With glorious stretches of unspoiled coastline, rugged landscapes and glittering seas – and an easy flight from Britain – it’s easy to see why many timeshare owners fall head over heels for the Costa Brava, returning summer after summer.
Home to some charming resorts, breathtaking Blue Flag beaches and exceptional food, there’s plenty for everyone to enjoy. And if you’ve never been to this particular part of Spain, here is our 60-second guide to the Costa Brava.
Know Before You Go:
Flight time: Two hours to Girona or Barcelona
Emergency numbers/contacts: medical, fire and police: 112. Local police: 092 British Consulate in Barcelona: Avenida Diagonal 477, 13a Planta, 08036 Barcelona (00 34 902 109356 or 00 34 913 342194
When to Go:
Happily, you’re pretty much guaranteed sun here year-round although temperatures do dip over winter. Nevertheless, even from February to April and October to November, the weather is generally pleasant with considerably more sunshine than we get in Britain. May, June or September are the best months to visit if you don’t have to abide by school holidays, when the temperatures are sizzling, but the beaches are slightly less crowded.
What to Expect:
The Costas are beautifully wild and rugged in certain areas, yet pristinely manicured in others. Sun worshippers will also be pleased to know that these shores are home to some of the best Blue Flag beaches in Europe, as well as secluded smugglers’ coves.
If it’s a luxe break you’re looking for, there is a wide variety of top class restaurants and if you’re a foodie and head to Catalonia you’ll be delighted to find the highest concentration of Michelin-starred chefs’ eateries in Spain, as well as excellent local wines.
For culture lovers, there’s also plenty to see and do. This is Dalí country and there are three main museums – including the painter’s original home at Cadaqués – which are all devoted to the artist.
Local Laws and Etiquette:
When it comes to tipping in restaurants or taxis, it’s normally recommended that you leave around five per cent, although bars and cafes don’t usually expect tips.
It’s often handy to keep your passport on you at all times as some of the shops here will ask to see it if you’re paying by credit card. It’s always wise to travel with health insurance of course, but if you decide to skip medical coverage, at least apply for a European Health Insurance Card before travelling, if you don’t already have one.
If you love the outdoors, head for a long walk on the Camino de Ronda, or if you’re more in the mood for a gentle stroll around town, don’t miss the Vila Vella (Old Town) in Tossa del Mar. It’s an enchanting village surrounded by the old castle walls, with plenty of cafes and little boutiques to pass the afternoon in, until the sun sets and it’s time to seek out a cosy place for tapas or dinner by candlelight.