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Costa Brava - Natural beauty and medieval heritage

The most northern of Spain’s Costas, stretching from the French border, the Costa Brava is probably the prettiest of them all. The landscape is a beautiful combination of rugged cliffs and secluded coves, which give way to quaint fishing villages and seaside towns. There are also a wealth of outstanding cultural attractions and some lively resorts, not to mention vast, sandy beaches that have been attracting holidaymakers here for decades. This eclectic destination is a favourite for all ages; with its variety of contrasting coastal scenery, beautiful beaches, historical and artistic interests and the fascinating cities of gothic Girona and Barcelona on the doorstep, it’s a fantastic choice for your Spanish sojourn.

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Sils is a pretty rural town with a rich cultural heritage, renowned for its delicious cuisine. Located in a particularly peaceful and beautiful region of Catalonia, it is surrounded by a wonderful natural landscape, where visitors can enjoy walking, hiking or cycling whilst it still offers ample amenities for guests, including supermarkets, shops, bars and restaurants.

  • 20mins fromGirona

Castellar del Valles

The pretty Castellar del Valles resort is deally located for those both looking for a tranquil place to relax and to explore the nearby cities. Famously known Barcelona is easily reached by car being approximately 30 kilometres away, days can be spent exploring here before returning back to Castellar del Valles for a pleasant peaceful evening. Set within natural beauty areas such as the San Llorens Mountains and the Moli de Brotons, Casterllar del Valles is surrounded by spectacular views. For other areas on interest you can visit the Castellar del Valles Town Hall and square and the charming church tower, these areas will give you an insight into some of the resorts fascinating history.

  • 1hr fromBarcelona


L'Estartit is a pretty seaside resort situated between the foothills of the Montgrí Massif mountain range and the Mediterranean Sea, part of the borough of Torroella de Montgrí and presided over by a 13th century castle, L’Estartit still retains the old world charm of a traditional Spanish fishing harbour which now rubs shoulders with a modern marina. Many restaurants, with fresh fish on the menu, shops, cafes and bars can be found dotted along the promenade or alternatively drive into the town of Torella de Mongri for even more choice and a medieval ambiance. One of its major assets is the fact that the beach,- one of the longest sandy beaches of the Costa Brava, is overlooked by the lovely Medes Islands, an archipelago of seven islands which together make up one of the most beautiful nature and marine reserves in the western Mediterranean, great for diving enthusiasts.

  • 1hr fromGirona

Riudellots de la Selva

Riudellots de la Selva is a quaint village in the beautiful Costa Brava region, there are a small number of charming Catalunya restaurants and local shops. For a wider array of resort amenities and more traditional Spanish vibes head towards the adjoining resort of Sils. The beautiful countryside areas that surround you are a fantastic setting for lots of hiking and cycling.

  • 5mins fromGirona


The beautiful hillside town of Begur and its surrounding beaches are one of the most popular and wonderful spots on the Costa Brava. The old town is built around the remains of its medieval castle and offers lots of winding streets with a selection of charming restaurants to be found. From here the town works its way down to eight coves each with their own lovely beach.

  • 55mins fromGirona


Massanes is a small village tucked into the countryside of Catalonia, Spain. It is situated on the left bank of the Tordera river overlooking the Montseny Natural Park. In the village there are a small handful of amenities, however the historic Hostalric is not far away for a wider choice of restaurants and bars. Girona’s old town is also not far away to explore and the ancient cathedral amongst some excellent Spanish gothic architecture makes it well worth a visit.

  • 30mins fromGirona


Between the buzzing tourist town of Lloret de Mar to the south and Figueres to the north, the area of Palafrugell delivers both idyllic beaches and undisturbed Catalan culture. The town is located in privileged surroundings at the heart of the Costa Brava and offers some of its most scenic historical sights.

  • 45mins fromGirona


Pedrasanta is a small and pretty town linked to the municipaliy of the nearby Sabadell. With Barcelona being simply 10 miles away, it is the perfect base to explore the area. Sabadell is one of catalonia's jewels and boasts plenty of attractions to fill in your days. Similar to much of the Catalan north of Spain, Sabadell thrives with celebrations during the festivals of Semana Santa and Carnaval but is also considered as a social hub all year round.

  • 50mins fromBarcelona


Peratallada is a place with charm worthy of visit at any time of year. Located in the heart of the Empordà region at the foot of the massif of les Gavarres, it is considered as one of the centers of Medieval architecture the castle of Peratallada (centuries X-XI), the Tower of L´Homenatge, the Church of Sant Esteve de Peratallada (early 13th century) or the Palace of Peratallada can be highlighted among others. Nowadays it is considered to be one of the most beautiful villages in Spain. Its closeness to the beaches of the Costa Brava makes it a popular spot and a good base to explore the Baix Emporda region. The selection of restaurants makes it a particularly good spot to come in the evening and sit in one of the picturesque squares or charming streets to dine 'al-fresco'.

  • 45mins fromGirona

Platja d'Aro

Platja d'Aro is a popular beach resort on the Costa Brava coastline. It is modern and cosmopolitan, so complementing the elegance of S’Agaró, where a recognized coastal path leads along its harmonious architectural ensemble. Castell d’Aro in turn waits with its medieval old town.

