For my weekend on the Costa Brava, I decided to set up camp in Tossa de Mar, a picturesque Medieval town with beautiful views over the adjacent bay.
For the first day, I decided to make good of what was on my doorstep and so went for a walk along the narrow streets of this historic gem of a town, more specifically the Old Town - or Vila Vella. Nestled within ancient walls and elevated upon a small hill, it's unlike any other place you may have seen. At the very peak of the hill there is a lighthouse, from which you can admire the magnificent view of practically the entire surrounding coastline.
After discovering the old fortress and getting up close to the defensive walls of the town, I headed back to the city centre with its white houses with window frames adorned in flowers, it was all very much reminiscent of Andalusia, a southern Spanish region that lays well beyond the horizon. It was the ideal time to stop off at one of the restaurants to enjoy some excellent seafood and fish dishes. I spent the late afternoon how one would in any coastal town, on a nearby beach named Platja del Reig that boasts gorgeous golden sands and a panoramic view of the city.
When night arrives, there isn't very much to see, because much of the activity takes place in the neighbouring town of Lloret de Mar. Much better then, to sit back, relax, and enjoy a refreshing cold beer while gazing upon the humble lighthouse that keeps watch over the area.
The second day in the region and it was time to move to Girona, which is the capital of the Costa Brava. The trip took about one hour, dropping me off at the bus station where the walk from there took just 20 minutes to reach the city centre. I was greeted with a labyrinth of Medieval streets that seemed almost as if they were guiding me towards the pride and symbol of the city; Girona Cathedral. Entry is free, at least financially, because the price you pay is the energy you expend scouring the stately and imposing staircase that never seemed to end. Well worth it though.
From the cathedral I took a guided tour of the city, which stopped at all the essential points of interest like Sant Feliu Church and the Arab Baths. One unmissable experience in the city is walking along Passeig Arquelogic, a magnificent path along the old city walls with beautiful views of the city.
Girona is also a nice place to wander aimlessly, as the historical center has hidden gems like the old Jewish quarter and many taverns where you can taste local specialties like Fideuà (a kind of paella but with noodles) with mushrooms and calamari. Absolutely delicious!
As the evening came so did the bus to bring visitors back to the hotel. Rather than staying on till the end of the route, I jumped off a little earlier at the stop in Lloret de Mar. Lloret is... Different to Tossa de Mar. Here the area is dominated with a tourism that is mainly there for the lively nightlife, so expect crowds of teens and twenty-somethings on the beaches with locales pumping out loud music to the rhythm of the customers downing Jägerbombs until the early morn.
In order to enjoy the final day on the Costa Brava, I rented a car with the end of exploring the beaches and towns of the coast.
First stop: Palafrugell, a fishing town surrounded by beaches and bays. The village consists of several zones, almost all connected by a maritime passage that can be explored on foot. Obviously, I made several stops to take pictures and then got back on track to reach Cadaqués, a picturesque village with incredible views from the cliffs that melt away into the blue sea.
The center of Cadaqués is very defined in terms of character, with white houses that retain the essence of the fishing village it continues to be. Dalí chose this village as his residence in the 60s, and after a nice to stroll through its narrow streets it's easy to see why. Take some time to look around the port and then finish off the visit at Dalí's house. These days it is a museum, the interior of which is littered with furniture and vintage objects from the artist that are still preserved in the manner he would have used them. It's a lovely place!
I returned to Tossa del Mar along the road that connects Barcelona with France and still had enough time for one last night in one of the rooms along the seafront overlooking the fort.
It felt like the best way to end the day and say goodbye to the Costa Brava and its unparalleled beauty.