The Costa Brava ("rugged coast") is the most refined and picturesque of the three Spanish coastal regions.
It is the ideal place to escape on the beach or to make a winter walk among the pines.
Yes, whatever the season, the Costa Brava will dazzle you with its wild nooks and crannies, nourish you with delicacies and put you to bed in the tranquility of a coastal town postcard.
And all this within walking distance of the world-class tourist destination of Barcelona.
Let's take a trip to the best towns on the Costa Brava where the locals are delighted.
Visit the Costa Brava
First of all, it should be noted that without a car, the options are limited.
If you want to see many of the main sights, we recommend that you organize a half-day or full-day excursion.
No effort required! Just get ready and enjoy the crystal clear waters, beaches, marine reserves, coves and medieval villages.
Costa Brava Tour - Complete Day
This full day tour of the Costa Brava begins with Calella de Palafrugell - a small fishing village where you can take a quick 30 minute walk along the famous Parapet walk, a road by the sea that was once used to prevent smuggling.
This trail will lead you to Llafranc where you will take the bus to go to the medieval town of Pals and its narrow streets and its atmosphere "frozen in time". The view of the Costa Brava from the XNUMXth century tower is incredible.
From there you will take a boat to get to Medas Islands, where you will observe the flora and fauna of the best marine reserve in the western Mediterranean.
Returning to the coast, you will visit the Greco-Roman ruins ofAmpurias.
- includes: bus transportation to / from Barcelona, live guide in English and Spanish, audio guide available in French, tickets for the Nautilus boat, entrance and guided visit to the ruins of Ampurias.
- Schedules: Day trips are organized on Tuesdays and Fridays. The departure is at 8:30 am from Plaça Catalunya (metro L3 or L1), in front of the Hard Rock Café, with return at 20:30 pm. Make sure to arrive 15 minutes early.
- Price: € 84,00 per person, free for children under 6 years old.
Costa Brava Tour - Half day
The half-day tour of the Costa Brava begins with a visit to Lloret de Mar, vital heart of the tourist activity of the region.
This bustling tourist destination has a lot to offer, including the modernist church of Santa Roma and two charming hills with great views of the area.
From there you will follow the picturesque rocky coastline using the Dofijets water jet boats to Tossa de Mar - this little town is my favorite! The beach, the lighthouse, the lush vegetation and the stone houses are really something to see.
- includes: bus transportation to / from Barcelona, live guide in English and Spanish, audio guide available in French and tickets for the Dofijets.
- Schedules: Half-day visits are organized on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. The departure is at 8:30 am from Plaça Catalunya (green metro L3 or red L1), in front of the Hard Rock Café, with return at 16:30 pm. Make sure to arrive 15 minutes early.
- Price: € 55,00 per person, free for children under 6 years old.
Pase Costa Brava
If you are staying on the Costa Brava and want to visit Barcelona (or vice versa), we recommend the Costa Brava Pass! The pass will allow you to easily access the Catalan capital and not miss its main attractions?
The Costa Brava Pass includes:
- Transfer from / to Barcelona
- Parking for one day (if traveling by car)
- Entrance to the Sagrada Familia with audio guide (skip-the-line access)
- 1 day tourist bus in Barcelona
- 20% discount on the main attractions (including Camp Nou, Casa Battló and Parc Guell)
The best towns on the Costa Brava
Coming from Barcelona, it is the first city on the Costa Brava.
You can easily reach Blanes by train from any of Barcelona's main stations, such as Sants Estacio, Plaza Catalunya, Arc de Triomphe and Clot-Aragò. Trains must go to "Massanet-Massanes".
From there you can travel to many towns on the Costa Brava, but you will need your own car or use one of the few bus services. Again, depending on the time you have available, you may find the buses quite restrictive.
What to visit in Blanes? The city does not offer anything luxurious, but there are things to do if you look closely!
There are beautiful landscapes and some of the best beaches on the Costa Brava from the point of view of forgiven. The EU awarded him the Blue flag for its crystal clear waters with the aim of promoting sustainable tourism in the region.
If you find yourself in Blanes in autumn or spring, be sure to visit the Pinya Rosa and Mar i Murta botanical gardens: they are among the most beautiful gardens in Europe.
On the way to Blanes, you can also make a stop at another coastal town easily accessible by train from Barcelona:San Pol de Mar. It is not officially on the Costa Brava, but the coves and crystal clear waters of this place are ideal for those who want a change from the beaches of Barcelona.
It is also a famous place to sunbathe. nudist.
