The north of Costa Brava

Costa Brava, Catalonia

Are you looking for a fun Costa Brava beach this summer? 

Catalonia has always been a land of brilliant artists – Dalí and Gaudí. However, many are unfamiliar with the abundance of nature and hidden gems. From crystal clear water, long sandy beaches, and multi-peaked mountain ranges to glacial lakes, Catalonia has everything to fulfill nature lovers’ dreams.

The Costa Brava, Spain’s most scenic coastline, is a 200-kilometer coastline stretching from Catalonia to France. It is known worldwide for the best beaches to spend the summer. 

Here’s the complete beach list where you can enjoy a beautiful summer in the northern Costa Brava. 

Northern Costa Brava

The North of Costa Brava

Platja de Pals

Platja de Pals is one of the longest beaches on the Costa Brava, with a total length of 3.5 km. It is a beautiful beach to relax and enjoy the summer sun. The sand is a little rough for me; part of the sea starts to get deep after around 2 meters, but you can also find more kid-friendly areas. The beach has a naturist session and a dog friendly zone. 

Illes Medes

If there’s a natural gem on Costa Brava that you cannot miss, this is the Illes Medes. Situated 1 km from the L’Estartit coast and is the only marine reserve in the country. Illes Medes is an archipelago comprising seven islets: Meda Gran, Meda Xica, Carall Bernat, Tascons Grossos, el Medellot, Tascons Petits, and las Ferranelles. This location is highly appreciated by divers around the world. There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the underwater wonders, with scuba diving, snorkeling, or boat trips.

Gulf of Roses, Costa Brava, Catalonia

Gulf of Roses is a 16 km bay, ranging from L’Escala, Empúries, Sant Pere Pescador, Empuriabrava, and Roses. The coast is covered by calm and transparent water with a magnificent cliff as its backdrop. The Gulf of Roses is usually vastly outnumbered by tourists in the summer. The beaches in the bay are characterized by shallow waters, making them ideal for families and for enjoying sailing sports.

L’Escala 

L’Escala is the gateway to the Gulf of Roses. According to UNESCO, L’Escala is one of the “most beautiful bays in the world.” The Old Town is highly recommended. Visit the Paseo Maritimo that allows you to discover the cliffs of Les Planasses, the Alfoli de la Sal building, the Sant Pere parish church, and the Marine Cemetery. There are 12 beaches and coves in L’Escala, where “La Platja” and “Port de’en Perris” are the main two attraction spots. L’Escala is ideal for both adults and children. 

The ruins of Empúries

Ruines d’Empuries is located north of L’Escala and is the gateway to classical culture. The Empúries Archaeological Park is a privileged space where you can understand the evolution of Greek and Roman urban development in the Iberian Peninsula. The park has two areas: the Roman city and the Greek city. There’s an admission fee to the site; bring plenty of water, and avoid midday as the shelter is scarce at the site.  

Sant Pere Pescador

The town of Sant Pere Pescador is surrounded by the Aiguamolls Natural Park and bordered by the Fluvià River. A landscape filled with nature, which makes it the ideal holiday destination for family, children, couples, or nature lovers. The 14th-century Castle of Sant Pere is the most important medieval building in the city, so don’t miss it. Several water sports activities are available in the region, such as kayaking and sailing on the Fluvià river, windsurfing and kitesurfing at sea, or even hiking and cycling around the area.

Empuriabrava

Empuriabrava has Europe’s most significant waterways system and is one of the most important tourist destinations of Costa Brava. The residential area of Empuriabrava is built around a multi-series of canals that lead out to the Mediterranean. There are several activities to enjoy here, including skydiving, boat charter, fishing trip, butterfly park, and water park. 

Roses

Roses is an essentially Mediterranean town in Catalonia with a notable tourist and seafaring tradition. Less than 30 km away from the France border. Situated in the southern part of Cap de Creu Natural Park and the north coast of the Gulf of Roses. It is one of the must-visit vacation spots in Costa Brava from all over the world.

Cadaques Costa Brava

The Cap de Creus Natural Park

The Cap de Creus Natural Park stretches from Norfeu in Roses to Llança, Cadaqués, and Vilajuïga. Due to its breathtaking landscape and a high degree of natural biodiversity reserve, it is an excellent wild area for hiking and finding secluded beaches.

Cap Norfeu

Cap Norfeu is located in the Cap de Creus Natural Park. Cap de Creus consists of a rocky stretch of coastline that offers extraordinary landscape value, an unbeatable setting for hikers of all ages. Cala Canadell, located at the foot of Cap Norfeu, the rocky seabed, cracks, and submerged caves make it a fantastic snorkeling spot in Costa Brava, where you can see a great diversity of Mediterranean fish. 

Cadaques

Cadaqués is one of the most symbolic places in Costa Brava, which many consider the most beautiful town in Catalonia. This “postcard-perfect” village is centered in the heart of Cap de Creus Natural Park. The fairytale-like whitewashed houses in Cadaques give the town an extra romantic touch. Cadaques is also one of the essential destinations to learn about the life and work of the surrealist genius Salvador Dalí.

Cap de Creus

Cap de Creus is located in the easternmost part of the Iberian peninsula. An excellent 7 km walking trip from Cadaques. This area contains some of the most exceptional biological and geological environments. It is a magical place to spend time wondering. Walking tours and restaurants are available. 

El Port de la Selva

El Port de la Selva is a traditional fishing village that the main attraction today is the port. Since the town sits on the Cap de Creus Natural Park, where construction is prohibited. This area has remained untouched and relatively unspoiled.  The main beach is around 500 meters long and just off the promenade. 

Llançà

The municipality is wrapped by the Cap de Creus Natural Park and L’albera where the Pyrenees meet the Mediterranean. Llança is divided into the town of Llança and the port. Despite being overcrowded by tourists in the summer, it is still considered a quiet town compared to Cadaqués or Calella de Palafrugell. Llançà enveloped by spectacular rocky coves and an intense crystal blue sea, a true paradise for scuba or snorkeling divers.

Colera

Colera is home to about 300 inhabitants, 7 km from the France-Spain border. It is located between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean. In addition, the two rivers on each side of the city give a unique charm to this small village. If you expect a rich offer of tourist infrastructures, you are definitely in the wrong place. However, this is your to-go option for those seeking a peaceful and relaxing vacation. 

Portbou

Portbou border between Spain and France, currently a residence to 1200 people. The border village of Portbou remains small and definitely has one of the best unknown local beaches. The port offers a wide variety of water sports, such as sailing and canoeing. Portbou has more shops and facilities available than Colera. 

Best Hotels in Costa Brava

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