When we think of travelling to Spain, we forget about hidden gems, like Saville, Valencia or Peñíscola. Instead, we visit the well know destinations such as, Madrid, Majorca or Barcelona. However, if we travel one hour away from the city of Barcelona, we find a great little location known as Costa Brava.
The first thing I noticed, was Costa Brava is more for the locals than international tourist. Costa Bravo is filled with breath-taking views and award winning beaches. It’s also the best place to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Costa Brava is a stunning region in Catalonia which extends from the Mediterranean coast to the majestic Pyrenees, that form a natural border with France. Costa Brava loosely translates as ‘wild coast’, a reference to the rocky coastline with its spectacular cliffs and countless coves, a favourite haunt for pirates in the 17th century. Though famed for its beaches and sunshine, Costa Brava is not only about sun, sea and sand. The region is a treasure trove of historic, cultural and gastronomic delights! I would suggested a Costa Bravo road trip is the best way to explore the region at your own leisure – mix up beach time with a wander through medieval towns, and visits to cultural attractions with hikes along the coast or in the mountains.
One thing I noticed, was as a family we were able to connect more. Our days were spent interacting with each other rather than being engrossed in electronic devices. We stayed in a luxurious and newly renovated hotel called Kaktus Playa. I would highly recommend a stay here, if your after the zen lifestyle for a few days. The staff are very friendly and helpful, even if English isn't thier first language.
If you’re looking for a great day out then I would recommend Girona, Tossa de Mar to be more precious! This place is beautiful, with playful beaches and great restaurants to sample fresh produce. The city of Girona is a fantastic place to enjoy lively markets and street performers, while many of the pristine Blue Flag beaches are perfect for children.
I would also recommend climbing up the hill to visit the Castle of Tossa de Mar, which was built in 1187 on the request of the abbot of Ripoll (locality Pre- Catalan Pyrenees ). The castle is located in the old Town ‘Vila Vella ‘ and has beautiful side cobble streets to walk along to give you that old Spanish feel.
If you have a spare day then, I would also recommend a short trip to Barcelona via train. It’s under two hours away but is worth it, as you get to see different beaches along the way. Barcelona is the complete opposite to Costa Bravo. It’s highly cosmopolitan, full of tourist, high end stores, bars and restaurants on every corner. It’s is actually too busy for my likin, as I got use to the tranquil life of being in Costa Brava. In order to see the city we jumped onto the tour bus and I can honestly say, after a few hours, I could not wait to get out of there. It was too busy, noisy and I couldn’t think or take anything in. I almost felt like I was in Tokyo! This was my 3rd trip to Barcelona, so maybe I wasn’t as excited, however, for those who have never been, I would definitely recommend it and maybe stay for a night or 2, just so you can feel the vibe.
To end this article, I thought I would give you a quick guide as to what to do when visiting Costa Bravo, so you can plan ahead and experience this beautiful town in all its glory!
1. Explore as many beaches as possible
2. Find Game of Thrones locations in Girona
3. Try Kayaking or Deep Sea Diving
4. Visit the fortifications in Tossa de Mar
5. Be amazed at the Salvador Dalí Theatre Museum
6. Eat at one of Dalí’s favourite restaurants
7. Take a wine tour
8. Savour the restaurants and cafe’s of Girona
9. Have fun at Costa Brava waterparks
10. View the Santa Clotilde Gardens