Roses is a municipality in the comarca of the Alt Empordà, located in a unique natural environment in the northern area of the the Costa Brava, in Catalonia, Spain. It is situated on the coast at the northern end of the Gulf of Roses, an important fishing port and tourist centre. The C-260 road links the town with Figueres. Roses is an essentially Mediterranean town, with a notable tourist and seafaring tradition. Roses is less than 18.6 miles (30 kilometres) from the French border, 40.3 miles (65 kilometres) from Girona and 99.4 miles (160 kilometres) from Barcelona. The Girona Airport is a one-hour drive from Roses.
Roses is believed to have been founded in the 5th century B.C. by Greeks from Massalia (today's Marseilles); remains of the Greek settlement and 2nd-century Roman period still exist. The Monastery of Santa Maria de Roses is mentioned for the first time in a document from 944 A.D. Around this monastery grew the medieval town of Roses, which fell under the shared jurisdiction of the abbots of Santa Maria de Roses and the counts of Empúries. In 1402, Empúries County was incorporated in the Crown of Aragon, and Roses organized its own municipal government and economy. In the early-16th century, Roses suffered repeatedly from attacks by privateers from North Africa. To counter this threat, extensive fortifications and nearby Trinity Castle were constructed by the mid-16th century. Due to ensuing wars and invasions, possession of Roses changed hands between the French and Spanish until the early-19th century, leaving its fortifications, town of Ciutadella and Trinity Castle in ruins. In the years to follow, Roses prospered as a fishing port, shipping hub and winemaking centre. Following World War II, Roses has profited enormously from the growth of tourism, and boasts excellent shopping, restaurants, bars, beaches, nightlife and sporting facilities.
The local economy of Roses is supported by fishing, shipping, agriculture and a world-renowned winemaking region. However, the abundant natural beauty of the city and its superb location on the Costa Brava has made Roses a popular tourist destination for outdoor and nature enthusiasts. Renowned for its exceptional climate, coastal splendour and exquisite natural landscapes, Castellón is also a region of spectacular geographical diversity that includes exquisite natural parks, mountains, cliffs, hidden covers, vineyards, and sandy beaches. The towns located within the Bay of Roses (Roses, Castelló d'Empúries, Sant Pere Pescador and l'Escala) have been designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Roses offers a wealth of opportunities to discover its splendid historic, cultural and architectural legacy. The city's ancient Greek and Roman origins can be experienced during visits to the Megalithic Complex, Dolmen de la Crue d'en Coberdella, Espai Cultural la Ciutadella de Roses, Visigothic Fortress, La Ciutadella, and Castelló d'Empúries. Renowned Medieval sites in-and-around Roses include the ruins of defensive fortifications and walls, Trinity Castle, Citadel, Romanesque Lombard Monastery of Santa Maria, and Sant Pere de Rodes Monastery. A host of stunning museums, churches and other lovely landmarks in Roses and nearby Girona round out an outstanding array of architectural gems for you to explore.
Roses' location between two natural parks and the Mediterranean Sea is highlighted by a wide array of scenic and memorable sightseeing venues for outdoor enthusiasts. Land-based excursions include walking, cycling and skating along the Seaside Promenade, bird-watching, nature treks and mountain-biking at the Cap de Creus and Aiguamolls de l'Empordà natural parks, and exciting slides and attractions at the Aquabrava Water Park. Golfing enthusiasts can enjoy a relaxing round of golf amidst breath-taking surrounds at the Club de Golf Peralada, located 15.5 miles (25 kilometres) from Roses, or Torremirona Golf Club, located 20.5 miles (33 kilometres) from Roses. Picturesque and memorable water-based excursions include swimming, kitesurfing, water-skiing, jet-skiing, windsurfing, parasailing, and kayaking along the beautiful sandy beaches and intimate coves in the Bay of Roses, one of the world's most beautiful bays. Excellent fishing is also available in the Bay of Roses, and boating, catamaran and sailing tours with swimming can be enjoyed at Magic Catamarans. The natural park beaches of Roses' Costa Brava are also world-renowned for their snorkelling and diving. Superb vendors for both include Euro Divers Spain, Canyelles Petites, Sub Roses, Centre Immersio Roses, and Poseidon.
