Costa Brava. Jase Wilson Costa Brava. Jase Wilson

An alternative Costa Brava


An alternative Costa Brava

From the north to the south, explore 10 typical towns with some very atypical features that you may not have heard of.

Beyond the landscapes and routes that appear in all the guides, the Costa Brava is a colour palette full of varied nuances, where its towns are unique paradises with hidden spots that you may not have heard of, away from the traditional tourist routes.

Portbou Josep Roca

Portbou. Josep Roca. Arxiu Imatges PTCBG

Located in the north, on the border with France. If you are a lover of true crime, especially the Catalan crime series Crims (Crimes), you should know that the pine tree in the episode La Noia de Portbou (The girl from Portbou) is here, near the cemetery where the remains of Walter Benjamin are found, the German thinker who lost his life in strange circumstances and to whom they have dedicated an escape town.

Peralada Joan Divi

Peralada. Joan Diví. Arxiu Imatges PTCBG

Away from the coast, in the southernmost north of the region, in this small town stands the majestic Peralada Castle, where the well-known International Music Festival is held. It is also the land of wines and wineries and we recommend that you take a walk through the Albera mountain range and enjoy a picnic among the vineyards.

Llanca Diego Espada

Llançà. Diego Espada. Arxiu Imatges PTCBG

To the south of Portbou, you will find this quintessential fishing village, where life is enjoyed all year round. Among its more unusual charms, you will discover the Borró nudist beach. Located on Cape Ras, in a natural area of fine golden sand, it has great ecological value and is a magical place to bathe as naked as the day you were born!

Santa Creu de Rodes Jordi Renart

Santa Creu de Rodes. Jordi Renart. Arxiu Imatges PTCBG

Further south, a short distance away from the picture-perfect landscapes, in the middle of the mountains you will find the Monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes. It is the perfect place for a spiritual retreat for both body and mind.

Cadaques Jordi Renart

Cadaqués. Jordi Renart. Arxiu Imatges PTCBG

We continue down towards the Cap de Creus Natural Park, a landscape of great biological and geological importance, and which forms part of the municipality of Cadaqués. It is also where the locals meet on January 1 to enjoy xurros and hot chocolate, and to watch the first rays of sunlight from the restaurant there, which has an extensive menu, as well as for groups, and includes three cosy rustic apartments, ideal for couples or families who want to enjoy the Cap de Creus experience to the full.

Calela de Palafrugell Pep Iglesias

Palafrugell. Pep Iglesias. Arxiu Imatges PTCBG

This charming town is known for the singing of theHabaneras and the cremat (a drink with rum, sugar, coffee, lemon and cinnamon that is set alight). If you would like to see the first place where these get togethers were held, stand in front of the Can Batlle tavern (now closed), on Carrer de Les Voltes and imagine a group of locals there, singing and drinking rum.

Sa Tuna Begur Francesc Tur

Sa Tuna, Begur. Francesc Tur. Arxiu Imatges PTCBG

Famous for its pastel-coloured houses, its medieval castle and its crystalline Mediterranean coves which feature in dozens of adverts and films. We offer an alternative to escape from the crowds without missing out on the spectacular sunset: Red Island beach (Platja de lIlla Roja).

Pals Lola Akinmade

Pals. Lola Akinmade. Arxiu Imatges PTCBG

It is one of the most charming medieval towns in the world: cobblestone streets, stone houses and a beautiful Gothic church. To discover its most traditional dish, rice, we suggest a guided tour among the rice fields and vineyards. Forget about rushing around, because this is a slow destination that should be cooked over a low heat. 

Estartit Toni Murray

L’Estartit, Torroella de Montgrí. Toni Murray. Arxiu Imatges PTCBG

What almost no one knows about Torroella is that, here, aside from its spectacular castle, you can also enjoy one of the most stunning sunrises in the entire region, with views of L’Estartit and the Medes Islands, the finest marine reserve in all of Europe, where you can learn to  scuba dive while looking after the environment. 

Tossa de Mar Jordi Renart

Tossa de Mar. Jordi Renart. Arxiu Imatges PTCBG

In addition to being the town where Orson Welles filmed Pandora with Ava Gardner, it is said that in medieval times there was a community of witches who met on the beach (Cala Bona)  to perform rituals, spells and other dark arts. 

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