a good network (like our company) know when these homeowners are selling. So it’s difficult to get the right idea as a buyer to get a sort of price by m2. Negotiable? Yes! That’s for sure.
Is this a good time to buy and are there any repossessions or very cheap properties still available to buy?
Depends what the client is looking for. Of course as every where there are bargains. But this area is not fully constructed as in Costa Blanca or Costa Del Sol. So the offer is much smaller and the demand always the same. Costa Brava has always been a more expensive area to buy. We do not have sun, sea, beer destinations here as in the south.
How much are the typical property prices in Empuriabrava for apartments, villas etc?
There is no value or rate possible to give you as Empuriabrava will be exiting 50 years next year. And there are properties that need renovation. Some are renovated and some newly built. You can get an idea if you google Fotocasa and check out the average price of properties for Empuriabrava.
Any tips and advice to people looking to buy in Empuriabrava or surrounding area?
Yes! Come to us. We work with a wide range of collaborators who are all connected to API (Asocacion Professional Immobiliaria). And we also work on command – Mandato De Busca.
As an official realtor I have found my home in the very versatile Catalonia, Costa Brava, also called “Wild Coast.” I am Flemish and I have 28 years of experience in this sector with my native language and I also speak French, English, Spanish and German. For me it is a pleasure to help you and “gladly” find good property for the right people. We especially help people who want to enjoy the Spanish sun and culture, and they therefore are looking for a home, whether it is for a vacation or to live.
The buying and selling of real estate are transactions in which I exercise due care. It is this that every penny is well spent. However, I don’t have a unilateral approach in the aspect of finance. A house is designed to enhance the enjoyment of one’s life and that’s what we go for!
Before establishing Immo Plaza Spain, I worked for eight years with three colleagues in this region, and I got to know the market well. My license can be found in the official records of the API (https://www.apibcn.com/) and AICAT (https://www.apigirona.com/cat/registre-agents-immobiliaris-catalunya.htm).
Pascal, thank you so much for taking the time to help our readers with your experiences in Spain. If you want to contact him, you can find his details below.
Immo Plaza Spain
Avenida Europa, Edificio Bahia III
Costa Brava, Girona, Spain
Tel. +34 872 222 420
Here is an interesting tourist video on Empuriabrava.
Contact us to be featured – we want more expat interviews for our newsletter and website. You don’t need to be an estate agent, we want to hear from anyone who lives in Spain whether you are working or retired.