Costa Brava: the 10 Best Places to Visit
What to do and see on the Costa Brava in Spain? At first glance we thought it was a place that was far too touristy, but we were surprised by the diversity of its landscapes, from crystal clear coves to charming villages. We take you to discover the Costa Brava, the pearl of the Catalan coast, and its must-sees.
With the health crisis, we had to fall back on a destination closer to home (Arcachon) to take the car and not have any unpleasant surprises of flights cancelled at the last minute like we had for Florida and Sardinia in 2020. We took the car at the end of September to go on a road-trip to the Costa Brava.
It's the ideal destination for a holiday on the Iberian Peninsula, just a few kilometres from the French border and its sublime Vermeil coast. Here are our must-sees for a holiday in Spain on the Costa Brava.
1- Cadaqués and Port Lligat house Salvador Dalí.
The Cadaqués village is a beautiful white village with picturesque lanes and cobbled streets. Just the road to get there is atypical, long and narrow, up and down, and will blow you away. Beware of the crowds, it is better to get there early because in September the car park was jammed and it was difficult to find a place.
Once you have parked at the large paying car park, you can wander around this sloping village and discover this artists' place, which is mainly focused on the Dali museum. There is a calmness in the streets.
A little higher up, don't miss the other small village of Port Lligat it is here that you can visit the amazing house-museum of Salvador Dali Casa-Museo or walk along the fishermen's port. A little further north, stop at the white fishing village of Selva and the small port of Selva for windsurfing and the beach of Tamariu.
2- The calmness of Roses
Roses or Rosas, a Catalan town that surprised us with its large, endless bay and its relaxing, farniente setting! It is not for nothing that many French retirees come here to rest. We liked its large seafront promenade. There is no need to say Roses has all the makings of a seaside resort where you can relax by the sea, browse the shops or simply enjoy an ice cream on the waterfront. Discover where to sleep and what to do in Roses here
🏝️ Où Dormir à Roses : notre sélection Coup de Coeur
- 50 metres from the beach 60m². apartment in Calella de Palafrugell sea view 128€ per night for 2/4 or 6 persons
- Modern and spacious rooms at theHotel Alga 4 stars 93€ per night for 2
- In the centre of Roses, free access to the sports hall and the hydromassage pool in the‘hôtel Marina 3 étoiles 86€ per night for 2
- Well located in Roses with its sea view the Prestige Mar y Sol is ideal for couples 82€ per night for 2
- South of Roses to thehôtel Maritim 4 étoles with breakfast and dinner included 124€ per night for 2
3- Empuriabrava, an air of Florida
Empuriabrava surprised us with its originality. A real marina that makesEmpuriabrava THE largest marina in Europe. Multitudes of dwellings stretch around the canals, each with its own mooring point to tie up their boat.
It feels a bit like Miami or Venice, you can take a tour of the canals in a small electric boat without getting lost thanks to an alarm system as soon as you stray from the perimeter. Boat rides cost between 45€ and 50€ per hour. We spent a night in the village of Castello d'Empuries in the heart of the ramparts. If you have time to visit Figueres and above all the Dali museum theatre which is one of the most visited. Make a diversion to the Saint-Fernand castle.
Restaurant : We recommend Bakkhos Café-Pizzeria for its delicious Argentinean cuisine.
4- Castello de Empuries
The small Spanish city of Castello de Empuries takes us back in time with its medieval appearance, especially with the parish church of Santa Maria, which makes it one of the few Gothic cathedrals in the region.
The alleys are colourful and you can even come across an old wash house (beautiful at night) and step back in time.
5- Medieval village of Pals
Pals is one of the favourite villages when visiting the Costa Brava. It is marked by the gothic style, perfectly preserved and allows you to discover the history of the Baix Empordà.
Pals is the typical medieval town of its fortified medieval towns with castles, Romanesque churches and monasteries dating back to the 9th century to find the first written documents that speak of this town, the period to which its castle belongs.
Don't miss in Pals -> Visit :
- Museum - Casa de Cultura Ca la Pruna. A fortified house from the 15th century
- The fortified walls and its four towers.
- The panoramic view of Josep Pla.
- Pals Castle
- The church of Sant Pere
- The main square.
Where to sleep?
