With its mountain backdrops and hidden coves, the Costa Brava is perfect for nature and beach lovers. Further south, the Costa Barcelona coast has a collection of beachside spots to enjoy, all within easy reach of the Catalan capital.
The Costa Brava isn’t called the ‘Wild Coast’ for nothing. It’s famous for its dramatic cliffs and untamed natural beauty. But there are plenty of beautiful beaches sprinkled along the shore, too.
There’s resorts of all sorts along the Costa Brava, from the traditional cobbled streets of Tossa de Mar to sun and fun-oriented holiday towns like Lloret de Mar. Wherever you choose, sunbathing on gorgeous golden sands and swimming in crystal clear waters, come guaranteed.
Not only does this coastal strip offer up its fair share of classic seaside havens, but it’s only a stone’s throw from Barcelona. In Sitges you’ll find a vibrant, eclectic town with a traditional vibe, while Calella boasts beautiful Blue Flag beaches backed by a picturesque nature reserve.
From lively, family-friendly golden stretches to quiet pine-fringed coves, these coasts have it all. Tossa de Mar comes with two Blue Flag beaches, while Lloret de Mar has 5 sand-and-shingle stretches to brag about. If you’re looking for a more laid-back affair, head to Santa Susanna or Sitges for some of the best spots.
The Vila Vella is the Old Town of Tossa de Mar and it’s the last fortified town you’ll find on the coast of Catalonia. Along the Costa Barcelona, Calella has a lovely lighthouse worth a visit and neighbouring Pineda de Mar has an 18th century castle to explore. And of course, Barcelona comes with back-to-back attractions too.
Thrill-seekers will be pleased to hear that PortAventura, Spain’s biggest theme park, is just along the coast from Barcelona near the resort of Salou. Plus, you’ll find one of Europe’s biggest waterparks over in Lloret de Mar. Ancient watchtowers in Malgrat and Santa Susanna, provide the perfect vantage points when you want pretty pictures.
Catalonia’s independent spirit really comes across in its cuisine. In place of paella, expect fideuas, a tasty dish made with seafood and short noodles instead of rice. The local meat, fish and vegetables are all first-class thanks to the region’s lush fields and abundant seas. The local red wines and cava are top-notch, too.
Barcelona leads the pack when it comes to shopping in these parts. Further up the coast, Tossa de Mar is a good tip for picking up locally-made ceramics and in nearby Platja d’Aro, there’s a nice selection of upmarket boutiques to peruse. Most towns also have a regular market brimming with souvenirs and super-fresh picnic supplies.
For high octane nights on the Costa Brava, Lloret de Mar is the place, with energy-packed clubs like the Colossus. South on the Costa Barcelona, Sitges is famed for its colourful nightlife and has an interesting array of cool bars and clubs to choose from. Or head into the city for some seriously chic clubs.
Backed by the Pyrenees, the Costa Brava coastline stretches 300 kilometres or so along the Mediterranean on the northeast corner of Spain. It’s part of the region of Catalonia, whose capital city Barcelona sits at the heart of the Costa Barcelona coast, just south of Costa Brava.
LanguageCatalan and Spanish
Time differenceGMT +1 hour
3 course mealaround €30