- Camping Bella Terra (Avenida Vila de Madrid, 35-40, 17300 Blanes, Spain): 10 minutes from the center of Blanes, it offers a wide variety of bungalows and pitches, 2 swimming pools and other sports facilities, bar and restaurant. It has direct access to S'Abanell beach.
- Camping La Masia (Colom 44, 17300 Blanes): 200 meters from Blanes beach and 1,3 km from the town center, there is an outdoor swimming pool and a paid SPA. The apartments are comfortable and the bar, restaurant and entertainment services for adults and children make them an excellent option for families.
- Find the best accommodation in Blanes.
Lloret de Mar
More than 40% of tourists from the Costa Brava land in Lloret de Mar.
La city of 40 inhabitants It is huge by Costa Brava standards and famous for its summer formula visitors all inclusive vacations. No other city in the region offers so many shopping possibilities. Lloret has also been named best sports tourism destination by the Catalan tourism agency.
Those looking for that seaside city vibe without losing the edge of Barcelona's nightlife should go here. You will find a large number of bars and clubs with young people, early risers and strangers who get lost.
This is the best place to stay on the Costa Brava for its value for money.
- Camping Senià Cala Canyelles (Avinguda de Canyelles, s / n, 17310 Lloret de Mar): with a large playground, swimming pool, barbecue, comfortable houses and a beautiful and wide beach 500 meters away.
- Find the best accommodation in Lloret de Mar.
Go to Lloret de Mar from the Blanes train station: buses from the Pujol bus company leave every 30 minutes.
Tossa de Mar
Of all the towns on the Costa Brava, this is the most picturesque.
In Tossa de Mar, the magnificent historical Center surrounded by medieval walls has been perfectly preserved, just like the iconic castle located on the hill overlooking the horseshoe shaped bay and the city.
The water here is super clean, although the small beaches around Tossa get crowded in summer. If you are here just before the high season between May and June, you will have peace of mind!
Another small curiosity of Tossa: here you will find an infinity of roast chicken vendors: those who spin the spit for hours in their own juice. I highly recommend trying it.
Tossa de Mar beaches:
The best beaches in Tossa de Mar are: Platja Gran (the largest) and Platja Es Codolar.
Platja Gran is the most visited beach for all the restaurants and bars along the promenade, Platja Es Codolar is the most authentic, with its fishermen doing their daily work.
Coves of Tossa de Mar:
Boat trips from the main beach of Tossa are common, especially to the famous Cala Giverola, a magnificent secluded cove clear water, located just 2 km north of the city.
There is also another beautiful cove taken from a photography contest with its crystal clear waters: Cala Llevadó. I definitely recommend exploring the areas as there are many small coves; be sure to keep an eye out for nudists?
- Camping Pola (Carretera GI 682 Km 27, 17320 Tossa de Mar, Spain): Located in front of a beautiful cove surrounded by forests and bathed by blue-green waters, this campsite is located 4 km from the center of Tossa and offers bungalows, tents, pool and Wifi.
- Camping Cala Llevadó (10 Càmping Cala Llevadó, 17320 Tossa de Mar, Spain): Standard pitch for tent or bungalow, bus from Tossa de Mar, a few minutes walk from the beach.
- Find the best accommodation in Tossa de Mar.
You can get to Tossa de Mar directly from Estació del Norte (a short walk from Arc de Triomf metro station) using the Sarfa bus company. Tickets cost € 24,50 round trip.
Another option is to take a train from Sants Estacio, Plaza Catalunya, Arc de Triomphe or Clot-Aragò to Blanes, then take a bus from the station.
Advice: if you go to Palamós through Tossa de Mar, I suggest you discover another cove: Cala del Señor Ramon.
Palamós, associated with the proximity of Platja d'Aro, is a very famous summer destination for its nightlife and restaurants.
It is the ideal place for a group of friends who wish to spend a vacation night near the most beautiful beaches of the Costa Brava. The fine sand beaches are quite wide and you will find enough small coves to walk around.
There you will also find the famous Palamós prawns: a culinary delight that you must try!
- Camping Treumal (C-253 Km. 47,5 from Playa de Aro Aro Palamos, 17251 Sant Antoni de Calonge): located between Platja D'Aro and Calonge, overlooking the beach of Can Cristus, offering spectacular views. The surrounding coves are very beautiful and the camping services are excellent: swimming pool, playground, restaurant.
- Camping Valldaro (Cami Vell, 63, 17250 Platja d'Aro): The swimming pool and entertainment are very popular with guests, but don't forget that Platja d'Aro beach is 7 minutes away by car.
- Find the best accommodation in Palamós.
