There are questions to answer, perhaps because you don't want to or don't know what to say. But to the question of why move to the Costa Brava, the answers may be alone with others. Its historical heritage, its rich gastronomy, an enormous amount of formidable beaches, its festivals and, above all, represent as no essence of the Mediterranean that Serrat sang to the world, are some of them. On Calella de Palafrugell, the round roads, a succulent aperitif in Cadaqués, the ancient sculpture of Asclepius over the ruins of Ampurias and a toast to the sea in Cap de Creus with the fall of the sun. Ajar and romances windows in which the breeze intervenes, nights of passion, the laughter of Dalí. The land of the eternal summer capable of fully engaging in the happiness of those who reach it.
There are many reasons to move to the Costa Brava. So much that the really complicated thing is not to finish this article without succumbing to the temptation to find your perfect home.
Why move to the Costa Brava?
A destination well connected, full of proposals and for all types of people
Reaching the small Mediterranean paradise of Costa Brava could not be easier. The communications of the region are exceptional. Girona
International Airport, it is a stone's throw from many things, but it is that Barcelona of the Costa Brava too. Not to mention the high-speed train that leaves just over three hours the possibility of arriving from Madrid (from Barcelona it is only three-quarters of an hour). It also has good highways for those who wish to use them.
Costa Brava is a destination for all types of people. For those who seek calm in coves of postcard and dance until the wee hours in festivals with the most pomegranate of the music scene. For lovers of active tourism, good palates and families with children. For aspiring Indiana Jones and collectors of the best Romanesque. For those who get carried away by improvisation. For people who like to go with everything organized and dedicate themselves solely to enjoy.
Beaches and coves of an authentic postcard in a privileged coastline
The Costa Brava has a strip of coastline of about 214 kilometers distributed in three Catalan regions such as Alto Ampurdán (in Catalan Alt Empordà with destinations such as Cadaqués, Rosas, Peralada, Castelló d'Empuries or Portbou), El Bajo Ampurdán (Baix Empordà with destinations such as Platja d'Aro, Begur, Pals or Peratallada) and La Selva (with classics such as Tossa de Mar, Blanes or Lloret de Mar). From there the difficult thing is to choose, if one next to some medieval walls such as in Tossa de Mar, one in the middle of town like, which is one of our favorites, in Calella de Palafrugell or, in short, some of the 29 flags Blues awarded in 2019 to this fabulous enclave of Catalonia.
Spectacular are many, but take note of some that are beautiful:
Illa Roja in Begur, Cala Pola in Tossa de Mar, Cala S’Alguer in Palamós, the Mar Maruda, Sa Boadella… There are many, too many, but these we assure you will not disappoint you. And those that you discover in your walk along the Costa Brava.
An endless collection of medieval villas and fairytale villages
Many of the villas and towns more beautiful medieval of Catalonia and, of course, all of Spain, have as a backdrop to this territory, both on the seafront and inland, because what is known as Costa Brava -Pirineu de Girona goes far beyond the pure coastline. Girona itself, without going any further, has a wonderful historical centre, so much so that multiple scenes from the acclaimed Game of Thrones series were shot. Besalú and its Jewish quarter, the towns trapped in time in the region of La Garrotxa, which has no sea but does have a large number of volcanoes, Castelló d'Empuries (the 15th century facade of the Basilica of Santa Maria is a masterpiece ) and a long thread to pull and that seems to have no end.
In the Bajo Ampurdán, there is a medieval town that no one should miss, Peratallada, an authentic time machine embraced by its ancient walls. Nearby are Pals or Monells, this last stage of much of the movie "Eight Catalan surnames" starring Dani Rovira. Larger and with a castle next to the beach in Tossa de Mar to return us back to the Mediterranean during a trip of many stops.
Door and port of ancient Mediterranean civilizations
In addition to being the pure essence of the Mediterranean, the area has been a historical and natural gateway to important civilizations, which has allowed archaeologically speaking, the Costa Brava is an inexhaustible treasure. The most important ruins are, without a doubt, those of Ampurias (in Empúries Catalan), born with the arrival of Greek navigators who built a commercial city of great importance there, although later it would be enlarged by the Romans. We talk about a city of 26 centuries of history!
