Costa Brava soccer training camps

Football training camps Barcelona and Costa Brava

Considering a family vacation close to Barcelona or the Costa Brava and looking for ideas of healthy activities for your kids? Then a Costa Brava soccer training campus could be a good option for you and your children.

Xavi football campus
Xavi football campus 2020 (photo credit Campus Xavi)

Choosing the right Costa Brava football campus for you

There’s various soccer training camps on the Costa Brava to choose from. Here at Charming Villas Catalonia we are here to help you choose the right one for you and your family. There’s a whole host of Important factors to consider before deciding which campus is right for you.

  1. Start and finish dates. Are you looking for a one week, two week or longer campus?
  2. Prestige and reputation. It’s an important investment you are making so you need to be sure it’s the right one.
  3. Safety for your kids. Let us go through in detail with you Covid-19 safety protocol of each campus.
  4. Location. Quite possibly the most important decision of all. Choosing a location close enough to the campus yet also close to other amenities and beaches. Outside of football time you want to make the most of what the region has to offer.
Cadaques, Costa Brava
Cadaques on the Costa Brava

Soccer training camps on the Costa Brava

Girona football club is the biggest soccer club in the Costa Brava region. Currently in the 2nd tier of Spanish football after a recent stint in the top division alongside the most famous Catalan club of all Barça. Girona hold a five week campus normally from the last week of June and throughout July.

Campus Xavi is located close to the town of Banyoles. Banyoles is famed for its natural lake, scene of the 1992 Olympic rowing events. The campus location is around one hour from Costa Brava beaches and 20 minutes from the medieval village of Besalu.

The Costa Brava is home to many other football summer camps and we can help you plan the best one for your needs. Why not combine a week at a soccer campus with a week at a tennis campus? Or golf lessons for children at one of the many high standard golf courses on the Costa Brava? We offer a free concierge service to all our clients where we can help you plan all your activities and extra services.

Browse our selection of luxury Costa Brava villas and farmhouses. We have a vacation rental home on the Costa Brava for every taste and occasion.

What to do in Begur

Where is Begur?

Begur is a small town located on the Costa Brava coastline with Barcelona approximately 80 miles to the south and the French border approximately 50 miles to the north. Sitting in the county of the “Emporda”, more specifically the “Baix Emporda” which means the “lower Emporda”. The cosmopolitan city of Girona is just 35 miles inland.

Where is Begur
Begur is located on the Costa Brava north from Barcelona

The closest beaches

The town of Begur sits in an elevated position two miles inland from its beaches. Each beach is quite different and has it’s own characteristics. Pals has the longest sandy beach and a few chiringuitos where to buy refreshments. Illa Roja is a small sandy beach dominated by the huge red rock from where the beach gets it’s name. This is also a nudist beach. Sa Riera beach is one of the most popular beaches in the area and benefits from a number of restaurants on the beachfront. Aiguafreda is more of a cove and does not have a sandy beach but great for swimming and kayaking. Sa Tuna is a pretty picture postcard small bay with a pebble beach. Platja Fonda is untouched and free of restaurants or shops. Aiguablava beach is possibly the most beautiful beach in the area with it’s turquoise waters.

The beaches of Begur
The beaches of Begur

The history of Begur

The town is steeped in history and the area has been inhabited since Pre-Roman times. Today the oldest remaining link to it’s ancient history are the foundations of the 11th century Castle which sits in a strategic high point overlooking the town and coastline. During the 16th and 17th centuries the town was fortified to protect itself against marauding pirates. Today parts of the perimeter defensive wall and no less than five watchtowers still exist.

The 1950’s saw the dawn of mass-tourism and the Costa Brava was the first Costa in Spain to open up to tourism. The 1960’s and 70’s saw a boom in tourism and the consequent development of accommodation along the coastline in Spain. Some parts of the coast were spoiled by short-sighted over-development however this part of the coastline was largely left untouched. Today it is this factor of well preserved beaches and villages which attract both local Catalans and foreigners to spend holidays in Begur and it’s surrounding beaches.

Things to do in the area

As we have already seen this region has some of the prettiest and unspoiled beaches on the whole Costa Brava. However there’s more to Begur than just it’s beaches and the town of Begur itself has a lot to offer the traveler. The center of town is dominated by the 16th century church and it’s surrounding plaza and restaurants. There’s a good selection of boutique shops selling everything from clothing to home decor as well as bakeries, butchers and grocery stores.