Due to its compact size, Roses can be easily explored in just a single day.
Going Ashore in Roses
The ship may be at anchor. Guests will tender ashore to the Tender Pier. Roses' town centre is approximately 0.6 miles (about one kilometre) from the port, and can be reached via a short taxi-ride or on-foot. Taxis are metred and available at the pier. Please make sure to establish a price before starting any journey.
Shopping opportunities in Roses include DO Empordà wine, olive oil, preserved foods, cookies, perfume, clothing, accessories, shoes, jewellery, handicrafts, and souvenirs. Popular shopping destinations include a wide array of small shops in the city. Boutique shopping experiences in the city centre include Flash, Biel's and Mach. Most shops in the city centre are open from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and 5:00 p.m. to 9 p.m. from Monday-Saturday; some shops are open all day long. The Sunday markets are open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The local currency is the Euro.
Roses is home to a wide array of delectable Spanish, Mediterranean, Italian, contemporary, and international cuisine. The gastronomy of Catalonia is rich and varied, and principally comprised of the typical Mediterranean diet of fish and seafood with fresh vegetables, olives, olive oil, rice, and pasta. Local specialities include: Escudella I Carn D'olla, or vegetable broth with pork, veal and chicken; Pa Amb Tomàquet, a simple, rustic bread that can be toasted, rubbed with tomato pulp, and dressed with oil and salt; coca, a very thin dough baked with onions, peppers and other vegetables, and served with meat or fish, especially sardines; Suquet de peix, a fresh local fish dish, locally-produced olive oil and wine, such as D.O. Empordà; anchovies; sweet Catalan sausage; honey; onions; tapas, and cremat, a drink made from black rum, and perfumed with cinnamon, lemon peel and coffee beans. Popular local restaurants in-and-around Roses include: Els Brancs; Die Insel; La Cuina de'n Norat; Rafa's; Die Insel; La Barretina; La Gallegea de Roses; El Celler de Can Roca; Flor de Lis; Chiringuito La Pelosa; Las Palmeras; Pasko's Balkan Grill; Sabores; Movida; La Croqueta; Las 3 Caravelasa; El Galpon; Ca La Valeria; Las Golondrinas; Kristel; La Cosa Nostra; La Volta; Pata Negra; Sodemar; Casa Paco; La Sirena; Lalola Taperia; El Jabali; Cal Campaner; L'iberic; Meson El Cura; El Rebost de l'emporda; Chino Asia; La Tagliatella; and El Nautil. Popular hotels for dining include the Vistabella, Almadraba Park and Terraza.
The narrow, uneven streets in Roses' historic centre all run parallel to the sea, and abound with restaurants and small shops where you can soak in the Mediterranean atmosphere. In the Santa Maria Church is a temple built in 1796, whose apse, transept and dome are still preserved. The rest of the nave, the side chapels and the façade are Neo-classical works dating from 1853. In the Plaça de Catalunya are examples of Modernist architecture, like the Casa Mallol, which is the present Town Hall. Between Trinitat and Escorxadors streets is Plaça de la Pau, which is dedicated to the historical memory of the Spanish Civil War. The remodelling of the area, which consists of a sculpture by artist Ció Abellí, was inaugurated in 2006. The sculpture reflects on the irrationality of war and the value of life. In the square is a bomb shelter built prior to World War II.
