Costa Brava is a coastal paradise that runs along the coast of Catalonia, Spain. Starting about 70km’s from Barcelona and running to the French border, it aptly translates from Spanish to ‘‘wild or rugged coast”.
You’ll find quaint towns, rugged mountain tops and incomparable Meditteranean beaches along this coastline. Each area has a unique offering to keep all types of travellers satisfied.
Costa Brava covers a large area in the north-eastern part of Catalonia and it’s best to know which places you would like to explore to maximise your time. The below guide will ensure you make the most of your time when visiting this picturesque coastline.
Best towns to visit in Costa Brava & things to do in each
Let’s start with the best towns to visit in Costa Brava and the epic activities to do in each.
1. Things to do in Girona – Walking tour of the Medieval City
Girona is less of a small town and more of an ancient walled city that stands elevated on a hill. It has a charming medieval feel and oozes rich history and culture. Roam the streets discovering all the ancient buildings which will make you feel as if you have travelled back in time.
If you are a Game of Thrones fan you won’t need to be told that the Girona Cathedral was one of the Season 6 filming locations. You will visit the Cathedral and many other historical attractions on your walking tour learning about Spain’s tumultuous history.
2. Things to do in Tossa de Mar – Hike Camí de Ronda
Tossa de Mar is another one of Costa Brava’s coastal towns that looks like a backdrop to a Meditterean fairytale. The 12th Century gothic Castle can be found right along the coastline of this beach town.
Hike a section of the coastal paths of Camí de Ronda for an aerial view of the town. From this perspective, you will grasp the grandeur of the castle and its unique location. There are different options for abilities and length and all hikes begin at the Tossa de Mar tourist office.
After your hike be sure to grab something to eat at the Villa Vella. This area is part of the walled city that once protected the castle. Follow the charming cobbled streets and choose from many of the restaurants to refuel.
3. Things to do in Cadaqués – Visit the Dali Theatre Museum
Cadaqués is a charming bay town along the coast of Costa Brava. It is home to the spectacular Dali Theatre Museum. With this museum celebrating one of the largest surrealist figures in the world, it is not something you want to miss.
Wander through the museum and be taken on an artistic journey of Salvador Dali’s exceptional surrealist work.
Best Beaches in Costa Brava
After exploring the ancient cities and museums you will be ready to spend a bit of time soaking up the sun. Spoilt for choice as to where you dip your toes, here are the best Costa Brava beaches to visit.
1. Playa de Aiguablava, Begur
The town of Belgur is charming and magical. It’s beach Playa de Aiguablava is equally as appealing – it’s sheltered by the rocky cliffs and is perfect for families.
Keep yourself entertained with a variety of watersports offered on the beach. As well as a variety of fish restaurants to choose from on the beach should you work up an appetite.
Tip: It can get pretty busy in peak season so be sure to go early to grab a good spot!
2. Cala Sant Francesc, Blanes
This tranquil cove beach is more secluded and you will usually find more locals than tourists frequenting this bay.
It has a very relaxed vibe but if you are up for a bit of an adventure you can take a kayak tour with a local guide. You’ll swim in hidden coves and explore the unique Botanical gardens on the Blanes cliffs.
3. Cala Culip, Cadaqués
If you are looking for the ultimate underwater experience then Cala Culip is your place. Known for some of the best snorkeling in Costa Brava. It’s a tiny beach amongst the coves of Cap de Creus.
It is also home to famous shipwrecks and marine life, so if you have a diving license be sure to check it out. If not, there are also loads of local Padi schools if you would like to get in on the underwater action.
Best day trips in Costa Brava
As you have seen it’s pretty impossible to get bored when visiting the coastline of Costa Brava, but here are a few more of the best Costa Brava tours that you should try and fit in.
1. Visit the Costa Brava wineries
Not only does Costa Brava have beaches and medieval cities to explore, it also has some of the best wine in the region of Alt Empordá. If you are a wine lover, do not miss visiting the wineries that Costa Brava has to offer.
Take a day-trip from Girona and explore the wine cellars of family-run wineries. Learn about the winemaking process on the farms and do a tasting of their finest wines.
2. Take a Catamaran tour
If you just can’t get enough of the idyllic Mediterranean sea, then doing a catamaran tour is a definite must. You’ll get to swim in exclusive coves only accessible by boat, as well as snorkel and sunbathe.
If you are a water baby, you can’t go to Costa Brava and not sail around on a catamaran.
3. Visit the Cap de Creus National Park
Calling all nature lovers to not miss a visit to this picturesque National Park. The park is elevated on the rocky cliff tops that surround the water. You’ll be able to explore the nature and beauty of the cliff tops with a backdrop of the dazzling Mediterranean water.
A visit to this National Park is also included in some of the Barcelona to Costa Brava day trips. If you are keen to only visit Costa Brava for a day, we would recommend you put this park on your list.
Final thoughts on Costa Brava
With such charming towns, rugged cliffs and beautiful beaches, Costa Brava is a special place. Whether you opt to take a day trip from Barcelona or spend a few nights in one of the Costa Brava resorts, Costa Brava is a piece of coastline you don’t want to miss when travelling to Spain.