We stayed in Torroella de Montgri in a charming hotel ideal for holiday rentals if you like peace and quiet in the countryside with a seawater pool, sauna and large room. The super breakfast was gargantuan. We recommend: Moli del Mig
6- Medieval village of Peratallada
Located in the municipality of Forallac, not far from Girona, you should definitely stop by the old town Peratallada to visit:
- San Esteban Church a 13th century Romanesque building with three naves
- The castle-palace dates back to the year 1065, although there is evidence that it belonged to the Roman Empire
- Piazza delle Volte on adore its arcades just like Piazza del Castello.
Peratallada is a small village in the hinterland of 200 souls which makes it very charming and therefore unmissable.
7- Begur village like in Cuba
During your stay in the Costa Brava, we advise you to visit the Begur village with its old stone architecture and its attractions that allow you to take in the sights. The village is nestled in the hills and everything is within walking distance from the car parks below.
We advise you to go to the heights of the fortress of the 11th century medieval city to admire the panoramic view. The climb is accessible, but the wind quickly kicks up the dust. However, it is worth the diversions because the view is grandiose, you can even see the sea in the distance. An orientation table allows us to identify the different villages we have visited.
You have to get lost in Begur, go through the narrow streets, see the colourful Cuban houses. Yes, you can feel the Cuban atmosphere in this village, partly due to the return of the "Americanos" from the 16th century, who went to live in Cuba after the Begur vine disease and you can see their return to the village! The colonial style houses, the frescos and the gastronomy.
We recommend the Bar Havana restaurant to taste typical Cuban dishes.
This ancient fortified village is located near beautiful coves and beaches of the Mediterranean Sea like Sa Tuna with its crystal clear turquoise waters It reminded us of the beautiful beaches of Fuerteventura during our road trip to fuerteventura it is a pity that the parking is not free and that the weather did not allow us to enjoy this cove. Also do not miss the natural park of the area.
8- Tamariu Beach
This beach takes its name from the tamarisk pines that line each side of the bay. The coves of Tamariu The beaches are so beautiful that we recommend swimming and walking along the path. You can admire the fish at the edge of the coves. Tamariu is one of the most beautiful beaches of our road trip.
9- Calella de Palafrugell and Cami da Ronda
This beautiful fishing village Calella de Palafrugell is our must-see destination on the Costa Brava. With its white houses, narrow streets, fishermen's boats and small harbours, Calella de Palafrugell is a place where you can enjoy the good life and swim in its crystal clear waters. The ideal place to do water sports with direct access to the beach: kayaking, SUP. We were able to inflate our Stand Up Paddle and discover the most beautiful places and small coves.
Folk-Travel's advice: follow the Cami da Ronda path which runs along the coast to the south. You pass under tunnels, discover incredible coves and rocks in the middle of the water out of nowhere! Everything is breathtaking! It's incredible to see all these creeks by the sea with the cliffs plunging into the water. Moreover these paths are easily practicable it is so appreciable to stroll there.
10- The Coves of Platja d'Aro
Here you can see that tourism is the heart of the city with its many branded shops, its 17-storey buildings but Platja d'Aro is worth a visit with its large sandy beaches and higher up, either by path or by paddle, the coves such as Cala Sa Cova or Cala del Pi are a must-see. Here we could admire the sea bed which abounds in aquatic fauna. If you like nightlife, Platja d'Aro is the place to be.
As you can see, the main reason for coming to the Costa Brava is to enjoy its large sandy beach, the sun and the Spanish way of life!
The Spanish coast is a real gem, especially the Costa Brava, and it's just a stone's throw from the Pyrenees! During our previous adventures, we saw how much the Canary Islands There are many unforgettable and beautiful landscapes. We also recommend scuba diving in Tossa de Mar and Lloret de Mar. Next time we will go down to the Costa Dorada to share with you some more fabulous places.
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Founders of Folk-Travel
⛰️ Globetrotters and landscape photographer. We had a passion in common when we met, that of great landscapes. It was enough for us to travel all over the world in search of the most beautiful photogenic spots. We take time for details, authenticity while remaining natural. Back from our road-trips we reveal our best places.
We take time for details and authenticity while remaining natural. Back from our road-trips we reveal our best places.
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