Cadaqués – Costa Brava

Just 70Km (45 mi.) away from Barcelona, the Costa Brava is famous in Catalonia for its rooted mediterranean lifestyle, and for still keeping the small town charm of former times, in spite of having a very dynamic touristic activity.

The small towns of quiet narrow streets and rocky beaches started sparking the interest of many artists and writers who craved for the beauty and charm of the region, and little by little tourists started populating the area as early as the 1930’s.

Towns full of inspiration

Dalí House Museum in Portlligat

Picasso, Joan Miró or Truman Capote who wrote “In cold blood in the course of three summers in the town of Palamós were the first attracted to this place, but if there’s one artist that was swept away by the Costa Brava, it’s Salvador Dalí. In fact, one of the main attractions of the Costa Brava is the Dalí Circuit.

Portlligat and Figueres are two places where the multifaceted artist lived and worked throughtout his life.

As you might be guessing, the Costa Brava is all about beaches, but there’s so much more to see. Even though touristic activity is plentiful in the area, there are still many places and villages that hold on to their old town charm.

Cadaqués, a jewel in Costa Brava

Cadaqués. Alberto Zamorano – Shutterstock

Cadaqués, the most Eastern city in the Iberian Peninsula,  might be one of the most peculiar towns in the Costa Brava. Isolated through land for centuries, it lived only facing the sea, having a more direct relationship with other overseas territories than Catalonia itself. This is due to the fact that the Pyrenees end abrubtly in this zone, hence the rugged terrain.

While most of the cities and towns are easily accesible by train or bus, getting to Cadaqués by train is out of the question. Taking a bus or renting a car, specially the latter, is the best option to get the best out of this lovely city.

See Hotels in Cadaqués

Places to see in the Costa Brava

Natural Park Cap de Creus

Small coves in Cap de Creus. Goncharovaia – Shutterstock

The most oriental place in the Iberian Peninsula, Cap de Creus is just minutes away from Cadaqués and a few miles from the French border. This rocky cape has a very peculiar environment.


Discover the Barcelona Pass

The Barcelona Pass is the ultimate key to Barcelona’s biggest attractions. This tourist card, available for 2 or 3 days, includes free entrance to more than 20 top attractions and an optional travelcard for unlimited transportation around the city.  


Once you’re approaching by car you might get the feeling you’re in a different planet. The effect of the tramontana -a fierce wind that frequently blows over the cape- is so strong that doesn’t allow vegetation to grow, hence there are almost no trees.

There is a lighthouse and restaurant on a hill offering spectacular views, and it’s possible to eat outside (if the wind allows it). Kayaking is also very popular in the area.

Portbou and Llançà

These villages are surrounded by the Cap de Creus and they are popular destinations for its quiet beaches as well as snorkeling and diving. The zone is filled with historical remains of Roman heritage.

L’Estartit

One of the most popular beach destinations in the Costa Brava, this town has an ideal setting for summer enjoyment, with easy access and parking spaces, sea front apartments, and good quality beaches. There are lots of open-air activities to take place in, such as hiking and biking trails.

Medes Islands

A group of small islets part of a Natural Reserve Park located 900 meters in front of L’Estartit coast. It’s filled with a notable amount of biodiversity for the delight of scuba divers.

Calella de Palafrugell

Sporting some of the most beautiful coves in Costa Brava, this village has a long gastronomic tradition and one of the most celebrated parties in the whole Costa Brava, the Habaneras.

Held every year at the Cap Roig Botanic Gardens, it had a very special guest for its 40th anniversary, when Bob Dylan gave a concert on the Botanic Garden grounds in 2006.

It’s also one of the places to start the “Camí de Ronda” (Patrol Road), this old path was used by the Spanish Civil Guard to patrol the coastline in order to avoid smuggling, but today is a lovely pedestrian path that takes you into different beaches and towns of the Costa Brava.

See Hotels in Calella de Palafrugell

 

Towns and villages like Roses, L’Escala, Pals, Begur, Palamós, Tossa de Mar and Lloret de Mar, make up a complete offer for either kind of escapade you’re planning. Whether is a one day trip or a weekend getaway, it’s a place near Barcelona that can’t be omitted.

How to get to Costa Brava

Train: Renfe has train stations at the following cities in the Costa Brava: Figueres, Girona, Blanes, Portbou and Llançà. In order to get to the towns on the coastline it may be required to take a bus, which can be taken at Blanes, Figueres or Girona, depending on the proximity of the town you wish to visit.

You can also treat yourself to a Costa Brava full day tour (10 hours) or a Half Day Tour (8 hours), from Barcelona.

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The best tours in Barcelona


Full Day tour: Torres Cellars, Montserrat & Sitges with Brunch

Join this full day guided tour that includes a brunch and wine tasting at the Torres Cellars in the Penedés region, plus the breathtaking landscape of Montserrat and the stunning city of Sitges.

Sagrada Familia guided tour + fast track entrance and towers

Admire the most famous monument in Barcelona, the Sagrada Familia through this 1,5 hour guided tour that includes fast track entrance and visit to the towers for extraordinary views of Barcelona.

Day trip to Girona and Figueres with Dalí Museum

Enjoy Girona and Figueres, Salvador Dalí’s hometown in this guided full day tour. Walk through the picturesque streets of medieval Girona and visit the Dalí-Theater Museum in Figueres, the biggest collection of the surrealist artist.

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Entrance and guided tour to Sagrada Familia and Park Güell plus Casa Batlló and La Pedrera

Get the best of Gaudí in Barcelona in one single tour. Experience the creative genius of Gaudí with this 4,5 hour guided tour that includes entrance to Sagrada Familia and Park Güell, plus an exterior visit to La Pedrera and Casa Batlló.

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Park Güell Fast Track Entrance and Guided Tour

Visit one of Barcelona’s most amazing landmarks in this 1,5 hour guided tour of Park Güell. Learn all about this magnificent modernist work by Gaudi, one of the places that make Barcelona a unique city.

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Montserrat morning tour from Barcelona

Immerse yourself in the magic of Montserrat, one of the most special locations near Barcelona. This morning guided tour invites you to explore this mountain retreat, as well as its monastery, funiculars and mountain paths leading to spectacular views.

Highlights of Barcelona morning tour

Enjoy Barcelona to the fullest with this guided morning tour, featuring the best of Barcelona. Explore the Gothic Quarter, the Gothic Cathedral, Montjuïc, Poble Espanyol and much more.

Game of Thrones Girona guided tour

Experience the magic of the fabulous Girona’s historical center through the scenarios of Game of Thrones. Explore the medieval city, one of the settings of the famous hit TV show, in this 6 hour guided tour from Barcelona.

Sagrada Familia guided tour - Fast Track entrance

This 1,5 hour guided tour will give you instant access to Barcelona’s biggest landmark: Sagrada Familia. Enjoy the most impressive architecture and ornaments with a Fast Track entrance, no queues.

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