La Costa Brava, meaning ‘wild coast’ is located in the top corner of the region of Catalonia. It holds a record number of European Blue Flags beaches along its placid shoreline. Explore these coastal towns that remain largely-undiscovered and pure, away from the masses brought by tourism and urban development.
Tamariu’s white beach used to be a fishing village and is currently one of Catalonia’s favorite summer places. It is small and intimate, only an hour from Girona and a perfect destination for families. The town’s life revolves around its tiny but alluring beach, set in the middle of an unexploited natural environment away from cars and city noise. The main leisure activities offered are diving, sailing and kayaking. However, travelers with a preference for staying cool and dry need not look beyond Tamariu’s shore. This place is full of nice local restaurants with comfortable beach-side terraces inviting you to enjoy tapas, a fresh fish-of-the-day dish or an evening gin and tonic.
Calella is a white town that simply radiates youthful spirit and family fun. During the day, people walk down to one of the eight beaches that surround the village, although most young locals go straight to El Canadell beach. In the evening, as the sun begins to set, the coastline of Calella fills with people walking around and socializing on the terraces or in the little local shops. Everyone seems to know each other in this friendly town.
Along with Tamariu and Calella, Llafranc is considered as one of the three remaining idyllic coastal towns of the Costa Brava. With barely 300 inhabitants, this old fishing village offers multiple activities for visitors. Besides its charming landscape and marvelous Mediterranean beaches, the perfect setting for relaxing and sunbathing or for just enjoying an ice cream with a next to the stunning views, the town also hosts historical tours of its heritage and a variety of summer sports at the marina.
Cadaqués is probably the most famous and historic fishing village of Costa Brava. Its beauty has attracted several artists in the last century who found inspiration in this enchanting town, including Marcel Duchamp, Federico García Lorca and Pablo Picasso. However, it is best known for being the hometown of Dali‘s family and for featuring the house museum of the surrealist, which is one of Cadaqués’ most important tourist attractions. Cala Bona, a beach, or Cap de Creus, a natural park, are also must-visit sites in the area.
The town of Begur takes pride in being off the beaten track of the main Costa Brava, even though it is still only an hour away by car from Barcelona. Begur is also a main tourist attraction of the Catalan coastline because of its rich history. The town dates back to prehistoric times, and remains from different eras have been found that confirm its longevity as a human settlement. The Castle of Begur, for instance, is the most important testament to the central role the town played during the feudal era.
S’Agaró is a residential town situated between Sant Feliu de Guixols and Platja d’Aro, but far from the hectic life of a urban nucleus. With little more than 1,000 inhabitants, S’Agaró bursts into life in summertime and seems to fall asleep during winter, when the loneliness of its seashore fills the atmosphere with a beautiful nostalgic breeze. With white houses, swimming pools, families on the beach and seafront terraces, this location is typically Mediterranean. The original residential core, built in the early 20th century, is a preserved site of historic and national significance.
S’Agaró | Courtesy Deviant Art
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