The Costa Brava is a renowned coastal and seaside tourist area of Spain, specifically of Catalonia. It extends for over 200 km north of Barcelona from the town of Blanes to the border with France. The Costa Brava is practically the coast of the province of Gerona where the last spurs of the Pyrenees reach the sea.
ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS COASTAL AREAS IN SPAIN
Formed by an often high and rocky coast there are also beautiful beaches, but the peculiarity of this coastal stretch is the picturesque and wild aspect made of rocks and greenery in contrast with the blue of the sea. The meaning of the name Costa Brava is Wild Coast. This is due to the rugged and wild cliffs that characterize it, often interspersed with small coves or beaches, some of which can be reached by land through paths, others only by sea.
At the far north of the Costa Brava is the border center of Portbou. Further south, near the seaside resort of Llansà where there is a beautiful beach, it is worth visiting the Monasterio de San Pedro de Roda, an 11th-century Romanesque building located in a splendid position with views of the Pyrenees and the sea. From this point begins the Cabo de Creus peninsula full of ravines, coves and cliffs. Along this peninsula there is the beautiful town of Cadaques once a place frequented by artists, actors and writers.
South of the Cabo de Creus opens the vast gulf of Rosas with the town of the same name, Rosas / Roses, where there are the remains of a 17th century citadel. In this area is the marshy area of the Humedales del Ampurdán. This is the second wetland in Catalonia after that of the Ebro delta. The Parque Natural de las Marismas del Ampurdán was formed to protect this natural area that offers refuge to migratory birds and other animals. In the park area there is the historic village of Castellón de Ampurias / Castelló d’Empúries with the beautiful Gothic church of Santa Maria (Iglesia de Santa María).
ARCHAEOLOGICAL AREAS AND BEACHES
At the southern end of the Gulf of Rosas is the important archaeological area of Ampurias / Empúries. Founded by the Greeks in 575 BC, it was later a very important Roman city and experienced the heyday between the 1st and 2nd century AD. Today’s archaeological zone has three different settlements: Palaiápolis (the ancient Greek settlement), Neápolis (the new Greek settlement) and the Roman city.
Along the coast there are some seaside resorts and pleasure centers such as Estartit / L’Estartit located in front of the archipelago of the Islas Medas. Or settlements that still partially maintain their old fishing village appearance like Calella de Palafrugell located near Cap Roig where there is an interesting botanical garden (Jardín botánico de Cap Roig). The town of Begur is interesting both from the historical point of view and for its beaches. Here are some of the most beautiful beaches on the Costa Brava, such as those of Aiguafreda, Aiguablava, Sa Riera, sa Tuna, Platja Fonda and Fornells.
The southern part of the Costa Brava is a succession of seaside resorts such as Palamós, Playa de Aro, S’Agaró. Until you reach Sant Feliu de Guixols an important seaside resort with a beautiful monastery. The Monasterio de San Felíu de Guixols, founded in the 10th century, whose most valuable building is the 13th century Gothic church. Further south are the popular seaside resorts of Tossa de Mar, Lloret de Mar and Blanes.
PROTECTED NATURAL AREAS
The Costa Brava is rich in protected natural areas such as the Parque Natural de Cabo de Creus which is the easternmost point of the Iberian Peninsula. The Parque Natural de los Aiguamolls de l’Empordà, or the marine reserves of the Islas Medas and Ses Negres.
The best known tourist centers of the Costa Brava are Blanes, Tossa de Mar and Lloret de Mar. These towns are famous for their vitality and nightlife. But there are countless small towns to be discovered along the coast. Among these, starting from north to south, we find Portbou, Llança, Cadaqués, Roses, Begur, Fornells, Tamariu, Llafranc, Calella de Palafrugell, Palamós and Sant Feliu de Guixols.
HOW TO GET
To reach the Costa Brava the nearest airports are those of Gerona / Costa Brava and Barcelona.