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9 towns in the Costa Brava that you should visit
9 towns in the Costa Brava that you should visit
With more than 200 kilometres from Blanes to Portbou, the Costa Brava is an extraordinary place. The towns and their people, the gastronomy or the beaches are some of the reasons to visit it, but there are many more.
Given the impossibility of listing them all, and bearing in mind that summer is just around the corner, we will focus on the coastal towns and beaches that you should visit if you are in the area:
This small coastal town is one of the most charming on the Costa Brava. Its promenade with white houses is one of the most iconic views in the area. Its beauty captivated the surrealist artist Salvador Dalí, who had his only stable residence in Portlligat, currently the Casa-Museu Dalí.
If you want to visit it, there is a beautiful coastal path that runs along the entire coast from Cadaqués to Portlligat. Then you can return to Cadaqués through the interior, in a circular loop of about 7 kilometres.
The coast of Cadaqués is full of beautiful beaches for all tastes, from Platja Gran, located in the urban center and ideal for families, or Cala Bona, located in the heart of Cap de Creus, about 8 kilometres from Cadaqués, which can only be access by boat or on foot.
Tossa de Mar
This old fishing village is a good place to start the route along the Costa Brava. Relatively close to Barcelona, this coastal town has a well-preserved 12th-century castle, with walls and several towers stretching along the coast. Built to defend the town and its fishermen from pirate attacks, it has become the symbol of the city and one of the most photographed places on the Costa Brava.
Next to the castle, you can enjoy the beach of Es Codolar or Platja Gran. If you prefer small, less crowded beaches, you can find them on the coastal path to Cala Giverola. In addition, if you are a cycling lover, the road that goes to Sant Feliu de Guíxols all along the sea is a very charming route.
This town arose from the idea of building a Noucentist-style summer development, a project that was entrusted to the prestigious architect Rafael Masó. This noucentist center, declared a Cultural Asset of National Interest, is one of the main attractions, along with the fantastic coastal path, considered one of the most beautiful on the Costa Brava.
The coastal path, as we have said, not only stands out for its beauty, it is also suitable for everyone, it even has an elevator and 6 ramps for people with reduced mobility.
Calella de Palafrugell
There are so many beautiful towns on the Costa Brava that it is difficult to decide on the most beautiful. However, Calella de Palafrugell would be in the first places. Its houses on the seafront, the arches of the promenade, the crystal-clear waters or the boats stranded on the beach are characteristic elements of this authentic fishing village. Walking in its narrow streets, surrounded by white houses, and covered in flowers, is a pleasure.
For music lovers, in July, the traditional Habanera song is celebrated. Also, the best international artists perform year after year at the festival Jardins de Cap Roig, in the beautiful Cap Roig botanical garden, full of different species of plants.
Llafranc, together with Calella de Palafrugell and Tamariu, form the coastal part of Palafrugell. Although it lives a bit in the shadow of Calella, just to visit the Sant Sebastià lighthouse and its monumental complex (the watchtower, the Sant Sebastià hermitage and the Iberian settlement), is already worth it.
At the Sant Sebastià lighthouse there is a spectacular viewpoint at 169 meters high where you can not only enjoy the views, but also taste high-quality sushi at the Nomo restaurant.
It is a town without a coast, but with a lot of charm. Located on an elevation, it is close to some of the best beaches on the Costa Brava: Sa Tuna, Aiguablava, Sa Riera or Platja Fonda. Those are beautiful places to relax and take a dip. In addition, Begur also has a very nice old town, ideal for walking.
One of the monuments that you must visit is the castle, which you can reach on foot from the old town, going up a moderate slope. Once up there, the effort will be worth it: the views of the entire Costa Brava are sensational.
One of the most anticipated events of the year is the fair of the “Indians”, which is celebrated the first weekend of September, which origin is the emigration of townspeople to Cuba in search of fortune and new opportunities in the nineteenth century. During these days, the city hosts markets for overseas products, along with shows and exhibitions of different crafts.
Strolling through the streets of this medieval town is like going back in time. Its cobbled streets, the castle built during the 11th and 12th centuries, or the church of Sant Pere invite you to get lost for hours. Ca la Pruna, a fortified house from the 16th century, is a good place to start your visit: it helds a permanent exhibition of wines and cavas, an underwater archeology museum and a replica of an old pharmacy.
After strolling among Gothic-style stone houses, watchtowers and impressive walls, it's time to eat. If you are one of those who enjoy a good rice, Pals is of supreme quality. Its unique texture conditioned by the climate of the area makes it more consistent.
Summer is ideal to visit this town, when the tramuntana and the waves loosen. Take a walk along the wide promenade that runs along the entire coastline or sitting on a terrace to taste the typical anchovies of l'Escala is a pleasure, especially at sunset, when the atmosphere cools down.
As far as beaches are concerned, those located in the urban center are especially for families, and as you get further away you can enjoy calmer beaches, perfect for snorkeling.
Sant Martí d'Empúries
We finish the article with this tiny town. Very close to l'Escala, this medieval town's great attraction is the ruins of Empúries, a site from ancient Greece, later occupied by the Romans, where the Archeology Museum of Catalonia is located. Open all year round, in summer they extend their activities with dramatized visits, concerts or family workshops.
Portitxol beach, very close to the entrance of the museum and located in a spectacular setting, is ideal to cool off after visiting the ruins. To eat, the main square in the upper part of the town has restaurants with different gastronomic proposals. When the heat loosens, you can visit the streets of Sant Martí d'Empúries with the church and the castle built in 1538.
As we have said before, the Costa Brava is one of the most beautiful areas of Catalonia, which is worth visiting with time. Getting lost in its towns and relaxing on its beautiful beaches is a pleasure that you should have at least once in your life.
In addition, if you are one of those who like to ride a bike or walk, you will find numerous routes in our Komoot profile, and the "Camí de Ronda" that runs through the entire Costa Brava, highly recommended.