At the edge of the wild and rugged Delta de l’Ebre, set against a backdrop of mountains, lies the fishing village Sant Carles de la Rapita. Although the town itself is not necessarily worth a visit, the surrounding area with it’s incredible diversity makes it well worth a trip. This town is still an interesting place to explore if you have time. It has exceptional food and some pretty and interesting sights.
The fishing port of Sant Carles de la Rapita is one of Catalonia’s most important. It was originally founded by Rey Carlos III (King Charles III) and was used as a trading port to serve the Spanish colonies. Now it is an urban town with pretty marinas and lovely stretches of beach. Sant Carles de la Rapita is not a busy tourist destination for foreigners so it has a distinctly local feel.
Things to do in Sant Carles de la Rapita
The fish market
Head to the modern building by the fishing port at around 4.30pm Monday to Friday, for an insight into what makes this town so successful. The fishing boats arrive into Sant Carles de la Rapita around 3pm and following this the restaurants turn up to battle for the best deal or the most tasty catch. You will find a passage on the first floor which surrounds the conveyor belt. Here you can watch the sale of fish. Smelly but great fun!
Sant Carles de la Rapita Maritime Museum
This museum is in the Les Casotes building, found centrally. It was originally built in the 19th century and is a beautiful building perfectly located to show off the towns local history. The museum covers the towns history of fishing and maritime activity, the marina and coastal ecosystems, the geology of the area and the history of the town. It makes for an interesting few hours and is a nice break from the sun in the summer months.
Eating out in Sant Carles de La Rapita
If one of your holiday loves is sampling the local food then you will be in for a treat here. Sant Carles de la Rapita is a seafood lovers paradise, with fresh catch of the day available in its many restaurants. You will find no end of fine dining here, and a range of places for the budget diner too. There’s no wonder that the town is considered by many to be the gastro-capital of the Terres de l’Ebre.
Getting out and about in Sant Carles de la Rapita
About 15 minutes drive from Sant Carles de la Rapita is La Foradada, a beautiful mountain with a surprise holey rock formation at the top (and views to die for). The trek took around 3 hours there and back, maybe a bit longer if you take it at a more leisurely pace and stop for lots of photos on the way. We packed a picnic and enjoyed lunch with a view from the top. Even in January the weather was perfect for a hike and the mountain range wasn’t busy at all. The track is well signposted throughout.
Delta de l’Ebre
About half an hours drive away you will find the Delta de l’Ebre. The delta is an interesting place to spend a day, full of rice fields, open stretches of wild beach and excellent bird watching. Spotting the flamingos will make you feel as though you are somewhere far more exotic than Spain! We found the delta had a bit of a wild feel to it, desolate and sparse, and there wasn’t much in the way of civilisation (as you’d expect!) so make sure you bring some supplies with you if you plan on staying a little while.
A little further out
If you’re looking for a day trip and something a little different then why not try Siurana, Spain’s most beautiful village. It is an hour and a halfs drive from Sant Carles de la Rapita and well worth the effort. You can find out more about this stunning village here.
Where to stay in Sant Carles de la Rapita
The choices of accommodation aren’t particularly inspiring, but there is a range of different options so you can shop around to get the best deal. It is a small town and so most accommodation options are within walking distance.
Hotel La Rapita has excellent ratings and is close to the centre of town. Hotel Miami Ma boasts a pool with sea views. Air bnb has several options for the more budget traveller.
Bare in mind that a lot of accommodation does not include city tax in their upfront prices so you will have to pay this on top of the price of your room.