10 tips to a unique visit to Costa Brava in Spain

There’s many reasons to visit costa brava in Spain.

More than 19,3 million tourists visited the Costa Brava of Catalunya in Spain in 2019. 

A visit to the Catalan ” Costa Brava” is a traveler and photographer’s dream and one of the top places to visit in Spain.

Hidden beaches, crystal clear waters, unique landscapes, rich culture, picturesque villages, and extraordinary gastronomy just to mention a few qualities.

Discover the 583km historical coastal paths along the entire Costa Brava.

The Costa Brava in summer has nearly 15hours of daylight a day to make good use of.

Did you know that nearly 1/3 of the Costa Brava and Girona Pyrenees is a natural protected area?

The 214km Costa Brava coastline is situated in the north eastern tip of the Catalunya province in Spain. Starting at the “Palomera ” rock in Blanes right up to the French Roussillon border in Portbou. 

In this post, I’ve only highlighted some of the most important reasons why you should plan your next trip to the incredible costa brava.

visit costa brava
@karelnoppe Photography_Generic view of the Catalan Costa Brava in Spain.

In this Post [ Places to visit in the Costa Brava ]

1. Coastal Footpaths

2. Hidden Beaches and Coves.

3. Inviting Wine routes

4. Picturesque Landscapes

5. Charming medieval and fisherman villages

6. Activities

7. Rich culture

8. Visit costa Brava Ancient Historic sites

9. World-renowned gastronomy

10. Accommodation & Relax

1.Coastal Footpaths

  • Detail of coastal footpath on Costa Brava

Above pictures shot on my Samsung Galaxy Smartphone


Every fisherman’s village along the Costa Brava offers a coastal footpath leading to its surrounding hidden coves and beaches.

These well-indicated routes follow the rugged contours of the landscape between the characteristic pine trees and the Mediterranean sea.

The ideal way to explore these paths is by selecting a stretch between 2 villages at a time.

Some are more demanding than others but all of them assure an unforgettable experience discovering privileged panoramic views and breathtaking seascapes.

Many coves and small beaches are only accessible along these paths. Several coves has small beach bars and good seafood tapas to complete the visit.

4 of my favorite picture perfect routes are:

Cami de ronda de Tossa de Mar to Cala Pola (6km)

Cami de ronda Pals – Aiquafreda – Sa Tuna (13,5km)

Cami de ronda Platja D’Aro a Sant Antoni de Calonge (8,2km)

Cami de ronda Cadaquès a Cap de Creus (7,7km)

2. Hidden Beaches and Coves

Many small and charming hidden beaches and coves can be found along the outstanding rugged landscape of the Costa Brava.

The Crystal clear waters and the lack of dangerous marine fauna makes snorkeling a delight.

For those travelers looking for a peaceful and relaxing day at the beach, these “Calas” ( Small beaches In Catalan ) could be the perfect hideaway.

The calm waters of the Mediterranean sea are also perfect for kayaking. During the peak summer season, it’s the best alternative to get to these sanctuaries and to enjoy more than one of them at a time.

Some of the best “chiringuitos”, beach bars like Chiringuito La Pelosa – Cala Pelosa (Roses) or “El port de la Cala” in Cala Canyelles, Lloret de Mar offers mouthwatering seafood dishes and refreshing sundowner cocktails.

3. Inviting Wine routes

Wine lovers will have a difficult task deciding which of the 50 wineries to visit in the Emporda DO ( Designation of Origen ).

Carignan and Grenache grape varieties dominate the area planted on vineyards over 30 years of age.

Many other varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Monastrell, Tempranillo, Shiraz, Muscat, Garnacha Blanca, chardonnay among others are allowed within the Designation of Origen.

The famous and fierce northerly tramontana wind together with the low organic acidic soils guarantees superb quality wines. 

Most wineries except visits with guided tours and wine tastings.

My personal favorite wineries of the Emporda DO are Terra Remota, Celler Arché Pagès, Vinyes d’Oliverdots, and Vinyes dels Aspres.

Although massive in size and with a clear commercial approach, the Peralada Winery produces a selection of exceptional quality white, red, and Sparkling wines. Their impressive Castle and Casino in the Peralada town is worth the visit.

4. Picturesque Landscapes

The world-famous surreal painter Salvador Dalí included many of the unique costa brava landscapes in his paintings. Abrupt and wild are the two words that perfectly describe the terrain. 

The Boutique Hotel Vila Gala is a good accommodation in Cadaques.

The Pyrenees mountains in the north and the mediterranean sea in the east forms the natural boundaries of the region.

The northern part of the Emporda ( Comarca of the Costa Brava ) is marked by the Albera massif ( Eastern prolongation of the Pyrenees mountains) and Cap de Creus National Park.

The unique archipelago of the Medes Islands about 900m from L’Estartit is one of the most impressive Protected Marine National parks in the Costa Brava. 

