5 reasons to visit the Northern Costa Brava in Spain

5 Reasons To Visit Northern Costa Brava in Spain

5 Reasons To Visit An Authentic Costa Brava

Are you dreaming of an idyllic getaway where you can explore the unique culture, stunning scenery and delicious cuisine? Look no further: the beautiful Northern Costa Brava, along the gorgeous Mediterranean Sea, is calling your name. The Costa Brava is the perfect destination to explore and relax with its captivating beaches, hidden coves, artistic heritage and flavourful offerings. From breathtaking scenery to delicious cuisine and friendly locals, get ready to discover the top five reasons you should visit the Northern Costa Brava.

1.The Unique Coastal Towns

As a kid, I had always heard of the famous Costa Brava, where everyone used to go on a packaged holiday. It didn’t sound glam, but it was near the seaside with sunny beaches and where people had lots of fun. Then, while driving with a friend from Nîmes, where I used to live to Barcelona, I uncovered another side of the Costa Brava and fell in love with it. This was the Northern part close to the French border that had escaped the massive destruction of traditional houses and villages. It had kept its authentic soul, with places like Figuerès and Cadaquès, the site made famous by Salvador Dali.

As a family, I used to take my kids holidaying in the Languedoc Roussillon region. We usually went to St Cyprien-Plage (you can read about it here). Still, one year we decided to travel to Barcelona and then a train to Argelès s/mer next to St Cyprien because it had a train station. This made it easy to travel from France across the border to Spain to places like Port Vendres/Port Bou, Figuerès and Cadaquès.

This was the year we spent a whole day in Cadaquès, which allowed me to uncover this fishing village. Salvador Dali was born close by in Figuerès but made Cadaquès famous when he moved there and attracted a crowd of bohemians and artists, like Marcel Duchamp, Picasso, Mick Jagger and even Sting.

The beauty of the village lies in the area. It is nested in the Cap the Creus with beautiful small beaches and hidden bays. As a photographer, what I first noticed was the gorgeous light on the white brick walls and the reflection in the water. It had an authentic village feel, and walking the streets up the hills will make you want to settle here. There’s some peaceful vibe, and the place is not laden with tourists but with locals who want to keep it like a hideaway.

2. A Tourist-Free Retreat

If you want the place for yourself, visit after the tourist season. The drawback might be that many seaside resorts are entirely deserted, with shutters closed all over. I returned to properly explore the Northern Costa Brava in October, and to my delight, the place was nearly empty. On the first Sunday of my stay, I went to have lunch with other locals at a restaurant called Toc Al Mar on Aiguablava beach. The restaurant was still busy. I managed to find a table but had the beach to myself. It was too cold to bath, but as someone who longs for the sea all year long, I sat on the beach and just let myself get lost in the horizon and enjoy the sound of the sea crashing on the shore.

Toc Al Ma Restaurant available as a print

3. Spectacular scenery and coastal foot paths

Don’t expect wide beaches in the Northern Costa Brava. Instead, you will find small, hidden bays to enjoy some privacy. The first beach I visited was Tamariu, a picturesque village nested in a cove with a coarse sandy beach and beautiful scenery. You can see the pine trees in the background create a beautiful landscape across the bay and get a whiff of the delicious essence of pine trees. From Tamariu I went to visit Llafranc beach and had lunch on the beach in Palafrugell indulging on chargrilled sardines, sitting outdoors with a view over the beach what could I ask for more? Nothing it was pure bliss. With Tamariu, Llafranc is one of the three coastal towns attached to Palafrugell. All three are small resorts set against gorgeous pine trees, with a traditional Spanish village feel. Compared to the South of the Costa Brava, the region has avoided overdevelopment and kept an authentic atmosphere with local food and restaurants rather than resorts overtaken by fish and chips shops.

There are several Coastal footpaths that you can take along the sea with a gorgeous view over the coastline. I walked from Platja de Pals to Sa Tuna. This is quite an easy walk with stairs that will take you from Sa Riera to Sa Tuna. Both villages were wholly deserted when I visited them in October. Sa Riera is only 2 kilometres from the larger town of Begur, and has got a sandy beach. Sa Tuna has more of an authentic village feel, with houses that would have belonged to local fishermen long gone. The beach is made of pebbles with a cove suitable for swimming. Beware though as these places tend to get very overcrowded during the summer.

4. Delicious Seafood Dishes

The quest for fresh fish will be more than satisfying during your stay on the Northern Costa Brava in Catalonia. This is the food that you will mostly find on the menu in the restaurants along the coast. For traditional tapas, head to Begur, be sure tough to make the most of the local seafood and grilled fish from these local villages.

5. Jardin Botanic de Cap Roig

When you are visiting the area, head towards the botanical garden of Cap Roig, overlooking the coast with a spectacular view over the mediterranean sea. It is beautiful, with many pine trees and a mix of Mediterranean plants and sculptures.

With so much to see and do, you can be sure that your trip to Northern Costa Brava in Catalonia will be a memorable one. If you are in the region you might also want the explore the town of Girona, you canread about Girona in the post about 5 reasons to plan a day trip to Girona

Now that you know the top 5 reasons why you should visit Northern Costa Brava, start planning your trip today! Don’t miss out on a beautiful and exciting Spanish adventure!

This post was first published on Rue Paradis Prints

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