Begur is also great for outdoor pursuits especially walking and cycling. The GR 92 coastal path (Cami de Ronda) stretches the whole length of the Costa Brava coastline and some of the nicest sections are in the Begur region.

The beach of AiguaBlava, Begur
AiguaBlava, Begur

Where to stay in Begur

At Charming Villas Catalonia we offer a selection of luxury villas in Begur from beachfront vacation rentals to a choice of countryside cottages and farmhouses a few miles inland from the Costa Brava coast. Let us know your most important criteria and we can give you unbiased suggestions which best fit your needs.

More information about Begur and it’s surroundings can be found at the official website Visit Begur

Barcelona Luxury Villas

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Luxury Barcelona vacation rentals

At Charming Villas Catalonia we offer a selection of luxury villas, farmhouses and apartments close to Barcelona. Locally based we provide a free concierge service to all of our clients and can help arrange bespoke extra services, activities and excursions. Established for over 15 years Charming Villas Catalonia are pioneers in the Barcelona and Costa Brava luxury villa sector. Other agencies have copied our format, our properties and some have even unashamedly copied our text yet we strive to stay one step ahead of the competition.

Modern Barcelona villa
Luxury villa close to Barcelona

Family vacation rentals Barcelona

Planning a family reunion in Spain? Let us guide you through our Barcelona family vacation apartments and Beachfront villa rentals close to Barcelona. We have a selection of luxury Barcelona villas for every taste and need.

Barcelona wedding venues

Thinking of getting married in Barcelona? We have a large selection of luxury wedding and event venues close to Barcelona and Sitges. Our dedicated wedding planner can help craft the perfect wedding from venue selection right down to the last detail.

We select only the very best properties and we inspect each property before for adding to our site. From modern design villas to historic country farmhouses we have a selection for all tastes and occasions.

Barcelona corporate getaways

Barcelona is the perfect location for weekend getaways and corporate retreats. The options of activities are almost endless. With a pleasant year round climate, an amazing gastronomic tradition and a whole range of Barcelona corporate escapes to choose from let us help you plan the perfect package for your company team building trip.

At Charming Villas Catalonia we pride ourselves on our reputation for high standard customer service and selecting only the very best rental properties on the Costa Brava, Girona and Barcelona. We can be contacted at enquiries@charmingvillas.net

We would be delighted to hear from you and help you in your villa selection process and to help plan a memorable vacation in Catalonia.

Skiing in Catalonia

With four well equipped and very different resorts why not try skiing in Catalonia? The Catalan Pyrenees make a refreshing alternative to the traditional European getaways and is easily accessible from Barcelona and Girona airports.

Vallter 2000
Vallter 2000 ski resort, Catalonia. Photo credit of Vallter 2000

Skiing holidays in Catalonia

Choosing your next Skiing holiday in Catalonia not only gives fresh new pistes to explore but also some beautiful scenery and backdrops. Not to mention exquisite Catalan cuisine and the famed Costa Brava beaches on the doorstep.

Here is a list of each resort:

La Molina has 68 Km’s of ski runs and a daily pass is 38€

Masella has 74 Km’s of ski runs and a daily pass is 43€ https://www.masella.com/en/home

Vallter 2000 has 19 Km’s of ski runs and a daily pass is 25€

Vall de Nuria has 7.6 Km’s of ski runs and a daily pass is 12€

Here is a map showing the locations of the Ski resorts in the Catalan Pyrenees

Costa Brava holiday villas

At Charming Villas Catalonia we offer a selection of hand picked luxury villas on the Costa Brava. Browse our portfolio of luxury Costa Brava vacation rentals and Barcelona beachfront homes.

Locally based we offer a free concierge service to all of our clients. Our goal is to make sure that our clients make the most out of their time while in Catalonia. We can help plan fun day-trips to the Costa Brava and all kinds of activities and extra services. From tables at the number one restaurant in Spain, El Celler de Can Roca to dining on a pier with fishermen. Let us know how we can help plan the perfect vacation and we will do the rest.

