The 2022 Hobie 16 World Championship will be held on the famous Costa Brava – Pirineu de Girona area, a coastal region of Catalonia in northeast Spain on the Mediterranean Sea. Located in the province of Girona, it’s coastal line is about 200km and extends from the French border on the North up to Blanes on the South where the Maresme Coast begins in the province of Barcelona.
The name “Costa Brava” comes from the rugged landscape that we find in many stretches of this coast, being at the foot of the Pyrenees few kilometres separates the snow-capped Pyrenean peaks from the Mediterranean’s most charming beaches and coves.
From north to south Costa Brava region in such a short distance there’s room for fishing villages and high mountain rural towns, for Romanesque monasteries and churches, for Iberian settlements, Greek and Roman ruins, Jewish quarters and mediaeval fortifications, and the surrealist legacy of Salvador Dalí.
It is worth mentioning that the area has one of the most important historical legacies of Europe, from the first Iberian settlements in Ullastret (25km from the event site), the arrival of the Greeks and the Romans in Emporion (Empúries), the ruins are just 5 minutes from the event site, through the Muslim invasion… However many of the buildings that remain intact are from the medieval period, an especially recommended visit is a trip to Girona with its walls, cathedral and the famous Jewish quarter. Dali’s legacy is also all around the region, Figueres (Dali’s Museum), Púbol (Dali’s Castle), Cadaques-Port Lligat ( Dali’s summer house)-Cap de Creus are also more than recommended excursions to do during your stay in the region.
There’s always room for sitting at a table and savouring a unique gastronomic experience, the region provides a high quality local products and one of the most renowned wine area. Worldwide known is the “Celler de Can Roca” in Girona.
About Sant Pere Pescador
Sant Pere Pescador is a small town with just over 2,000 inhabitants nestling between the Mediterranean and the mountains, on a flood plain flanked by two rivers, the Muga and the Fluvi, which flow into the Gulf of Roses. The town dates back, to 974, when it was the site of a Christian monastery.
The surrounding marshes were drained in the 17th and 18th centuries, making the area an important agricultural centre. Orchards still dot the area today, however, tourism has become the most important local industry and much of the drained marshes are now part of the Wetlands of the Empord Natural Park (Parc Natural dels Aiguamolls de lEmpord).
The local beach (which extends to the Worlds event site) is the only place on the Costa Brava that has more than six kilometres of virgin dunes and fine sand, part of which is a designated for nudist bathing. Sant Pere Pescador offers visitors the possibility of doing all kind of sports. The beach area is perfect for kiteboarding, sailboarding, sailing and kayaking, and the large expanses of grassland, forest and National Park are perfect for hiking and taking long bike rides.
Sometime during your stay at the H16 Worlds you should find the time to explore or dine in this vibrant coastal community, which is just a short drive, or within walking distance, from La Ballena Alegre, the official H16 Worlds Resort.
What was originally a small, fishing village famous for its anchovies, L’Escala is one of the most beautiful towns on the Costa Brava and is located within 5 minutes by car, or a longer walk along the beach from the Worlds event site. It is the perfect place to explore during your Hobie 16 Worlds adventure. You will find a wide range of beaches, a variety of restaurants, a large number, of nautical, cultural, sporting, and recreational activities and a long list of historical adventures, in and around the town.
Lively throughout the year, the “Old Town” is undoubtedly a place where H16 Worlds competitors will visit at some time during their stay. The township has a wide range of services and many places you are sure not to forget. A walk beside the sea, the Salt Exchange building, Saint Peter’s Parish Church and the old sailors’ Cemetery, and the ruins of Empries, which are Phoenician and Roman historical ruins dating back to 580 BC. The Old Town, especially the area around Barques beach, is also the focal point for the most events.
Just a few kilometres from the main township, is Cala Montgo an impressive little bay with splendid views of upmarket villas, yachts and smaller, moored boats. The area is perfect for great walks, swimming, dining, and beach activities like stand up paddleboarding.
About La Ballena Alegre
Located just outside the township of Sant Pere Pescador, La Ballena Alegre, the main Hobie 16 Worlds accommodation and event site, is situated on the beachfront next to the natural park of Aiguamolls de lempord and the roman remains of Empuries.
Whether camping, staying in a bungalow or other accommodation, this is the perfect place to stay, and compete in the world championship in 2022. The Worlds event site will be situated along the 1800m long, wide sandy beach and will be just a short stroll from your accommodation at this fantastic resort.
