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By Edited Aug 18, 2015 0 0
Ventalló, a quiet village near the Costa Brava: view from the hills
Credit: Xeniagm through Wikimedia Commons

Who hasn't heard about the Costa Brava and its beaches? First it was during Franco's regime, when Spain started to open to French and German visitors from the northeast, where access by car was easier for them and dafer to control at the border. Then, little by little, the Costa Brava became more and more popular throughout Europe and, after Spain entered in the European Union, became one of the cheapest destinations in the EU. It is true that it became so popular that some of the villages became cities, and some of the special beaches became overcrowded. But there are still some nice and  authentic corners where you can feel the origins of the people and still access the most unknown beaches. Ventalló, although being 8km away from the coast, is one of them.

History

The area has had settlements since the Neolithic era. Passageway for Greeks and Romans when going to the major settlement of Empuries. All traditional town centers are documented in SX XI and belonged to Empúries. Romanesque remains can still be appreciated especially in churches; most buildings are from the last four centuries.

Economy and society

Traditionally an agricultural area, foodstuffs are now oil and fruit, and livestock is mainly composed of swine. Many families from Barcelona have second homes in this little town, due to its closeness to the city (approx. 1h30 by car) and to the beach (8km – 5miles). Ventalló is well served in social services, having schools, kindergarten, clinic and community center with bar and restaurant.

Demographics

On the sixteenth century, there were sixty families in the village. The population grew to over a thousand people at the end of the century, and declined to just over five hundred people in the eighties. It is now stable at nearly 900 inhabitants.

Culture and sports

  • Ventalló hosts a large number of activities and celebrations during the Oil Fair held in September.
  • On a sporting level, Ventalló has a football team (FC Valveralla) with its own football pitch near the village.
  • Biking is fairly easy due to the absence of hills in the Empurdà area. The seaside can be reached cycling in about 30min.
  • "Els Gorgs" of Valveralla are unique artificial lakes currently engaged in water skiing (Esquí Nàutic Xavi Mill).
  • On a social level has Ventalló kindergarten, school, clinic, community center with a bar and restaurant, and versatile local municipal warehouse.

Accomodation

Fundació l’Olivar offers guest rooms in a secluded location with private terraces and views to the sea. Prices range €75, increasing during the summer holidays. The restaurant has some high quality local dishes to be combined with typical catalan wines.

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