There are a number of championship courses within easy reach of the villa including:
PGA de Catalunya – around 25 minutes drive away, the course opened in 1999 and has been regularly ranked as one of the Top 10 European venues by ‘Golf World’ magazine. It has staged the European Tour Qualifying School Finals and often hosts Spanish Open on what is becoming widely regarded as one of Europe’s finest golfing destinations
Club de Golf d’Aro – also known as Mas Nou Golf Club, is on the opposite hillside to Villa Shangri-La and is a short drive away. It has spectacular views over the ocean, mountains and resort of Platja d’Aro.
Pals Golf Club – 30 minutes away, the course runs parallel with the beautiful white sands of Pals beach and is surrounded by dense green pine forests. Pals is used as one of the PGA European Tour Qualifying Schools.
Peralada Costa Brava Golf Course – a little further away, just a few kilometres from Figueres (birthplace of Salvador Dali) is one of the most beautiful and complete golf courses in Catalonia, boasting a five star hotel with wine spa, ‘David Leadbetter’ golf school and the casino/castle of Peralada
Serres de Pals Golf Club – just 25 minutes drive away is a new championship golf course founded in the year 2000. It is set in rambling agricultural land and boasts beautiful views over the Baix Empordà region of Catalonia. Along with Pals golf club and Empordà, it forms the Golden Triangle of golf courses in the area
Diving and Snorkelling
The coastline around Girona is perfect for divers and snorkelers. With a series of cliffs that plunge into the sea, with rocky corners teeming with life, an underwater paradise waiting to be explored.
A mile off the coast at L’Estartit, (25 minutes drive from the villa) is one of the Mediterranean’s finest marine parks, The Medes Islands – teeming with sealife it offers diving experiences for all levels of divers, from beginners through to experts. All can observe gorgonians, corals, starfish, octopuses, lobsters and many more at a depth of less than 10 metres. Spotlights make it possible to discover the posidonia meadow and, below 20 metres, the coral landscape. Where you will see shoals of bream, predatory fish, all kinds of crustaceans and the king of the area, the grouper.
Cycling and Mountain Biking in Catalonia
Spain is one of the most foremost cycling countries in Europe where it is both a serious sport and a popular hobby. Stages of the Tour de France often come right through the area and Les Gavarres is regularly used for Olympic team training!
Catalonia’s mountainous areas, covered in trails, make it excellent for mountain biking – in fact the Spanish national team undertake training in the mountains at the back of the villa! However, the variety of landscape types makes it suitable for all levels of mountain bikers.
There are a number of BTT Centres in Catalonia (BTT is the Catalan term for a mountain bike). A BTT Centre is where a natural space has been opened to mountain biking, with many kilometres of signposted itineraries. BTT centres offer reception points providing information for each different route in different languages. They also offer services such as bike rental, parking and showers.
For more info on local BTT centres click here
Ski-ing in the Pyrenees
Spain might not renowned for its ski resorts, but it is the second most mountainous country in Europe after Switzerland! Spanish ski centres may not offer extensive ranges of lifts and pistes, but many experienced skiers opt for Spanish skiing because they get something a bit different from the standard deals on offer in package destinations.
Many of the ski resorts are still relatively unspoilt and attract a largely Spanish clientele. There are many challenging runs to be found and the off-piste entertainment is typical of Spain – relaxed, friendly and cheap!
There are TEN ski resorts in the Catalan Pyrenees: Vallter 2000; Baqueira-Beret; Boí-Taüll; La Molina; Tavascan; Port-Ainé; Espot; Masella; Vall de Nuria and Port del Comte.
There are seven resorts in the Andorran Pyrenees, but vehicle access into Andorra can be tortuous and is not set to improve any time soon! Owners in our area therefore favour La Molina, the oldest ski resort in Spain, now tastefully modernised. It is only 169kms away from the villa, perfect for a 2 or 3 day break, so why not swim, golf AND ski during your Shangri-La holiday!