Girona cycling holidays

Girona cycling vacations

The province of Girona is well known as a cyclists Mecca and today around 80 professional cyclists are based here full time. Girona is where Lance Armstrong moved to in 2000 when he was in his prime and won seven consecutive Tours from 1999 (now struck-off since his doping revelations). Cycling holidays in Girona are now well catered for and there’s many companies offering different packages.

Cycling holidays Catalonia
Girona cycling holidays (image copyright of Bikecat)

What makes Girona so popular with cyclists? The answer is a number of factors including the favourable climate and varied terrain. Other factors are the geographical location close to the Pyrenees, the Costa Brava, Barcelona and the French border. Also the excellent logistics and infrastructure of all things cycle related which has grown and flourished over the years.

Professional and amateur cyclists in Girona

Since 2016 the largest cycling event in Europe, the Sea Otter festival, has taken place in Girona. https://www.seaottereurope.com/ This is where all the major brands and cycling companies showcase their new bikes and apparel.

But it is not just professional cyclists that Girona is about. Amateurs and members of leisure cycling clubs from all around the world come to Girona. Not only to rub shoulders with the pro-cyclists but also to combine the trip with a vacation taking advantage of staying in a Charming Villa on the Costa Brava. When not in the saddle there’s a whole load of other stuff to do in the region. We can help arrange sampling the famed local cuisine, tasting the local wines and visiting farmers markets and for art lovers there’s the Dali triangle in Cadaques, Figueres and Pubol.

Girona cycling holidays
Girona cycling tours (image copyright of Bikecat)

At Charming Villas Catalonia we help our clients select the best property for their Girona cycling holidays based on cycling criteria and can also help set up bike rentals and guides. Below is a list of alternative local cycling holiday companies and also bike rental companies.

Girona cycling holiday companies

Bikecat https://bikecat.com/

Cycle Tourism https://www.cicloturisme.com/giro/

Bike Breaks https://www.gironacyclecentre.com/

Trek and Ride http://www.trekandride.com/

Happy Bikes Girona https://www.happybikesgirona.com/

Cicles JK http://www.ciclesjk.com/

Burricleta https://burricleta.com/ca

Charming Villas Catalonia specialize in the rental of high standard vacation rentals on the Costa Brava, Girona and Barcelona. Locally based we offer a free tailor made concierge service to all our customers. We work with you on all aspects of your vacation from initial villa selection right down to the last detail. Drop us a message and let us help you plan the perfect vacation in Catalonia.

Private chefs and caterers on the Costa Brava

One of the most frequent requests from our clients is for a private chef to come and cook a special meal at their Costa Brava vacation villa on at least one occasion during their stay. We work with a number of different chefs from Michelin star rated chefs right down to cooks who offer more homely local dishes.

Below is a video from when Dave & Deb from the Planet D had Chef Lee prepare a paella at Can Puig in Cadaques

Choosing which Costa Brava chef to go with

I give our clients a list of our trusted chefs on the Costa Brava and What i suggest is to take a look at each of their websites. Then depending on which chefs appeal we can reach out and contact each one to ask more information about menus, rates and availability.

Having a private chef and their staff cook, serve and clear away afterwards at your villa is a fun experience. Some clients choose different chefs for different days. For example we know chefs who specializes in paellas. Another may specialize in a different aspect such as fine dining and pastries. The choice is yours!

Private chefs Costa Brava
Costa Brava private chefs

Private chef or catering company?

Usually a private chef is the better option for smaller, more intimate family groups at a villa vacation rental. However some of our private chefs have cooked at some of our Corporate getaway venues and also smaller, more intimate weddings on the Costa Brava. A professional caterer is generally your better option for larger events such as weddings.

We also know a number of cooks who do not have websites and we would be delighted to put you in contact with them. If you have any questions please contact us at catalonia@charmingvillas.net or take a look at our extra services/activities page.

Port Lligat Fisherman’s lunch

Port Lligat is a small bay right next to Cadaques famous for being where Salvador Dali lived for many years of his life. His wonderful sprawling amalgamation of fisherman’s houses is now a museum and open to the public. Read on how to book a Port Lligat fisherman lunch.