Espai Cultural la Ciutadella de Roses
Journey back in time at the historical theme park of Espai Cultural la Ciutadella de Roses, just a 10-minute stroll from Roses' town centre on Avenida Rhodes. This expansive park's landmarks date from the 4th century B.C. to 19th century A.D. Highlights include: archaeological remains of Greek and Roman settlements; the main Citadel, or 'La Ciutadella', which dates back to the Renaissance period of the 16th century; the site where Rhodes, the first Greek colony within Catalonia, was founded; a Roman villa; numerous Visigothic buildings; remains of walls that were built in the 16th century to protect against pirate attacks; and 11th-century Romanesque Lombard Monastery of Santa Maria. Guided tours are available; however, you may opt to explore the complex, which includes the Exhibition Hall and Museum, at your leisure.
Located approximately 5.6 miles (about nine kilometres) from Roses, the Castelló d'Empúries is the only Greco-Roman archaeological site on the Iberian Peninsula. There is lots of free parking close to the ruins, an onsite museum (free with site admission), a small cafe/bar and beach just outside the site. The Ruins of Empúries also features regular exhibitions, conferences, guided tours and even music festivals. Entrance is approximately €3 per person.
Located approximately 8.4 miles (13.6 kilometres) from Roses, Peralada is a village in the province of Girona, Catalonia, Spain. It was the home of the Frankish Counts of Peralada, who controlled this portion of the Marca Hispanica before becoming part of the lands held by the Count of Barcelona. The main sites to be seen here include the Castle, restored in the 19th century in the French style; 18th-century Parish Church of St. Martin; 11th-century Convent of St. Dominic; 15th-century Church of Santa Eulàlia; and the late-13th-century Convent del Carme, with a Gothic cloister dating from the 14th century.
Sant Pere de Rodes Monastery
Sant Pere de Rodes is a former Benedictine monastery in the comarca of Alt Empordà, in northeast Catalonia, Spain. Located in the municipal area of El Port de la Selva in the province of Girona, Sant Pere de Rodes was constructed in the side of Verdera Mountain, below the ruins of the Castle of Sant de Verdera that provided protection for the monastery. The monastery offers exceptional views over the bay of Llançà, to the north of Cap de Creus. Nearby are the ruins of a medieval town, of which its pre-Romanesque style church is the only remains dedicated to Saint Helena.
Cap de Creus Natural Park
Located on Costa Brava, the most easterly point of mainland Spain, Cap de Creus Natural Park is a wild landscape of 450-million-year-old rock eroded by the Tramuntana wind into a rugged headland. The first and among the largest marine/terrestrial nature reserves in Catalonia, Cap de Creus Natural Park spans an area of 34,313 acres (13,886 hectares), three quarters of which are on land, and the rest in the sea. It is home to numerous species of flora and fauna, archaeological sites such as the Megalithic Complex, historical and unique geological formations, migratory birds, and grassland and brushwood. The park offers an extensive network of coastal walking and mountain biking trails with stunning views overlooking the Mediterranean, and sailing around stunning beaches and beautiful coves. The coastal waters here are home to over 300 fish species, frequented by monk seals and whales, and offer amazing kayaking and scuba diving opportunities.
Natural Park of Aiguamolls de l'Empordà
The Natural Park of Aiguamolls de l'Empordà features a unique combination of both marine and inland environments. This protected area is characterized by lagoons, rivers, meadows, sand dunes, and a large number of animal and marine species, including flamingos, storks, otters and fish. This park also features ample observation points and clearly-marked trails, and is an ideal place to visit for those who enjoy hiking and bird-watching.
Passeig Maritim (Seaside Promenade)
Passeig Maritim, the Seaside Promenade, is approximately 1.24 miles (about two kilometres) long and a great locale for walking, cycling and skating along dedicated lanes. The walk offers stunning views of the Mediterranean, monuments, statues, ancient artillery pieces, and more. The surrounding area offers numerous bars and restaurants.
Overlooking one of the world's most beautiful bays, the Trinity Castle crowns Poncella Point above the Roses Lighthouse. The military construction, which dates from 1544, was erected under the reign of Emperor Charles I as an essential complement to the Citadel. The castle has the shape of a five-pointed star, with pronounced angular corners for defence against enemy projectiles. It was built on a grand scale, with walls that are 6.5 feet (two metres) thick, and remains an extraordinary example of coastal artillery fortress.
