Playing home to 133 miles of coastline, Costa Brava, dubbed ‘the Wild Coast’ has myriad places to lay your beach towel. Largely rugged, unspoilt, and bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, you’ll find everything from upbeat, family-friendly beach resorts to private and secluded coves.
One of the most appealing things about Costa Brava beaches is the clear, shallow water and the fact that many of them carry the Blue Flag seal of approval from the Catalan tourist board. So, check out our list of the best beaches in Costa Brava and prepare for some serious R&R.
White-washed houses fringe this small pebbled beach. The shallow, crystal-clear waters make it great for families and for relaxing strolls around this quaint seaside town. Insider tip: set your alarm and get here for sunrise. It’s spectacular.
If you judge your beaches on the underwater experience, you’ll give five stars to Cala Culip. This pint-sized shingle beach, hidden in the coves of Cap de Creus, is lesser known to tourists. Yet boasts some excellent snorkelling and diving opportunities amongst ancient shipwrecks and unspoilt marine life. Get in touch with a local diving school for the best experience. Getting your PADI certificate is undoubtedly up there as one of the best things to do in Costa Brava.
If you’re looking for one of Costa Brava’s most naturally striking beaches, this small, pine-fringed cove is your calling. It’s not tourist-free and gets quite busy in the high season, but it certainly has a wilder feel than many beaches here. You’ll need a car to get there (follow the signs to Sant Feliu de Guixols), but once you arrive, you’ll be rewarded with wild, rugged cliffs, plenty of family-friendly watersports and beautiful, turquoise water.
Located just five minutes away from Blanes, this petite yet pretty beach gets five stars for accessibility and is a perfect place to while away an afternoon. One of the most alluring things about it is the arresting natural beauty – surrounded by scenic pine forest, it fringes the Pinya Rosa Botanical Garden. What’s more, it’s a stone’s throw away from Santa Cristina, another sandy spot worth checking out.
The attraction for most beach-goers to Platja de Lloret de Mar is that it’s the longest beach in the area. It boasts a long promenade, plenty of family-friendly amenities and a whole 1,630 metres of coarse but golden sand. Lloret de Mar is one of the most popular resorts in Costa Brava, with casinos, cocktail bars and restaurants aplenty. So once the sun sinks into the horizon, why not freshen up and soak up some of the Costa Brava nightlife?
Piercing blue water, a tranquil setting and clean sand – what more could you ask for in a beach? Overlooked by picturesque pine-clad rocks, this is one of the smaller coves of Lloret de Mar. But what it lacks in space, it more than makes up for in tranquillity. Like many Costa Brava beaches, Playa Cala Sa Boadella is suitable for families; but do be warned, you may spot the odd nudist going for a dip.
Set in a pretty cove at the foot of St Juan Hill, this mostly peaceful and uncrowded beach is a local favourite, and with smart villas peppering the hillside, it has a relaxed but chic vibe and is just a stone’s throw from Cala Sa Boadella (above).
It has ample facilities, with friendly beach bars and parasols available for hire. Plus, it’s near the Marimurta Botanical Garden, home to some 4,000 exotic plant species and mesmerising views over Blanes.
The charming town of Begur brings a smile to every first-time visitor, and Playa de Aiguablava – arguably the finest of its eight coves and beaches – is equally magical. It can get a little crowded in high season, but with verdant cliffs, a chilled-out vibe and some of the finest sand in the region, this sheltered haven is well worth visiting. You’ll find a selection of fish restaurants to choose from, and families can keep their children entertained with stand-up paddleboards and kayaks, which are available for hire.
There are three main beaches in the eastern town of L’Estartit and two of them – the Els Griells Beach and the Platja Gran L’Estartit – are great for those in search of beachfront restaurants, children’s clubs, and endless beach activities.
But if you’re searching for a beach that’s a little off-the-beaten-track, La Pletera is the beach you’ll want to keep a secret. This gem is located right inside the Ter Vell Nature Reserve. Think gentle, undulating sand dunes and plenty of peace and quiet to help you recharge.
Having accommodation close to the beach is absolutely ideal (you can basically roll out of bed and onto a sun lounger… what’s not to like?!) And that’s why we’ve got a huge selection of villas in Costa Brava, that range from 6 beds overlooking the ocean to mansions in the countryside, and of course, villas with beaches at walking distance.