Best Areas to Stay in Costa Brava, Spain

The Best Areas to Stay on the Costa Brava, Spain
The Best Areas to Stay on the Costa Brava, Spain

Where to Stay in Costa Brava: A Guide to the Girona Shores

Costa Brava is a beautiful coastal region located in Catalonia. This tourist area extends from the town of Blanes to the border with France, encompassing the Girona counties of Selva, Baix Empordà and Alt Empordà. This picturesque coastal area is famous for its beaches, charming fishing villages and its dramatic cliffs that rise above the Mediterranean Sea. In this post, we are going to discover the best towns to stay in Costa Brava.


Why visit Costa Brava

The Costa Brava is a spectacular region in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula, a territory rich in history, heritage and culture.

From a historical point of view, the Costa Brava region has been continuously inhabited since time immemorial. Several megalithic archaeological sites show the importance of these enclaves since prehistoric and Celtiberian times. With the foundation of Ἐμπόριον (Empúries), the most important Greek settlement on the peninsula was established. The area was later occupied by the Romans, who would use it as starting point to conquest Hispania. See accommodation in Costa Brava.

Costa Brava is also home to several examples of typical medieval villages, including Calella de Palafrugell Pals or Peratallada. The defensive fortifications of Tossa de Mar are another great example of architecture from the Middle Ages in Costa Brava.

However, perhaps the most important cultural attractions in Costa Brava are those related to Salvador Dalí. This world-renowned artist was born, lived and died in the province of Girona. For this reason, it is not surprising that the area has several attractions dedicated to this Catalan genius, such as the Dalí Theater-Museum in Figueres, the Casa – Museo Salvador Dalí in Port-Lligat or the Gala-Salvador Dalí Castle in Púbol.

As if the extensive historical and cultural landmarks of this impressive region were not enough reason to visit it, if there’s one thing the Costa Brava is famous for are its beaches. Its rugged coastline earned it the name “Brava” (Wild), but several enclaves in the area, including Blanes, Lloret de Mar and Sant Pol de Mar, have extensive urban fine-sand beaches for swimming and water sports.

And if crowds are not your thing, Costa Brava is full of semi-wild beaches, small coves and fishing villages that remain hidden from mass tourism. Some of the best beaches on the Costa Brava include Santa Cristina Beach, El Treumal, Es Codolar, Sa Boadella and Cala Pola. See accommodation in Costa Brava.


When to visit Costa Brava

The tourist high season on the Costa Brava officially lasts from July to August, coinciding with the summer vacation period in Spain and the rest of Europe. During these months, accommodation costs and airline tickets are more expensive. June and September are considered midseason on the Costa Brava, as summer holidays have not yet started and hotel and transportation costs are lower. In addition, the beaches and attractions are much less crowded.

The best time to visit Costa Brava is from mid to late May. During late spring, hotels do not yet have their peak-season rates and climate conditions are generally suitable for hitting the beach. The quietest month on the Costa Brava is December. Those who visit during this month will find very good deals on accommodation.


Getting there and moving around

To fly to Costa Brava, this region is home to the Aeroport de Girona-Costa Brava. Located in Vilobí d’Onyar, this important low-cost hub, the second-busiest in Catalonia after Barcelona, offers a wide range of European low-cost connections, especially Ryanair. For an infinitely wider variety of destinations, including domestic, European and long-distance connections, the Aeropuerto de Barcelona-El Prat is located 86 kilometres south of Blanes and 186 away from Cadaqués.

The Costa Brava can also be reached by train through Girona and Figueres-Vilafant. Both railway stations offer direct High Speed (AVE) services to Barcelona, Zaragoza, Madrid and France, and regional trains on the Mediterranean corridor and regional trains to other points in northeastern Spain. See train schedules, routes & fares.

Additionally, you can get to Blanes from Barcelona by commuter train. The rest of the cities of the Costa Brava are accessible from Barcelona by frequent coaches leaving from Barcelona-Nord bus station and other cities like Girona and Figueres. See bus schedules, routes & fares.

To move around the Costa Brava towns, the best thing to do is renting a car. If this is not possible, many localities have urban bus networks, taxis or mobile applications such as Uber and Cabify. Another excellent option is hiring tours and activities with transportation included.


Where to stay in Costa Brava

The best area to stay on the Costa Brava is Cadaqués and the nearby Port Lligat. This Girona town, home to Salvador Dalí, is close to the area’s main cultural and historical attractions. Additionally, its beaches, nightlife and food scene make it a complete destination where culture, sun and beach can come together on the same trip. See accommodation in Cadaqués, Costa Brava.

On the other hand, Calella de Palafrugell is another excellent town to stay on the Costa Brava; this old and quiet fishermen’s settlement is one of the most beautiful towns on the Catalan coast.