Coetáneas are the ruins of Ullastret, a huge Iberian settlement located in the Lower Ampurdán (not far from Peratallada). The whole of Ullastret is, in turn, composed of two Iberian towns, those of Puig de Sant Andreu being visible, with, among other things, a wall of the period in which no less than six circular towers survive.
Amazing corners of nature set the framework for this territory
The Costa Brava is named that way because it is in an abrupt territory. It is not, much less, a simple plain but the steep mountains abound, multiple rock formations that shelter fabulous coves and, more inland, even volcanoes like those that arise in the region of La Garrotxa. Perhaps the best example of not too uniform terrain is the Cap de Creus, an absolutely recognizable and, in turn, wild postcard, of what is the most eastern natural space of the Iberian Peninsula. Driving to the lighthouse is a real sight.
The beaches are, of course, part of this splendour of nature that measures the same in Mediterranean forests as in ancient beech forests such as Fageda d’en Jordà.
Paradise of gastronomy and wine tourism
To talk about the Costa Brava is to talk about an exceptional kitchen that has crossed all the borders and broken all possible records. Innovative, but without forgetting the recipes of yesteryear and the best product on earth, you can boast about collecting about twenty Michelin stars (in 16 restaurants) and turning any tasting into a show that goes beyond even the food itself. It has provided the scenario of those who for years were proclaimed the best restaurants in the world such as the extinct "El Bulli" of Adrià or "El celler de Can Roca" but, we can assure you, that far beyond that constellation of stars there is a number of incredible sites, and also affordable, in which to realize how well you eat in this part of Catalonia.
On the other hand, the development of wine tourism is going at high speed. With the DO Empordà, it is possible to provide a route with more than 40 wineries that can be visited both in the Bajo and Alto Ampurdán.
The centre of the Dalí universe
The genius of Salvador Dalí is that neither painted to the Costa Brava, the real muse of Figueras, the workshop that inspired him the most. In his house in Portbou, north of the white of Cadaqués, and with permanent views of his beloved Mediterranean, he found a kind of laboratory of good ideas where creativity became a blessed routine. It remains as it was after his death in the winter of 1989 as a house-museum that closely follows the cluster of eccentricities of the surrealist author. It is one of the points of the well-known as Dalí Triangle, that in the highly recommended museum of Figueras or in the castle of Púbol, where it rests next to its inseparable Gala, the followers of the Catalan artist find their inexplicable essence.
Active tourism proposals
Adrenaline plays a crucial role in creating a territory that can capitalize on all possible active tourism proposals. Parachute jump in Empuriabrava or even that prodigy called wind tunnel. Kayaking the good both on the coast and in the indoor bathrooms. Canyoning, climbing, via Ferrata or mountain bike following old railway tracks. Diving, snorkelling or sailing. And hiking, a lot of hiking, because the network of roads to walk kilometres and more kilometres in fabulous places is endless.
For calmer trekking, we are fascinated by the possibilities offered by the round road (or camí de Ronda), a long path that borders the steep Costa Brava from the border with France that the Civil Guard once travelled to fight contraband. Currently, the uses have changed and the round roads allow you to hike flooded with the best views and, in turn, access the most remote and wild coves.
Land of festivals and good music
Some time ago I talked about the facet of the Costa Brava as pure festive territory. There can be almost a hundred festivals every year in more than 300 different stages, including castles by the sea, and more than a thousand different performances with artists of substance, not only national but also international. Some of the most recommended festivals are those of Cap Roig, Peralada or the Girona Tempo sota les estrellas. But there are for all tastes (and with pleasure). Age is no excuse, at all, to enjoy a good concert.
What we like good Romanesque! And in this land, in which the medieval has so much weight in a well-preserved historical-artistic heritage, there is Romanesque to give and take. Alleged austerity with apocalyptic messages in capitals that are locked like branches in cloisters where the passage of the monks still seems to be heard. Perhaps the most spectacular monastery of all, both for the building itself and for the risky location on a promontory from which the sea is guessed, is Sant Pere de Rodes.
Another surprise worthy of praise is Santa María de Vilabertrán, very close to Peralada, where the humility of a small cloister demonstrates the greatness of the Romanesque in this part of Catalonia. But there are many cenobios and churches where this artistic style adds not a few adherents.