All right, it's true. This region is the apple of Catalonia's eye, and maybe we do go on a bit about the Costa Brava, but come on - it's incredible! And not only because of its coves and fishing villages, or the festivals or trendy clubs. It's the friendly locals, the beauty of the landscape and the cultural traditions - everything comes together to create a marvellous whole. While it's full of typical (and stereotypical) spots, there are still hidden gems to discover.
Things to see and do on the Costa Brava
Beaches, villages, castles, gardens... these are the don't miss places and sights in the most authentic Costa Brava
If you’re more the Middle Ages type, don’t miss the castle and walled grounds in Tossa de Mar, the old town in Pals, the triangle made up of Monells, Cruïlles and Sant Martí Vell in the centre of the Gavarres mountain range, as well as the castles of Peralada and Peratallada. For fortifications, the place to head is the Sant Ferran castle in Figueres. If you’ve read 'Victus' and after 600 pages still don’t understand everything about strongholds and moats, don’t worry (you’re not alone) – seeing them up close here will make it all clear: the wall, the weaponries, casemates, the stables, and even underground contramine galleries. Make sure you call in advance to reserve your place on the Catedral de l’Aigua (Cathedral of Water) tour, where you can explore the interior of the castle in a 4x4 and get to see the inside of the fortress’s cisterns.
While you’re in the area, take the time to visit the monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes. This majestic monument is located at the top of the Serra de Verdera mountain range, and reveals what the feudal era was like in those parts. The fortress of Hostalric is another landmark worth a look for its medieval ambience.
Finally, if you love immersing yourself in water, the Illes Medes will be paradise for you. This protected natural park is one of the Mediterranean’s most important flora and fauna reservations.