The best place to stay on the Costa Brava?

We are often asked by people who are coming to the region for the first time which area along the Costa Brava is the best place to stay. There’s lots of great places to choose from and this blog post is to help people get a better idea of what area might be best for them.

Probably the most popular coastal area is the Begur and Palafrugell region and their beaches which include Sa Riera, Sa Tuna, Aigua Blava, Aigua Xelida, Tamariu and Llafranc.

Sa Riera, Begur

Sa Riera, Begur

Like most of the Costa Brava this area is very family orientated and laid back. It is popular with local Catalans and Spanish as well as with other Europeans and increasingly North Americans who are discovering the region.

The beaches can get pretty busy during July and August and unless you are within walking distance to a beach you may have to leave your villa quite early in the morning to find a good parking place.

Cadaques is another popular destination. A beautiful old fishing town, Cadaques is where Salvador Dali lived for a large part of his life. His old house in the little bay of Port Lligat is now a museum and open to the public.

Cadaques

Cadaques

There is only one road in and out of Cadaques which is quite narrow and windy through the Cap de Creus headland. This inaccessibility is the main reason why Cadaques has retained its charm and avoided the developers. So because of the nature of the access to the town I always suggest to people that Cadaques makes a great base if you plan of parking up the car and sitting back and relaxing. The town is quite compact and all of our villas in Cadaques are within walking distance of the centre with its restaurants, bars, shops and beaches. There is a quite special and unique ambience to the place. However nice Cadaques is, I would not recommend it for people who plan to spend a large part of their time driving around and exploring the region.

Empuries

Greek/Roman ruins of Empuries

Sant Marti d’Empuries is off the beaten track and a favourite of ours. This tiny coastal village has a few restaurants and shops and is right on the beach. With nice sandy and un crowded beaches this is the place we normally go to ourselves if we are having a day at the beach. For those of you interested in history there’s the ancient Greek and Roman ruins and neighbouring Empuries. L’Escala which has a larger selection of bars and restaurants is only a 20 minutes walk along the seafront.

If bars, disco’s and partying you are after then Lloret de Mar is where you should go. Otherwise avoid it.

Other areas of the Costa Brava worth considering include Port de la Selva, Roses, and Palamos.

 

 

The best Costa in Spain?

Which is the best Costa in Spain is a question we are asked from time to time. Spain has no less than 13 Costas to choose from, 9 of which are on the Mediterranean coastline from the Catalan Costa Brava in the north and on the border with France down to the Costa del Sol on the southern tip of Spain.

The Costas of Spain

Spanish Costas

We have visited most of the Costas and for us the hands down winner is the Costa Brava. In fact we liked it so much we decided to come and live here!

There’s a number of reasons why we love the Costa Brava so much. From its intimate hidden coves, the climate, the people, its culture, the food, its medieval villages and the all round general ambience make the Costa Brava the best coastal region in Spain.

The Costa Brava was the very first Costa in Spain to welcome holiday makers back in the 1950’s and 60’s and for many people the Costa Brava conjures up images of tacky package holidays, fish and chips and sangria and for the first decade or so this is what people came here for. But because of the rugged nature of the Costa Brava coastline the developers quickly moved further south in search of flatter, more accessible land to build their high rise apartment blocks and for the most part left the Costa Brava behind. So today the Costa Brava is perhaps one of the better preserved Mediterranean coastal areas with little fishing villages, unspoilt coves and a distinct lack of large hotels and apartment blocks and package holidays.

Aigua Gelida, Tamariu

Aigua Xelida, Tamariu

With the exception of Lloret de Mar you will not find package tourism, loud all night bars or drunken teenagers on the Costa Brava. There is a more laid back family orientated culture here with holiday makers from a wide selection of countries from all around the world and local Catalan and Spanish people who have second residences in the area.

The temperatures on the Costa Brava do not reach the heights of those on the Costa del Sol although an average of the mid 30’s in July and August is hot enough for most people.

The province of Girona has a lot more to offer the traveller than just a fantastic coastline. There’s loads of things to see and do in the region from visiting unspoilt medieval villages, the Dali triangle, visiting the beech forests of the extinct volcanic region of La Garrotxa or a nice walk around the lake of Banyoles.

A view of Banyoles lake along a jetty

Banyoles lake just after sunrise

Then of course there’s the food! With a great selection of fresh local products at their disposal Catalan chefs are recognised worldwide as innovators from the record 5 time No1 restaurant in the world El Bulli to the current No1, El Celler de Can Roca in Girona. But it is not just all about Michelin star restaurant food as the general standard in the region is very good.

The best bits of the Costa Brava? The area around Begur and Palafrugell with its small bays and coves is very popular as is the Dali famed Cadaques. We also like the coastal village of Sant Marti d’Empuries which does not get as crowded as Begur or Cadaques and has nice beaches and a few decent restaurants to choose from.

The beach of AiguaBlava, Begur

Aigua Blava, Begur