Playa de Pals

Only few kilometres on from the beautiful hilltop medieval village of Pals, with cobbled streets, shops and cafés, overlooking the coast, is its sister beach area Playa de Pals. Home to one of the most attractive two mile long sandy beaches of the Costa Brava, surrounded by pine trees,- common scenery in this area, the serene beach has many cafes, bars and beachside restaurants in which to relax. Two renowned golf courses can also be found here for the keen golfer. Its central location in the Costa Brava makes it ideal for exploring many of the surrounding areas and attractions.

  • 1hr fromGirona

Santa Cristina d'Aro

Santa Christina d'Aro is a modern, cosmopolitan town, with the fabulous beachside town platja d'Aro nearby. It boasts a wonderful and historical town centre, which has preserved well its medieval charm. The area offers a brilliant holiday experience, with so much to offer such as beautiful natural setting, culture, leisure, sport and best of all, Plajta d'Aro and its delightful seafront location, with an impressive, endless beach, and idyllic little bays.

  • 30mins fromGirona

Your Costa Brava Villa holiday

Outdoor pursuits in Costa Brava Image

Outdoor pursuits in Costa Brava

There really is something for everyone when it comes to attractions in Costa Brava. From the ancient Ruins of Empuries, to exploring the wonderful beaches this coastline has to offer, visiting museums and strolling through medieval villages, there is plenty of choice if you like to get out and about on your holiday. Enjoy Costa Brava’s captivating music particularly in the district of Baix Empordi. In August, put on top of your list the International Music Festival which features classical music at the Torroella de Montgri, vowing to mystify you with the melodies of ancient music, jazz and flamenco. The stunning scenery and excellent climate means golfing is also popular here. The region is now home to ten courses, some of which are rated amongst the best in Europe. There are also two water parks to pick for a day out with the kids or why not visit attractions such as Marineland or the botanical gardens near Blanes. No trip to the Costa Brava is complete without a visit to the old town of Girona more than a thousand years of history come together in old Girona, which is built around the Cathedral.

Hit the Beach in Costa Brava Image

Hit the Beach in Costa Brava

Costa Brava’s beaches are definitely the star attraction of this Mediterranean holiday spot and you’re spoilt for choice here. The Costa Brava’s beaches are immaculate, Tossa de Mar’s sands boast two Blue Flag strips backed by a string of beach bars and cafés, it’s a popular pick with families. Likewise, Lloret de Mar has plenty of buzz with its tree-lined promenade and watersports. If you truly want to experience the best beaches that Costa Brava has to offer, make sure to visit the “Blue Flag” beaches of Llafanc, Aigua Blava, Tamariu, and Gandia as well as L'Estartit which is one of the biggest sandy beaches on the whole of the Costa Brava overlooking the mendes Islands.

Hints of history in Costa Brava Image

Hints of history in Costa Brava

As you would expect from a region rich with cultural and historical heritage, the Costa Brava’s landscape is dotted with ancient medieval castles, watchtowers and villages. Many of these villages have ancient cathedrals and churches as well, many of which are believed to be constructed in the 11th and 12th century. Ancient Roman ruins in historic towns such as Sant Antoni de Calonge can be found and discover the amazing works of Salvador Dali in Cadaques. Spend time in Girona and lose yourself in a walk around the Old Town, which has spectacular monuments, a superb medieval center with old fortifications, including the western world’s largest sections of wall dating from the time of Charlemagne, one of the best preserved Jewish quarters in Spain, and the city’s 15th century Cathedral with the widest Gothic span in the world. The old city of Barcelona, known as the Barrio Gotico, full of history and culture with its old walls, beautiful monuments, and winding pedestrian streets, is fascinating and well worth exploring.

Atmospheric evenings in Costa Brava Image

Atmospheric evenings in Costa Brava

The variety of Costa Brava’s resorts provide an array of ambiances to suit you. Sample the faster pace and the lively atmosphere in Lloret de Mar with its many bars, shops, restaurants and discos streaming the long sandy beach or in contrast, take a stroll along L’ Esartit’s promenade and enjoy a fresh fish supper near the port at dusk. For quieter resorts with a slightly more upmarket feel try the atmospheric little towns of Taramiu, Begur and palafrugell, or delightful medieval Pals. All offer plenty of Catalan charisma and style just a few miles inland from the beaches. Embrace the walled city of Gironas historical ambiance, home to a few quaint Jazz bars featuring live performances or opt for a restaurant situated in front of the Cathedral for a special setting.

Weather Guide

For the Costa Brava holiday season.

Average monthly temperature and rainfall for the Costa Brava holiday season


Not to be missed...

  • Visit the Old town quarter and walled city of Girona which dates back to the Roman period.
  • Visit Marineland near Blanes, with dolphin, sea lion and parrot shows.
  • Visit the medieval villages of Pals and Peratallada.
  • Take a trip to one of two water parks, water world in Lloret de Mar or Aquabrava in Roses.
  • During the peak summer season attend Torroella de Montgrí and Peralada music festivals and watch the town come to life with music.
  • If you're a nature lover, a visit to the botanical gardens in Blanes is a must!
  • Take a trip to Barcelona for the day and shop til you drop or marvel at its fascinating history.

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Views and opinions in these reviews are solely of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of James Villa Holidays (JVH). JVH provides no assurances regarding the accuracy of the information and cannot accept liability for complaints, loss or damage resulting from the article. It does not form part of the contract made when a holiday is booked with JVH and the information provided is not intended to be a rider or replacement to the booking conditions. Reference to the service or product of a third party, is not an endorsement or recommendation and JVH accepts no liability as a result of complaints, loss or damage arising from their use.
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