I get into my car and take the Ronda del Litoral, within 15 minutes of leaving Barcelona the landscape begins the transform; green mountains, pristine hills, endless plains... and trees... many many trees.
The Costa brava starts at Blanes, 63 km from Barcelona, however these particularly touristic destinations were not on the agenda for me today, so I keep on going toward Lloret de Mar, where I eventually feel like taking a break from driving. It's my first stop on the journey, and because Lloret is rather touristy, I didn't plan on staying too long. However, I did take the time to get a view of the castle and snap a picture.
Even as I approach Tossa de Mar, the landscape does not stop impressing me and I think to myself excitedly how much I really needed to escape like this, away from the city and into nature. And what beautiful nature, because away from the many popular hotspots, the Costa Brava is a place of pure beauty.
The weather wasn't too bad, so I fancied an ice-cream while watching the tide. At Tossa de Mar I made a quick stop and enjoyed the warm breeze for a while before jumping back in the car and taking the GI-682 north from the town. What an exciting drive. Narrow curves, with the mountain to the left and the sea to the right, I take it all in as I pass through the Parque Natural de les Cadiretes Massif, the kilometres traversed on this part of the route have been some of best spent during my time in the Costa Brava.
There is a peaceful beach on the way called Cala del Senyor Ramón, so I decided to park up on the side of the motorway and walk down to the beach. The view from above is spectacular! I really begin to understand the term "Costa Brava" or "Wild Coast" as I lay eyes upon the landscape, with its tall green mountains, unbridled rocks, and a seabed full of marine-life. I was overcome with the desire to stay all night on this cove more and more with each step I took toward the shore. So I did. Camping out for the night, I watched as the moon sparkled over the sea... nature demonstrated to me its incredible beauty once again.
The next day I carried on my journey, arriving at Sant Feliu de Guíxols, a cute and charming little town with a long stretch of beach and a lovely harbour. I head to the tourist information centre to find out about a Camino de Ronda nearby, a trekking path said to run through some of the most idyllic spots on the Costa Brava. It was created at the turn of the last century to watch over the smugglers and subsequently was used by fishermen to reach inaccessible coves. It's now one of the most striking attractions on the Costa Brava due to its location by the sea and extraordinary viewpoints.
It's no surprise then, that upon arriving at the start of the road I was already amazed by the beauty that stood before me; a long and narrow stretch of romanesque style bricks weaving in and out of the nature that surrounded it.
I find myself as the Paratge de la Cala de l'Ametller and decide to take a dive with flippers and some goggles. I immerse myself, witnessing the amazing seabed with its endless variety of fishes coming in all colours and sizes, algae of all shapes and consistencies, and high mountain landscapes beneath the sea surface. There is a marvelous amount of biodiversity and it's an amazing spectacle to behold.
After a morning of such intense emotions, I decided to continue my roadtrip. I made a quick stop at Platja d'Aro, a touristic town that's very famous on the Costa Brava. Rather than get too absorbed in the touristic side of the town, I spent my time chatting to a local fisherman before hopping back into my car and continuing the drive. I thought it would be a good idea to find a good place to stop off and set up camp for the day around Palamós. So I set up at a campsite, left my stuff and want for a walk toward La Fosca, a beach that was very tranquil and where another Camino de Ronda began, finishing in Cap Roig around 1hr and 30 minutes away.
This trek is particularly absorbing and amazing, passing through the middle of a forest and with some lovely views of the sea. I sidetrack a bit to locate the "Barraca d'en Dalí", or the Dalí Workshop where the famous painter once spent some time. This wasn't easy! The road isn't so defined and I found myself getting a bit lost, but then I see something, there it was, the workshop-studio of the painter which has been given a surreal twist with its rotated door. Its location amidst the forest gives an enchanted fairytale-like ambiance. One thing is for sure though, there has never been any proof that Dalí actually painted anything there! Maybe he was too distracted by the landscape!
I go back to the walk and continue up to Cap Roig, passing one of the beaches that I enjoyed once before on the Costa Brava, Cala Estreta. I found myself coming across a group of hippies celebrating a birthday and I spent some time with them, having some fruit juice and talking for an hour about my trip so far and their lives on the beach. They taught me about the work that they do and told me a little about their lives. Certainly an unforgettable encounter.
The night was falling so I decided to head back to the campsite and rest before continuing onward the next day.
For my last day I stopped off at the marvelous beach El Golfet where I admired a fantastic landscape.
The last part of my trip is was at Calella de Palafrugell, a beautiful town where I took to my last Camino de Ronda through tunnels with ups and downs in a wonderful forest surrounding me with greenery.
Here is a map that accounts my journey through the south of the Costa Brava, highly recommended if you're in Barcelona and want to make an unforgettable escape in beautiful Catalonia.