Delta del Ebro
TERRES DE L'EBRE
In the southernmost and warmest part of Catalonia, the coast turns east and forms a giant spit. This peak has the estuary of Spain's largest river, the Ebro, and where the freshwater meets into the salt water and creates a unique natural area - so special and rich in species, it was added to UNESCO's list of biosphere reserves.
The whole area, also in the country and up in the beautiful mountains, are in Catalan called Terres de l'Ebre. It is a diverse, natural and activity rich area, which currently has not been "taken over" by mass tourism. There is thus a more relaxed and authentic atmosphere in the smaller villages, where you have a good opportunity to experience the Catalan culture at eye level.
VISIT THE COASTLINE
The coastline is certainly worth a visit. Especially the towns close to the water, including L'Ametlla de Mar and L'Ampolla, has a cozy atmosphere and there are a huge amount of restaurants serving fresh fish and shellfish - caught just outside the harbor.
In the northern direction, there are many isolated coves - surrounded rock structures and spruce forests in the back. To the south, there are great beaches with fine sand and shallow, clear water - just ready to throw the towel on the sand and out and jump into the refreshing seawater. Look for the beaches with blue flags - this is a symbol of good water quality, secure conditions and that there are lifeguards present. Examples of these are Platja de Pixavaques (at L'Ametlla de Mar), Platja de Cap Roig (L'Ampolla) and Platja de Garbí (Sant Carles de la Rápita).
In the different harbors, it is possible to go on some guided tours. For example, one from L'Ampolla get out and see where the restaurants awarded the coveted blue mussels and oysters and get delicious samples and Cava or white wine.
The region is made for water activities – here, there is many opportunities to get some unforgettable experiences on the water. Firstly, there is plenty of opportunity for kayak trips on the Ebro and it is for all ages and fitness conditions. For those seeking action and fast water there are plenty of white water opportunities where you can get your skills tested in the kayak along with an experienced instructor. If the family should go altogether, if there any elderly or very young, there is a stretch with only minimal current in the water. Here, you set the pace yourself, and there is plenty of time to enjoy the nature from the water - and it is a completely different experience than standing on the shore. See a short video from the beautiful trip here.
WORLD CLASS FISHERY
The Ebro is known for its fantastic fishing for giant catfish and carp (do not worry - they are completely harmless to humans). Here, if you are up for it, you can go out with an experienced guide and try to catch one of the several meter long catfish or a heavy, thick carp. The picture above is the writer with a catfish of 160 cm – and this is not one of the big ones!
Right at the mouth of the river, in the small town of Riumar, there is a team of experienced fishing guides - they specialize in fishing trips at sea. The family can go for a cozy fishing for species like mackerel, small tuna, bonito and other fish that do not require great fishing experience - an ideal day trip on a wonderful boat, where you have the opportunity to catch dinner and enjoy the fresh sea air. If you want to go all the way, you can also bet it all on the giant bluefin tuna, which is one of the world's strongest species – if you hook one, you will certainly get a hard battle, and if you manage to get in the boat, it is an experience for life.
DIVE WITH TUNA
If you would rather watch a giant tuna instead of fighting with it, there is actually the opportunity to dive with them. It takes place in some tuna pools 4-5km from shore - here bluefin tuna are bred, which allows you to see them at close range. You sail out in a large catamaran, get a snorkel (and wet suit, if it is cold) and then the crew feeds the tuna to get the huge fish to the surface. You get the opportunity to swim in the pool and observe the huge fish that can reach a weight of around 250 kg. Do not worry - they are completely harmless and keeps an appropriate at a few meters to humans. There is also a professional diver in the water during the whole process. On the way back, you have the opportunity to taste the tuna sashimi and Cava prepared by the crew.
Watch a short video about the trip here.
The large, majestic Ebro-river winds down through the wooded and bare plains and has great significance for the local community - many people depends on this river. This applies for instance to the hydroelectric power plant, but also for the wildlife that is truly unique. In the river, everything from huge catfish to big zander swims. In Sebes Natural Reserve, you can observe many birds (including several rare ones), and they have 12 storks with their nests. The river runs as a green line through the countryside, as the water is a breeding ground for a lot of lush nature.