Other great beach towns to consider when choosing the best location on Costa Brava for tourists include Tossa de Mar, Blanes, Begur, L’Escala, Roses, Pals and Lloret de Mar.

Keep reading to learn more about the best areas to stay on the Costa Brava, Catalonia.

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The Best Areas to Stay in Costa Brava, Spain

Cadaqués is, without a doubt, one of the most iconic and famous towns on the Costa Brava.

This picturesque coastal town is located next to a scenic bay renowned for its rocky coastline, beautiful beaches and coves.

The nearby Cap de Creus Natural Park, where the Pyrenees meet the Mediterranean Sea, offers trails with panoramic views, beach areas and a restaurant in its lighthouse.

The Historic City Centre of Cadaqués has several tourist attractions, including the Cadaqués Museum, the Santa Maria de Cadaqués church, the Expo Dalí, and several art nouveau palaces such as the Casa Serinyana.

Cadaqués is also known for its beaches. The most central are Platja Gran and Platja de Port Alguer.

Not far from the historic centre lies the community of Port Lligat. This small port has managed to preserve, despite the passage of time, its essence as a fishing village. Port Lligat is especially famous for being the residence of Salvador Dalí

As it couldn’t be otherwise, the most important attraction in this area is the Salvador Dalí House-Museum, where the Catalan genius lived from 1930 until the death of his wife Gala in 1982. The house museum is open for tourist visits, but you need to book in advance. You can book a guided tour here.

Other must-see attractions in Port Lligat include the Cala de Portlligat and Platja Salvador Dalí beaches.

In addition to world-class tourist attractions, a picturesque and walkable historic centre, beaches and quiet and little crowded coves, we have chosen Cadaqués as the best town to stay in the Costa Brava for its excellent location.

If you decide to stay in Cadaqués on your trip to the Catalan coast, you will be very close to everything worth visiting. This city on the Costa Brava is located 80 kilometres from Girona airport, 35 km from the Figueres AVE station and 39 km from the archaeological sites of Empúries.

Cadaqués can also be reached by coach from Barcelona, Girona and Figueres.

Read more about the best areas to stay in Cadaqués.

Where to stay in Costa Brava for sightseeing - Cadaqués
Where to stay in Costa Brava for sightseeing – Cadaqués
Recommended town in Costa Braca - Cadaqués
Recommended town in Costa Braca – Cadaqués
Accommodation in Cadaqués - Click to see all the available accommodation in this area
Accommodation in Cadaqués – Click to see all the available accommodation in this area

Why is this a recommended area to stay in Costa Brava:

  • Beautiful landscapes
  • Quaint port and cobbled streets
  • Quiet beaches
  • Museums and galleries
  • Historical City Centre
  • Easy access to other towns

2. Tossa de Mar

Located exactly halfway between Barcelona and the French border, Tossa de Mar is one of the towns that make up the Costa Brava.

Tossa has historically been a favourite destination among artists and bohemians including painter Marc Chagall. Ava Gartner fell in love with the city while she was filming Pandora and the Flying Dutchman. Today, a monument dedicated to the actress can be seen on her waterfront.

With an excellent mix of attractions, beaches and history, Tossa de Mar is one of the most complete destinations in the Catalan Mediterranean.

The main beaches in Tossa de Mar are Platja Gran and Platja Mar Menuda.

The ruins of the Villa Romana dels Ametllers show the remains of one of the most important wine-growing settlements of ancient Tarraco. Many of the artefacts excavated in Ametllers are on display at the Municipal Museum of Tossa de Mar.

The Villa Vella (Old City) of Tossa is surrounded by medieval walls and is considered one of the most beautiful historic town centres in Catalonia.

the city centre is packed with shops, art galleries and cafes, as well as restaurants serving typical sea food with local ingredients.

Tossa de Mar is also one of the best-connected enclaves on the Costa Brava. This town has urban buses and connections to Lloret, Blanes (for commuter trains to Barcelona), Girona and the airport.

Best towns to stay in Costa Brava - Tossa de Mar
Best towns to stay in Costa Brava – Tossa de Mar
Best location in Costa Brava, Girona - Tossa de Mar
Best location in Costa Brava, Girona – Tossa de Mar
Accommodation in Tossa de Mar - Click to see all the available accommodation in this area
Accommodation in Tossa de Mar – Click to see all the available accommodation in this area

Why is this a recommended area to stay in Costa Brava:

  • Medieval town
  • Roman ruins
  • Excellent transport links

3. Calella de Palafrugell

Calella de Palafrugell is an old fishing village located on the Costa Brava.

This charming coastal enclave preserves the magic of the typical Catalan medieval towns, with its narrow cobbled streets, marine atmosphere and excellent food scene.

Calella de Palafrugell is located 30 kilometres east of the city of Girona and just an hour and a half north of Barcelona.

