Located in the province of Girona, Catalonia is home to the gorgeous Mediterranean coastline of Costa Brava – which translates to ‘wild coast’. Costa Brava spans from the Spanish-French border to the River Toreda near Blanes. There are several small towns dotted along this coastline with so much to offer – wine, food and most importantly, spectacular beaches.
When planning a beach vacation, there are so many things to consider like when the Costa Brava weather will be best and which beaches to visit. This guide has everything on Costa Brava’s best beaches.
The Best Beaches in Costa Brava
From the most popular to the best-kept secrets, here is everything you need to know about the best beaches in Costa Brava.
Beaches around Blanes
This large stretch of coastline marks the start of the Costa Brava beaches.
Platja de Blanes
Between the port and Sa Palomera rock is the sandy expanse of Platja de Blanes. Backed by sky-high resorts and buildings, this beach as well as the adjacent S’Abanell mark the start of the Costa Brava region. This easily accessible beach is frequently visited during the summer months – so be prepared for a packed beach! Otherwise, sit back and enjoy the views of the ocean and Sant Joan Castle, resting atop the hill.
For those who enjoy discovering hidden gems, here are two secret beaches around Blanes, which are only accessible by boat:
- Cala sa Forcanera – a great place for scuba diving.
- Cala s’Agüia – this sheltered cove is located in the Pinya de Rosa National Park.
Beaches of Lloret de Mar
Lloret de Mar stretches 40 kilometres across the Mediterranean coast of Girona. Here are some of the best beaches to visit while in the area.
Platja de Lloret de Mar
This town’s main beach is Playa de Lloret. It’s great during peak seasons as the beach’s large expanse allows everyone to have ample space. This Girona beach is recommended to families with kids as the sandy shore gently declines into the water. One can also enjoy the beach scenery by taking a stroll along the promenade.
Named after the Santa Cristina chapel sitting several hundred metres back from the shore, this beach is often packed with tourists. It’s also famous for its appearance in a painting done by Joaquin Sorolla in 1915.
Nestled between Punta de Llevant and Punta de Calo’, this sheltered beach is the perfect spot to get out of the wind. Behind the beach is a grassy area favoured by those who like to play volleyball or football.
Cala Sa Boadella
Just past Santa Cristina beach, one can reach this little piece of paradise via a wooded path. It is also one of the few nudist beaches in the area, so don’t be surprised when you see someone taking a skinny-dip!
Between Lloret de Mar and Tossa de Mar is a secret beach named Platja Porto Pi. It is no longer accessible by land as it’s been closed off. So, for those who enjoy a little adventure, the beach can be reached by kayak.
Beaches of Tossa de Mar
Tossa de Mar has the perfect mix of busy tourist beaches and hidden caves to make any beach-lover fall in love with this stretch of coastline.
Platja Gran is overlooked by Tossa de Mar’s well known La Vila Vella Castle. Sunbathers can have it all on this beach. There are numerous water activities available to choose from: snorkel amongst schools of fish, skim across the ocean on a jet ski or enjoy the view from the air while parasailing. For those who prefer a less sporty day at the beach, there are several shops, cafes and bars to visit along this beachfront.
Along the Ardenya Cadiretes Massif mountain range lie several coves. Cala Pola is one such beach which sits four kilometres north of Tossa de Mar. This gorgeous cove is right next to the Cala Pola camping grounds, so it’s easy to reach by car or, during the summer months, one can hop on a boat at Platja Gran to reach it.
Cala Futedera can be found two kilometres past Cala Pola. This quiet spot is characteristic of Costa Brava – pine trees atop cliffs overlooking the gorgeous turquoise water. Cala Futadera has been nicknamed by locals as the ‘cove of 300 steps’.
So, as one can imagine, getting to and from this Costa Brava beach is quite the workout! This beach isn’t serviced by cafes or vendors with umbrella’s, so make sure to pack all the essentials.
