Rediscover the Costa Brava
The Costa Brava is the coastal area of the province of Gerona. It is a captivating environment of 214 km of coastline that stretches between Blanes, to the south, and the French coast to the north. It is currently one of the main tourist centers in Catalonia, but it still reserves places where the magic of the past is kept alive.
On this route we suggest you combine the visit between coastal cities, such as Blanes and Tossa de Mar, and with inland municipalities, such as Caldes de Malavella and Hostalric. The objective is to rediscover the most touristic Costa Brava and to introduce you to small pleasures that are still half-hidden. Do you sign up?
A route through the soul of the Costa Brava
The Costa Brava is the name given to the coastline of the province of Gerona. It is a captivating environment of 214 km of coastline that integrates the counties of l'Alt and Baix Empordà and La Selva, and which extends between Blanes, to the south, and the French coast to the north.
The Costa Brava has everything you need to enjoy an unforgettable weekend: nature -beaches and forests-, world-famous historical and artistic remains and a Mediterranean climate with 2,500 hours of sunshine a year.
It is impossible to cover the entire Costa Brava in a single route and, for this reason, in this first one we will focus on the southernmost part, the one that deals with the region of La Selva and towns such as Blanes, Lloret de Mar, Tossa de Mar, Caldes of Malavella and Hostalric. The common element in all of them is water, omnipresent throughout the entire route, both in the form of the sea and healing waters.
The town from which this route and the Costa Brava begins is Blanes, a city of medieval origin that has one of the longest beaches in Girona. If you walk through its old town you will find nineteenth-century houses and many examples of Gothic architecture, such as the Mont portal or the hexagonal fountain on Ancha street.
In addition, you can also visit the internationally recognized gardens of the municipality: the MariMurtra botanical garden, one of the most beautiful in Europe with more than 4,000 species of plants arranged in three areas: tropical, temperate and Mediterranean; and the Pinya de Rosa garden, which houses the most important collection of cacti in the world with 7,000 species.
If you continue north, after Blanes you will arrive at Lloret de Mar, the most touristic city on the Costa Brava. Despite this, it still preserves places of great interest, such as the Iberian settlement of Puig Castellet (inhabited in the 4th and 2nd centuries BC), the Santa Clotilde gardens (near the Boadella nudist beach) and several Indian houses. And although it may seem surprising, you should visit its cemetery, a modernist work with tombs and pantheons made by Puig i Cadafalch. It is, therefore, a city of great contrasts in which, in addition to cultural tourism, you can do all kinds of sports activities, from golf to diving.
Eleven kilometers north of Lloret, you will find Tossa de Mar, one of the most charming seaside towns on the Costa Brava. The so-called Vila Vella is the only example of a fortified medieval town that still exists on the Catalan coast, with three hundred meters of walls crowned by battlements and seven defense towers. It dates from the 13th century and at its peak (15th century) it comprised some eighty houses. Since 1931 it has been considered a National Historic-Artistic Monument.
This city is so attractive that even actress Ava Gardner lived there for a while while filming Pandora and the Flying Dutchman.
Already towards the interior of the region, halfway to the Costa Brava and the Sierra de las Guilleries, we recommend that you visit Caldes de Malavella, a town famous mainly for its mineral-medicinal waters of 60ºC, product of the faults of the land and of subsurface geothermal activity. In fact, already during Roman times and under the name of Aquae Calidae, the town was known for its healthy benefits and at the end of the 19th century it became an important spa center where the wealthy families of Barcelona went. Among all the spas, we highlight Vichy Catalán, which has its origins in the golden age of modernism and "noucentisme" and is one of the most important in the country.
And ten kilometers further south of Caldes you will reach the end of the route, at the fortified city of Hostalric. The fortress follows the old royal path and was created in the year 1145 to watch over the Tordera river delta. Some 600 meters of the wall are preserved and the entire complex has been declared a historic artistic monument. You can also visit the Relligur cave, 26 meters long that ends in a room located 6 meters deep. Legend has it that perhaps it served the Jewish families of the town to meet secretly.
How to get to the Costa Brava?
- If you come by road you should know that the AP-7 crosses the Costa Brava from North to South, as well as the N-440.
There are buses that connect the main European cities with municipalities on the Costa Brava.
- If you come by plane you can choose a flight that lands at Girona or Barcelona airport.
- If you prefer to arrive by train, it is important that you know that RENFE does not have a station in all the main municipalities. Before traveling, check their website www.renfe.es.
When to go?
Any time of the year is good to get lost on the Costa Brava. Both in summer and in winter you can take advantage of the stay to sunbathe, do some sporting activity linked to the sea or take relaxing walks through the historic sites of the interior.