Destination of the Week: Costa Brava
Catalonia’s favourite playground, the Costa Brava, is justifiably at the top of the list for UK holiday-makers. The region combines quaint fishing villages, spectacular landscapes, unspoiled coves, sunny beaches and trendy clubs to create an ideal getaway destination.
If you can tear yourself away from the ocean for a touch of culture and history, the countryside offers stone villages, monasteries, medieval towns and the famous Dali Theatre Museum. The only problem with the Costa Brava is, once you’ve been, you might be forced to return… year after year!
What to do
First on the holiday hit list is visiting the Costa Brava’s beautiful beaches, to find your favourite for lazy days in the sun. The golden sands of Lloret de Mar’s 5 beaches are the firm favourite, with water sports, bars, lifeguards and sunbeds. Tossa de Mar’s pristine beaches are lined with restaurants, providing a fashionable haven for sun-seekers. Platja d’Aro is a cosmopolitan beach-side town with idyllic bays and leisure facilities. Then, there’s the waterparks for the young and young at heart.
When it’s time for a break from the sun, visit the Dali Theatre Museum in Figueres to witness the birthplace of the artist and his surreal architecture. Discover the Iberian village in Ullastret, the castle in Tossa de Mar, the old town in Pals and the monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes.
Divers from around the world immerse themselves in the underwater magic surrounding Illes Medes, which is one of the Mediterranean’s foremost flora and fauna reservations. When the sun sets, pull up a chair at a beachside restaurant or hit the clubs with the night owls in Lloret de Mar.
Where to stay
The Costa Brava caters for all budgets with accommodation, so the main problem is deciding where to stay. For action, adventure, beaches and nature combined, Lloret de Mar and Platja d A’ro tick all the boxes.
The Hotel & Spa Cala de Pi (£££)
With direct access to Platja d’Aro’s Cala de Pi Beach, The Hotel & Spa Cala de Pi is a luxury choice with a sublime location. The hotel offers an indoor pool, waterfalls, a Finnish sauna and a Turkish Bath, just in case you don’t already have enough to do!
Evenia Olympic Resort (££)
If you’re taking the family to Lloret de Mar, the Evenia Olympic Resort has plenty of facilities to keep the kids happy. There’s 6 swimming pools, water slides and entertainment programmes, along with a fitness centre, squash courts, a hot tub and a sauna.
Mary is a fantastically priced hotel, right in the centre of Lloret de Mar, near the beach and transport links. There’s a restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, internet access and rooms with balconies, air conditioning and satellite TVs.
Where to eat
El Celler de Can Roca (£££)
You get to visit one of the most famous restaurants in the world, when you’re in the Costa Brava. El Celler de Can Roca topped 2015′s World’s 50 Best Restaurants list and is situated near Girona, in a refurbished country house. You need to make a booking nearly a year in advance, but, if you get in, you can try magnificent Catalan dishes, complemented by an outstanding wine list.
La Cantina (££)
Located on Lloret de Mar’s Sa Caleta beach, La Cantina not only offers sea views, but it has a bar, a lounge, a terrace and even a chill out zone! The well-priced menu offers international cuisine, seasonal dishes and tasting tapas, plus, you can wash it all down with cocktails and wine.
El Reno (£)
When you’ve been out on the town in Lloret de Mar, you can satisfy your hunger at any time, at the 24-hour El Reno restaurant. Best of all, they sell the perfect food for late night hunger attacks, including grilled meats, pizza and pasta, at cheap prices.