A Cultural Asset of National Interest, the remains of the mid-7th-century Visigothic Fortress is one of the most special, hidden and unknown sites in Roses. Although the fortress is located atop a strategic hill overlooking the old town of Rhodes-Roses, the bay and access to the port, it remains hidden from the sea by Puig Rom. Although this fortress was inhabited between the 7th and 8th centuries, some archaeological homes, silos and streets still remain today.
Located in Figueres, approximately 11 miles (18 kilometres) from Roses, the Dalí Theatre-Museum is the largest surrealistic object in the world. It is situated in the former Municipal Theatre of Figueres, a 19th-century construction destroyed at the end of the Spanish Civil War. On its ruins, Dalí decided to create his museum, considered to be his last great work. Everything in the museum was conceived and designed by the artist, so as to offer visitors a real experience and draw them into his unique and captivating world. The collection displayed here allows visitors to capture the artistic journey of Dalí through a broad spectrum of works. The route around the rooms capture his first artistic experiences, surrealism, nuclear mysticism and his passion for science.
Roses is home to a wide array of annual events and cultural, religious and musical festivals. Carnival takes place from February 12th-15th, and features fun-filled parades and balls. The local holiday is observed from August 8th-16th, and features a week filled with events, concerts and fireworks. Saint John's Eve is celebrated on June 23rd, and welcomes the arrival of summer with fireworks and balls. The Sons del Mon Festival and Blues-Jazz-Gospel Festival take place during July/August, Havaneres on summer nights and Sardanes, a typical Catalan dance, on Saturday nights during summertime.
DO Empordà Wine Route
La Costa Brava, the rocky, rugged coastline that runs along Spain's north-eastern shore, is far better known for its lovely seaside resorts and beaches than for its wines. Yet, just inland stretch the rolling vineyards of the DO Empordà-Costa Brava. One of Spain's smaller Denominations of Origin, it has just under 7,413 acres (3,000 hectares) under vine, and earned a reputation in recent years for planting a wide range of local and international varieties. The Empordà offers an impressive landscape of vineyards, whilst its wines express all the essence of the Mediterranean. The region possesses a world-renowned gastronomic culture with an authentic constellation of Michelin stars, and an infinite selection of home-made cuisine tied to the land and local produce. The Empordà provides quality hospitality and tourism facilities, ideal for sunbathers, culture seekers, activity adventurers and epicures, and is a unique and beautiful region in Spain to enjoy a food and wine gourmet tour.
Roses offers a wide array of scenic and memorable sightseeing venues for outdoor enthusiasts, including walking, cycling and skating along the Seaside Promenade, bird-watching, nature treks and mountain-biking at the Cap de Creus and Aiguamolls de l'Empordà natural parks, and exciting slides and attractions at the Aquabrava Water Park. Golfing enthusiasts can enjoy a relaxing round of golf amidst breath-taking surrounds at the Club de Golf Peralada, located 15.5 miles (25 kilometres) from Roses, or Torremirona Golf Club, located 20.5 miles (33 kilometres) from Roses. Picturesque and memorable water-based excursions include swimming, kitesurfing, water-skiing, jet-skiing, windsurfing, parasailing, and kayaking along the beautiful sandy beaches and intimate coves in the Bay of Roses, one of the world's most beautiful bays. Excellent fishing is also available in the Bay of Roses, and boating, catamaran and sailing tours with swimming can be enjoyed at Magic Catamarans. The natural park beaches of Roses' Costa Brava are also world-renowned for their snorkelling and diving. Superb vendors for both include Euro Divers Spain, Canyelles Petites, Sub Roses, Centre Immersio Roses, and Poseidon.
Private arrangements for independent sightseeing may be requested through the Shore Concierge Office on board the ship.