To get to Palamós, take the bus offered by the Sarfa company from Estació del Norte (the same bus will take you to Platja d'Aro).
Calella de Palafrugell, Llanfranc te Tamariu
These three towns on the Costa Brava bear the traces of a typical village by the sea: narrow streets, blue and white fishermen's houses and Craft shops.
All three can be visited on the famous "Camino de Ronda".
Le Parapet walk is a hiking route Typical connecting different towns off the beaten track. From there you can discover corners of the Costa Brava that would otherwise be impossible.
Watch out, this walk along the rugged and rugged coastline is worth a good pair of hiking boots.
The most visited of the three cities is Calella di Palafrugell with its magnificent (very busy) beach.
Llanfranc and Tamariu, on the other hand, are much less frequented and therefore have retained much more of their authenticity.
Here you will eat like kings.
The classic dish here is the sea and mountains, which offers delicious seafood local and typical mountain dishes, such as seasonal vegetables and meats.
The more adventurous consumers can opt for es niu, a traditional dish with cod, hard boiled eggs and potatoes.
Hotel Terramar's restaurant is a good place to eat on the Llanfranc seafront.
- Camping la Siesta (Av. Del Mar, Km 2, 17210, Calella de Palafrugell): spacious and very well located plots, 5 minutes from the sea and the beautiful center of Calella. Nearby there are also cycle paths to cycle to lesser-known coves.
- Kim's Camping (C / Font d 'en Xeco 1, LLafranc, Palafrugell): surrounded by greenery, it has a beautiful pool and many amenities. The beautiful Llafranc beach is 800 meters away, so it is advisable to have a car or bicycle available.
- Find the best accommodation in Calella de Palafrugell.
It won't be a surprise if I suggest you rent a car.
If that is not possible, you have two options: the bus and the train. From Barcelona you can take the Sarfa bus from Estació del Norte to Palafrugell, then take a taxi to Calella, Llanfranc or Tamariu.
By train, you can take the Renfe service from many stations in Barcelona to Girona, then take a bus to Palafrugell.
I absolutely fell in love with this majestic little place. You will find this town on the Costa Brava in theCatalan interior, a few kilometers from Girona and the sea.
I have been to Pals twice, once in winter and once in summer.
In summer it is a very lively place, with curious tourists who stroll through the narrow streets to take pictures and visit souvenir shops.
In winter it is something different: the streets return tomedieval ages with strangely silent hallways between stone houses that offer mysteries in every corner.
- Camping Mas Patoxas (Carretera C-31, Palafrugell-Pals Km 339, 17256 Pals): in the middle of nature, 15 minutes from the beaches of the Coast and 10 minutes from Pals and Begur. It has a swimming pool and other sports facilities.
- Camping Interpals (Km. Mediterrani 4,5, 17256 Pals): 5 minutes from the beautiful beach of Pals and other fabulous coves, there are many green areas where children can play.
- Find the best accommodation in Pals.
Without renting a car, I'm afraid it will be tricky as transportation options are limited.
Other medieval village worth visiting on the Costa Brava is the town of Begur, which in summer attracts many tourists for the beauty of the nearby beaches.
Do not miss Playa Fonda, Playa del Racó with the Playa de la Illa Roja (the latter is nudist like many beaches in the region), Playa de Sa Riera and Cala de Aiguablava.
- El Maset Campsite (Carretera Platja de Sa Riera, S / N, 17255 Begur, Girona): located in a privileged position 400 meters from Sa Riera beach and a few minutes from Begur, with a swimming pool and entertainment, this campsite is ideal for fully enjoy your vacation.
- Camping Begur (Ctra. D'Esclanyà, 4, 17255, Girona): surrounded by greenery and just 4 minutes from Begur, in this campsite you can enjoy peace and tranquility just a few steps from the most beautiful beaches of the Costa Brava .
- Find the best accommodation in Begur.
Here it is also better to arrive by car.
Cadaqués is one of those towns on the Costa Brava that, despite the influx of tourists, has maintained its Traditions and authenticity. Despite its popularity, you won't find large hotels and resorts, just little white houses typical of a fishing village.
It is perhaps the most lovely and romantic of the Costa Brava, so much so that the Chinese created a complete replica of the city in Xiamen Bay.
From here you are also at a surprising distance from the city of Figueres, the city where the famous artist Salvador Dalí was born and died. Here you will find the famous Dalí Museum.
Before arriving in Cadaqués, I also suggest you visit the long beaches of Sant Pere Pescador beach.
