In all honesty, before we started planning our recent trip to Spain, we’d never even heard of the Costa Brava region before. In doing our research of where to visit in Spain, we came across this incredible place, and the more we read about it, the better it sounded. Turns out, it’s incredibly beautiful, magnificent and enchanting. Costa Brava translates to “rugged coast” which really is a perfect description of this spectacular region.
Rarely do we rent cars on our travels, but this is one place we did and far from regretted it. On a map, the towns looks extremely close together, however, the roads are long and windy- so it takes a lot longer to get from point a to b than you'd think! There also doesn't seem to be a lot of public transportation options. This is one place you'll want to explore, so definitely take the plunge and rent a car so that you don't miss out on this region's hidden gems!
What to do:
Take a day tour with BlueCompass Barcelona:
We spent the best day on a day tour with this wonderful group. They will customize the tour to your liking- but we went on a glass bottom boat tour; had the most amazing lunch; and went to a medieval festival. Their speciality is diving, so if you’re a diver, this is is definitely for you. If you’re going to do one tour while in the region, this is it, you won’t regret it. Click here to watch the vlog.
Go to one of the many many beaches:
There is absolutely no shortage of amazing beaches in Costa Brava! No matter what type of beach you prefer, you’ll have your pick! Our favourite was Aqua Blava, in the town of Begur. Illa Roja is stunningly beautiful (but be warned, it’s a clothing optional beach and most people choose to go without!). Tossa Del Mar is a gorgeous beach with a castle at one end, we unfortunately didn’t make it there but we heard great things about it.
Take a hike along the coast line trail:
This trail actually makes it’s way from one end of Costa Brava to the other. You could spend days hiking from one town to the next or from beach, to beach to beach. If days of hiking aren’t your thing, we walked north from the town of LlaFranc to the next few towns and it didn’t take much time, or energy.
Take a day trip to Barcelona and do a food tour:
If Barcelona isn’t already on your itinerary for this trip, you should consider spending one day there and doing a food tour with Wanderbeak Walking Tours. We spent weeks in Spain and actually learned more about Spanish history in the few hours we spent with Marwa than we did on our entire trip, plus we had some amazing eats! Watch the vlog here.
Spend some time in Girona:
This city is not to be missed when visiting Costa Brava. If you’re arriving by train, you’ll likely stop here anyway, be sure to spend a day or two. If not, you should absolutely make time for a day trip. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you’ll find it even more interesting as many scenes were filmed here.
Where to stay:
This hotel has the most amazing views over the charming town of LlaFranc, which also means incredible views of the mediterranean. In order to better enjoy this view, they have a perfectly situated infinity pool in which to laze your days away. We booked their most basic room (which wasn’t that basic), which turned out to be perfect. It had a king sized bed, a desk, a large bathroom, a fridge, and our own patio. Rates also include a really great breakfast (the restaurant also serves lunch and dinner).
Hotel Can Casi:
On our trip to Costa Brava, we wanted to spend a little bit of time inland as well. We picked a small village called Regencos and stayed just outside town in a small hotel called Can Casi. The owners of this place clearly have a great sense of design, it’s quirky and whimsical, but also really cosy. It’s very quiet, and a great place to relax by the pool while enjoying a glass of cava.
We sadly didn’t get to stay at this hotel, but if we return to Costa Brava we absolutely will. We had the pleasure of taking a tour of this old, converted 16th century farmhouse and can attest that it is stunning inside. The restaurant is also fabulous (see below).
Where to eat:
If you need a break from Spanish food, this is great option, the location isn’t so bad either. Far Nomo is in The lighthouse of San Sebastian and looks over the beautiful town of LlaFranc. This Japanese restaurant specializes in sushi and noodle dishes. The views alone are worth the prices.
This farm to table restaurant is in the very small, medieval village of Regencos. We ate here one night while we were staying nearby and it was absolutely delicious with stellar service. We were there in the shoulder season and it wasn’t busy, but if visiting in the middle of summer you should make a reservation. You can’t go wrong sitting either inside or outside, the space here is as beautiful as the food.
Remember the hotel I just mentioned? Well we did get to eat at the restaurant, and it was probably the best meal we had during our entire time in Spain, and we had some fantastic food! This place is not to be missed if you’re in the region.
El Celler de Can Roca:
We did not eat here (and neither will you unless you book WAY in advance). This three Michelin star restaurant is world famous and likely supremely delicious. People come to Costa Brava just to eat here. We’re guessing it’s a splurge, but often those once in a lifetime experiences are worth it.