Costa Brava is the perfect destination for travelers seeking sun, beauty, relaxation or adventure. It’s also one of the most romantic coastal regions in Europe, with its teal-colored Mediterranean waters, its breathtaking landscapes, wonderful hotels and exquisite food. To make it all even better, the region was gifted with a incredibly friendly weather, which allows us to walk along the sea in short sleeves even if we’re visiting during the winter season.
The best part? It’s located right next to Barcelona and you can get to your first coastal destination within a one hour drive from the Catalan capital. From there, more 240 km of coast will be waiting for you – and of course, the best parts are hidden, or at least hardly mentioned in travel guides or magazine articles. If you want to add a unique experience to your days in Barcelona, or if you’re just looking for an alternative option to make the most out of your holidays, here is a guide to help you plan your trip!
History and Surroundings
Costa Brava, a part of Girona
The Catalan Costa Brava is a part of the province of Girona, worldly known by its Medieval beauty, richest Jewish heritage and artistic and cultural relevance. If you’re a foodie, you might have heard of it for being the home of Celler de Can Roca, winner of the Best Restaurant Award from the Diners Club World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy 2013 and 2015 editions. Girona is also home of Salvador Dali and hosts the three most important museums dedicated to the painter’s life. The municipality is definitely one of the best options in case you want to establish a vacation home, although the highlights of the city can perfectly fit in one afternoon walking tour – so if you’re on a tight schedule, you’ll want to consider a day with both Costa Brava & Medieval Girona.
Adventure in Costa Brava
Its blessed geography makes Costa Brava one of the best destinations in Europe for outdoor activities. To start, it is easily regarded as one of the top destinations for sea kayaking and water adventure and leisure in Western Europe. Finding the perfect kayak agency can be tricky – for as much as you’ll find beach stands in every cala you visit, the best spots are in the less known calas and during the summer season, you might even need a reservation (especially when renting tandems). If kayaking in the Costa Brava is your idea of a perfect day, then you’ll be glad to know that we can make it happen in the best – and easiest – way.
Hikers from all around the world also tend to love Costa Brava’s offer of high winding cliffs, beautiful beaches, and crystal coves. Why wouldn’t they – imagine hiking under the soft sun for a couple of hours, having the Mediterranean’s horizon line always in the background, and finishing the day with a refreshing dip in a secluded beach? This plan sounds amazing – and it is! – but this time we’ll insist that a good guide is a must. You could easily get lost and if you’re a beginner or if this is your first time hiking in Costa Brava, the best option would be to take a tour there. Yes, I’m talking about the Cliffs & Coves: Hiking the Costa Brava day trip!
3 Wonderful Costa Brava Destinations
It’s one of the most famous destinations of Costa Brava, maybe due to its harmonic combination of mountain and sea. Located 200m over the sea level, the cute medieval town of Begur is a historic medieval oasis where you’ll find conserved houses from the XVIII century and an XVI century castle. The panoramic view of the city with the sea in the background is certainly not to be missed. You can easily find it by car but make sure to arrive early: it tends to get very crowded during weekends and summer season and it can be hard to find a parking spot or even a table at the restaurants.
This beach isn’t always featured in Costa Brava articles, and we never really understood why. It’s one of the best destinations for families, as here you’ll find everything from hotels to stores, amazing “calas” (those short extensions of land that make for a very small beach, typical from this region) and even an aquatic park! Make sure to put it in your list if you’re traveling with kids or if your trip is a family trip. There are also golf practicing, snorkeling, and outdoor concerts, making it impossible to get bored or to miss the “urban” life.
It’s no secret that Cadaqués is one of Spanish Trails team favorite destinations. Not only because of the gorgeous white-and-blue landscape, or because it was the home of Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso, but also because of the ton of leisure options that it offers. Right next to Cadaqués you’ll find Portlligat – a lovely small village where the Dali’s house and the museum is located -, and the fantastic landscape of the exact point where Spain and France meet that can be seen from Cap de Creus. This mountain is actually ideal for a trekking, although is also reachable by car. Cadaqués isn’t exactly an easy destination as you’ll have to drive almost one hour from Roses in a very curvy road (or take one of the two daily buses that do this trip), but the drive is so beautiful that it turns out to be a positive point instead of a turn-off.
Remember that Cadaqués is one of our favorite destinations? This means that we’d love to take you there on board the Surreal Cadaques & All Things Dali Day Trip!
Check out all our coastal tour options and join us for a unique experience in Costa Brava!