Get your bearings
The Costa Brava borders the Pyrenees mountains to the north and the Mediterranean Sea to the east. Its coastline extends from French border village Portbou
past the Cap de Creus Natural Park
whose arid, rocky cliffs lead down to the waterfront. Southwards the coast shifts between long, sandy bays dotted with resorts to the wetlands of l’Empordà Natural Park
and craggy coves. Inland, the motorway passes Figueres
, the Costa Brava’s main cities. To the west lies Banyoles’
natural lake and the volcanic area of the Garrotxa Natural Park.
Beaches and watersports
There’s a varied coastline to enjoy on Costa Brava holidays. In the north are Cadaqués’
golden sands. Scuba divers come to Cap de Creus beaches like Jóncols Cove near Roses
to see the red corals offshore. The Aquabrava
has the biggest wave pool in Europe. You can find a tranquil beach in the bays of Begur
. Other visitors prefer Costa Brava hotels in Lloret de Mar
or Tossa de Mar,
lively family seaside towns with restaurants on the promenade and watersports on the beach.
Taste of the sea
Costa Brava’s cuisine is seafood-rich with delicious suquet fish stew
and black fishy rice
on many menus. Meat dishes include trinxat,
a pork, garlic, potato and cabbage dish, while doughnut-style sugary fritters
are a favourite with sweet lovers. One of the best places to try local cuisine is at food festivals
, dedicated to almost every ingredient as well as regional wines
Gardens and spas
For a relaxing break, Girona’s therapeutic hot springs provide the perfect treat. Choose thermal baths in Caldes de Malavella
or a spa in Pyrenean Llanars
. For a sedate pace, explore Blanes’s prized Marimurtra botanical garden
, or take a boat trip across Banyoles Lake
, its clear waters reflecting the countryside. Others prefer to relax with a few rounds at Club Golf d’Aro
in the mountains.
Throughout the Costa Brava are reminders of the past. Girona
’s mixed heritage includes a Romanesque monastery, baroque cathedral, Jewish quarter and Arabic baths, all within its old town. Figueres’ La Rambla
has a range of architectural styles including the Catalan modernista
seen throughout the region. You’ll learn about the Palaeolithic, Greek and Roman past at Roses’ Citadel
, while Sant Pere de Rodes
is a striking former Benedictine monastery in the mountains.
Surrealism and poster art
Art lovers can admire Salvador Dalí’s Surrealist art works at the Dalí Theatre-Museum
in Figueres and personal effects in the Dalí House-Museum
. Visitors can also go inside Púbol Castle, bought for his wife. In Llagostera,
the Emili Vilà House-Museum
is named after a former poster artist whose works are on display here along with an impressive collection of small-scale work by Modigliani and Toulouse-Lautrec.