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Costa Brava

With its combination of dramatic scenery and magnificent Mediterranean coastline, the Costa Brava (known as the Wild Coast) has so much to offer for a sunshine break, with a treasure trove of colourful fishing villages, sparkling beaches and memorable experiences to savour and enjoy.

 

What to do in Costa Brava?

Todos

Begur

Colourful and full of life, Begur – which dates back to prehistoric times – is a favourite with locals, with a plethora of mouth-watering restaurants, boutique hotels and idyllic streets to explore.

Calella de Palafrugell 

Calella de Palafrugell is regarded as one of the most beautiful coastal villages in Spain, with its delightful combination of white shore houses, rocky inlets and hidden beach coves. The centre of town features a selection of waterside cafes and restaurants serving traditional Catalan food, as well as a market selling meat and fresh local fruit and veg, while the nearby Cap Roig Botanical Garden – with more than 1,000 different species with a Mediterranean-type climate – is also well worth a visit.

Peratallada

Declared a monument of historic and artistic merit, the narrow cobbled streets of Peratallada are home to small hotels, restaurants and galleries selling various artworks. Dating back to medieval times, many of the buildings are carved from stone (which the village derives its name from), while the village centre is dominated by a privately-owned castle and palace.

Pals

Perched on a hilltop, the peaceful medieval village of Pals was built around a fortress and has retained all its old-world charm. There are an endlesss array of delights to explore as you lose yourself in its many winding cobbled streets.

L’Estartit

A popular choice for diving enthusisiasts and sea lovers in the summer months, the fishing village of L’Estartit offers the ideal place to relax, whether it be taking a boat to the Medes Islands, enjoying a day on the Sandy beach or exloring the fishing docks.

Sa Tuna, Begur

Don’t be put off by the winding road you have to take to get there because the small remote beach of Sa Tuna is well worth the effort. Around 80 metres long and 25 metres wide, the gravel beach is accompanied by whitewashed houses, beached boats and terraces, while it’s also worth taking the coastal path to explore the surrounding rocky coast. The beach has paid parking nearby but be warned, free parking can be hard to find in the summer.

Cala d’Aigua Xelida, Tamariu

Situated around one kilometre north of Tamariu and accessed by steps, the small sandy and rocky 82-foot-long beach sits in a bay sheltered by rugged cliffs and is perfect for those seeking a secluded sunbathing spot. The cove (literal translation, frozen wáter) was named after the fresh water springs under the sea that cause a sudden drop in temperature.

Aiguablava, Begur 

Surrounded by verdant cliffs, the sheltered haven of Aiguablava is arguably the most impressive of Begur’s eight coves and beaches. As well as a choice of fish restaurants nearby, paddleboards and kayaks are available to hire to keep the children entertained.

Cala Ferriol, L’Estartit 

Off the beaten track and away from L’Estartit’s three main beaches lies the hidden cove of Cala Ferriol. Close to Cala Pedrosa, another pebble beach, there are a couple of small islets in the bay which is dwarfed by a huge cliff above.

Illes Medes 

There are few more memorable experiences in the region than snorkelling in the spectacular Illes Medes Nature Reserve. After 10 years as a protected zone, the reserve is bursting with marine life and experts are on hand to guide each group of eight people through the most interesting sites in the área.

Dalí Museum 

No visit to the Costa Brava is complete without seeing some of the work of the legendary Spanish artist. One of the world’s best museums dedicated to Dalí, the Pink castle-like building was designed by the artist himself and features his signature eggs and gold figurines on the rooftops, as well as elaborate art installations inside.

Llafranc lighthouse

San Sebastian lighthouse is located in the village of Llafranc. Positioned 175 metres above the sea, the 19th century building offers spectacular 180-degree views of the Catalan coast. Next to the lighthouse, you’ll find an Iberian deposit of San Sebastian de la Guarda and a restaurant named after the lighthouse.

Cycling 

Offering mile upon mile of beautiful, rolling countryside that meets the Mediterranean on one side and the Pyrenees on the other, cycling is one of the most popular sports in the Costa Brava. A hub for profesional and amateur riders alike, the region’s world-famous mixture of roads and trails make for great and varied biking, whatever your age or fitness level.

Airplane ride

Take to the skies to discover the sheer majesty of the Costa Brava from the air. A private sightseeing trip will bring a whole new perspective to the region, showcasing the unique beauty and variety of the landscape.

Watersports

If you’re a watersports lover, the Costa Brava is your ultimate playground, with snorkelling, paddleboarding, kayaking and diving among the activities available as well as more traditional sports.

