Summer is here!

Summer is here!

Finally, summer is here. Or at least it was at the time of writing, the first day of June. Who knows what might happen later on? The big event all over Catalonia this month is, of course, Sant Joan, or St John’s Day… more accurately, St John’s Eve on 23 June when every town, village and hamlet will be setting off fireworks with gay abandon – some organized, mostly not – with the traditional Spanish disregard for health and safety. Wherever you may be, check with your local tourist office to see what’s happening near you. And make sure you observe tradition by sampling some coca with a glass of cava (see our recipe in the Food & Drink section).

Let’s take a look at what else is happening in June, working down the coast…

Cadaqués is celebrating its Indiano heritage with its fourteenth Feria de Indianos on the weekend of 8 and 9 June, with performances of havaneres, dancing to a Cuban band and stalls featuring time-honoured trades and crafts all day in the town. And on the following weekend it’s the Primavera Rock Festival with live bands on Saturday between 7pm and 2am on the seafront and a more sedate trio at 12.30 on the Sunday. And be sure not to miss the open air performance of the opera Tosca at 10pm on 28 June in Plaza 1 de Octubre.

In Llança, on Wednesday 5 June, there’s a free classical music and jazz concert performed by a group of retired professional musicians in the Cultural Centre at 6pm. And on Saturday 15 June it’s Street Food Summer with tapas, wines, beers and live music from 7pm down at the port.

On 20 June the streets of Roses will be bedecked with carpets of fresh flowers to mark Corpus Christi.

Intrigued by magicians? Then a visit to Torroella this month is a must. The FIMAG Festival starts on Wednesday 5 June and runs through to 9 June with a packed programme of performances featuring local and international magicians. For full details of the programme, visit https://fimag.cat/taula/ or pick up a leaflet at the local tourist office.

The twenty-second traditional rice planting session takes place on Saturday 15 June at Mas Carles in Pals at 11am, with a country-style breakfast to kick off proceedings at 10am. Tickets cost €5 and can be purchased at the tourist office. Meanwhile, to mark the occasion there will be a market celebrating the origins of rice in the old quarter of Pals, with an artisan market, workshops and other activities associated with the world of rice, continuing on Sunday 16 June.

If you’re interested in getting an up-close look at some of Catalonia’s iconic gegants, or giants, then head for Palamós at 10am on Sunday 16 June where a giants’ get-together is happening! Palamós is also the place to be for its first havaneres of the summer, at 10pm on 21 June, featuring the well-known band Port-Bo at a free concert on the fishing wharf. And finally, Palamós also celebrates Corpus Christi with carpets of flowers on the streets on Sunday 23 June, starting around 11am.

Sant Feliu de Guíxols is holding its third Storytelling Fair on the weekend of 7, 8 and 9 June with more than 40 activities, which attracted more than 5,000 people last year. The fair is not just about stories, though, but also features live music, artisan stalls, puppet shows, workshops and another giants’ get-together at 6pm in the central park on the Saturday (it seems the giants are really on the move this month…), plus fireworks on the beach at 10.30pm on the Friday. Also in Sant Feliu, the free NOMAD Festival takes place from Friday 21 to Monday 24 July in the Juli Garreta gardens, with food trucks, a market and live music.

Tossa de Mar is the place to be on the evenings of 7 and 8 June with a spectacular son et lumière show projected onto the town’s ancient walls. There will be two sessions each night: in English and German at 10pm and in Spanish and French at 11pm. Tossa is another of the Costa Brava towns to be celebrating Corpus Christi with carpets of fresh flowers along its streets, plus a procession through the old town followed by sardana dancing, all on Thursday 20 June. And on 28-30 June, Tossa plays host to the fourth Rumba Music Festival with concerts on the beach on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Lloret de Mar’s free dramatized tours of its fascinating Modernist cemetery are starting up again in June, every Friday at 9.30pm. Book in advance at the tourist office. Also, the classical guitar concerts are back in action in the exquisite setting of the church of Sant Romà every Thursday at 9pm. Still in Lloret, don’t miss the Americanos fair on 14-16 June on Passeig Jacint Verdaguer, which takes you on a journey back in time to this special period with demonstrations of artisan trades, theatrical performance, exhibitions of overseas products, concerts, rum tasting sessions, daiquiri workshops and guided tours to showcase the artistic legacy left by the Indianos (locals who emigrated to the Americas and then returned to their home towns with the fortunes they made there).

Castellers in action

If you’ve never seen castellers, or human tower builders, in action before, then Lloret de Mar is the place to be on 29 June where a number of different colles (teams) will be competing in the square in front of the town hall. And still in Lloret, you can learn to sing traditional havaneres in the chapel of Sants Metges every Saturday in June between 5.30pm and 7.30pm.

WALKS

Enjoy a leisurely downhill stroll on 9 June along Roses’ megalithic route as part of the events of the twenty-third Megalithic Festival. The Roses Exprés road-train leaves Plaça de les Botxes at 9am. Be sure to book your place at the Roses Exprés ticket office in Plaça de les Botxes. The following week, on 16 June, there’s a not-too-challenging early morning walk to Cala Montgó with the Cabirols Roses walking group, leaving from the SARFA bus stop at 7am.

Begur’s annual Puja i Baixa walk takes place on 23 June, a pretty punishing 14 kilometre hike up hill and down dale around the municipality. Finishers will be rewarded with a bocadillo, a soft drink and a commemorative T-shirt when they finally limp into the church square. The walk is limited to 1,600 people and is usually sold out, so be sure to sign up early online with the organisers, Els Perduts de Begur, at http://www.perdutsbegur.cat/2019/. This year, unusually, the walk starts off at Begur Castle rather than the town square to celebrate the castle’s millennium.

GOURMET CORNER

On Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June, the gorgeous seaside village of Sant Martí d’Empúries plays host to the Arrels del Vi wine festival where you can sample more than 100 different brands from the top Empordà wineries and buy at wholesale prices. The festival runs from 12 noon to 3pm and from 5pm to 9.30pm each day. And while you’re there, pop down to L’Escala to order some sèpia (cuttlefish) at one of the local restaurants, as between 1 and 15 June the town is celebrating this very local product.

During the whole month of June, Torroella de Montgrí and Estartit provide the backdrop for the twenty-fourth edition of La Clova gastronomic festival, a celebration of all kinds of shellfish, including a mass mussel-cooking competition and tasting session on Saturday 15 June at 11.30am in the main church square. Check with the local tourist offices for details of participating restaurants.

 

THIS MONTH’S MOVIES IN ENGLISH

Torroella de Montgrí: Friday 21 June – The Sisters Brothers, starring John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix, at 10.15pm; Friday 28 June – Boy Erased, starring Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe, at 10.15pm.

Palafrugell: Saturday 8 June – Long Shot, starring Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen, at 7.30pm; Saturday 22 June – Rocketman, the Elton John biopic, at 7.30pm.

Ocine Blanes: Thursday 6 June – Rocketman, the Elton John biopic; Thursday 13 June – X-Men: Dark Phoenix; Thursday 20 June – Men in Black; and Thursday 27 June – Godzilla: King of the Monsters, all showing at 8.30pm.

Ocine Platja d’Aro: Thursday 14 June – A Private War, the story of war correspondent Marie Colvin, starring Rosamund Pike; Thursday 27 June – Rocketman, the Elton John biopic, all showing at 8.30pm.

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