Spanish coastal region in Catalonia


The Costa Brava (Rugged Coast) is a coastal region in Catalonia, in the northeast of Spain. It has rocky cliffs and a mix of pebble beaches and sandy beaches.

Cities edit

Alt Empordà county (Comarca de l'Alt Empordà)

Baix Empordà county Comarca del Baix Empordà)

La Selva county (Comarca de La Selva)

  • 26 Tossa de Mar — a lovely seaside resort
  • 27 Lloret de Mar — a beach resort with a reputation for its nightlife
  • 28 Blanes — Barcelona's nearest and southernmost resort with two botanical gardens, beaches and modernist buildings

Other destinations edit

Understand edit

 
Lloret de Mar - principal resort of the Costa Brava

Costa Brava has been a holiday destination since the 60's. Some regions, like Lloret de Mar, are more popular with foreign tourists, while others, like Begur, cater more to locals.

The region starts in Blanes and goes for over 200 km (120 mi) to the French border. It can be divided in 3 subregions, which match with the coastal area of the administrative counties (Comarques): Alt Empordà, Baix Empordà and La Selva.

There is a lot of history in the region dating back 2600 years with the ruins of Iberian villages, then Greek outposts and Roman cities. In medieval times the monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes was built.

In the early 2000s many Russians acquired villas around Costa Brava, inflating restaurant prices, and bringing many expensive cars to the region.

Talk edit

The official language of the region is Catalan and as is the case everywhere in Catalonia, all the citizens are also fluent in Spanish. In this region, English is very widely spoken and quite often French as well. Some people will speak German, but the lingua franca is really English.

Get in edit

Costa Brava's main airport is Girona-Costa Brava airport. Ryanair operate flights to the airport from several destinations in Europe and Morocco all year. Other seasonal airlines include Thomson Airways and Transavia. Alternatively, you can fly into Barcelona El Prat Airport. Airport shuttles operate between Girona-Costa Brava airport and the majority of the resort cities, Barcelona and Girona city centre.

Get around edit

If you want to explore a lot of the coastal cities then renting a car is your best option. There is regular bus service between the towns but nothing compares driving along and stopping where you like.

See edit

  • Beaches and coves
  • The Dali Museum in Figueres.
  • Medieval ruins in Tossa de Mar, with some very well-preserved medieval ruins -- including walls and towers which protected the town between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries.
  • Traditional fishing cities like Blanes and Lloret de Mar and towns like Cadaqués, Tossa de Mar and Pals that have become important destinations for internal Spanish tourism.
  • Visit Region Natural Parks. See #Other destinations

Small Coastal villages edit

These are generally small-sized villages located on the coast that, despite the tourism boom, have managed to maintain their character as coastal towns closely connected to the sea. They have a resident population and the sea constitutes a fundamental element in the landscape's harmony and the maintenance of maritime activities and infrastructure, such as the presence of fisherman's huts, fishing cabins, bathing huts, fishing fleets, or elements characteristic of maritime culture. The best villages in this category are, in Alt Empordà: Portbou, Colera, Llançà, El Port de la Selva, and Cadaqués, and in Baix Empordà: Palafrugell and Palamós.

Charming Villages edit

These are small villages located in a rural environment, known for the harmony of their overall layout, both in terms of the built-up area and their relationship with the natural surroundings. The main common characteristic is the absence of contaminating elements that would disrupt the aesthetic quality of the whole. The best villages in this category are, in Baix Empordà: Peratallada, Ullastret, Pals, and Monells.

Villages with Historical Personality edit

They concentrate a large number of buildings and architectural elements of great historical and cultural value. These are towns that preserve important relics from the past and have managed to become a heritage of great value and attraction. The villages which fit in this tourist typology are, in Alt Empordà: Castelló d'Empúries and Figueres, in Baix Empordà: Torroella de Montgrí and Begur, in Gironès: Girona, and in La Selva: Tossa de Mar."

Botanical Gardens edit

Archeology Museums edit

  • Museu d'Arqueologia de Catalunya-Empúries in L'Escala. Huge ruins of greek outpost and a roman empire city. A must see.
  • Museu d'Arqueologia de Catalunya-Ullastret in Ullastret. ruins of Iberic village (pre-roman inhabitants)
  • Col·lecció Museu d'Arqueologia Submarina, Ca la Pruna in Pals
  • Museu d'Arqueologia de Catalunya-Girona in Girona

Dalí edit

  • Teatre-Museu Dalí in Figueres
  • Museu Castell Gala-Dalí in La Pera
  • Dali's House (Port Lligat Museum-House) in Cadaqués

Ethnology museums - old way of live edit

  • Old Catalan farmers museum (Col·lecció Museu del Pagès) in Torroella de Fluvià
  • Faucets museum (Col·lecció del Museu de les Aixetes) in Campmany
  • Salted fish museum (Col·lecció Museu de l'Anxova i de la Sal) in L'Escala
  • Flour manufacture museum (Ecomuseu-Farinera de Castelló d'Empúries) in Castelló d'Empúries
  • Museu Rural in Palau-sator
  • Fishing museum (Museu de la Pesca) in Palamós

Religious places edit

  • Sant Pere de Rodes a Port de la Selva. See Cap de Creus Natural Park. A must see.
  • Monestir de Sant Quirze de Colera a Rabós
  • Sant Joan church (Església de Sant Joan de Saverdera) a Palau-saverdera
  • Claustre de l'Antic Convent de Sant Domènec a Peralada
  • Col·legiata de Santa Maria a Vilabertran
  • Monestir benedictí de Sant Miquel de Cruïlles a Cruïlles-Monells i Sant Sadurní de l'Heura
  • The Cathedral of Girona

Do edit

 
View of Sant Feliu de Guíxols beach and marina
  • Gamble at the casinos in Lloret de Mar
  • Scuba dive - There are scuba diving outings to the "Illes Medes" (Medes Islands) National Reserve Park from L'Estartit. Cadaques also has various dive shops to explore the area. Tossa de Mar is also a popular scuba diving spot.
  • Hiking the GR 92 which runs all the costa Brava.

