Best Secret Beaches on the Costa Brava

Beach on the Costa Brava
Beach on the Costa Brava | ©txuscruz0 / Pixabay
Esme Fox

The Costa Brava extends from just north of Barcelona all the way up to the French border. It’s characterised by its wild and rugged landscape, a few popular resorts, small fishing villages and seemingly endless miles of idyllic shoreline, hiding small bays, inlets and gorgeous coves. Here are some of our favourite secret beaches on the Costa Brava.

Cala El Crit

Located near Mont-ras, El Crit lies well-off the beaten track, and like many of the secret beaches in the Costa Brava, is only accessible by foot. El Crit, meaning ‘The Scream’ is a small sandy cove, surrounded by giant rocks, and is associated with a terrible local legend of murder and pirates. It is said that pirates travelled the waters of the Mediterranean in the 16th and 17th centuries and used small coves like this for refuge, often stealing from nearby villagers and sometimes taking villagers as slaves. Legend has it that pirates who were staying on the beach found a nearby farmhouse, occupied by a farmer and his two daughters. The pirates decided to take one of the daughters back to their ship, when they got to the beach, to try to save herself, the girl bit off the pirate’s finger. He became so angry that he killed her right there and then. The story says that the girl’s horrifying scream was so loud that it woke all the villagers, and since that day the cove has been known as El Crit.

Cala el Crit, Costa Brava, Spain

Cala Portaló

Hidden within the Cap de Creus Natural Park, just north of the town of Cadaqués, lies Cala Portaló, which can be reached via a turn-off on the footpath towards the Cap de Creus Lighthouse. Tucked in between the rugged cliffs, the sea enters a shallow cove with a charming pebble beach. Like many of the coves in this area Cala Portaló is a favourite with nudists, however you are free to wear whatever you want. The artist Salvador Dalí lived near this beach and was inspired by the landscapes here. Many of the unique rock formations in the area feature in his most famous paintings.

- embed -

Cala Estreta

One of the most stunning beaches around, Cala Estreta is certainly remote – located around a 20 to 30-minute walk from the nearest village of Palamós. From Es Castell beach in the village, take the footpath into the forest and then follow it north along the coast. Passing many postcard-perfect coves and inlets along the way, you will finally reach Cala Estreta – a small sandy bay bisected by a giant rock formation called ‘The Red One’. Look out across the sea and you’ll see more unusual rock formations such as the ‘Drac Adormit’ or ‘sleeping dragon’.

Cala Estreta, Costa Brava, Spain

Platja Fonda

Found near the small village of Begur, in the Baix Empordà region of the Costa Brava, Fonda Beach is one of the most picturesque in the area. Lying at the bottom of the foreboding Begur Cave, it is only accessible via a footpath and down a set of steep steps. Its name in English means ‘Deep Beach’, because of its incredible deep turquoise water, it is so clear, it’s almost like looking through coloured glass. A mixture of silvery grey sand and pebbles, it’s a quiet, natural spot with no development whatsoever.

Platja Fonda, Costa Brava, Spain

Platja Vallpresona

Platja Vallpresona

Located far away from any urban or residential areas, this remote beach can be found in between the larger towns of Tossa de Mar and Sant Feliu de Guíxols. To get there, drive around 11 kilometres north of Tossa de Mar, and then take a footpath off road and walk for one kilometre down to the shore. It comprises a mixture of shingles and larger rocks, and has lovely clear water – ideal for swimming. There are also a couple of reefs lying just off shore, so remember to bring your snorkel and mask.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.