Tag Archives: Costa Brava

The Costa Brava’s Best Beaches

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

Cadaques, Costa Brava, Spain
Beautiful Bay of Cadaques

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.

Golden Sands

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.

City Beaches

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.

Cuisine On The Costa Brava

If you’re planning on taking a break in one of our villas in Costa Brava then you’re in for a real culinary treat. As this coastal stretch of Catalonia is now well established as a world renowned destination for foodies.

The quality of cuisine in the region is high across the board, making it difficult to have a bad meal even in relatively low to mid-range eateries. But it’s at the high end that the Costa Brava really hits the top notes, not least as the region boasts Michelin starred restaurants that don’t always have to cost the earth.

Sea and Mountain Mixture

It’s fair to say that the region’s location is key to its position as one of the best culinary destinations in Europe. Squeezed between the sea and the mountains this part of Catalonia enjoys the very best of the bounty from both of these environments, so ensuring meat and fish dishes are all totally top quality.

The El Bulli Factor

Ferran Adria, El Bulli Restaurant, Costa Brava, Spain
Master At Work…Ferran Adria

The region really came to prominence thanks to the creative efforts of the world famous chef Ferran Adria, who set new, experimental benchmarks at his renowned restaurant El Bulli, located close to the lovely coastal town of Roses.

At the height of its popularity El Bulli was said to have received over 2 million reservation requests. Yet despite the fact that they were also charging northwards of 250 euros per head it was still nigh on impossible for Adria to turn a serious profit, such was the scope of the project and the investment in personnel and product. So this once much loved restaurant is now more of a culinary research centre.

Great Places To Eat

So now that El Bulli is no longer with us which are the best restaurants to visit? The region is stuffed with Michelin starred restaurants but the current leaders of the pack are El Cellar Can Roca and Restaurant San Pou, both of which boast no less than three stars.

El Cellar Can Roca

Dining Room, El Cellar Can Roca, Costa Brava, Spain
Dining room at El Cellar Can Roca

This modernist and streamlined restaurant is located on the outskirts of Girona and is under the stewardship of the Roca brothers, serving classic Catalonian dishes with a contemporary twist. However quality of this calibre doesn’t come cheap, so expect to pay €155 for their current tasting menu, which includes five courses and two desserts.

Contact Details
Tel : 972 222157
Web : www.elcellerdecanroca.com

Restaurant San Pou

El Cellar is not the only three starred Michelin establishment in the region however as south of Girona in Sant Pol de Mar lies the fabulous San Pou Restaurant, which is home to the talents of Carme Ruscadella and her dedicated team.

The location is almost as stunning as the food, as the restaurant is located in an old seafront townhouse which looks out over a lovely garden to the shimmering Med below. The current tasting menu comes in at €159 and features six courses and a dessert, with dishes including Pirinese Foal Loin cooked with black garlic and banana and Miso and Diced Foie Gras served with champignons, vegetables, umeboshi & lemon.

Contact Details
Tel : 937 600662
Web : www.ruscalleda.cat

Don’t Dilly Dally, Do Dali

The Costa Brava is well known for its rugged coastline, cosmopolitan cities and top quality cuisine. But for culture lovers the real icing on the cake is the region’s close relationship with the world famous surrealist Salvador Dali, who was born in Figueres close to the coast of Catalonia, adding a huge dash of stylish flash to the region’s already varied roster of tourist attractions.

Salvador Dali
Surreal Salvador

All About Dali

Salvador Dali was born in 1904 into a relatively comfortable middle class family (his father worked as a notary, a role very similar to that of a registrar in the UK) and went on to study at the San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts – an institution also attended by his close contemporary Cesar Manrique, who also had a similar, pronounced impact on his respective birthplace of Lanzarote.

He staged his first one man show in Barcelona in 1925 before finding international recognition at the Carnegie International Exhibition in Pittsburgh three years later, which was the first step on the road to establishing himself in the vanguard of the Spanish surrealist movement, which also counted Picasso and Miro within their number, before his expulsion in 1934 after a disagreement with other members of this highly influential artistic clique.

Throughout the 1940´s and 50´s Dali´s work developed along different lines and he began to focus more on larger canvasses, exploring quasi-religious and scientific themes, such as The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus and The Sacrament of The Last Supper.

Dali Attractions in The Costa Brava

Towards the end of his career Dali founded the Teatro Museum in Figueres before living a more secluded lifestyle after the death of his wife Gala in 1982. Today this is just one of a three high quality Dali attractions that are a real must for any visitors to Costa Brava and which are sometimes referred to as The Dalinian Triangle!

Dali Museum, Costa Brava, Spain

Dali Theatre Museum

The Dali Theatre Museum is located on the site of a former municipal building in Figueres, which was raised by bombing during the Second World War. Dali rebuilt the edifice which boasts a wealth of his finest surrealist work.

Open : 09.30 – 18.00 daily
Admission : 12 euros adults, 9 euros children students and OAPS
Tel : 34 972 677 500

Dali House Museum

Dali actually lived in this property in Portlligat for much of his career and it now operates as a house museum.

Open : 09.30 – 18.00 daily
Admission : 12 euros adults, 9 euros children students and OAPS
Tel : 34 972 677 500

Gala Dalí Castle House-Museum

Located in Pubol this is the castle that Dali retreated to not long after the death of his beloved wife Gala.

Open : 10.00 – 18.00 daily
Admission : 8 euros adults, 6 euros children students and OAPS
Tel : 34 972 488 655

Further Info

For more information and to book tickets online for any of these Dali Museums in Costa Brava visit www.salvador-dali.org