- Camping Cadaqués (Avinguda de Salvador Dalí, 23, 17488 Cadaqués): it is the only camping in the country, so choose it if you want to be close to the center and services. You can also visit the Dalí House Museum in Port Lligat and the magnificent Cap de Creus Natural Park on foot. It is quite "basic" but has a swimming pool, bar-restaurant and supermarket.
- Camping Port de la Vall (Ctra. Llançà-El Port de la Selva, km 6 - Girona - Costa Brava): about 15 km north of Cadaqués, directly on a beach (stone) and from here the Camí de Ronda passes , perfect for taking beautiful walks to the town of Port de la Selva and the lighthouse.
- Find the best accommodation in Cadaqués.
The most beautiful places on the Costa Brava, such as Calella de Palafrugell or Tossa de Mar, can be visited by doing the " Parapet walk"But what is this all about?
The "Roundabout" is a hiking route (There are actually several depending on the duration and level of difficulty of the course) that connect the different towns and it is really beautiful because it allows you to discover corners of the coast that would otherwise be inaccessible.
Routes wind through the Costa Brava, from Blanes to Portbou, on the French border, and offer stunning coastal scenery and contact with unspoiled nature, with pine trees (great for shade!) and Mediterranean scrubland.
If you want more information about the different routes that are part of the Chemin de Ronda, you can contact the tourist offices that you will find in each of the towns affected by the route.
In general, those who take the Camí de Ronda choose a linear route (from point A to point B) or a more difficult circular route.
If you're not not a great walker, I suggest you take the 8 km walk from Playa Castillo to Cap Roig. This route, which does not last no more than 3 hours, will allow you to see a bit of the road and relax in one of the beautiful coves between which you will pass. My favorite is the last of the series of beaches called " Narrow cove".
If that is not enough for you and you want to do a longest route, I suggest you take the part of Camí de Ronda that goes from Palamós to Tamariu. This course 18 kilometros long is designed to walk in 2 days. The first day we left Palamós and arrived at Calella de Palafrugell. In total, it is about 3 hours of walking and 300 m of unevenness in a distance of 11 km. On the second day you will walk 7 km from Calella de Palafrugells to Tamariu, which takes around 2 hours.
If you are more capable or if you are a accustomed walker, You can from Sant Feliu de Guixols to join Begur for a total path of 43 km and 1200 m of elevation gain. The first day you can stop in Palamós and follow the track to Llafranc. In total, you will walk around 12 hours for three days.
If you have much more time, please choose the circular route covering a total of 140 kilometros and after the first stretch of the coast from Sant Feliu de Guixóls to Begur, enter the heart of Catalonia to reach Girona and then continue towards the sea. In this case, the total hours of walking will be approximately 40 hours by a altitude difference of at least 3900 m!
When walking along the uneven shoreline, climbing and descending along the mountain on slightly rocky terrain, it is always better to use hiking shoes.
But nothing dangerous! AND It is really worth the effort ?
Where is the Costa Brava in Spain?
The Costa Brava begins to 75 km from Barcelona with the city of Blanes.
The city is probably best known as the last stop for many trains leaving Barcelona. Technically, therefore, you can reach the outskirts of the Costa Brava by train from the city.
From Blanes, it extends to the French border.
Along the way you will find many towns such as Calella de Palafrugell, Llanfranc, Tamariu, Begur, Palamós, Roses, l'Escala and Pals.
Most of the inhabitants make their getaways in the famous Tossa de Mar, Lloret de Mar or Cadaqués.
In everything that we're talking about 158 km of coastline: There are many beaches!
Costa Brava Cards
Here you have a map of the Costa Brava with all the towns and points of interest that we presented previously:
How to get to the Costa Brava?
Getting to most of the towns on the Costa Brava by train or bus is quite easy.
The problem is that many of the coastal gems are quite remote.
You can get to the local bus or train stations, but these little postcard coves go further. You will have to walk a long way, hitchhike, or just meet someone with a car.
My recomendation is rent a car If possible and to find the best price and a convenient reservation, I always use Rentalcars.com.
As for the Barcelona airports, the closest one is about 30 km from the Costa Brava and is Girona Airport (GRO).
You will also have no problems arriving by landing in El Prat de Barcelona (BCN), although the journey will last between two and three hours, depending on your final destination.
Get more tips in the comments
If you are still not convinced with any of these Costa Brava towns, let me know in the comments below: I am here to answer all your questions about your holidays!
I also suggest that you take a look at my article on Sitges, another coastal getaway that is close to Barcelona.
Also, don't be afraid to join the discussion on my new Facebook group called "For City Lovers." Here you can ask questions, voice your complaints, chat with other travelers and more - anything goes!