Portlligat fisherman lunch

Not quite so well known is that the last remaining fishermen of Portlligat offer an informal lunch and dinner service. Right on the pier meters away from the water, it is not a restaurant and you will not find it on Tripadvisor. Think of it as a “pop-up” table run by two fishermen who like to cook. Several journalists and even food critics have over the years tried to publish but the fishermen always refuse. It is a combination of this “anti-marketing”, the unique location on the water and the freshness and quality of the food which make this a sought after and favorite of our clients.

Portlligat Cadaques
Portlligat, Cadaques (image credit www.visitcostabrava.com)

Tables for this Port Lligat fisherman lunch are limited. Only one group for lunch and one group for dinner is catered for. Bookings are for a minimum of 10 people and maximum 16 people. Less than 10 people and you pay the price for 10. Places should be reserved as far in advance as possible, especially for summer where they are often fully booked six months in advance.

Charming Villas Catalonia offer a selection of luxury Costa Brava villas and Barcelona vacation rentals. We offer our clients a free Costa Brava concierge service where we can arrange activities and extra services such as a table with the Port Lligat fisherman for lunch or dinner. We can help create a bespoke day trip to Cadaques combining the fisherman lunch with other activities. Check out our earlier blog post, What to do in Cadaques.

Please contact us for more information about menus and how to reserve a table. catalonia@charmingvillas.net

Where to stay on the Costa Brava

This blog post is designed for those who are planning on visiting Catalonia and the Costa Brava for the first time. This is also for people who are seeking information about where to stay and what to do in the region. Below is a basic map highlighting the Costa Brava and the Maresme coastlines.

The Maresme coastline starts from Barcelona and finishes at Blanes. From Blanes the Costa Brava ends over 200 kilometers later at the French border. The Costa Brava can be split into three rough sections; Northern, central and Southern sections. Blanes to Palamos is the southern section. The middle section from Palafrugell to L’Estartit and the northern section from L’Escala to Portbou.

The middle and Northern sections

Middle and Northern sections of the Costa Brava are somewhat less developed (with one or two exceptions). These are also more family orientated and this is where the vast majority of our properties are located.

Popular locations are Begur (and it’s beaches of Sa Riera, Sa Tuna, Aiguablava). The beaches of Palafrugell – Tamariu, Llafranc and Calella de Palafrugell. Cadaques is the jewel of the Northern section of the Costa Brava.

For first time visitors to the Costa Brava i normally recommend the area around Begur/Tamariu. There’s a lot to see and do in a compact area and day-trips to explore the north or south of the Costa Brava are doable. Here is a map showing the main coves and beaches of the Begur/Palafrugell area;

Begur beaches
The beaches of Begur and Palafrugell

Cadaques, the pearl of the Costa Brava

Cadaques in the north is probably our favorite coastal town on the whole of the Costa Brava. There’s only one road in and out of town and it is a windy mountain road which can take up to 30 minutes’ from the neighboring town of Roses. Once you finally descend into Cadaques the mountain road adventure is quickly forgotten. The town has a unique charm and ambiance which has been preserved down the centuries. This is in part thanks to it’s relative isolation from the rest of the Costa Brava located on the end of the Cap de Creus peninsula.

Cadaques has seen many artists staying over the years including Picasso, Man Ray, Duchamp, Joan Miro. Most famously of all Salvador Dali who lived a large part of his life in the neighboring Port Lligat. This link to the rich history of Cadaques is tangible today in the many local artists galleries you will find among the narrow cobbled streets of the town. The town has a somewhat Bohemian atmosphere and a wonderful selection of good quality restaurants.

However i am always cautious on recommending Cadaques to first time visitors to the region because of it’s isolated location. If travelling around visiting other towns/beaches is an important factor this can be quite a tiresome experience driving over the mountain road every day. For people who like to explore other areas i recommend finding a base in the Begur/Tamariu area and then taking a day trip to Cadaques during your holiday.

Costa Brava vacation villas

At Charming Villas Catalonia we offer a selection of luxury Costa Brava holiday villas with pools and villas with heated pools. Let us know your important criteria and we will help you find the perfect vacation rental in Catalonia.

This post is just a rough guide and with our clients we go into much more detail not only with location and villa selection but also, if needed, advice and help planning activities and day trip itineraries. Please contact Sara or Richard at catalonia@charmingvillas.net for more information.

