The 16 best villages of the Costa Brava
Published on January 28, 2019 by Catalan Holidays
The Costa Brava is the coastal area of Girona, from the border with France to the Costa del Maresme in Barcelona. More than 200 km of coastline packed with charming villages and beaches that are really worth visiting.
The airports of Girona and Barcelona, the train and motorway make reaching the Costa Brava so simple. However, it is necessary to go by car or bus to reach some villages.
In this report we explore the Costa Brava: what is special about it, what villages to visit, where to stay and we show you the map of villages of the Costa Brava.
What is special about the Costa Brava?
Natural spaces such as the Cap de Creus Natural Park and the Marismas del Ampurdán Natural Park, the Medes Islands, Ses Negres or the botanical gardens. Costa Brava’s coves and beaches are truly spectacular. Enchanting towns such as Cadaqués, Rosas, La Escala, Estartit or Tossa de Mar among many others.
Finally, Art and Culture, beginning with Salvador Dalí, museums, popular festivals, the Habaneras Concert in Calella de Palafrugell or the international fireworks festival.
Which villages on the Costa Brava should you visit?
The majority of the villages on the Costa Brava are known for their beaches and coves. In the following list, we would like to show you the villages and we have added some that, for one reason or another, are particularly special.
- Tossa de Mar
- Calella de Palafrugell
- Lloret de Mar
When visiting Pals, you will find a village with a lot of charm and a Medieval past. Located at the top of a mountain, it grew up into a fortress. Today we walk through the cobbled streets of the Gothic quarter, through rounded arches and facades with pointed windows or stone balconies.
We can see the city walls with four towers from the 4th century or visit the Tower of the Hours (11th and 13th century). Another option is looking out over the fields of Ampurdán and the Medes Islands from the Josep Pla viewpoint. And there is even more; the Main Square, the tombs in the Main Street and the church of San Pere. There is also an Archaeological Museum.
By Yliana S.P.: Pals from Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA
Tossa de Mar
One of the jewels of the Costa Brava is Tossa de Mar. A village with coves of crystal-clear waters and a past filled with history. In Tossa de Mar, we can find a seaside promenade flanked on one side by mountains, the old town of Vila Vella and a great Medieval fortification. At the highest point is the Lighthouse. Entertainment and Mediterranean cuisine.
When visiting Tossa de Mar we will see Tossa Castle, the old town of Vila Vella, the Ava Gardner statue, the Lighthouse, Great Beach, Mar Menuda beach, the seaside promenade, the church of Sant Vincenç. We can take a boat trip, dive and go snorkelling among other activities.
Cadaqués is one of the most prominent towns on the Costa Brava, very well-known for its links with Salvador Dalí. Cadaqués is a gorgeous coastal village with a seafaring heart.
Among the places of interest in Cadaqués, we have Salvador Dalí’s House Museum, San Jaime Castle, Cadaqués Museum, the old town, Santa María church and the Cap de Creus Natural Park. They celebrate the Cadaqués International Music Festival every year.
Calella de Palafrugell
Calella de Palafrugell is one of the most unique fishing villages on the Costa Brava. It has a special charm; its narrow streets, traditional fishermen’s cottages and sloping tiled roofs are a joy to behold.
The beaches and coves, the seaside district of Port Bo, the Botanical Garden, Cap Roig Castle and the Iberian Village of San Sebastián de la Guardia are some of the spaces to visit. Recommended activities include trying sea urchins, enjoying the Spring Festivals or attending the Habanera Concerts in Calella de Palafrugell.
Among the places most of note in Blanes, we have its seafront promenade, beaches, coves and gardens. You can walk on the coastal roads surrounded by nature and enjoy the impressive panorama that the Castle offers.
Among the activities we could choose local festivals and traditions, the botanical gardens of Marimurtra, Pinya de Rosa and Santa Clotilde.
A destination of sun and sand that must be visited is the Roses Citadel, the most well-known and visited monument in Roses.
Strolling along its romantic seafront promenade, visiting the Renaissance fortification of Trinity Castle and the Roses megalithic complex are options that form part of the tourist offering.
L’Escala is one of the most favourite villages of those that travel around Catalonia. Its marvellous beaches, cuisine and festivals make for unforgettable holidays. A destination recommended for both couples and families as well as groups of friends.
At L’Escala we can visit the Archaeology Museum of Catalonia, attend the Anchovy Festival, enjoy ourselves in Portalblau’s Arts and Culture Festival, go on a bike ride along the Fluviá River waterway, see the sand dunes at the beach and take part in sports like surfing, windsurfing and diving.
