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The town is situated between the foothills of the Montgrí Massif and the Mediterranean Sea, and is part of the municipality of Torroella de Montgrí, in the Baix Empordà county, Girona province, autonomous community of Catalonia.
L'Estartit stretches North-South from Cala Montgó, at the southern tip of the Bay of Roses (Badía de Roses) to the Ter River estuary in the Bay of Pals (Badía de Pals). East-West it extends three kilometres inland from the shoreline, and includes the hills of Roca Maura and Torre Moratxa.
A kilometre off shore lies the Illes Medes archipelago, composed of various uninhabited islands. The area has been protected by Natural Park status and is home to many different species of flora and fauna, both above and below the waterline.
Initially a fishing village, the advent of tourism in the Costa Brava from the 1960s onwards brought a large influx of visitors to the town during the summer months. The community grew exponentially for the next two decades, initially with houses and villas built up the hills that surround the harbour, and later with hotels, apartment blocks and campsites extending along the beach and the flood plain of the Ter estuary.
The tourist industry also led to a large immigrant population (mostly from other parts of Spain), needed to serve the ever-growing number of visitors. Tourists visiting L'Estartit originate mainly from France, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany and the Netherlands, whilst the majority of the labour force hails from the south of Spain, especially Andalusia.
Like many other tourist resorts around the world, massification and uncontrolled growth led the town to lose the charm that had made it popular in the first place. Tourism has been dwindling since the 1990s. However the underwater beauty of the Illes Medes, the large and well-equipped sports marina and the abundance of nearby golf courses keep divers, sailors and golfers coming back year after year and has seen a revival in the area's fortunes.
There was a LORAN-C transmitter of the Mediterranean Sea Chain in L'Estartit, which has now been demolished.
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