Top 10 Places to Explore on the Costa Brava
Known for its rugged rocks and hidden coves, the Costa Brava stretches from the town of Blanes to the border of France and the town of Portbou. Although just a short drive from Barcelona, on the Costa Brava you’ll easily feel miles away from cosmopolitan life because of the magical and peaceful vibe.
“Brava” means “wild”, which is the perfect way to describe this beautiful coastline. This pine-fringed stretch of coast has crystal clear waters and there’s variety here too, from sweeping stretches of silky sand with family-friendly shallow waters, to secluded smugglers’ coves and elegant horse-shoe bays. You can snorkel or scuba dive, and of course, visit great restaurants to enjoy excellent freshly caught seafood.
The Costa Brava is home to some of the most picturesque towns in Spain such as Cadaqués, home of Dalí, Llafranc, Begur, and L’Estartit. It’s also where you’ll find unique places like the Cap de Creus Natural Park, a protected paradise with vertiginous cliffs and hidden coves – ideal to discover by boat.
- In the early part of the 20th century, Cadaqués was a meeting point for many Spanish writers, poets, and painters, including García Lorca and Picasso. You can visit Dalí’s summer house here, but the real attraction lies in the whitewashed streets and the atmosphere of this picturesque fishing village.
- Just 15 minutes away from Cadaqués is Portlligat, home to the Dalí House Museum where the artist lived until the death of his wife, Gala. The house consists of a series of fishermen’s huts which Gala and Dalí joined together in the form of a labyrinth.
- The incredibly beautiful Cap de Creus Natural Park in the far northeast of Catalonia is where culture and nature meet. You’ll find rocks molded by the wind that became an inspiration to Dalí and a picturesque lighthouse where you can see one of Spain’s best sunsets.
- Located on the southernmost part of the Costa Brava, Tossa de Mar is a historic seaside resort where you’ll discover sandy beaches and a picturesque old town. Don’t miss the impressive 12th-century castle or “Vila Vella”.
- One mile off the coast from L’Estartit, the Medes Islands archipelago is an important marine flora and fauna reserve and a great scuba diving destination.
- L’Estartit boasts great cultural heritage and a stunning natural environment. Visit the protected Ter Vell wetlands or the impressive Montgrí Massif with its 13th-century castle.
- Surrounded by lush vegetation and reached only by sea or along the 1km coastal footpath from Calella de Palafrugell, El Golfet is a fantastic secluded beach, ideal for diving. Look out for the castle nearby and the Cap Roig Botanical Gardens which are home to an annual music festival.
- One of the most upmarket destinations on the Costa Brava, Platja del Canadell is an old fishing village popular with Catalans. It’s no wonder – the pastel-colored buildings and restaurants under arches which line the beach make it one of the region’s prettiest resorts.
- With Moorish and Spanish architecture, narrow streets, and a ramshackle medieval castle, Begur is a vibrant and lively town well worth visiting. It’s popular with Barcelonians and has a good selection of restaurants and boutique hotels.
- The origins of Roses, a town less than 30km from the French border, are believed to go back to the 8th century BC when it was apparently settled by colonists from the Greek island of Rhodes. Nowadays, this beautiful bay is great for gastronomy, culture and outdoor fun.
Contact us now to start planning your luxury Costa Brava experience, including stays in Barcelona and Girona and opportunities to meet our great guides and insiders.