The landscapes in this part of the central Costa Brava are incredible, but the history that surrounds them can be even more amazing. This small haven among the cliffs below the castle of Cap Roig, situated between Mont-ras and Calella de Palafrugell, got its nickname (The Bath of the Russian Woman) from a one-time owner of the place, a Ms. Woevodsky, who would head down to the beach on the back of a donkey and bathe there in the nude. The fact that she wasn’t actually Russian but British doesn’t spoil either the legend or the hike along the paths that descend from the botanic gardens of Cap Roig to this spot, which has red-coloured rocks, water that is always calm, and complete seclusion - and which is officially called Cala Massoni.
A few metres to the south is Cala del Crit (the Cove of the Shout), so named for a pirate legend, and a little further on is Cala de la Fontmorisca, which has a spring ('font' in Catalan) and was also popular with pirates. Carry on south and you’ll discover Cala del Vedell, which, until just a few decades ago, was home to a colony of Mediterranean monk seals, an animal that today is thought to scarcely exist in this part of the world.
All three coves belong to Mont-ras, a small town that lies a few kilometres inland and that bought a small section of coast from nearby Palafrugell so its young men could do their military service in the Royal Navy. The implications of this deal dragged on until recent times: for years Palamós, Mont-ras and Palafrugell tussled over the ownershop of the Illes Formigues, an archipelago of just a few square metres that has cost the lives of many sailors in the past and where a famous victory was won against the French in the 13th century. Enough history? Apologies. We’ll finish by telling you that all these coves are difficult to access and pretty much guarantee you a private swim.