Renowned for its rugged landscape and gorgeous coast, Costa Brava holidays boast an incredible range of activities that will get you out and about and exploring the local flavours, with its nature parks and botanical gardens, it also has its fair share of sights of the past like medieval towns and ancient ruins for history buffs. There are all the makings of a relaxing holiday too, of course, with ample amounts of tranquil beaches tucked into rocky coves or out beside main promenades. To help you get started with mapping your holiday, we've whipped up a list of Costa Brava's best sights and sounds.
Known as Tossa de Mar's old town centre, the Villa Vella is a scenic walled city whose cobbled lanes are straight from a romance film. Strolls through this part of the area are sightseeing excursions of their own, with the Mediterranean Sea looming nearby.
The restaurants and shops here are tucked away on quiet side streets, with family-run eateries dishing out traditional Catalan food. At the top of the hill is a medieval castle whose walled perimeter, when lit up by night, becomes a makeshift stage for local musicians, who croon live music in the evening hours.
This scenic stretch of the coast is rugged and largely untouched, and is therefore abundant in beauty. Its natural landscape has been shaped by the tides for thousands of years, forming craggy cliffs and hidden coves that are great for exploring. Visitors here embark on hikes along the coast, catching glimpses of local animals in their natural habitats, and pop into the popular lighthouse for a quick bite to eat.
Costa Brava has a reputation for its gorgeous natural landscape, which also includes its beaches. Along the region's shores, you'll find a whole host of activities like windsurfing, scuba diving and snorkelling, as well as holidaygoers lying out on the sand from the comfort of a sunlounger.
A number of historical sites are dotted along the coast, like the Tossa de Mar castle and 18th-century lighthouses whose museums detail the town's past. Most shores come ready with waterfront bars and restaurants, so you won't have to venture far from the beach to grab an afternoon drink.
Being nestled between the Mediterranean Sea and a mountain range, the region is privy to fresh seafood, meats and veggies. The rugged shoreline in particular is a culinary hub for foodies that want to dine well while enjoying cheap holidays to Costa Brava.
The local cuisine is Catalan fare that's heavy in seafood, and is available a la carte or in tapas-sized portions. In addition to a number of Michelin star-rated eateries, Costa Brava is also home to a great deal of small, family-run spots dishing up home grown recipes expertly paired with Spanish wines.
The Cap Roig Gardens offer an incredible look into Mediterranean flora, with plant species from five continents, as well as sculptures dotting the grounds. If you're lucky enough to come during the summer, you'll find exhibitions and cultural performances here that'll give you a taste of the local lifestyle and history.
Costa Brava is dotted with traces of surrealist painter Salvador Dali, who spent a great deal of time in the area throughout his life. Three hotspots make up what is called the 'Dali triangle' – the Dali Theatre-Museum in Figueres, home to a large collection of his surrealist paintings, and his two private homes, the Salvador Dali House-Museum in Portlligat, in Cadaques and the Gala Dali Castle House-Museum in Pubol. While you'll have to travel a little out of Costa Brava proper to see the latter, they're each necessary pit stops for any Dali fan.
To try your hand at some of the activities available here, check out our full range of All Inclusive holidays to Costa Brava.