Costa Brava, the wild one is perhaps one of the most enchanting regions on the Spanish Coast, ideal for a package holiday retreat with a variety of resorts to choose from and plenty of idyllic beaches where to relax. The region has its fair share of historic and artistic heritage with numerous charming old towns such as Cadaques near the French border where some of the world’s greatest artist including Picasso and Dali stayed for a dose of inspiration.
Costa Brava is the north-eastern coastal area of Spain within the Catalonia region. It stretches from the border city of Portbou in the north to Blanes, some 60 km northeast of Barcelona. The region is blessed with an excellent summer climate and breathtaking natural beauty including amazing beaches on the coast and remarkable wilderness further inland.
It is the region where white summits of the Pyreneans meets the golden coast, dark rugged cliffs meet turquoise water and where Spain meets Catalonia. If you are looking to be inspired, Costa Brava is the place to be.
Costa Brava map
Top places in Costa Brava
The top places in Costa Brava include:
- Lloret de Mar
- Tossa de Mar
- Sant Feliu De Guixols
Blanes is a famous seaside resort town offering a variety of hotels and apartments. The beautiful fishing villages of Tossa de Mar and Lloret de Mar nearby are also very interesting places to discover.
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Lloret de Mar
Lloret de Mar is known to be one of the first resorts in the Mediterranean to be developed for tourism and still continue to attract a mass of vacationers after 50 years. The town is blessed with natural beauty offering stunning beaches and packed with a variety of restaurants and entertainment. Lloret de Mar has a unique charms with its palm-tree lined promenades, pretty squares, remarkable houses and a relaxed atmosphere.
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Tossa de Mar
Tossa de Mar, which can be translated to “flower of the sea” is a charming coastal resort famous for being one of the best-preserved fortified towns in Spain. It is perfectly situated between the gorgeous sandy bay and the peaks of the Cadiretes mountains in the backdrop. It is a typical Catalan town with a rich cultural heritage, ideal for a laidback holiday.
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Sant Feliu De Guixols
Sant Feliu De Guixols is a traditional fishing port, with a beautiful architecture and excellent sea food restaurants. The town is famous for its large monastery which now houses the town museum and is a protected historico-artistic monument.
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Palamós is a town located in the comarca of Baix Empordà next to a large bay. It was first found in 1279 by the Comte de Barcelona as a new royal port on the coast. In the last century the town saw a rapid growth of tourism but the architecture remained relatively unchanged. Today it is a great holiday destination offering plenty of water sports to choose from including swimming, sailing and windsurfing as well as a fantastic nightlife around the old port with a variety of bars and restaurants.
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Girona is ideally situated between the excitement of Barcelona and the calm of the Pyrenees. It is known for its breathtaking views and archaeological sites. It is worth coming on a Sunday where the main shopping street, the Ramblas is transformed into a beautiful flower market.
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Palafrugell is a small summer holiday town, a favourite with residents of Girona and Barcelona, as well as more and more north Europeans. It has some wonderful beaches as well as a remarkable medieval old town with packed narrow streets, various boutiques, restaurants and bars as well as the Plaça Nova square and the 11th century St. Marti’s church at its heart.
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L’Escala is lovely small sea town within the northern part of Costa Brava, situated between the southern end of the Gulf of Roses and the Cala Montgó bay. The town remains an important fishing port and tourist centre and id perhaps best known for its festival dedicated to anchovies.
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Banyoles is the perfect place for a family adventure where its lake, the primary attraction offers a variety of water experiences.
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Figueres is known for being home to the Dali Theatre and Museum, one of the most important and visited attractions in Catalonia.
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Roses is a lovely coastal town and important fishing port located at the at the northern end of the Gulf of Roses. The town has a very rich historic heritage first founded by the Greeks some 3000 years ago. Today it is a largely tourist destination with plenty of hotels and resorts to choose from.
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Cadaques is a beautiful coastal town offering sandy beaches and clear blue water, as well as charming narrow streets. By night, the town is known to offer live jazz session, making it ideal to relax and enjoy a pitcher of Sangria. The nearby Portlligat town is also worth visiting, famous for having the house where Salvador Dali’s lived.
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Portbou is a small town in Costa Brava located near the French border and serves as a dropping off point for trains coming from France. It has a really quiet atmosphere and a beautiful landscape.
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Costa Brava holidays
The Costa Brava tourism adventure all started in the 50’s when the government and more importantly local entrepreneurs decided to explore the potential of this unique landscape. Today the region has become one of the most popular holiday destination in Spain especially with nearby French and other Northern Europeans tourist, with thousands of resorts, hotels and other accommodations. The biggest soon became the seaside resorts of Blanes, Tossa de Mar and Lloret de Mar. What was once a mainly fishing region had become a primary touristic destination.
About Costa Brava
Costa Brava, which can be literally translated to the “rugged coast” is the easternmost Spanish coastal regions. It is part of Catalonia in the province of Girona and stretches from Blanes, 60 km (37 mi) northeast of Barcelona, to the French border. It is the land of remarkable beaches and hidden villages along the coast, as well as a variety of historical and architecture sites worth discovering.
Although many of the coast are now packed with resorts, the inland area has mostly stay untouched and retained its traditional charm. It is especially true in and around the artistic town of Cadaqués or other lovely villages of Palamós, Begur, Calonge or Tamariu.
Costa Brava in particular has a rich historical heritage from the Palaeolithic hunters in the caves of Ulldecona to its golden Middle Ages where Catalonia receive its own constitution, passing by Roman and Moor settlers.