Estartit is located in the Spanish region of Catalonia at the northern end of the Costa Brava. This is a small and very pretty family resort, nestling at the foot of the impressive Montgri mountain range and presided over by a 13th century castle. Estartit's position, between the mountains and the plain of the River Ter, gives it the dual advantages of 15 kilometres of beautiful rocky coastline together with one of the longest sandy beaches on the Costa Brava.
The town is actually called L'Estartit (pronounced with the emphasis on the last syllable) but is normally referred to as simply Estartit by tour operators and foreign visitors.
The resort is 60 kilometres south of the French border and only 40 kilometres from the nearest international airport at Gerona. Most visitors who travel by air fly into Barcelona airport, 150 kilometres south, which handles a far greater number of international flights.
This once sleepy fishing village has become a popular holiday destination with Spaniards and international tourists, especially the British, Dutch and Germans. It appeals mostly to families with young children, being a fairly quiet and relaxed resort. There are plenty of leisure activities and night clubs to keep teenagers amused in the summer months but older teens bent on wild all-night partying a la will be happier in the Costa Brava tourist capital of Lloret de Mar, 60 kilometres south west down the coast.
Estartit still retains the old world charm of a traditional Spanish fishing harbour which now rubs shoulders with a modern yacht marina.
One of its major assets is the fact that it overlooks the lovely Medes Islands, an archipelago of seven islands which together make up one of the most important nature and marine reserves in the western Mediterranean.
The Medes, one and a half kilometres off the beach, have been protected since 1990 when a law was passed prohibiting fishing and any interference with the natural habitat and animal life in the area.
The result has been the development of a diverse and rich marine life of thousands of different species, attracting scuba divers from around the world. Glass-bottomed boat trips around the islands are one of the most popular leisure activities among summer visitors.
You'll find Estartit to be a compact resort with plenty of local shops, supermarkets, bars and restaurants. There are English and Irish pubs catering for those who can't survive a week without their pint of Tetley's or Guinness. But you'll also find local Catalan dishes including fresh seafood, especially around the harbour area which has a more Spanish feel than the more "touristy" modern end of the resort.
If you tire of the beach, there are plenty of leisure activities to enjoy including sailing, boat excursions, golf, tennis, cycling and horse riding. Or explore the local area via the sandy paths which criss-cross the river plain of the Rio Ter.
Estartit is also ideally placed for some great family days out. Europe's biggest water park is just outside Lloret de Mar and Marine World, where the many attractions include dolphin and sealion shows is near Blanes (about 70 kilometres down the coast).