The gulf of Roses describes a big and luminous curve of 15 km between the peninsula of the Cap of Creus (N) and the macizo of Montgrí (S), forming a larguisima beach of sand that surrounds the alluvial plain ampurdanesa formed by the rivers Muga and Fluvià.
In his extremes, the Greeks established both foundations in his attempt to colonise this sector of the Mediterranean, Roses and Empúries . In his centre, the population of Castelló d'Empúries was the capital of the county of Empúries, that extended by big part of the Empordà.
The sandy areas of the beach separate of the sea the busy earths by the marismas (aiguamolls), waste of ancient lakes desecados, especially from the s. XVIII and XIX, for his agricultural exploitation and grazier, where keep the cortals, farms surrounded by the dehesas (closes), meadows limited by acequias and channels and fences that confer a special beauty to the landscape.
Still it remains a wide sector of marjales between Sant Pere Fisherman and Castelló d'Empúries, that constitutes the Natural Park dels Aiguamolls of l'Empordà, with interesantísima flora and fauna and place of shelter for the migratory birds.
In the extreme NE of the gulf, under the mountains of the saw of Rodes, to midday of the peninsula of the Cap of Creus, finds the important population of Roses, with one of the first ports of fishing of the coastal Catalan north and also sportive port .
So much the interesting rests of the Greek colony of Rhode like the mediaeval of the monastery benedictino of Santa Maria, with a beautiful cabecera romance, are inside the citadel, built in the s. XVI in order of Carlos V in front of the Turkish danger, with big bastions and remarkable elements renacentistas, that converted the village in strong square.
The tourism has had big incidence and have created big urbanisations like The Salatar or Santa Margarida, with a big marine with channels of navigation, in contrast with zones of beauty almost wild to the cape Norfeu and the bay of Montjoi . Castelló d'Empúries, near of the river Muga, to 4 km of the sea, conserves a rich architectural heritage, witness of his past: big Gothic basilica of Santa Maria (s. XIV) with beautiful cover esculpida, the ancient lonja –current city council–, ancient casones and convents, and the mediaeval bridge.
In the coast there is the big marine of Empuriabrava, with an extensive network of channels and a small sportive airport for avionetas and helicopters. In the extreme south of the gulf is L'Scale, sailor population with long tradition of port of fishing, specialised in blue fish and salazón of anchovies and homeland of the big Catalan novelist Caterina Albert (1869-1966), that signed with the seudónimo of Víctor Català.
L'Scale is the door of entrance to the extraordinary yacimiento archaeologic of Empúries, excavated systematically from 1908, beside the sea, with the rests of the Greek colony of Emporion (‘market') and of the roman city of Emporiae.
The first Greek settlement (to 600 to.C.), effected after the foundation of Massalia (Marseilles), situated in an islote rocky at present joined to the coast, Ilamado already in the past Palaiapolis (‘ancient city'), under the current mediaeval core of Sant Martí d'Empúries and thus little excavated; the second Greek core, Neápolis, of rectangular plant, has interesting rests of walls and of the big dock that defended the port.
The roman city, formed from a camp established by Scipion in the 219 to.C., it has important rests of the amphitheatre, villas with mosaics, etc . The Museu Castelló d'Empúries, Basilica of Santa María d'Arqueologia of Catalonia-Empúries shows part of the findings and the famous sculpture of Asclepio. Also there are rests of a church paleocristiana (s. IV or V) and are interesting the fortificaciones and the church of Sant Martí d'Empúries, that was the first capital of the county of Empúries.