This town is characterised by its white houses with tile roofs, which stand out on a rocky coastline adorned by coves.

To the north of the town lies the natural area of ​​Castell par Roig and the coastal and tourist centre of Llafranc, which can be accessed through the Camí de Ronda, a hiking route offering impressive views of the sea and the coastal towns.

The urban beaches of Port Bo or En Calau are perfect to enjoy the sea and see the traditional colorful boats tied in the sand.

Towards the south of the urban area, through Camí de Ronda, you can enjoy secluded coves, such as Cala de Sant Roc, Cala Foradada, Punta de Forcats and Punta de Aiguadolça and reach the botanical garden of Cap Roig, and the wonderful El Golfet beach.

Calella de Palafrugell is one of the best destinations for foodies on the Costa Brava. Its traditional restaurants are among the best rated in Catalonia.

Calella is also centrally located for exploring the entire Costa Brava, as it is practically equidistant from Blanes (65 km) and Cadaqués (75 km).

Where to stay in Costa Brava - Calella de Palafrugell
Where to stay in Costa Brava – Calella de Palafrugell
Accommodation in Calella de Palafrugell - Click to see all the available accommodation in this area
Accommodation in Calella de Palafrugell – Click to see all the available accommodation in this area

Why is this a recommended area to stay in Costa Brava:

  • Urban beaches and hidden coves
  • Charming town
  • Restaurants and bars near the beach
  • Nature trails with views

4. Blanes

Blanes is considered the gateway to the Costa Brava, particularly if you’re travelling from Barcelona.

This city, the most populated on the Costa Brava, went from being an old fishing village to one of the most popular beach destinations in Catalonia.

Its streets and facades display some vestiges of Catalan Gothic and elegant palaces from the 18th century.

That said, unlike the first towns on this list, since the mid-20th century, Blanes has undergone a major urbanisation and modernisation process that has removed much of its historical charm.

The long promenade of Blanes is the heart of the city. Here you will find several attractions for the whole family.

Nearby, the Port of Blanes is one of the most active on the Costa Brava, it offers moorings for fishing, leisure and sports boats.

In addition, the city has the remains of the castle of Sant Joan, built in the mid-13th century.

Other attractions in Blanes include the 14th-century Gothic fountain, the Church of Our Lady of Hope, the Chapel of Santa Bárbara and the sanctuary of the Sagrada Imagen del Vilar, located about four kilometres from the city centre.

The main factor that makes Blanes one of the best towns to stay on the Costa Brava is its easy connection to Barcelona. This enclave is the only place on the Costa Brava connected by commuter trains (line R1).

Best beach towns to stay in Costa Brava - Blanes
Best beach towns to stay in Costa Brava – Blanes
Accommodation in Blanes - Click to see all the available accommodation in this area
Accommodation in Blanes – Click to see all the available accommodation in this area

Why is this a recommended area to stay in Costa Brava:

  • Beach area
  • Medieval charming town
  • Restaurants and bars near the beach

5. Begur

Begur is a small town in Girona, located in the heart of Baix Empordà.

Its old town, located inland, is renowned for its cobbled streets, medieval houses and historical remains such as the Castle of Begur.

In addition to its historical heritage, Begur has natural attractions in its coastal areas, including the Massís de Begur cliffs and several beaches and coves.

In spring and summer, various cultural activities take place in town. The most importants are the Festes Majors and the Indians Fair. Both celebrations include traditional sardanas, cantada de habaneras, and theatre plays.

Begur is less than an hour’s drive from Barcelona and half an hour from Girona.

Where to stay in Costa Brava - Begur
Where to stay in Costa Brava – Begur
Accommodation in Begur - Click to see all the available accommodation in this area
Accommodation in Begur – Click to see all the available accommodation in this area

Why is this a recommended area to stay in Costa Brava:

  • Beautiful beaches and coastline
  • Charming historic centre
  • Fairs and traditional festivals

6. L’Escala

L’Escala is a municipality on the Alt Empordà coast.

This coastal area is very close to the ruins of the ancient Greco-Roman city of Empúries.

Its marine environment, coves and beaches are the main attraction of this town.

In addition, L’Escala offers summer festivals and concerts.

The town’s main beach, Platja de Riells, offers calm waters for swimming and a promenade with bars and restaurants.

La Punta, located at the northern end of L’Escala, showcases the monuments to the People of the Sea and the Fisherman’s Wife, as testimony of L’Escalas fishing tradition and history.

In addition to beautiful landscapes, beaches and monuments, L’Escala is one of the best towns to sleep on the Costa Brava thanks to its proximity to the archaeological sites of Empúries, the most important Ancient Greek settlement on the Iberian Peninsula.

Although L’Escala has bus connections, the best way to explore the town and the surrounding area is by car.