There are plenty of other little coves dotted along this stretch of Costa Brava. Here are two spots to check out near Tossa de Mar:
- Cala Bona – this small beach has a deep seabed with rocky walls running alongside the water. This cove is an incredible spot to go snorkelling or diving.
- Cala Llevado’ – three kilometres south of Tossa de Mar, this tranquil beach allows one to escape from the hustle and bustle of the town.
This beach is just past Platja Gran d’Aro and it’s the best spot to go to avoid feeling like a packed sardine. Cala Rovira can be reached via the Camí de Ronda coastal path. After passing the Cavall Bernat rock, one will become mesmerised by the blue-green tint of the water. Further along the coast are the bijou coves of Sa Cova, Els Canyers and Belladona.
Playa El Castell
This beach near Palamo’s has a different terrain in comparison to other Catalonia beaches. The surrounding area is free from the usual tourist amenities found elsewhere, thanks to the efforts of the locals.
To the right of the beach, there’s a trail which leads to a pebbled beach with white-washed fisherman’s homes. Upon the hill to the left is Punta del Castell where one can visit ancient Iberian settlements.
Platja de Canadell
This former fishing village is now an upmarket holiday destination for wealthy Catalonians. This is one of the busiest beaches in Costa Brava during the summertime but is just as enjoyable during the off-season.
Alongside the beach are countless restaurants and bars. However, they are on the pricey side, so be prepared to treat yourself when in Canadell.
Beaches of Bengur
This medieval town boasts some of the least spoilt beaches and coves in the Girona region. Here are two of Bengur’s best beaches to visit.
Playa de Sa Tuna
This charming beach can be reached by driving through the fisherman’s village, Sa Tuna. There is a meandering walk between the houses to the left of the beach which leads to Cala d’Aiguafreda.
Along this walk are also several paths leading down to prime swimming and snorkelling spots. To the right of the beach, a footpath which guides one down to Cala s’Eixugador – one of the few virgin coves of Costa Brava.
This beach sits at the foot of a cliff that curves around the shore and to reach it, one must descend the steep steps to the right of the beach. The effort is well worth it as Platja Fonda is unique in comparison to other Costa Brava beaches – it’s covered in dark grey, gritty sand whilst other beaches are white or golden in colour.
The rocks and cliffs on either side of the beach extend into the ocean and serve as the perfect ledges for cliff divers and jumpers.
Before heading to the Bay of Roses, make a stop at Cala Pedrosa – a pebblestone beach that once hid pirates who had to come ashore.
Beaches in the Bay of Roses
The Bay of Roses extended from the Cap de Creus peninsula to the Montegri Massid. There are seven beaches and eight coves to be found in this bay. This area is favoured by tourists and locals alike. This isn’t surprising seeing as it caters to all beach-goers needs.
Platja de Roses
This popular beach is situated near the town centre. Two streams meet the ocean here, splitting this beach into three areas – Salatar, Nova and Rastrell. It’s a great beach to visit on a family summer vacation – there’s almost no wind and the break is small.
While not as picturesque as other Costa Brava beaches, this beach is well suited to adventurous people who favour active beach days over lazing in the sun. Some of the activities available include sailing, fishing, diving, surfing and taking a catamaran cruise.
Situated towards the southern end of the bay, Platja L’Escala belongs to a fishing village renowned for its anchovies. Glass bottoms boats will take you from this beach up and down the coast for a tour of the rugged coastline. In the surrounding areas are two coves – Cala Montego’ and Cala Illa Mateua.
Some other notable mentions include:
- Platja de Canyelles Petites – this small beach is one of the lesser developed beaches in the area.
- Cala Murta – this is the only official nudist beach in this particular bay.
- Cala Calitjas – this secluded cove can be reached on a thin dirt track or by boat.
Thoughts on Costa Brava’s Best Beaches
While Costa Brava has an infinite number of beaches and coves to explore, each one has its own memorable qualities. This Mediterranean coastline is not something to be missed! Got your heart set on exploring Costa Brava? Check out our other posts to learn more about things to do in Costa Brava.