Costa Brava and Costa Dorada both share a rich Catalan history and lifestyle.
The whole region offers a wonderful mix of sea and mountains views mar i muntanya as the
Catalans call it.
The phrase also relates to a local dish, involving seafood (usually lobster) and meat.
A wide variety of Catalan dishes, many of which are based on the local fresh fish, are also available.
Cava the Spanish sparkling wine is made in this region.
There is a spectacular selection of long, sandy beaches, secluded coves, tiny bays and a wide variety of watersports on offer including waterskiing, snorkelling, pedalos and sailing.
Shooting, hunting and horse riding are popular.
There are also many golf courses in the region.
The Pyrenees are close by for skiing.
Lifestyle in Costa Brava
Hot summers and mild
winters make the Costa Brava an all-year-round resort and a sport fanatic's
paradise. With it's wide selection of long, sandy beaches, secluded coves and
tiny bays, watersports are top of the agenda.
When it comes to boating, most of the larger beaches have something and most hotels that front the beach have
access to boats of some kind. Pedalos, two seater, foot-driven vessels are the
norm and are quite cheap to hire by the hour. Banana boats are also quite
common, seating 10 or 12 people at a time. Water-skiing, although quite common,
is becoming expensive and less popular.
The clear waters of this coastline offer excellent opportunities for snorkelling especially the tiny coves that are
almost impossible to get to. By far the coast's most popular pastime is
swimming. In high season the best beaches are crowded but between towns you will
find less used beaches that are just as attractive. Most of the beaches are not
manned by lifeguards so watch the small children. There are however, many
Hunting, shooting and horse-riding are also popular within Catalunia as is fishing.
When it comes to golf, Girona Province offers three main golf courses: Club de Golf de Pals has 18 holes near Begur. Club de Golf
Costa Brava near Santa Cristina d'Aro has 18 holes. Reial Club de Golf de la Cerdanya is near the French border, another good 18 hole course.
Attractions in Costa Brava
The Costa Brava is
known as Spain's sunny 'wild coast'. It is lined with rugged cliffs, sandy
inlets and bustling holiday resorts.
Here you will find long crescents of sand and shingle and the long beaches of the main resorts where all manners of
watersports can be found. Estartit is great for scuba diving. There is a crammed
marina here, filled with luxury yachts and one of the best sandy beaches on this
part of the coast.
Every resort along this stretch of coast has it's own character and Tossa de Mar is no exception. Here are British-style pubs, late
night clubs and lively bars. The town of Tossa de Mar also has narrow, twisting
streets dating back to the 12th century.
Away from the coast you will find a very different Spain. Here you are within Catalonia an area with it's own
ancient language, traditions and ambience. A distant backdrop of snow-capped
mountains lies behind almond groves and orchards and green, rolling hillsides.
Visit the vibrant city of Barcelona. The climate here is a little milder than
that of southern Spain which makes it an ideal resort for families with
12km south-west of the city is Barcelona International Airport, El
Prat de Llobregat. Capital of the region of Catalonia and 2nd largest city in
Spain, located at the edge of the Mediterranean Sea on the Costa Dorada. A truly
Barcelona is Spain's major commercial and industrial centre
and one of the most important European ports. Over the centuries Barcelona has
grown and is now made up of five towns, not including the original city. You do
not have to look far in Barcelona to see a monument or an attractive structure.
They are everywhere. Despite having a population of over 3 million, Barcelona is
a surprisingly easy place to find your way round. Most places of historic
interest are to be found in the confines of the old town, which is a maze of
narrow streets, easy to navigate by foot.
The old town spreads northwest from the harbour and at its heart is the Barri Gotic, the
medieval nucleus of the city where you will find the Cathedral and several of
the major museums. At the western edge you will find the Ramblas, a series of
five, short, lively streets that combine to make a broad avenue. You are likely
to arrive here from the airport or the train.
