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Home Experiences What you can do on the Costa Brava

What you can do on the Costa Brava

The Costa Brava lives not only on good beaches! There are also plenty of music festivals, trails with views, beautiful gardens, charming towns and of course good wine. Here are ten suggestions of things to do on the Costa Brava for your next getaway.
 
The Cap de Creus Natural Park
If you like hiking, geology and being in contact with nature, plan a visit to the Cap de Creus Natural Park, at the northern end of the Costa Brava. The wind that blows in that area (tramuntana), together with the proximity of the sea, has been eroding the rocks to give them very curious shapes. Where you can best appreciate it is in the Paraje de Tudela. There you will find a simple route (paved, no access to cars) that will guide you through rocks that look like rabbits, camels, eagles and even a famous painting by Dalí. Ten minutes by car from Paraje de Tudela you have the Cap de Creus Lighthouse and a restaurant, from where you will have spectacular views of the sea.

In addition to cliffs and beautiful landscapes, Cap de Creus hides tiny, virgin and beautiful coves, which you can reach on foot (or by boat). Crystal clear waters, thick sand and above all a lot of tranquility. Contact with nature here is elevated to maximum power. Some of the most beautiful coves in Cap de Creus: Galera cove, Culleró cove, La Pelosa beach, Cala Prona, la Playera and Culip cove (the one in the Estrella Damm advertisement).
 
Where to sleep? Cadaqués is the ideal place to spend the night and visit Cap de Creus. There you will find the Hotel Playa Sol, located in front of a small cove in Cadaqués. A hotel with all kinds of amenities where you will be fabulous.
 
 
Visit the Dalinian Triangle
If you are passionate about art and are curious to learn more about Dalí, on the Costa Brava you will find answers to many of your artistic doubts. In Portligat you can visit the artist's house and explore, through a guided tour, how he worked and how he was inspired. A stop in Figueres is more than recommended, especially to visit the Dalí Museum, where you can review a good part of the artist's work and understand his genius a little more. Also visit the Dalí - Jewelry space, next to the Museum. In Dalí - Jewelry you will discover the jewelry designs that the artist made for brands such as Tiffany.

In the small town of Púbol you will find the castle that Dalí bought from Gala, which can also be visited. Take advantage of your visit to Púbol to get to know this area of ​​Empordà that links Baix Empordà and Gironès. A beautiful area full of beautiful landscapes, charming towns and less crowded places.
 
Where to sleep? At the Hotel La Plaça Madremanya, a hotel-restaurant in a beautiful and romantic setting. It's easy to fall in love with this area of ​​Empordà when you stay at La Plaça Madremanya.
 
Enjoy the best Festivals
120 festivals, 1800 shows. And all of them take place in Girona Costa Brava. Although most take place in the summer, there are festivals throughout the year and host all types of genres: music, theater, circus, magic, film, art, comedy and digital. Among the best known: the Cap Roig festival, the Castell de Perelada festival and the Porta Ferrada festival. Although to tell the truth, all festivals (even the smallest ones) bring great artists. Music festivals are a great option for summer nights: many of the festivals are held outdoors and it is a great way to cool off at night before going to sleep.

By personal recommendation, here are two festivals that I discovered last summer: the Interludi festival in Sant Antoni de Calonge, which takes place outdoors in the castle courtyard, in an intimate and close atmosphere; and the Sons del Món Festival, in Roses and Empuriabrava, where after the concert you can taste Empordà wines chosen especially to “pair” each concert.
 
On the official website of Costa Brava Girona Festivals you will see updated information about all the festivals and concerts that take place throughout the year.

And as a final bonus, also aim for the first weekend of July; This is when the Cantada de Habaneras de Calella de Palafrugell takes place, one of the reference events in the summer calendar of the Costa Brava. This year, 2016, they are also celebrating their 50th anniversary!
 
Where to sleep? Festivals and concerts usually end late so it is best that you have a hotel reserved to sleep.
 
For the Habaneras and the Cap Roig Festival: the Hotel Alga, the Hotel Garbí and the Hotel Sant Roc, in Calella. The best: its spectacular views of the sea.
 
 

 

 
For Festival Interludi and Porta Ferrada, the NM Suites Hotel in Platja d’Aro. A hotel concept that I love. For the most demanding, the NM Suites hotel has rooms with a private pool.
 
 
 
A route through the most charming towns in Empordà
A visit to the Costa Brava is not complete if you do not walk through the charming medieval towns of the Empordà. Climb to the top of the Begur castle, get lost in the alleys of Pals, fall in love in Peratallada and remember some of the scenes from “8 Catalan surnames” in Monells. Don't miss other smaller towns either, which often go unnoticed by some of the tourists who come to the Empordà: Cruïlles, Madremanya, Vulpellac, Púbol, La Pera and Palau-Sator. You can travel between towns comfortably by car or spend a few days on “slow-travel” touring the Empordà by bicycle. There are 250km of cycle tracks, away from major roads and perfectly signposted.

Where to sleep? This area is full of small charming hotels. But two that I love are Es portal, in Pals, and Cau del Papibou, in the medieval center of Peratallada.
 
Wine tourism on the D.O. Wine Route Emporda
Let your palate guide you through the Empordà, land of good wines and exquisite gastronomy. Not only at the restaurant table will you have the option to try the white, rosé and red wines of the D.O Empordà, but you can also follow the Empordà Wine Route to discover and visit its wineries, do blind tastings, relax with wine therapy and many other activities related to Empordà wine. On the website of the Regulatory Council of the Empordà Designation of Origin you will find the list of all its wineries.

