Stays on the Catalan Coasts, Costa Brava
The Costa Brava stretches for some 200 km in the province of Girona, in the north-east of Spain. It starts from Blanes, at the mouth of the river Tordera, to Portbou at the French border.
Cliffs, beaches, coves, rocky headlands and inlets are characteristic of this coastline.
The northernmost part of the Costa Brava is called Alt Empordà. These lands, where the sea and mountains meet, were the favourite place of Salvador Dali’s painter. This is where the Cap de Creus nature park is located, separating the Gulf of Lion from the Gulf of Roses.
Endowed with numerous hiking trails, this granite peninsula covered with scrubland and shrubs overlooks the sea at an altitude of 672 meters.
To the south of Cape Town, considered among the most beautiful bays in the world, the Gulf of Roses offers long beaches and seaside resorts such as Castello del Empúries or L’ Escala and a few marinas.
From L’ Escala to San Feliu de Guíxols, the county of Baix Emportà, in the centre of the Costa Brava, is a region of calanques such as Begur and Palafrugell. From the tourist centre of L’ Estartit, you can embark for a visit to the marine reserve of the Medes Islands located less than a kilometre from the coast and practice scuba diving or admire dolphins that stay there regularly.
The southern region of the Costa Brava, the Selva stretches for about twenty kilometres from the Cadiretes massif to the mouth of the Tordera River. The old city of Tossa de Mar, famous for its beaches, Lloret de Mar and Blanes are the main seaside resorts.
Discover the Costa Brava
80 km northeast of Girona
Small fishing port with a marina of 300 rings at the foot of the Pyrenees, Portbou shelters at the bottom of a bay. Its coastline is made up of coves and beaches: del Pi beach, Les Trois Petites Plages, the main beach and Claper beach. Its rocky coast is a real invitation to scuba diving.
A few kilometers east of Portbou, the Albera Natural Park offers 4000 hectares of mountain scenery in which the last populations of Mediterranean turtles live.
Located in the extreme north of the Costa Brava, Portbou is bordered by France and is an obligatory part of the French-Spanish rail network.
50 km northeast of Gerona.
The seaside resort of Rosas is beautifully situated between sea and mountains at the bottom of the eponymous Gulf. Beaches, creeks and rocky cliffs compete with each other for an attractive coastline on which various water sports are practiced. Among these creeks, those of: Almadrava, Canyelles Petites, Murta, Montjoy, Pelosa….
Its Renaissance citadel, located on its shoreline, was built in the 16th century to prevent pirates and privateers from invading. This shoreline is endowed with a sea promenade lined with palm trees from which one can admire magnificent sunsets. Its fishing and leisure port is one of the most important in the Costa Brava.
60 km northeast of Girona
The white houses of Cadaqués spread pleasantly between terraces lined with olive trees and vineyards and the blue waters of the Mediterranean. Surrounded by mountains, its access only by sea has been isolated from the rest of Catalonia for centuries.
Dali, Paul Éluard, René Magritte, Luis Buñuel, Federico García Lorca and André Breton contributed to the fame of this small fishing port. The consequence of this fame is the high cost of the village; situated in the heart of Cap de Creus, it is built at the bottom of this bay which has inspired so many artists. Its beaches and coves with crystal clear waters are ideal for nautical activities such as scuba diving, windsurfing…
Cap de Creus
70 km northeast of Girona
A rocky promontory with an altitude of 670 m separating the Gulf of Roses and that of the Lion, Cap de Creus is exposed to the tramontane, a wind sometimes violent. Equipped with vegetation of the maquis type, its natural park is covered by numerous hiking trails, sometimes overlooking coves with pleasant beaches. The whole will delight lovers of sports and nature activities.
45 km southeast of Girona
Palamos is nestled north of a bay where regattas such as the Chrismas Race are held. Its rugged coastline is covered by numerous creeks and beaches, the most famous of which are the Grande Plage (Gran Playa), Fosca or Castell.
Calanques such as Cala Canyers or Cala Margarida with transparent waters and rocky bottoms welcome scuba diving enthusiasts. Facing the sea, Palamos, an ancient fishing village founded in the 12th century, has kept its medieval layout.
The resort is equipped with an active fishing port and several small marinas. An old fishing port which concentrates the main part of the night life with its profusion of bars and restaurants.
Platja d’ Aro
50 km southeast of Girona
A town with a prehistoric past, it is divided into two entities: Castell d’ Aro and Platja d’ Aro, Castell d’ Aro being the original village built around a medieval castle and a fortified church. As for Platja d’ Aro, a former fishing village situated on a two-kilometre long beach, it is now a very popular seaside resort frequented by Catalans and Northern Europeans with second homes.
From its prehistoric past, you can still admire the menhir of Vallanera and the dolmen Cova del Moro as well as Roman ruins in the Vila de Pla de Palol. Covering 10 hectares, these remains date from between the 1st and 4th centuries AD.
Surrounded between Platja d’ Aro and Palamos, Sant Antoni de Calonge offers a beach of more than one kilometer formed by three coves separated by piers.
Lloret de Mar
50 km south of Girona
Located in the southernmost part of the Costa Brava, Lloret de Mar, while retaining its maritime tradition, has become one of the most important seaside resorts of the Costa Brava. Its coastline is rugged, sometimes overhanging cliffs up to 100 metres high, dotted with creeks with undersea bottoms that attract divers and vast beaches of fine sand.
In addition to these beaches and inlets, there are Art Nouveau and Baroque buildings such as the Santa Cristina hermitage, which stands on the seafront.