The Ramblas is a highlight to any trip to Barcelona and is lined with cafes, shops and restaurants as well as
being the location for several important buildings and monuments. Above all, it
is the street atmosphere that attracts visitors. At the southern end of the
Ramblas lies the harbour. West of the Ramblas lies the Barrio Chino (China Town)
with it's warren of winding streets. The medieval streets continue on either
side of the Ramblas, reaching northeast through the Barri Gotic, past the Museo
Picasso and southwest to the fortress-topped hill of Montjuic where the city's
best museums and the Olympic stadium are located. A cable car runs from here to
the waterfront area east of the harbour, an area where some of the best seafood
restaurants can be found. The old town still consists of a group of
neighbourhoods that were at one time, separate parishes. Each has it's own
Among the things to watch for in the old town is the Placa de Catalunya, a large square with gardens, fountains and seats. Most of
the buses and trains converge here and it is here you will find most of the main
banks and stores. The street that leads off to the west is home to the Museu de
l'Erotica, which houses a large private collection of erotic art and artefacts.
Placa del Angels is the home to the Museum of Contemporary Art. The Palau Moja
dates from the 18th century and is sometimes open for visits. Another palace
that commands a visit is the Palau de la Virreina an 18th century building that
has been well restored. Inside, the rooms display wonderful examples of period
decorative art as well as a collection of coins and other temporary displays.
Just beyond this palace is the Rambla Sant Josep where you will find a profusion
of flower stalls and the large indoor market hall. Barcelona's celebrated opera
house the Gran Teatre del Liceu is also located here. The theatre burned down
for the third time in 1994 when workmen set fire to scenery during last minute
preparations for a show. Barcelona also has a zoo, an aquarium and a nearby
The harbour and Port Vell In recent years the harbour area has undergone dramatic reformations and the area now combines high-class restaurants
with trendy clubs and bars. Along the promenade you will find a monument to
Columbus and several beautiful buildings including the Port Office. West of this
you will find the cable-car station and the port from which the ferries sail to
the Balearics. A swing bridge and a series of walkways lead from here, across
the harbour to the new development of Port Vell (Old Port). Here you will find
fast food, a leisure complex, cinemas and ample bars as well as the aquarium.
Antoni Gaudi and his works Much of his early career was spent constructing
elaborate follies for wealthy people. One of the most important was Don Eusebio
Guell, an industrialist and ship owner. In 1885 he commissioned the Palau Guell.
This was the first modern building to be declared a world heritage site by
UNESCO. The palace is now a museum and worthy of a visit. Visit Park Guell to
see more of Gaudi's works. Gaudi however will be best remembered for the part he
played in the construction of La Sagrada Familia, which has now become a symbol
of the city.
Besides it's historic and cultural attraction, Barcelona
boasts a beach that over recent years has undergone vast improvement. The beach
is now furnished with walkways, bars, cafes and showers. It can become packed in
July and August.
Pineda de Mar is located in Costa del Maresme and has maintained more
of it's original character than other nearby resorts. The pace here is very
relaxing and revolves around three main squares. The coarse, sandy beach is
reached by means of several subways that run under the railway line. There may
not be such a wide variety of bars here but it is made up for by the wide range
of restaurants that offer both Spanish and International cuisine.
Malgrat is also technically on the Costa del Maresme and it is a typical Catalan town that
boasts a good weekly market. Located 3km from Pineda. Ceramics and leather are
in abundance in the shopping centre, all at good prices. The beach is long and
shelves steeply into the sea. It has a long promenade.
Calella, 5km south of Lloret de Mar has a beach nearly 3km long with a watersports centre and a sports
centre. The resort has a vibrant nightlife and a wide selection of bars and
restaurants. Close by is the resort of Blanes, the most southerly of the resorts
on the Costa Brava. Here you will find a holiday with a more Spanish flavour and
the nightclubs are as popular with the residents as the holiday makers. Lloret
de Mar lies at the heart of the Costa Brava and is one of Spain's trendiest
resorts. The beach here consists of coarse, golden sand and shingle and shelves
quite steeply into the sea. The beach offers windsurfing and sailing in the
summer months. The beautiful seafront promenade is lined with tall palms.