Where to sleep? Enjoy slow-travel in Can Xiquet, a small luxury hotel located in Cantallops, where you can rest and relax with a good glass of wine.
 
Visit the Ruins of Empúries
The Costa Brava was once the gateway of Greek culture to the Iberian Peninsula. The Greeks landed precisely in what is today known as Empúries, where they founded a colonial enclave called Empórion, which later became a Roman city (Emporiae). Follow in the footsteps of the Greeks and Romans at the Ruins of Empúries, located in Empúries-L’Escala, next to the sea. In addition to a highly recommended guided tour to better understand the past of our culture, take a look at the different activities for families with children in Empúries.

Where to sleep? Near Empúries you will find Cala Montgó, where the Hotel Can Miquel is located, a family hotel with all the amenities and that enjoys a fabulous and typically Mediterranean environment.
 
 
Marimurtra Botanical Garden, Santa Clotilde Garden and Cap Roig Gardens
At the southern end of the Costa Brava there are three large gardens, beautiful not only for those with a good scientific eye, but for all those who appreciate natural landscapes. In Blanes, don't miss the Mar i Murtra Botanical Garden, where you will find plants from subtropical, temperate and Mediterranean climates. Mar i Murtra is not a museum so you look at it and also touch it. If you take the guided tour, your guide will help you discover different smells and textures of exotic plants.

Near Blanes, in Lloret de Mar, you will find the Santa Clotilde gardens that have little to envy of other mythical European gardens such as Villa Borghese in Rome or the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris; Santa Clotilde is one of the most beautiful gardens I know, without exaggeration. A green labyrinth, in which you will discover little paths, sculptures and romantic corners. Like Mar i Murtra, the Santa Clotilde garden is also built in front of the sea and offers extraordinary views of the beaches of Lloret.
 
For a luxury stay in Lloret, check out Hotel Delamar, a new adults-only hotel in the city centre.
 
 
Finally, take a walk through the Cap Roig Botanical Garden to round off a very natural day. Cap Roig is best known for its music festival but also for its beautiful garden with all kinds of species from all over the world. For this reason, it is considered one of the most important gardens in the Mediterranean.
 
Hiking along the Caminos de Ronda of the Central Costa Brava
If the heat is not too hot and you want to explore the beaches and coves of the Costa Brava in an original and natural way, put on your boots and walk a section of the Caminos de Ronda of the Costa Brava. These roads that follow the coast were used by the Civil Guard to control the maritime border and prevent smuggling. They are part of the GR-92, which begins in Istanbul and ends in Gibraltar and are in very good condition and allow you to walk from one beach to another, often even reaching coves that are impossible to access by car. Some of the most beautiful coastal paths on the Costa Brava are: the one that goes from La Fosca to Calella de Palafrugell (the one that crosses Es Castell), the one from Sant Antoni de Calonge, the one that goes from S'Agaró to Sa Conca and the that goes from Aiguafreda to Sa Tuna.

Visit Sant Pere de Rodes
In Cap de Creus you will find Sant Pere de Rodes: a spectacular and very well preserved medieval complex, surrounded by nature and facing the sea. It can be visited on your own or with a guided tour. In both cases, you will enjoy one of the best preserved Catalan Romanesque jewels. Don't miss the views from its terrace. At the end of the visit, you can drive to Port de la Selva, a beautiful fishing town that is worth a walk and a seafood restaurant.

Where to sleep? In Peralada, at the Hotel Can Carbó de les Olives, where you will enjoy tranquility and relaxation. The hotel is located in the medieval town of Peralada, surrounded by fields, nature, and the well-known castle where the Castell de Peralada festival takes place.
 
Adventure sports (skydive, scuba diving, mountain biking)
If you are looking to get an adrenaline rush, in Empuriabrava you will find one of the most famous places for skydiving. If jumping out of a plane seems too risky for you, you have the option of experiencing a calmer flight in the Windoor wind tunnel: you will fly for a few minutes, with the help of an instructor and a powerful wind cannon that will lift you up for a space under control.
 
From the sky to the sea, attention diving lovers: the Costa Brava is a great destination for diving! The Medes Islands are a good place to find colorful fish and all kinds of species. If what you want is to get started in scuba diving, take a look at the diving courses and other activities that Medaqua carries out in L'Estartit.

If you prefer to put your feet on the ground, your best option for adventure sports is a mountain bike route along the Carrilet Route Greenway, which crosses the province of Girona in the interior. From Olot to Sant Feliu de Guíxols, passing through Girona capital, you have more than 100km of bike paths in the middle of nature. Suitable for the whole family!
 
Where to sleep? To explore the Medes Islands area, you can stay in Torroella de Montgrí, at the Hotel Picasso, committed to active tourism. If you choose to do cycle tourism, you can sleep at the Hotel-Monumento Can Garay, in the Planes d'Hostoles. In addition to being a bike-friendly hotel, you will be very well located to continue your route: the bike path literally passes next to the hotel!
 

 

Créditos de las Fotos, por orden de aparición, licencia Creative Commons, via flickr:

Josep Enric, Hugo Pardo, Sergio Somavilla, Fernando Jimenez, Roser Goula, Quim Pagans, Miquel Gonzalez Page, Francesc Gonzalez, Pepe Manteca, Richard Clifford, Albert Torelló, Sba73, Simone Carletti.

 

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