If you are on vacation in Barcelona and want to include paradise on earth into your itinerary, then Costa Brava is the answer.
Catalonia has been blessed with a magnificent stretch of about 200 km, with heavenly beaches, small bays, rugged relief, and colorful cities where people enjoy a peaceful life on the shores of the Mediterranean.
Most tourists are starting the road trip in Barcelona and going up to Costa Brava, but in my case, things were a little different. From Barcelona, we went to Andorra for a day, and from there, we went back to Barcelona on the route that includes the Costa Brava.
In only one day, I visited 3 gorgeous towns on the northeast coast of Spain.
Many of the cities in Costa Brava are in quite isolated areas, where public transportation arrives harder. Therefore, the best choice of travel remains a personal or rented car.
Especially since the distances are not extremely long, and there will be many spontaneous stops on the side of the road to admire the scenery.
3 beautiful towns to visit in Costa Brava
I will start by telling you about the most farther town, of the three, from Barcelona, considering that our route was from North to South.
Cadaques is a very small town, with about 3000 inhabitants, with houses painted in white and accented with blue around the windows, with many colorful flowers that remind me of the Greek islands, with cobbled, narrow and twisted streets. In short, Cadaques is a fairytale town.
A town where many artists found their inspiration and were attracted by the charm of these places. The result: they either moved here, choosing to spend the rest of their lives on these lands, or they spent only a chunk of their life on the streets of Cadaques.
One of the most iconic artists who irrevocably fell in love with the small settlement in northern Catalonia was the painter Salvador Dalí, whose house has been transformed into a museum worth visiting.
Also, on the promenade near the sea, you will find a statue of him, which seems to watch over the small bay to which the city has an opening.
Even nowadays, the artists are presenting their works in the boutiques in Cadaques. Hand made objects are in high demand here, and I recommend you check them out.
Cadaques proudly wears the title of the most eastern city of Spain. Therefore, besides the joy of seeing some spectacular places, you get to add one of the country’s extremities to your itinerary. One more reason to include the city on the itinerary for Costa Brava.
85 km further south, and you will reach Palamos, a town a little bigger but less bohemian than Cadaques. A place especially appreciated for water sports that are practiced frequently in these places: swimming, scuba diving, kayaking, jet-skiing, surfing, fishing, and long boat trips.
Palamos reminds of Cannes in France. At least at first glance. Maybe because of the promenade shaded by tall trees, parallel to the Mediterranean waves, maybe due to the beaches with fine sand, different from those with the pebbles you find in Cadaques, maybe due to the endless holiday atmosphere.
Talking about beaches with fine sand. If you arrive here and have some more time to spend, then you should go to Cala Estreta and Fosca beaches. They are the most appreciated in the area.
Also, Palamos has a Fishing Museum, extremely interesting and worth visiting, but also a historical center full of old houses and beautiful architecture.
Mirador Tosa de Mar
Bonus! On the way to the last town on the list, you will reach a point where the scenery will make you want to stop and admire it. It’s a beautiful view towards Tosa de Mar, a small settlement, placed in a dreamy setting. Put on the map Mirador Tosa de Mar, and you will not regret!
Lloret de Mar
There is only 75 km to Barcelona, and it is time to make the last stop. We’ll stop in Lloret de Mar, a vibrant, colorful, cheerful, and noisy city. Perhaps the most lively in Costa Brava.
A shopping heaven, being riddled with shops with all kinds of goods and products, mostly kitsch, if you ask me.
If in general Costa Brava is not famous for wide beaches, the beach of Lloret de Mar breaks the rules and welcomes us with a patch of sand of 1500 meters long.
Crowds and urban beaches are not exactly on your bucket list? Then go to Cala Boadella or Santa Cristina Beach, where you will find a more wild landscape and a slightly more airy atmosphere.
With a population about 10 times larger than Cadaques, you can not expect here the peace you find in the city with white houses. On the contrary.
Lloret de Mar is a lively resort, and the fun is maximum after dark, when the music is loud in the clubs and when the casinos open their doors for those who feel lucky.
Don’t leave Lloret de Mar without tasting a delicious paella and a refreshing sangria. And if you have the time for some tourist attractions of the place, add on the top of the list the church of Sant Roma.
Of course, there are other cities on the coast of Catalonia, but these 3seemed to be the most beautiful of those I visited, and I recommend to anyone who wants to spend unforgettable moments in these places.