Spain’s Costa Brava

One of the first, and still one of the best holiday destinations

Costa Brava, SpainThe beautiful and unspoiled Costa Brava is still as popular now as it was when package holidays began in the 1950’s. Visitors who may have come as children, now return with their own children and grandchildren and all are surprised and relieved that this northern corner of Spain has changed very little in over 70 years.

The rugged coastline stretches north from Barcelona to the border with France and along the way you will come across some idyllic seaside resorts and pretty fishing villages. The fact that the area has always attracted artists is testament to the fabulous views, landscapes and intense light that filters through the pine trees onto the clear waters of the Mediterranean.

My personal little slice of heaven is the area from Cap Roig through to Llafranc, encompassing the exquisite resort of Callella de Palafrugel.

Cap Roig, Costa Brava, SpainPerched on a headland, Cap Roig is the location of a stunning castle and beautiful gardens, open to the public year round. The immaculately kept grounds compete with breathtaking views over the sea and along the coast. In the summer you can enjoy open-air concerts each night at the annual Cap Roig Festival. I have never been lucky enough to get a ticket but it is worth checking as the festival attracts some big international names.

Calella de Palafrugel is just a few kilometres along the coast and if you walk along the coastal path you will pass by tiny secluded coves, very inviting but only accessible by the brave and very nimble.

In Calella you will find some lovely fish restaurants overlooking the sea, a few shops, tapas bars and gorgeous ice cream. It is a bustling community but still very sleepy in the mornings, gradually waking up during the day and into the evening. The beaches are small and the sparkling clear waters are ideal for all ages.

Llafranc, Costa Brava, SpainAround another headland is the chic and sophisticated village of Llafranc. With a sheltered harbour, Llafranc attracts boats of all shapes and sizes including plenty of luxurious ‘gin palaces’. It is very enjoyable to sit by the marina and watch the comings and goings of boats and beautiful people. Like Calella, Llafranc also has a pretty sheltered beach and crystal clear waters and so diving is a popular past time.

There are several fabulous restaurants and the Hotel Casamar, on the way into the town, is especially lovely, with a view to die for over the bay and incredibly imaginative food.

At the far end of the bay the coastal path winds high up onto a headland where there is a working lighthouse and another lovely Hotel El Far.

Costa Brava, SpainA great way to discover this area of Spain is on a camping holiday and our partner, Canvas Holidays, features La Siesta Camp Site just outside Calella.

La Siesta is a well-established site with great amenities for all ages and offers comfortable accommodation and great value for money.

The season is shorter than Spain’s southern resorts so my advice is to visit in June or September when the weather is usually settled, the sea is warm but the crowds have yet to arrive.

Silver Travel Advisor recommends CanvasHolidays

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Sally Dowling

Travel writer

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