Costa Brava Catalunya, Spain
Malgrat de Mar (Costa del Maresme)
In the notheastern corner of Spain, the rugged coastline of coves and promontories earns the name Costa Brava, ‘Wild Coast’. Reaching from Blanes to Roses, buzzing resorts sit alongside small seaside villages. Families, friends and couples flock to the amazing beaches and clear waters the coast has been blessed with.
The sand and shingle beaches bathed in the warm Mediterranean sun have drawn people to the Costa Brava for decades. You will be spoilt for choice with countless clean, spacious stretches of sand lining the coast, whether it’s the smaller 4 kilometre sands at Blanes or the staggering 14 kilometre beaches in Tossa de Mar. Gently slopping into the sea or steeply falling away, the Costa Brava’s beaches offer something for everyone, with beachfronts catering for families, sun worshipers and sea lovers, offering food, beach activities and water sports. Diving is particularly rewarding thanks to the near by Medes Island Reserve.
Costa Brava Resorts
Scattered throughout the resorts, you’ll find the usual array of gift shops and boutiques designed for visitors, most of which are open til late. Ceramics and leather goods are the Spanish speciality so keep an eye out for bargains. Markets offer particularly good value, both for local produce and artisan crafts.
Barcelona is the main attraction for Shopoholics
After sunset, Lloret is where the Wild Coast lives up to its name. Without question the Costa Brava’ s most vibrant resort after dark, Lloret is bursting with bars, British pubs, nightclubs and discos, enough to see you through to sunrise. Though not as energetic, Calella and Estartit have a good selection of bars and nightclubs. The rest of the Costa Brava is calmer and quieter, with bars, Spanish guitar and flamenco dancing. For an unmissable experience, join in the Sardana, the traditional Catalonian dance performed weekly in Calella and Lloret, or head to Castle Valltordera for a Medieval feast.
Since Ava Garderner and Frank Sinatra first visited Tossa de Mar in the 1950s, the small fishing villages along this beautiful Catalonian coast have developed into modern international resorts. Guests from all over the world can make the most of the Mediterranean climate and fantastic beaches. Many of the resorts still retain some of their past heritage, with old quarters tucked away from the bubbling tourist strips, and the sight of fishermen returning with their daily catch is still common. Lloret is undoubtedly the busiest and liveliest of the Costa Brava resorts, with something for everyone; impressive beaches for families, and a bright nightlife for teenagers and couples. There are still hints at its heritage to be found though, in the regional cuisine and as the locals dance the Sardana weekly in Place de la Vila. Tossa de Mar is arguably one of the most attractive resorts, where pretty cobbled streets, a mountainous backdrop and an ancient castle add more charm than your average resort. Estartit enjoys a similar setting, where traditional Spanish life mixes with the modern marina, creating a relaxed atmosphere that appeals to families. Blanes too has kept some of its old fashioned charm, though it is tucked away behind the hotel lined seafront. The Costa Maresme is often merged into the Costa Brava, with the pretty and relaxed resorts of Calella, Santa Susanna and Malgret (Malgrat De Mar) attracting people after a less hectic holiday with all the benefits of a resort as well.
The capital of the Costa Brava is the beautiful city of Barcelona, and if you can tear yourself away from the beach, you’ll congratulate yourself for making the effort to go. With world famous architecture, an abundance of galleries, as well as good shopping, you can’t go wrong.
In most hotels and aparthotels gentlemen are required to wear long trousers to dinner. Most hotels or apartments ask customers to vacate their rooms between 10am and 12 midday. For late afternoon or evening flights, late check out rooms may be available. Please see Your Holiday, Your Choice options on accommodation pages. Ask your travel agent to check the Travel Advice section of TOPical for up to date advice and the latest known Foreign Office advice.
From ice cream parlours and international restaurants, through to tapas bars and Catalonian cuisine, the resorts on the Costa Brava have them all. Dining out becomes very much part of the nightlife here, with evening meals starting late and stretching into the evening in true Mediterranean style. Sample some of the seafood dishes Catalonians specialise in – ingredients fresh from the sea are used to make sarsuela, a stew with a spicy sauce, or try some seafood paella made with saffron rice. For something sweet, there’s crema, a dish similar to creme carmele. Compliment it all with a glass of robust Rioja red wine, or one of the still whites from the Penedes region. It was here the British were introduced to sangria, a refreshing blend of lemonade, wine, brandy and fruit – a must for that uniquely Spanish holiday sensation.
Most hotels or apartments ask customers to vacate their rooms between 10am and 12 midday. For late afternoon or evening flights, late check out rooms may be available. Please see Your Holiday, Your Choice options with your accommodation information.