Languishing along the north east shoulder of Spain, the Costa Brava is a captivating stretch of coast whose turquoise waters and pretty seaside towns entice you in, and history and culture keep you hooked.
The oft-used phrase ‘something for everyone’ has particular pertinence in this little corner of Spain. It ticks all the boxes for a group getaway: unspoilt beaches, fantastic restaurants, vibrant cities and outdoor activities in abundance.
Whittling down the Costa Brava’s best bits to a handful of must-visit places is no mean feat, but after careful consideration, we’ve brought together a list of our favourites.
Stepping into Peratallada you’ll feel the years drop away, its cobbled streets and weather-worn stone houses transporting you back to medieval times. It could have been lifted straight from an artist’s easel, with warm, honey colours set off by the Costa Bravan sun. Soak up the rays from one of the cafés and restaurants tucked away in it’s labyrinth of streets.
Often overshadowed by its cosmopolitan, coastal counterpart, Barcelona, Girona is much more than just another Catalonian city. It is a hub for Spanish culture, with history, art and rich architecture oozing from its bustling streets.
Explore on foot and find a treat around every corner, from historical attractions such as the cathedral, Museu d’Art, and the maze of streets that form the Jewish quarter, to boutique shops, restaurants and bakeries.
The stylish town of Begur is consistently cited among the treasures of the Costa Brava and it hasn’t gained a gleaming reputation for nothing. While away the hours relaxing in the picturesque surroundings of the coves of Sa Tuna and Aiguablava, or take your pick of the many other pretty beaches: Playja del Raco, Illa Roja, Pladja de sa Riera, Aiguafreda, Platja Fonda and Fornells Cove.
If the choice of delightful beaches is too overwhelming, take a wander through the narrow, winding streets of Begur’s old quarter. When the mood takes you, duck into a restaurant for a delicious local meal, or stop and watch the world go by from one of the authentic street-side bars. Don’t forget your camera, because the colonial-style buildings, castle ruins and striking views are sure to bring out your inner photographer.
Cadaques is one of the most popular towns on the Costa Brava, not that you’d know it from the relaxed ambience and laid back pace of life. Famous for inspiring Dalí and many an artist since, the former fishing village curves around a picturesque harbour, where clusters of white buildings nestle into the surrounding hills.
As for what to do here, simply soaking up the atmosphere is activity enough for most. Where you choose to relax depends on you – from harbourside cafés to a number of small coves within a short stroll, there are plenty of options for kicking back.
Last but not least on our Costa Brava list is Llafranc, with its sandy beach and clear blue waters it boasts much of the same allure as the towns mentioned above, with the addition of a beautiful promenade from where you can continue on to the headland path which takes you around to the equally attractive town of Calella de Palafrugell.
For the best views of the coast and Mediterranean beyond, head for the lighthouse on Cap Sant Sebastia headland.
Where to stay
If you’re tempted by the charms of the Costa Brava and are looking for somewhere to accommodate a large group, you’ll fall in love with Spanish Idyll. Sleeping up to 28 people, this stunning villa offers the best in luxury accommodation, and is perfectly located for exploring the Costa Brava together.
Cast your eyes over our full selection of large houses in Spain to find your perfect base for discovering the Costa Brava.