Costa Brava Vineyards

The aim of this blog post is to list a selection of Costa Brava and Girona vineyards that offer to the public activities such as wine tasting, tours, meals and picnics.

The history of wine in Catalonia

In around the 6th century BC the Greeks founded their first trading post on the Costa Brava coastline, Empòrion (market place, and origin of the modern day name Emporda). A few centuries later the Romans would take over and call it Emporiae. Now it is known as Empuries. Since the Greeks first introduced and cultivated vines here 2500 years ago Catalonia now has no less than 10 distinct wine growing regions of which DO Emporda is one.

Costa Brava Vineyards
Costa Brava vineyards (photo credit Perelada.com)

Costa Brava vineyards map

Below is a map showing the locations of DO Emporda vineyards who offer wine tourism packages. More information can be found at the official DO Emporda website.

DO Emporda wine producers

Celler La Vinyeta La Vinyeta is one of the youngest and most dynamic DO Empordà projects. Its owners, Josep and Marta, are two young entrepreneurs who set up the business in 2002 with just 4 hectares of old vines. In 2006 they built the Cellar and began to produce their first bottles. In the space of just a few years, La Vinyeta has received numerous plaudits and has earned the appreciation of many visitors. La Vinyeta offers wine tours of the vineyards with tastings.They also offer picnics among the vines. La Vinyeta

Celler Espelt Espelt has been founded by members of a long line of winemakers. Their mantra is that the culture of wine lies in agriculture, quality, creativity and passion. The wine making tradition of Empordà and the love for the earth led those behind the project to plant vines in the Cap de Creus Natural Park. Espelt has a shop which is open to the public and offer wine tastings. Espelt

Celler Hugas de Batlle

The “Celler Hugas de Batlle” is a small family ran winery based in the center of Colera. It has a patio which serves as a production area and a shop inside with a place for tasting. The Celler offers various wine tasting options including a breakfast option and tours of the vineyards. One of the few Cellers right on the water. Celler Hugas de Batlle

Celler Arché-Pagès is a family-owned winery located in the town of Capmany. Five generations of winegrowers have cultivated the estate’s 14 hectares of vineyards. Mainly indigenous varieties of grapes are planted such as Garnacha and Cariñena. The company exercises absolute control over the entire process, from pruning the vines to selling the wine. This modern and dynamic winery offers visitors the chance to visit its facilities. To stroll through the vineyards and to taste wines with a distinctive personality. Arche Pages

Mas Lunes Mas Llunes is a modern winery that specializes in the production of wine from the estate’s own vineyards. It is owned by the Roig de Garriguella family, which has been closely involved in wine growing in Empordà for several generations. They offer wine tastings and tours of the vineyards in their own 4×4 vehicles.
Mas Llunes

Mas Oller Mas Oller currently has 12 hectares of wine-producing vines and 4 hectares of newly planted vines. The approach of Mas Oller is based on reviving the winegrowing tradition of Empordà, with a modern interpretation of the concept of wine. Both the winery and vineyards can be visited at Mas Oller. The enoteca offers visitors the chance to purchase and taste the wines that it produces in an idyllic setting. They offer tastings and visits of the vineyards. Also check their website for information on special cheese and wine tastings. Mas Oller

Celler Can Sais

This small family-owned winery with a long wine growing tradition is located in the old part of the town of Vall-llobrega, in the Gavarres Massif. Can Sais attempt to produce wines with concentration and personality, wines that say something about the area and its way of life. They offer guided visits of the vineyards and instalations, wine tastings and other activities such as wine therapy massages. Celler Can Sais

Celler Bell-Lloc This Empordà farmstead is imbued with a philosophy rooted in the land, which takes advantage of recent advances to provide quality, without losing spirit and authenticity. They offer celler visits and a gastronomic experience of a meal paired with their own wines. Finca Bell Lloc

Cellers d’en Guilla New wines produced with grapes from old vines: this is the approach adopted by Cellers d’en Guilla, a new winery with limited production located in the Delfià district of Rabós d’Empordà. Offering visits and wine tastings with local food products.
Celler Guilla

Terra Remota Terra Remota is a winery that is highly sensitive to its surroundings and, consequently, is strongly committed to becoming integrated within its environment. The result is a top quality wine and an enchanting landscape. They do winery visits, tastings and picnics amongst the vines. Terra Remota

Most Costa Brava vineyards require pre-booking of tastings and it is recommended to make contact at least 24 hours in advance. Contact details are listed on the websites of each Celler.