Leisure Centers edit

These are villages on the coast characterized by a high degree of specialization in tourism. Their primary economic activity and reason for existence is tourism; they offer a wide range of accommodations and concentrate a large number of entertainment-related activities such as water parks, restaurants, bars, pubs, and nightclubs. The best villages are, in Alt Empordà county, Roses, and Empuriabrava, in Baix Empordà county there are L'Estartit, Palamós, Sant Antoni de Calonge, and Platja d'Aro, and in Selva county, there is Lloret de Mar.

Golf edit

  • Golf Peralada in Peralada
  • Torremirona golf club
  • Empordà Golf in Torroella de Montgrí
  • Golf de Pals in Pals
  • Club Golf d'Aro in Platja d'Aro
  • Golf Costa Brava in Sta. Cristina d'Aro

Pitch and putt edit

Ports and Marinas edit

Water parks & amusement parks edit

Karting edit

Music Festivals edit

Other cultural highlights of the Costa Brava are its music festivals, which gather a notable selection of creators and performers from all genres year after year.

  • Festival of the Gardens of Cap Roig: Held in Calella de Palafrugell at the Auditori del Jardí Botànic, located in a particularly unique place next to the sea. This summer festival is open to various performing arts disciplines. Early July to mid-August.
  • Torroella de Montgrí Music Festival: Taking place in Torroella de Montgrí, the festival started in 1980 and has always maintained Western classical music as the central axis of its programming. Over time, it has introduced extra musical elements and showcased other types of music and cultures. Late July to mid-August.
  • International Music Festival of Castell de Peralada: Held in Peralada, this festival has been celebrated continuously since 1987 during the months of July and August within the monumental complex of Castell de Peralada.
  • International Festival of Porta Ferrada: In Sant Feliu de Guíxols, it is the oldest in Catalonia, founded in 1958 in front of the Monestir de Sant Feliu de Guíxols. Its name refers to the oldest part of this monumental complex. Mid-July to mid-August.
  • International Music Festival of Cadaqués: In Cadaqués, during the first week of August. The festival aims to reflect the artistic eclecticism of this town, a source of inspiration for countless artists. Its program encompasses a wide range of musical genres, from jazz to classical music, and even pop and rock, always betting on good music while maintaining its uniqueness.
  • Calonge Music Festival: In Calonge, it is the oldest festival on the Costa Brava (since 1968). Classical, popular, flamenco, jazz, and soul music. August.
  • Musicant: In Campllong, a festival committed to promoting the Catalan musical repertoire of all time. Late August and early September.
  • Schubertíada de Vilabertran: In Vilabertran, the festival features lieder recitals, but also includes works by other composers, especially his contemporaries. Mid-August to the first week of September.
  • Acústica Festival: In Figueres, under the acoustic or unplugged format, both emerging and established artists come together. The first week of September.

There is a big tradition of sing Havaneres songs on the beach. Many villages has an Haveneres festival in summer time. Havaneres were songs played by the XIX century sailors returning from Cuba.

Eat edit

The Costa Brava region has some renowned restaurants, including Miramar in Llançà with 2 Michelin stars, and la Llar in Empuriabrava and Els Brancs in Roses with one star each.

You can also find plenty of touristic restaurants with seafood and paella and traditional restaurants with Catalan cuisine in all the towns and cities.

Tipical food products in Costa Brava

  • Palamós shrimps
  • L’Escala Anchovies
  • Pals rice
  • Butifarra del Perol - tipical sausage
  • Ampurdán olive oil
  • Ampurdán wine

Tipical dishes from Costa Brava

  • Pa amb tomàquet i anchoves de L’Escala. Bread with tomato and L’Escala Anchovies.
  • Arroz negro caldoso. Black rice
  • Escalivada. Grilled aubergine, pepper and onion.
  • Canelons. Pasta filled with meat.
  • Grilled fresh shrimps from Palamos.
  • Fesols amb botifarra de perol. Beans with Perol sausage.

Drink edit

Any coastal town or city in the Costa Brava have almost a bar near the beach to relax and take a drink.

Lloret de Mar is well known because of its discos and nightlife, but you can take a drink quietly on many bars near to the beach.

There is a Denomination of Origin for wine called, DO Empordà that encompasses most of the Costa Brava region and in the last 15-20 years, the wines have increased greatly in quality to the point of being quite recommendable. While you can hire guides, if you have a car, you can also easily make a tour of the cellars using a handy English language book that's available called, Vinologue [1]

Sleep edit

All the cities and towns in the Costa Brava have camping areas and hotels for tourist accommodation.

One of the biggest areas for those arriving by caravan is between Sant Pere Pescador and L'Escala which during the summer has more Dutch and British license plates than Spanish.

Stay safe edit

Go next edit

  • Barcelona - Barcelona the capital and largest city of Catalonia.
  • Figueres - home to the Dalí museum
  • Girona - Nice old town with an impressive Jewish quarter.
  • Girona Pyrenees - Monumental mountain towns, ski resorts and la Garrotxa volcanoes.
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