With an arresting scenery and sparkling Mediterranean coastline, the Spanish region of Costa Brava ticks all the boxes for a sun-soaked getaway. Tucked away in the north-eastern corner of Catalonia, it stretches from the French border all the way to the ‘Costa Brava gateway’ of Blanes. Once in the shadows of the more touristy Costas of mainland Spain, in-the-know travellers have been taking holidays in Costa Brava since the sixties. With a treasure trove of fishing villages and lively seaside towns, Costa Brava, aka the ‘Wild Coast’, has so much to offer.
When to go
The warmer Mediterranean climate means that you can get good weather almost year-round – even March can see highs of 17°C! However, we’d say the best time to visit Costa Brava is either May-June or September – October because the weather is still warm, and you’ll avoid tourist season (and higher prices). However, we know school holidays dictate when a lot of families can go away – so although peak summer is also peak tourist season… you can enjoy the sunny weather in accommodation that’s a little more secluded, if the crowds bother you (win, win).
How to get there
Airlines such as Ryanair, Jet2 and TUI Airways all fly direct from the UK to Girona. It takes less than 90-minutes to drive from Barcelona to Costa Brava (Barcelona is just 57 miles south of Girona). So, a flight to Barcelona with Easyjet, Monarch, Jet2, Ryanair or British Airways is also an option. From Barcelona city centre, you’ll find good rail and bus links to the Costa Brava region, as well as private transfers and car hire options.
Why visit Costa Brava?
From the hidden inlets of Calella de Palafrugell to the relaxing coves of Blanes, you’re never far away from beautiful golden sands. If lying horizontally isn’t your thing, the coastal paths that traverse the Costa Brava region offer spectacular views. Get the full low-down on our blog, The Best Beaches in Costa Brava.
Costa Brava’s coastal landscape is simply stunning. From sweeping bays and rugged, steep cliffs, to protected marshes and sand dunes – you’ll be in awe of all of the views. Head inland and you’ll be treated to a visual feast of quaint white-washed villages strewn in dashing bougainvillea. And don’t forget those verdant foothills of the Pyrenees – it’s easy to see why artist Salvador Dali was so inspired!
Families are not forgotten in Costa Brava. The city of Girona is a fantastic place to enjoy lively markets and street performers, while many of the pristine Blue Flag beaches here are perfect for children. You’ll find many resorts also carry the Family Tourist Destination seal, awarded by the Catalan tourist board.
History and culture
The Costa Brava is home to a layered history, dating as far back as the 1st Century BC. And today, you’ll find many examples of Roman, Medieval and Arab influences in the way of Gothic buildings, hilltop castles, and ancient monuments. Once a frontier between the Arab and Christian worlds, the walled city of Girona is worth visiting for historic treasures and panoramic views.
The Catalans know how to party, and the best Costa Brava holidays, in our opinion, are those that coincide with one of Catalonia’s outstanding festivals. Various carnivals take place in February, and the Fireworks Contest, held in Blanes in July, is spectacular. The Porta Ferrada music festival and Girona Flower Festival also pull in the crowds.
The Mas Molla winery
The Costa Brava wineries are some of the most highly-acclaimed in Spain. A visit to the family-run Mas Molla winery offers a glimpse at some of the oldest farming methods in the region.
Gala Dali’s castle
Visiting the Dali Theatre Museum in Girona and the Salvador Dali house in Port Lligat, Cadaqués, are just a couple of the top things to do in Costa Brava. However, the biggest fans will also visit the ‘Gala Dali Castle’, the former home – and now mausoleum – of the legendary painter’s wife.
Do as the Barcelonians do and visit the charming town of Begur. Home to a colourful historic quarter and a 15th Century hilltop castle, it’s undoubtedly one of the most beautiful towns in Costa Brava.
Where to visit in Costa Brava
Explore the National Parks
The Costa Brava National Parks are a nature lover’s paradise and one of the most popular, The Cap de Creu National Park, is known for its dramatic cliffs and panoramic sea views. Find a quiet spot to enjoy the vistas and visit the lighthouse, home to its own restaurant and bar.
Hit the water
Historic catamaran trips, excellent water-sports facilities and impeccably clear bays offer plenty of opportunities to hit the open water. Check out our suggested boat trips on our Things to do in the Costa Brava round-up.
The Costa Brava plays home to some of the best golf courses in Europe. The golf clubs here fringe the Mediterranean coastline and the cloud-piercing Pyrenees. As a result, they offer up some of the most stunning locations to perfect your putt.
Hike the Cami de Ronda
One of the region’s most well-known hiking trails is the Cami de Ronda. It runs almost the entire length of Costa Brava, from Blanes, up to Portbou on the French border. Although it’ll put your fitness to the test… the views are out of this world.
From quaint, rustic villas in the countryside to 14th Century Catalan mansions and architectural masterpieces with infinity pools… our collection of properties in Costa Brava cater to every type of family, traveller, and taste. Now you’ve done a little more research on the area, you can start planning your next unforgettable family trip!