Costa Brava and Costa Dorada
Our tour starts in the far eastern corner of Spain with the Costa Brava (‘Wild Coast’) and the Costa Dorada (‘Gold Coast’). This area offers diverse vistas from the Pyrenees, a huge number of European Blue Flag beaches, beautiful coastline, medieval towns, swanky marinas to the cosmopolitan city of Barcelona.
The area has seen a cultural renaissance boosted by Barcelona, Girona, the region of Catalonia and the legacy of artists such as Dalí, Miró, Gaudi and Picasso. It is certainly a stylish part of Spain and, as a result, comparatively expensive. This vibrant region is really buzzing again with prices steadily increasing particularly in Barcelona. Along with the cultural boom, Barcelona is also benefiting from improved transport links with trains from Paris on the TGV taking just over six hours.
Charming old towns such as Begur, Cadaqués, Catella, Llafranc, S’Agaró and Tamriu dot the coast and are extremely fashionable as is the popular resort of Sitges on the outskirts of Barcelona.
As we run down the coast from the Pyrenees, we come to the whitewashed town of Cadaqués where Dalí spent much of his life. It is on a bay in the middle of the Cap to Creus peninsula.
Moving further south we come to the famous Bay of Roses. Property buyers tend to avoid the resorts and focus on residential areas such as Canyelles Petites, El Grecs, Mas Fumats or Mas Boscà. There are also waterfront communities at Santa Margarida but Empuriabrava is the most popular built along miles of canals. At the southern end of the Bay is L’Escala, an old fashioned fishing town popular with families.
In the heart of the Empordá lies the historic Catalan town of Begur. Its beaches are located in one of the most wonderful areas of the Costa Brava. The town area takes in the impressive hills of the Begur Massif and an extensive coastline combining several famous coves and small beaches.
Begur’s historic quarter, home to numerous monuments left as a reminder of its rich history along with the Romanesque centre help distinguish the town as a great location for your home.
Further inland is Pals, a picturesque medieval village with charming cobbled streets, beautiful craft shops, traditional restaurants, and an exceptional restored Gothic quarter. Situated on the top of a hill, one of the many attractions of Pals is the stunning views over the Medas Islands.
Pals is a must for art lovers and for those who enjoy nature and landscape. Nearby, there are also two leading golf courses.
South of L’Escala is Palamos, this is an old port that dates back to the 13th century and is now the only commercial harbour in the province of Girona. The medieval old town area provides a popular area for bars and fish restaurants.
Go further south and we come to Calonge which is close to the beautiful beaches of St Antoni and the edge of the stunning Gavarres National Park. This pretty market town combines a rich history with a medieval castle and the church of St Martí along with more recent additions such as bars, restaurants, shops and banks. The area is also well known for its vineyards and superb wine.
Sant Antoni de Calonge offers some of the best selections of picturesque coves and fine sandy beaches of the Costa Brava. Most notably along the Cami de Ronda, where secluded rocky bays run as far as the town of Platja d’Aro, all set against the sort of stunning mountain backdrop that has become the hallmark of the Costa Brava. This pretty little coastal resort features some terrific restaurants is to be found between the busier towns of Palamos and Platja d’Aro.
As we move further south, we approach the Catalan medieval old town of St Feliu de Guixols. This is a popular location in the heart of the Costa Brava, just 30 minutes from the Girona airport with easy access to the Pyrenees and Barcelona. It boasts a mild and pleasant climate and is an ideal destination for relaxing throughout the year. Also popular is the sought after village of S’Agaró.
The Costa Brava officially starts at Blanes, north of Barcelona and stretches to the French border. The Costa Dorada runs from just north of Barcelona to Tarranga and encompasses about 150 miles of gold sandy beaches.
Barcelona is one of the most picturesque and vibrant cities globally, famed for its fantastic architecture, creative cuisine, vibrant nightlife and of course its all-conquering football team.
Located on the north eastern Mediterranean coast of Spain, the city is home to a population of around one and a half million people. The famous promenade of Las Ramblas runs through the heart of the city providing fantastic street theatre and an ideal spot for watching the world go by from one of the many pavement cafes.
The city is also of course synonymous with the work of Antoni Gaudi, a Catalan born architect who created many of Barcelona’s signature attractions, such as the Parc Guell in the upmarket Gracia district along with the awe inspiring church of Sagrada Familia.
Barcelona was also named best beach city in the world recently by National Geographic readers so visitors can unwind from the hustle and bustle by chilling out on one of nine different stretches of sand located along the coastline. Sitges, a little south of Barcelona is fashionable and is a little more relaxed and sophisticated.