With 300 km of coastline studded with little bays, sandy coves and rugged cliffs, the Costa Brava has an irresistible appeal. Add in picturesque fishing villages, sensational cuisine and wonderful climate, and you have the recipe for a perfect holiday.
Spain is a top holiday choice for many Brits and the Costa Brava is in pole position. Beginning a little to the north of Barcelona, it’s situated within the province of Girona in Catalonia and despite the vibrant, cosmopolitan nature of this fiercely independent region, the Costa Brava coastline tucks away many hidden, and not so hidden, gems.
Some of the most notable resorts include Blanes which has grown from a fishing village to a lively resort and is the gateway to the Costa Brava. Lloret de Mar is perhaps the hottest hotspot of the region with plenty of nightlife and five beaches, while Tossa de Mar with its cobbled streets and castle is a pleasant place to wander. Others follow, including L’Escala, Sant Pere Pescador, Palamós, Palafrugell and Calella with its excellent fish restaurants.
Most alluringly, the Costa Brava offers some 2,000 gorgeous beaches liberally sprinkled along its coastline - who could want more when it comes to the ultimate family seaside holiday? These beaches are the without doubt the biggest draw of all - for many Spain is all about the siren call of the costas with their heady mix of sun, sea and sangria.
Bay of Roses
Set on the Gulf of Roses, the ancient town of Roses dates back to the 8th century BC. It’s less than 30 km from the border with France and, as the town is unique in facing west, it’s renowned for sublime sunsets. The big draw here is the number of fantastic beaches, lapped by the warm turquoise waters of the Med. Leave the crowded stretches behind and before long you’ll find a little sandy cove all to yourself.
With 300 days of sunshine per year and a characterful old centre, the city of Girona has obvious charms. There are cobbled streets, elegant squares, a dizzying array of wonderful restaurants and shops, as well as plenty of historical landmarks and ancient monuments to explore. Stroll through the idyllic parks, the fascinating Jewish Quarter (a favoured filming location popular with Game of Thrones fans) and along the old Roman walls.
7 things to do on the Costa Brava
From soft sandy beaches to forested hills, this is a region of variety. Explore the hidden cobbled streets of ancient villages, swing through the tree tops or dive into an underwater world. Find your thing.
Hit the beach
Amazing beaches are plentiful - try the Platja de Tamariu with sandy coves and excellent water sports.
Go wild at the waterpark
Enjoy family fun at the Aquabrava waterpark in Roses, with 19 water features.
Discover the wild side
Immerse yourself in the rich natural surroundings of the Cap de Creus Nature Reserve.
Take a hike
Follow the long distance trail Camino de Ronda (look out for the white stripe/red stripe way markers).
Get out on the water
Explore the bays and coves by kayak or snorkel through the underwater worlds.
Explore another world
The exotic Butterfly Park at Empuriabrava is a tropical garden that captivates and amazes.
Fly through the treetops
At Parc Aventura Costa Brava you can travel through the trees on zip wires, ropes, Tarzan jumps and nets.
Russell has worked in the camping industry for over 28 years and was a director at Alan Rogers for many of them.
He now works for various tourism organisations as a marketing consultant but continues to write top-quality content for us. His content often covers European and worldwide travel, arts and culture, and history.