This handsome town once presided over Empúries, a medieval Catalan county that maintained a large degree of independence up to the 14th century. Modern Castelló d’Empúries retains the imperious aura and historical feel of a former capital, along with remnants of its once-thriving medieval Jewish community. These days its cobbled lanes are trodden less by counts and more by affable locals and the odd tourist.
The town also makes a superb base for outdoors lovers. The nearby Parc Natural dels Aiguamolls de l’Empordà is popular for birdwatching and has a number of easy hikes and biking trails, while wind-blown (but otherwise pretty peaceful) beaches lie just 6km east.