The best beaches on the Costa Brava

The Costa Brava has many great beaches from the isolated, hard to get to bays and coves on the Cap de Creus to the popular sandy beaches of Begur and Palafrugell. With over 200kms of coastline from Portbou in the north to Blanes on the southern tip there is a beach for everyone. Here is a selection of our personal favourites.

Our favourite beaches on the northern Costa Brava

Cala Taballera, Port de la Selva

The largest beach in the Cap de Creus peninsula. It is a good two hour hike from Port de la Selva and well worth the effort.

Cala Taballera, Port de la Selva
Cala Taballera, Port de la Selva

Platja del Ros, Cadaques

The beaches of Cadaques are not huge but this is one of the best and has great views of the Cadaques seafront in the background.

Platja del Ros, Cadaques
Platja del Ros, Cadaques

Sa Sabolla, Cadaques

A pleasant 45 minute walk from Cadaques in the direction of Cala Nans and the lighthouse this is a firm favorite of ours. Pebbles rather than sandy and a great place for a swim.

Sa Sabolla, Cadaques
Sa Sabolla, Cadaques

Cala Joncols, Roses

Roughly half way between Roses and Cadaques Cala Joncols makes a great stop off for a swim if you are walking the coastal “Cami de Ronda” between the two towns.

Cala Joncols, Roses
Cala Joncols, Roses

Our favourite beaches on the mid-section of the Costa Brava

Aiguablava beach, Begur.

The beautiful turquoise waters of Aiguablava make this one of the most beautiful beaches of the Costa Brava. This beach has a few restaurants, toilets and showers and a large car park nearby.

Aiguablava beach Begur
Aiguablava beach, Begur

Platja Castell, Palamos

With over 300m of fine sand, this is one of the largest and less busy beaches in the Palamos/Palafrugell area.

Platja Castell, Palamos
Platja Castell, Palamos

Tamariu beach, Palafrugell

One of the most popular beaches of the whole Costa Brava, Tamariu beach has beautiful clear waters and fine sand. There’s also a choice of restaurants to choose from on the beach front.

Tamariu beach, Palafrugell
Tamariu beach, Palafrugell

Portixol beach, L’Escala

Portixol beach is a great sandy beach sitting half way between the charming coastal village of Sant Marti d’Empuries and the larger town of L’Escala. There are a number of similar lovely sandy beaches each side of Portixol and a selection of restaurants within walking distance.

Platja de Portixol, L'Escala
Platja de Portixol, L’Escala

Cala Montgo, L’Escala

Just on the southern edge of L’Escala Cala Montgo is a lovely sandy bay with great views of the Montgri national park. There’s also a couple of nearby restaurants to choose from.

Cala Montgo, L'Escala
Cala Montgo, L’Escala

Sa Riera, Begur

Another of our favourites, Sa Riera in our opinion, is the best beach of Begur. A large area of sand and a handful of restaurants to choose from the beach offers space yet at the same time a sense of intimacy.

Sa Riera, Begur
Sa Riera, Begur

Llafranc beach, Palafrugell

Similar to the nearby Tamariu beach, Llafranc has a lovely sandy beach and a number of beach side restaurants to choose from.

Llafranc beach, Palafrugell
Llafranc beach, Palafrugell

Cala Estreta

On the Cami de Ronda coastal path one finds Cala Estreta and El Crit beaches and are a nice walk from either Platja Castell or from Calella de Palafrugell to the north. Isolated and with no bars or shops these are a great beaches to escape the crowds.

Cala Estreta, Palamos
Cala Estreta, Palamos

Sa Conca, S’Agaro

With numerous facilities, you can access it both by car and on foot, via a pleasant stroll along the coastal path. It has a blue flag and a few metres away from here is also the Port d’Aro marina.

Sa Conca beach, S'Agaro, Costa Brava
Sa Conca, S’Agaro

For more information about the beaches of the Costa Brava check out the Patronat de Turisme website.

Here is a map showing the locations of our favourite beaches on the Costa Brava