While Roses beach consists of a loooong stretch of sand, if you’re looking for something quieter you need to get out of town. Here we look at some of your best options.
From a distance it is clear that Roses and the hills surrounding it has been rather overdeveloped over the years. The town lies to the south of the Cap de Creus peninsular and is quite populated during the summer in particular.
And while much of the Cap de Creus is unspoilt, many of the hills around roses are far from virgin. At night the hillsides are laced by streetlights that, from across the bay in L’Escala, give the appearance of fairy lights.
But despite the amount of construction that has gone on here, there are plenty of easily accessible beaches and coves. Since the town borders the Cap de Creus natural park, put in a little distance between you and the town you’re sure to find somewhere ideal.
Most of the beaches around here face in a southerly direction due to the situation of Roses. This gives the benefit of being sheltered from the tramuntana when it blows. And as well as long stretches of sand you’ll also find quite a number of small coves good for snorkelling.
Just above is a comprehensive map of Roses’ beaches both big and small. But if you’re looking for more specific information on some of the major beaches and coves in Roses keep on reading. Let’s take a look at some of those beaches in detail…
The main beach at Roses
Roses has a long beach running from the area next to the harbour all the way down to down to Santa Margarida. Officially three separate beaches, this nearly 2.3 kilometre stretch of sand consists of El Rastell, El Salatar and Santa Margarida beaches.
The beach consists of fine sand and is gently sloping, so great for kids. On the downside it can get pretty busy in summer as just about everyone staying in Roses comes here. It’s quite deep though so you may be lucky in finding a somewhere to park your towel.
Being a town beach you get all the facilities here, including lifeguards, first aid point, wheelchair access, showers and food and drink. There is also nearby parking, sun lounger hire and boat and water sports hire and the wide promenade that runs the entire length of the beach is for pedestrians only.
Platja la Nova
Right next to the harbour and separated from the main beach by a double breakwater, platja la Nova (new beach) lies near the heart of Roses.
The breakwater was constructed at the mouth of river Ginjolers to prevent sand from being washed away. It had become a real problem, with the town paying some €50,000 in 2013 to replace sand that had been washed away during storms.
The 400 metre beach consists of fine sand and with a road running parallel, there are a number of restaurants and bars nearby. There is plenty of on street parking as well as a nearby car park, although during the high season you have to pay.
The beach has full facilities, including first aid, life guards and showers, and once again it’s a great choice for kids as long as you don’t mind the beach getting packed out in summer.
Platja dels Palangrers
On the other side of the port from platja la Nova is Els Palangrers beach. It’s around 140 metres in length and so much smaller and only five metres or so deep.
The beach is mainly sand with some rock and perhaps slightly less crowded than the other beaches. Once again there is nearby parking and a lifeguard with first aid facilities.
Platja de Canyelles
Get out of town a bit and you’ll soon come to Canyelles beach. It’s less than 400 metres in length and 25 metres deep with fairly coarse sand and surrounded by hills.
While there hills aren’t completely developed, the area closest to Roses is dense with holiday homes. Probably the beach isn’t really large enough to support the summer population but there are basic facilities. Parking can be tricky though and you might want to walk if you’re staying in Roses itself.
Platja de l’Almadrava
Also known as Canyelles Grosses, this 500 metres beach is located in a residential zone some four kilometres from Roses port.
Parking can be a problem, so you might want to consider walking there and because it is resendential it can get packed. However, if you prefer beaches to be more enclosed than you’ll probably prefer l’Almadrava to the wide open main beach.
Montjoi and Jòncols
If you head out of Roses towards the Cap Norfeu you’ll come to two popular coves. Both offer anchorage so you’ll find sailing boats moored offshore in the summer. Not everyone arrives by car!
The first is Cala Montjoi, some eight kilometres from Roses and the site of Ferran Adrià’s now closed restaurant, El Bulli. The 250 metre beach consists of fairly coarse sand and pebbles and gets fairly busy during summer. The beach also has some facilities although no lifeguard or first aid station. The cove is extremely pleasant, surrounded by trees and hills with little construction in the vicinity. The “ciutat de vacances” – holiday city – is rather sterile but low rise so you can stay here too.
Cala Jòncols is another 6.5 kilometres along a winding road. The 200 metre stone beach is surrounded by hills and once again it gets fairly busy in summer, but nothing like the town beaches of Roses. There is also a small hotel and while the beach has facilities such as showers, once again there is no lifeguard or first aid available.
Both are really privileged beaches in the Cap de Creus natural park. If you have a car it is definitely worthwhile heading over this way as long as you don’t mind the winding mountain roads that are typical here.
Your idea of a perfect beach may be very different from mine, so really these are suggestions based on my own preferences and what many other people like.
I like to snorkel and I like to swim. But the best places for snorkelling aren’t usually great for swimming and vice versa. So my real recommendation though is to try out a number of beaches until you find what you like best.
And only you can know that!