Discovering the Costa Brava, Catalonia
Before visiting the Costa Brava I thought it was a place where retired men went on winter golfing holidays and as I’m not currently in the market for a sugar daddy, nor do I play golf, it’s never really been on my radar. Yet, at just over an hour outside of Barcelona, with the promise of clean clear water, beautiful beaches and great seafood it had to be worth a visit.
Driving along the costal roads seeing views like the ones above I was not disappointed with the region – the beaches were empty despite the great weather and it provided a welcome few days of calm after the hustle and bustle of Barcelona. Oh and guess what, not a golfing jumper in sight!
Sailing along the coastline is really the best way to see the most of this beautiful region and also provides you with many opportunities to moor up and jump in for a swim. Our boat was this grand old wooden vessel called the Jolie Biche and even in late September the sea was lovely and warm. As it’s also outside of peak tourist season, we had many of the coves and beaches to ourselves!
One of my favourite coastal towns in the region was Llafranc, once a favourite haunt of Dalí so I was in good company! With its beautiful white washed houses and pine trees scattered all over it really was idyllic to wander through the windy streets and just sit to enjoy the views. The food was incredible and a real seafood lovers paradise. At a little family run restaurant on the seafront called Terramar I ate grilled mussels for the first time and I never want to eat a mussel another way now, so delicious!
This whole region is joined together by over 150 kilometres of coastal path meaning there are plenty more villages & secluded beaches to explore and walks for the more (and the less) adventurous amongst us. Talking of beaches – I discovered the Costa Brava tourist board website has a search function allowing you to search the region by cove, beach or village meaning that you can find the best place for your swimming, tanning and walking desires.
We stayed at a small hotel in Calonge-Platja d’Aro, cleverly designed so that every room looked out over the sea and beach below – and the views at sunrise/sunset were just amazing! It boasted not 1 but 2 private beaches (well strictly speaking all the beaches in the area are public but the access sometimes is only through a private hotel) meaning there was plenty of space to relax, swim and when you’ve had enough of that, sit on the terrace with a large glass of wine and take in the views.
Hasta lluego Costa Brava, next time I’ll stay for longer, promise!