There is an amazing list of activities at La Ballena Alegre throughout the day for non-sailors and all the facilities you need for a relaxing holiday. At night, the resort buzzes with live music, shows, bars and restaurants. If you need anything the resort has it covered, with shopping-areas, a supermarket, library, pharmacy, a sports area with two swimming pools, a fitness centre, a sailboarding/kite surfing centre, and other services, such as a medical, internet and Wi-Fi and more.
While Barcelona will be the main entry point for most non-European residents to the Worlds in Spain, many will still land and depart from the airport in Girona. This small city in the north east of the country is inhabited by approximately 90,000 residents and is the capital of the Girona province, one of four provinces in Catalonia.
The city sits on the Oar River in the foothills of the Los Angeles Mountains, just 99km from Barcelona and about an hour inland from the Mediterranean, Costa Brava, and the H16 Worlds event site. Influenced by different cultures and religions, the city beckons visitors with beautiful architecture. The Old and New Town offer many opportunities to get pleasurably lost in the local life and culture. If you are a fan of the hit tv series Game of Thrones, you would have seen Gironas grey stone streets before and not realised it. In season six of the blockbuster the city features as Braavos.
Today the city is part of Spain, and focuses on finance and service industries, its past however, like the neighbouring coastal region, was marked by invasions and occupation by foreign raiders. Because of its position on the coastal route from Gaul to the Iberian Peninsula, Girona was a fortified site of the Iberians, and the Romans who called it Oppidum Gerunda. It was then overrun and ruled by the Visigoths (Germanic people) who were conquered in 714 by Arab invaders, who named it Jerunda. Girona was retaken in 785 by the Franks (French) under King Charlemagne. It changed hands again in 793 and was recaptured by Louis of Aquitaine (Charlemagnes son) in 797. It was later incorporated into the kingdom of Aragon.
The city had a thriving Jewish quarter until the early 1400s and many buildings from that era remain today, one of a number reasons that make Girona a worthwhile place to visit for Worlds competitors. Other historic landmarks Worlds visitors may wish to explore include the Gothic cathedral (c.1292), the Provincial Archaeological Museum and its university, which was founded in 1446. Other places that shouldn’t be missed, are the Onyar River, Pont de Pedra, Pont de les Peixateries Velles (designed by Gustave Eiffel), the Arabic Baths, the Girona City Walls, and the Museum of the Cinema. Gastronomy is also one of the city’s features, and a booking at El Celler de Can Roca, one of the most famous restaurants in the world, is something not to be missed. The restaurant is critically acclaimed and holds three Michelin stars. In 2013 and 2015, it was named the best restaurant in the world by the magazine Restaurant, after having been ranked second in 2011, 2012 and 2014, a status it achieved again in 2018
The capital of Catalonia is one of the most visited and vibrant cities in the world, with an average of 7 million tourists visiting this fabulous city every year. Most non-European Hobie 16 Worlds competitors will fly in and out of Barcelona, which will give them the perfect opportunity to explore, discover and be amazed by this iconic city.
Enchanting Barcelona has a vast array of historical and sensory delights on offer, from its many different precincts where the air is filled with the enticing smells of the local gastronomy, to its music and theatrical street performances, and its magnificent architecture and emblematic buildings. The Mediterranean, sea breeze wends its way through the streets and alley ways of this ancient city as it bustles with a colourful, vibrant, and exciting nightlife.
Enjoy tapas and stroll through Barri Gtic the charming Gothic Quarter, with its narrow medieval streets filled with trendy bars, clubs and Catalan restaurants. The Museu d’Histria de Barcelona displays remains of the city in Roman times and beyond. Artisans sell leather and jewellery near the Cathedral of Barcelona, while flower stalls and street-food vendors line the busy avenue La Rambla. The Plaa del Pi, named after the adjacent Gothic church, hosts a weekend art market.
You should not miss the buildings designed by the architect Antoni Gaud, such as Sagrada Familia and Casa Mil, also known as La Pedrera, F.C. Barcelona stadium (Camp Nou) and museums such as Museu Picasso, Museu Mir and the Museu Nacional dArt de Catalunya (MNAC), among other fascinating attractions.
This wonderfully diverse destination is a must for a stop-over and will leave you with the feeling of having explored several different destinations and cultures in one amazing city.