Last year I was given the opportunity to visit the Costa Brava, I was probably a bit ungrateful, thinking the Costa Brava had had its day, a day no-one would want to go t0 anymore.. … How wrong I was!
The Costa Brava is a park of the coastal region of Catalonia and boasts Blue Flag Beaches with rugged cliffs, traditional villages with modern resorts, and it was soon clear to see why this area is flourishing and of course why it ticks all my boxes. Catching the glass bottom boat along the coast is a great way to see the dramatic coastline as well being able to hop between the different resorts, we even saw some fish!
Coming into the bay of Tossa De Mar, really makes you catch your breath. The turrets of the old wall town stand proud on the headland, and it really draws you in and makes you want to explore Vila Vella, the old medieval town. Although it’s built into the hillside, it’s relatively easy stroll to the top, or you can catch the little train. The views from the top looking over the town and the rest of the coast line are not to be missed, so remember your camera! I loved mooching around this old town, tiny little shops selling lace and gifts, fresh fruit stalls and great tapas restaurants down hidden cobbled footpaths, that you literally only hunt down because of the delicious smells.
We ate in the Bar La Luna and the food and atmosphere was great! Beach wise, there are a couple of great choices, the main town beach is backed by restaurants, bars and shops and loads of sun beds. My favourite beach was the bay at foot of the old town – Playa Des Codolar, it’s tiny, undeveloped but so pretty with little fishing boats bobbing in the sea and it’s lovely and quiet.
If the explorer in you takes over, there are some amazing things to see.
Besalu can only be described as picture postcard. It’s tucked away in the volcanic region and its medieval bridge, fortress and town has been lovingly looked after and unspoilt. There is an amazing museum of miniatures, which is fascinating and round the back of the town on the river you can see how local life works here with the herb and vegetable gardens.
As we were in the volcanic areas we drove down to the Olympic lake, Lake of Banyoles. Sat by the lake looking over the volcanic landscape in little restaurant with a glass of cold white wine, was perfect and left me with some gorgeous memories.
The one last thing I must tell you about is Girona. I guess it’s overlooked due to Barcelona being more well known, but I adored this city. So compact and uncommercial it was easy to wonder around and appreciate the beautiful architecture of the gothic churches without the push and shove of regular cities. The bridges and houses on the river make for a great photo too.
The main reason I love this city is that it loves everyone back, they adore kissing and have some delightful traditions, and a traditional a tradition right?
So whist your here, between the Arabic baths and Cathedral is a cute statue of a chubby woman with wings, if you kiss her tummy, it is said “that you will have a year of good life.” Also go and find the lion and kiss its bottom! This is the official way to declare your love and respect for the city and also the official plaques states:
“Whoever kisses the lioness’s ass will return to Girona.”
So I kissed it, and am just can’t wait to return!
Thanks, hope you enjoyed my highlights of the great destinations.
Ps. take a visit to the Rocambolesc Gelateria, the ice-cream here is amazing and there is an interesting story behind the shop too!