Despite the region’s name denoting it as the ‘Wild’ or ‘Rough’ coast of Spain, the Costa Brava is actually home to some of the most picturesque beaches to be found anywhere in the country. And these stretches of golden sand, rounded pebbles and turquoise waters are much of the reason why the area was landmarked for tourist development in the 1950’s. So which are the best beaches to visit or plan a holiday around?
Secret Coves and Bays
Starting in the northern most part of the Costa Brava, there is the pretty seaside town of Cadaques, which has a stunning natural harbour and a shingly shore lying just in front of the promenade.
Only a few kilometres south of Cadaques are several smaller beaches and bays that make this one of the prettiest stretches of coastline. In fact, Cala Calella, Cala Pedrosa and Cala Ferriol in the Montgri Massif area are only accessible by foot which means that these little bathing spots never get overcrowded. The rocky promontories all have pathways leading down to the shore, where there are gently shelving pebbly beaches.
For those who prefer long vistas of golden sands, the five kilometre stretch at L’Estartit joins up with Pals beach and is also where the Ter river meets the sea. L’Estartit is also favoured by scuba divers, while the usual beach facilities come in abundance, with pedalos and kayaks for hire and a good range of beach side bars to choose from.
Along this part of the coast you will also come to Platja de la Pletera, which is close to the Ter Vell Nature Reserve, so this is a good place for birdwatchers to come. The beautiful sand dunes and rocky islets just off shore give this beach a very unspoilt feel.
Further south, the beach at Lloret de Mar successfully combines a seafront holiday town with a lovely curving bay of golden sand, surrounded by stone pine forests and rocky bluffs. This pretty spot is ideal for a family day at the beach, although obviously it can get quite busy during the height of the summer season.
Holiday makers who prefer the more vibrant scene of a city break won’t have to sacrifice the opportunity for a spot of sun-bathing as the beach at Barcelona is equally stunning. Not only does this cultural hotspot have its very own stretch of golden shoreline just minutes from the town centre, but there are also the neighbouring sandy bays at Castell de Fels and Sitges only a few kilometres away.