Girona

The capital of the Costa Brava, Girona is renowned for its 2,000-year history and well-preserved medieval and Jewish quarters dating back to between the 11th and 15th centuries. The city straddles the banks of the Onyar and the riverfront is one of the city’s most famous images, with its tightly-packed, colourful buildings that come right down to the water’s edge. From its Arabic baths and the 14th century city walls to the Romanesque and Baroque cathedral and various celebratory events held throughout the year, Girona is a must-visit on anyone’s list.

 

What to do in Girona?

Todos

Cathedral

Built between the 11th and 13th centuries, the Cathedral of Saint Mary of Girona towers over the city. At around 23 metres (75 feet) across, it’s the second widest church in the World and only St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican is wider. More recently, it also featured prominently in the epic TV series Game of Thrones.

Call Jueu 

One of Girona's most iconic areas and dating back to the 12th century, Call Jueu, or Jewish Quarter, consists of a maze of small streets and courtyards that maintain their medieval aura. It's one of Europe's best-preserved Jewish neighbourhoods and a clear sign of the significance that Jewish culture once had in the city.

Banys Àrabs 

Built in 1194, the baths were inspired by similar Roman and Arab baths and created in response to ancient Girona’s growing population and the need to improve hygiene. Nowadays, the baths aren’t in use but you can take a self-guided tour to see what bathing was like in the Middle Ages. The building is covered by a large vaulted ceiling and includes a cold-water bath, a hot-water bath, and changing rooms.

Cases del Riu Onyar

Girona offers spectacular images of steep alleyways, porticoed streets and squares and, above all, the brightly painted façades of the houses overlooking the River Onyar, which provide the most emblematic images of the city.

Muralla de Girona

An essential part of ancient Girona – witnessing the passage of the Romans, defense against the Arabs in the Carolingian era and other confrontations during the Middle Ages – today Girona’s stone walls offer visitors a spectacular high-altitude walk with excellent panoramic views over the city.

Eiffel Bridge 

The Palanques Vermelles Bridge, also known as the Eiffel Bridge, was built in 1827 by Gustave Eiffel just before the construction of his most famous work, the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Situated over the Onyar River, it’s a great vantage point for the Old Town’s colourful buildings.

Casa Masó

Family home of architect Rafael Masó (1880-1935), this is one of his most important architectural works and the only one of the famous houses over the River Onyar that is open to the public.

Museu Jueu 

The Museum of Jewish History details the story of the Jewish medieval communities in Catalonia and the old Kingdom of Aragon from the ninth to 15th centuries. Among the artifacts that visitors can view are a large collection of medieval Jewish tombstones.

History Museum

Girona’s long and varied history is chronicled in extensive detail at the museum, right from the Romans founding the city back in the first century BC all the way through to the modern era. It features 14 exhibition rooms all centred around different themes. The museum is housed in the old Capuchin monastery, which dates back to the 18th century.

Girona, Temps de Flors 

Held every spring in the second or third week of May in Girona's Barri Vell neighbourhood, the Temps de Flors (the flower season) exhibition fills the city with plants and spectacular floral displays for a few magical days. Converting various monuments, courtyards and urban locations into unique ornamental gardens, visitors will find a wonderful ensemble of striking colours and penetrating aromas that accompany the cultural heritage of the city.

Cycling

With more than 150 professional cyclists among its residents as well as countless more amateur and recreational riders, Girona is a modern-day cycling Mecca. It’s easy to see the appeal, with the city offering easy access to a huge variety of beautiful (and quiet) routes in a sun-drenched climate ideal for getting on your bike. 

Gastronomy capital

Girona is one of the world’s major food and wine destinations, a region at the forefront of culinary innovation as one of the greatest creative hubs on the planet. The combination of sea and mountains is the trademark of Girona cuisine, the fusion of the region’s culinary techniques and character. Girona boasts many Michelin-star restaurants including El Celler de Can Roca, run by the Roca brothers and named as the world’s best restaurant on numerous occasions.

Running in La Devesa

Some of the best things in life are free, and this is certainly true when donning the trainers and going for a run in Girona’s La Devesa Park. Covering an area of up to 40 hectares, it is the biggest park in Catalonia and offers a great place to relax in the heart of the city.

Bars at Plaça Independència

Girona’s combination of diverse bars, pubs and nightclubs can be found throughout the city, with the numerous establishments based in and around Plaça de la Independència a particularly popular place to meet in the evening. The weekend is naturally the busiest time for nightlife, but lively venues can be found any day of the week, especially on Thursday, which is a popular night for students.

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