La Costa Brava Guide
Costa Brava, (which means wild or rugged coast in Spanish & Catalan), is a coastal region of north eastern Catalunya, in the province of Girona, in Spain. Costa Brava stretches from the town of Blanes (60km northeast of Barcelona) all the way to the French border.
The combination of an excellent summer climate, great beaches, surrounding nature, all contributed to the tourism growth in sea-side resorts such as Blanes, Tossa de Mar, Lloret de Mar etc, started in the 1950s. Therefore, it quickly began to take over fishing as the main business of this coastal area.
Other parts of this delightful region kept their more traditional, original look & feel and remained as small towns and villages, such as the now famous Cadaques (thanks to its popular attraction to the artists Salvador Dalí, Picasso & Joan Miró). Some examples of other delightful small Costa Brava towns are Pals, Begur, Tamariu, Empuriabrava, Llafranc, L’Estartit, Aigua Blava, Palamos.
Did you know?
In 1998, the coastal towns along Costa Brava signed a charter, which was called Carta de Tossa. It was set up to look after and protect the environment, alongside the tourism in this region. It recognised the “value of the region’s wide range of natural habitats & microclimates”. An example is The Medes Islands (Islas Medas in Spanish, Illes Medes in Catalan) which can be found off the coast of the town of L’Estartit and which became part of the first marine reserve of Spain – meaning they are legally protected against fishing and development. They now provide a home to a great range of fish & aquatic plants. Nearby marshlands were also saved from development and are now home to a wildfowl reserve at Aiguamolls de L’Empordà.
With its amazing golden beaches, sheltered coves, rocky gorges and some of the most picturesque scenery in the Mediterranean, Costa Brava is surely a perfect holiday location. It also has plenty of activities for all ages – exciting water adventures, fun parties, small peaceful villages, traditional annual local fiestas, sunbathing, swimming etc. For details of the local fiestas click here
Costa Brava was also the home of the world-famous Spanish artist, Salvador Dali. He lived in the small village of Port Ligat, near Cadaques, from 1930 until 1982 when his wife, Gala, died. His house there was turned into a museum which is well worth a visit. There is also Dali's Theatre Museum in Figueres (just inland from Cadaques) which contains a collection of his most famous works of art. This is a "must-visit". Book your daytrip to see the Dali Museum in Figueres online here and avoid the queue when you arrive. Other suggested day trips out of Costa Brava are: the Pyrenean Principality of Andorra, the Pyrenees, the monastery of Montserrat (book a Monastery trip here). You can also have do a Wine and Cava Tour
Travel to Costa Brava
From Barcelona: You can get there by train, bus or by car. To get to Costa Brava from Barcelona by bus Sarfa and Sagalés run buses to such places as Tossa del Mar, Calella, Cadaques and Port de la Selva.
By train you take the main Spanish Railways (RENFE) to a main station such as Barcelona or Girona, From the main station to Costa Brava it will be with the local trains called Cercanías..
By car, there are two routes - either via the AP7 (a toll motorway) or the more scenic coastal route on the C-31 (N11).By Air, the closest international airport is Girona/Gerona (GRO) airport which is in Costa Brava. Barcelona El Prat (BCN) airport is 90km away. And don't forget Perpignon airport. Although it is across the border in France it is closer than El Prat.