Where to stay in Costa Brava near the beach - L'Escala
Where to stay in Costa Brava near the beach – L’Escala
Accommodation in L'Escala - Click to see all the available accommodation in this area
Accommodation in L’Escala – Click to see all the available accommodation in this area

Why is this a recommended area to stay in Costa Brava:

  • Preserves archaeological finds
  • Marine environment, beaches and coves
  • Connected to other important areas

7. Roses

Roses is a municipality in the Alt Empordà region.

It is located on the coast, at the northern end of the Gulf of Roses, and is an important port and tourist enclave.

The main historical attraction of Roses is the Ciutadella de Roses, a Renaissance-era citadel with ruins of an ancient Greek settlement and a medieval monastery.

As far as the beach is concerned, Roses is home to a succession of fine sand beaches that stretches for several kilometres, among the most popular are Platja La Punta, La Perola, Nova, Rastell and Rovina.

To the south of Roses is Empuriabrava, called the “Venice of Catalonia”, this community, and its 24 km of navigable canals, is the largest residential marina in Europe.

The nearby Aiguamolls de l’Empordà Natural Park is the second-largest wetland in Catalonia and one of the best places for bird watching on the Costa Brava.

The best areas to stay in Costa Brava, Spain - Roses
The best areas to stay in Costa Brava, Spain – Roses
Accommodation in Roses - Click to see all the available accommodation in this area
Accommodation in Roses – Click to see all the available accommodation in this area

Why is this a recommended area to stay in Costa Brava:

  • Ciutadella de Roses
  • Kilometres of beaches
  • Canals of Empuriabrava

8. Lloret de Mar

Lloret de Mar is a Mediterranean coastal town 40 kilometres south of Girona and 75 kilometres northeast of Barcelona.

With a population of around 40,000 inhabitants, it is the second-largest city in the Costa Brava region.

This important tourist destination has a somewhat controversial reputation inside and outside of Spain, as its beaches get very crowded every summer and the city has been deemed the top “drunken tourism” and hen and stag party destinations in Europe.

Its main beach, Platja de Lloret de Mar, is one of the most popular on the Costa Brava. Other beaches and coves in Lloret and its surroundings include Platja de Fenals, Platja de sa Boadella and Platja de Santa Cristina.

While it is true that this coastal city is not the classiest destination on this list, there is no denying that its nightlife is the best on the Costa Brava.

Lloret is also home to several attractions, such as the Castle of Sant Joan de Lloret, the serene Jardins de Santa Clotilde, the art nouveau Cementiri Modernista, and the Museo del Mar de Lloret.

But perhaps the best reason for choosing Lloret de Mar as the best area to stay on the Costa Brava is how cheap it is. The hotels in Lloret are notably cheaper than those in most other towns and cities on the Catalan coast, especially during low season.

Lloret de Mar is also very well-connected with the airport, Girona, Barcelona, ​​Tossa de Mar and Blanes.

Read more about the best areas to stay in Lloret de Mar.

Best area to stay in Costa Brava for nightlife - Lloret de Mar
Best area to stay in Costa Brava for nightlife – Lloret de Mar
Cheapest area ro stay in Costa Brava - Lloret de Mar
Cheapest area ro stay in Costa Brava – Lloret de Mar
Accommodation in Lloret de Mar - Click to see all the available accommodation in this area
Accommodation in Lloret de Mar – Click to see all the available accommodation in this area

Why is this a recommended area to stay in Costa Brava:

  • Best area for nightlife
  • Jardins de Santa Clotilde
  • Cheapest area to stay on the Costa Brava
  • Well-connected with Barcelona and Girona

9. Pals

Pals is a town in the region of Baix Empordà with a marked medieval ambience.

This town is situated on top of a mountain around a fortress.

Some unique attractions in the historic centre of Pals include the Torre de les Hores, Sant Pere church, Pals Castle and Plaça Major.

From the nearby Mirador d’en Josep Pla you can get excellent views of the town and its surrounding area.

A few kilometres east of the town is Platja de Pals, a virgin beach with dunes, marshes and wetlands.

Pals has a varied hotel and gastronomic offer, with a large number of restaurants offering traditional Catalan cuisine.

Pals has become one of the most acclaimed destinations both for architecture and art lovers, as well as for those who want to get lost in nature and enjoy the seascape of the Costa Brava.

Where to stay in Costa Brava - Pals
Where to stay in Costa Brava – Pals
Accommodation in Pals - Click to see all the available accommodation in this area
Accommodation in Pals – Click to see all the available accommodation in this area

Why is this a recommended area to stay in Costa Brava:

  • Beautiful old town
  • Nightlife
  • Beaches and historical architectural complex

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|ES| Las mejores zonas donde alojarse en la Costa Brava, España.