Scuba diving, snorkeling, catamaran boat trips, or kayaking can be done to explore the crystal clear waters of the 7 islets.

The countryside has many charming villages and a rich cultural and historical heritage. From Medieval towns like Peratallada or Pals to the Greek and Roman archaeological settlements near L’Escala.

Explore many Ancient Castles and Gothic architecture of its Monasteries, chapels, and churches.

5. Charming medieval and fisherman villages

These charming villages are a must-see on the Costa Brava.

The Majestic Castle of Tossa de Mar was built sometime in the 12th century. The captivating old town has many unique spots. A true fairy-tail village and tourist hub. 

Try the best native “Sim I Tomba” dish in Tossa. ( A delicious sea devil or monkfish dish with aromatic potatoes and garlic mousse). Years of experience make the inviting Restaurant “El Petit” next to the Castle wall the perfect candidate.

Calella de Palafrugell is the best example of an authentic Catalan fisherman’s village. A collection of attractive white houses built almost at sea level and well-integrated on the terrain.

La Blava restaurant has a privileged location on the beachfront to enjoy some delicious seafood snacks.

Begur is another small village with some of the best surrounding beaches and coves. The coastal footpath from Cala Sa Riera leads to the Marine Reserve of Ses Negres. Explore the panoramic views of this natural protected area rich in fauna and flora.

Try the best rockfish cooked in an oak wood oven with tomato and crispy potatoes at Restaurant Casa Juanita.

Another monochromatic stone village to visit is PalsThis medieval set located on a hill has a Romanesque tower built around the 11th century.

My favorite two restaurants are Vicus and Es Portal. The latter is located in a small boutique Hotel.

Peratallada is one of Catalunya’s most well-preserved historical medieval villages. Numerous alleyways lead to suggestive small restaurants to enhance the visit.

6. Activities

Aquatic leisure activities like Parasailing, Crazy UFO, Slyder, Ski-Bus, Water-ski, and kayaking can be done at many coastal towns on the Costa Brava.

Short day trips on a catamaran, glass boats, and speedboats can be enjoyed. 

Hire a boat at Costa Brava Rent a Boat in Blanes to cruise the Costa Brava by yourself.

Wine lovers have plenty of options for taking guided tours to fascinating wineries. 

Terra Remota winery  among wineries organizes several wine tastings and romantic pin-nicks between their vineyards. 

Another relaxing way to enjoy the Costa Brava is Cycling on many of the coastal and rural routes. For the brave-hearted Skydive Empuriabrava has a unique skydive zone located in natural surroundings.

7. Rich culture

Catalunya is a country of an ancient culture dating back from the medieval and renaissance period.

Discover Amazing Architectural styles from the middle ages, romanic, gothic, and modernism dispersed over the Costa Brava territory.

Visit the artworks of celebrated world-renowned surreal painter Salvador Dalí.

Join many of the popular festivities. Each town celebrates its major festivity. The traditional giant and tadpole parade announces the beginning of a festival. 

The “correfoc” is a fun game that consists of running in front of fireworks that carry mythological creatures.

8. Visit costa brava Ancient Historic sites

Travel back in time visiting the ruins of Empúries near L’Escala. The ancient city on the Mediterranean coast was founded by the Greeks in 575BC.

The majestic Benedictine monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes overlooking the bay near El Port de La Selva is located on the Verdera mountain about 520 m high.

Other medieval castles worth a visit are Requesens Castel in CantallopsCastle of Perelada, Castle in Tossa de Mar, and the Castle Montgrí in Torroella de Montgrí.

9. World renowned gastronomy

Catalan gastronomy is among the best considered on the globe. The Costa Brava and Girona Pyrenees have 16 Michelin-star restaurants offering excellent avant-garde cuisine.

Chefs like Ferran Adrià was a pioneer in molecular gastronomy and has been awarded multiple times as the best cook in the world. 

Uncover other noble chefs like Joan Roca ( Best 3 Michelin star restaurant El Celler de Can Roca 2013 and 2015) and Xaviers Sacristà (One-star Michellin Restaurant La cuina de Can Simon in Tossa de Mar)

Besides tasting the appetizing Mediterranean seafood, don’t miss the famous red prawns from Blanes.

My favorite restaurants on the Costa Brava are Sumac in Roses, El petit in Tossa de mar, Vicus in Pals, Txots in Empuriabrava and Casa Teva in Sant Feliu de Guíxols.

The best anchovies I’d recommend are from Soles in L’Escala.

Spain is very famous for its quality Olive oils and the Designation of Origen “Oli de L’Empordà” is among the best.

10. Accommodation & Relax

The Costa Brava has diverse accommodation styles for any budget. From charming guesthouses, boutique hotels, camping sites, or luxury houses to rent.


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