L’Estartit, a town that belongs to the municipal district of Torroella de Montgrí, is the summer holiday village of choice for many fans of diving and the sea. It is a place to relax at weekends for many people and an area for local fishermen during the week.
A boat trip on the Medes Islands, a day at the beach enjoying the warm sand and crystal-clear waters or visiting the fishing docks is an excellent choice. The best part of L’Estartit is its retreats of great beauty and natural interest.
If something stands out in Figueras it is the figure of Salvador Dalí, even though he shares the limelight with Narcís Monturiol (the inventor of the submarine). The Dalí museum makes you think, as soon as you see it your attention is drawn to the arrangement of figures in the shape of an egg on the roof. Once inside, everything must be seen.
In Figueras, we can visit the Empordá Museum, the Toy Museum of Catalonia¸ Sant Ferran Castle and go on guided tours related to Dalí and the Civil War.
Girona city is a city that delights, a place to walk around. The historic centre, its streets, squares and bridges, such as the Gustave Eiffel (the same man that made the Eiffel Tower), make the trip a pleasure for tourists.
Among the most common activities in Girona we have walking along the City Walls and the Museum of Archaeology, a visit to the Cinema Museum, eating a delicious and original ice cream on the Rocambolesc, learning history at the Museum of Jewish History, visiting the Rafael Masó House (the architect of “Noucentisme”) or having a drink in the Modernista La Terra café.
Empuriabrava is an ideal place to enjoy a fantastic holiday by the Mediterranean Sea. Situated between the towns of Roses and San Pere Pescador, it is a residential coastal village surrounded by the Marismas del Ampurdán Natural Park.
As well as the Can Comes, Empuriabrava and la Rubina o la Rovina beaches, we have other places of interest. The church of Santa María or Castelló d’Empúries Cathedral, the Creu del Terme, the Santa Clara Convent, the Farinera Eco Museum, the city walls, the Gallarda Gateway, the Lavadero de la Villa and many other places are options for tourists to visit.
Lloret de Mar
Lloret de Mar allows us to enjoy coarse-grained sandy beaches, more than 1 km in length and with coves of crystal-clear waters. It has an interesting historic centre and an abundant leisure offering. It is one of the greatest tourist centres of the Costa Brava.
Hiking, golf and water sports are only some of the activities available. Among the places to see in Lloret de Mar are the Santa Clotilde Gardens, Sa Caleta, the Maritime Museum¸ the hermitage and Santa Cristina beach.
Perelada is a town with a very ancient past, an Iberian town dating back to 300 B.C. and where the Perelada Castle is a highlight.
The tourist route recommends visiting the Romanesque Cloister and La Vila Museum, the Historic Trail, the Castle Museum, Vilanova de la Muga, Perelada Castle Wineries and Castle Park.
By Gordito 1869: Perelada from Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA
Visiting the Medieval village of Besalú makes us travel back into the past. Some time ago we wrote about what to see and where to stay in Besalú. A place that is highly recommended for lovers of history and nature.
In Besalú, you can enjoy Medieval cuisine and places like the Old Bridge, the Jewish Quarter, the 12th century Mikveh, the vestiges of the synagogue or the Sant Pere Monastery.
Begur has a charming and homely tourist appeal, and tourists usually come back again and again. It is singular and different to the majority of the seafaring coastal villages of the Costa Brava. When out for a walk, it is not uncommon to pass hikers on the pedestrianised streets, who are crossing the coastline between the forest and sea.
Begur’s beaches are spectacular in their natural surroundings, pine forests and lily-coloured rocks. Cala Aiguablava, Cala de Fornells, Platja Fonda and Cala Sa Tuna are some of them. They are set apart by their hospitality, their cooking with fish such as the “Peix de Roca”, their culture and traditions such as the Begur Indians Fair.
Palamós is famous for its landscape, beaches, port and prawns. There are also many fans of scuba diving that visit these beaches in search of the Boreas, a German navy tugboat that sank in the Second World War.
When visiting Palamós, you must be prepared to enjoy its beaches and coves, stroll around the historic centre and visit the seafront promenade if you want to get to know the seafaring roots of this Costa Brava village a little better.
Accommodation in holiday homes on the Costa Brava
Costa Brava’s accommodation options are extensive. Not so much when you want to choose quality accommodation, designed for couples, families and groups of friends who want a degree of privacy and to be near the places of interest.
Our proposed accommodations are apartments and mainly holiday homes to rent: