It’s easy to get lost in the Costa Brava’s beautiful sandy beaches, rocky multi-coloured coves, and tranquil villages, but the Catalonian coastal region, situated in the northeastern region of Spain and overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, has much more to offer families than just gorgeous scenery.
The area enjoys hot summers and mild winters, making it an all-year-round holiday destination. Whether your aim is to relax and soak in some of that famous Spanish sun or set off for nonstop adventure, learning and laughs – the Costa Brava has got you covered.
Unload your bags in the lovely coastal beach town of Tossa de Mar. We stayed in the charming URH Hotel Vila de Tossa, just a few minutes from the beach.
Peace and relaxation is the aim of this establishment, providing ample rooms closed off to the outside world and ensuring restful nights after days filled with activities. The perfect spot for your family’s home base!
Shades of blue paint the ocean and beg you to take a peak underneath. Luckily you can! Take a tour with Fondo Cristal’s glass-bottomed boats.
Explore caves carved out of magnificent cliffs, coast along tranquil beaches as you sail northeast of Tossa's main Platja Gran, or stop in hidden sandy coves populated only by a few restaurants and bars.
Once you’ve ventured out of the water, take the cobbled streets upward and visit the Vila Vella, Tossa’s lighthouse to stand in awe of the spectacular ocean views.
If you get tired along the way, stop at Vila Vella Terrace Bar for, what is said to be the best sangria in town, available in both white and red wine versions. Whichever you choose, it will be refreshing.
Have you ever had one of those moments during a holiday when you just stop, take a breath and say, “Hey, that was awesome!!?”
Welcome to the Indoor Sky Diving Centre of Windoor Skydiving, where you can enjoy several rounds of awesomeness while flying in Windoor’s state-of-the-art vertical wind tunnel.
No need to jump out of a plane to feel the sensation of skydiving. With top rate instructors, the Windoor experience is sure to knock you off your feet... literally.
Foodies agree, Sa Barca serves exceptional food for a reasonable price and was our favourite spot for seafood. This family owned establishment is a centerpiece within Tossa de Mar.
Crunchy calamari, meaty mussels, and a fish platter featuring the catch of the day, ensured that our whole family didn’t leave hungry.
The atmosphere was chilled yet elegant and the service was exceptional. Catering to families, couples, or perfect for a night out with friends – I can’t think of an occasion where Sa Barca wouldn’t deliver.
For a more casual meal, check out their sister restaurant next door, La Piccola Nostra Pizzeria.
Boasting Spain’s longest and highest zip line, Platja D’Aro- Costa Brava, Parc Aventura is an experience you won’t want to miss. Nestled in a dense forest, you can test your climbing aptitude by scaling one of the many multi-leveled obstacle courses.
Next, let loose your inner Tarzan while zipping through the trees at 15 metres off the ground.
Scared of heights? Not to worry. Parc Aventura has levels for everyone.
Just when we thought the facilities at the Windoor Skydiving couldn’t get any better, we were back for round two.
The Wave Club, situated next to the center’s main facilities, is a unique experience simulating surfing and body surfing.
It was all giggles as we each took our turn slipping and sliding down the jet-powered wave… some of us surfing with a little more grace than others.
“A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others.”
― Salvador Dalí
And inspire Dali does. Costa Brava is the birthplace of Salvador Dali and you can find his influence everywhere. To get an extra dose of the famous artist, head to Teatro Museo Dali in Figueres, where you can see many of his most famous paintings and sculptures.
Get lost in the head of the man who said: “I don't do drugs. I am drugs.”
The Monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes overlooks the Cap de Creus Natural Park from the highest point of El Port de la Selva.
From there you can start to get a sense of why the Sant Pere de Rodes is a testimonials of Catalan Romanesque architecture, and is declared a culture site of national interest.
Windy roads over mountain terrain lead to the picturesque coastal town of Cadaques.
This whitewashed village is called the “pearl” of the Costa Brava and you can see why by getting lost in its cobblestone streets dotted with blue doors and little cafes.
No wonder Dali spent so much of his life in what many say is “one of the prettiest villages in Spain.”
Perched on the second floor, Es Balconet is a charming and cosy restaurant delighting its guest with inventive small plates… tapas and fresh seafood entrées.
Located not far from the beach promenade, Es Balconet is a perfect spot for romantic meals or just an escape from tourist-filled Cadaques.
With 2,000 years of history, you can’t help but marvel at this charming medieval city of “the four bridges”. Compact enough to explore by foot, you could spend days photographing the city’s beauty.
Check out the breathtaking Pyrenees views from atop the Passeig de la Muralla, stroll down stone streets to marvel at Girona’s spectacular Cathedral boasting the world’s widest Gothic nave and also made famous by the Game of Thrones series or take a tour of the “barri”, or old town.
With so much to see, it helps to have an expert by your side.
Before you go, don’t forget to visit La Lleona – a stone carving of a lioness climbing a pillar – at Placa de Sant Feliu. Superstition dictates that you’ll return to the city if you mount the metal steps and plant a kiss on the lioness’s stone rump.
We definitely want to come back and explore Girona some more, so we all did what we had to do!
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- Karyn Gorman