Costa Brava

Costa Brava is the stunning northeastern coastal region of Spain and lies within the autonomous community of Catalunya. In the 1950´s the region was identified by Franco´s government as suitable for substantial development as a holiday destination and continues to this day to attract thousands of tourists each year from the northern climes. Nowadays, large areas of the coastline and hinterland are protected from hotel complex development and there are many places that have been preserved in an almost idyllic state.


The Costa Brava is quite simply a stunning and impeccably preserved stretch of coastline. The charm of the Costa Brava is best discovered by car, affording the traveller the opportunity to stop and explore sandy coves and to admire the expansive sea views. Winding up the coastal road from Barcelona one comes across endless charming Catalan villages, with small quaint sea ports and life moving slowly.

Travelling northwards up the coastline one meets a string of more commercial resorts but a stop at the golden beach of Platja d´Oro should be considered. Further up the coastline is [ Palamos] that boasts the most important fishing port in the Girona province. Once there, worth the visit is [ Museu de la Pesca] where a reflection of the history of the fishing industry is presented.

Slightly further northward and directly eastward of the regions capital Girona, some of the real gems of the coastline can be found. At Palafrugell snaking back down to the coast you stumble upon Calella which is the first of three excellent beaches in the area and also the site of the finest scenery in the region. A gem of the coastline is the tiny, but incredibly quaint Tamariu, a perfectly preserved traditional Catalan village with a sandy beach and clear blue waters. Inland is Begur, a larger but equally charming town. Take a walk around the narrow streets of the old town in the evening, with squares and terraces full of life.

A trip to the north of the Costa Brava, at the foot of the Pyrenees, is essential. [ Cadaqués] on the most eastern stretch of coastline is world famous as an artist's paradise and attracted artists such as Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso. The town is quite simply a knockout; stunning beaches, crystal clear waters, old whitewashed houses on narrow winding streets. Dalí´s house can be visited for 5 euros in nearby Portlligat, a windswept, deserted bay that no doubt inspired much of the surrealist’s work. On the road to Cadaqués, a worthwhile stop is the beautiful Bay of Roses, the oldest town in Catalunya.

A trip to see the larger inland towns of [ Girona] and [ Figueres] is very necessary to any serious exploration of Catalunya. Girona´s old town is an enchanting place, with impressive architecture. The world famous [ Dalí Museum] at Figueres is of course, fundamental to all art lovers and anyone curious about the work of the surrealist.


Although mainly populated by small, traditional coastal towns, one is not starved of shopping opportunities on the Costa Brava. Catalunya prides itself on having a small, but internationally celebrated designer clothes industry and in towns such as Girona, Figueras or Begur the trendy fashion boutiques are worth exploring.

Throughout summer, art and craft markets can be discovered in the larger towns. Strolling through Girona town square on a Saturday, one can find a market selling everything from fresh fruit to medieval style artefacts.

All small towns will have a weekly market and it is worth checking with the respective tourist information as to the particular day. Well worth the trip is the Sunday market in Roses that is especially popular for tourists and locals alike, selling all range of fresh products.

Nightlife and Eating Out

The Costa Brava is blessed with a thriving fishing industry that continues to deliver daily fresh produce to the markets and restaurants. Exploring any of the coastal towns you will no doubt stumble upon seafood restaurants of the highest quality.

If you arrive as far north as Cadaques, the narrow, crowded but very famous Casa Anita cannot be missed. The “cave” restaurant formerly frequented by Dalí serves up sardines and prawns on the planch and all such traditional Catalan culinary delights. Only a few kilometres up the coast there is a restaurant located at the tip of Cap de Creus, that is the most eastern tip of Spain and serves Catalan and Indian food, the views out to the Mediterranean are stunning.

In the picture perfect town of Begur, good Catalan home cooking can be located at Can Torrades Restaurant. If you find yourself in Tamariu, sitting on the sun drenched terrace of either Restaurante El Dofí or Can Maset on the port front is an absolute must, where they serve up the finest fried seafood, simple meat dishes and salads.

The Costa Brava is primarily about relaxation, appreciating culture and the fine wines and cavas produced in the region. All towns have a wealth of choice in terms of bars, wineries where you can find the top local cavas and wines.

If it is more of a riotous night out that you crave, the first stop has to be the youth Euro disco heaven Calella, clubs and bars such as Disco Menfis, La Sala and Maui Bar are to name but a few.

Tourist Information

Girona Costa Brava Airport Tourist OfficeGirona Costa Brava Airport

Figueras Tourist Office, Pl. del Sol
  • Tel. 972503155
  • Fax 972673166
  • [ Figueres official website].


The primary airport that serves the Costa Brava region is Barcelona International Airport “El Prat” [ Barcelona Airport] and is situated just 10km from the city centre and can be reached from almost any destination. The airport has excellent road links northwards to the Costa Brava destinations.

Alternately, Girona airport [ Girona Airport] has expanded in recent years due to the expansion of Ryanair operations to the region and serves airports such as London Stansted, Milan and Berlin. The location of the airport gives superb access to the coastal resorts of the Costa Brava.

All car hire locations in Spain