Costa Brava Holidays

Culture and sun by the coast

Costa Brava might mean 'wild coast’, but there’s nothing crazy about picking this dreamy, beach-filled sunspot for a holiday. The region lies in the northeast of Catalonia in Spain, right up to the French border. Traditional Catalan influences run throughout, making Costa Brava holidays an enticing mix of rich culture – its picturesque coastline has provided inspiration for generations of painters and thinkers over the centuries – and classic sun-and-sea pursuits.

First and foremost the Costa Brava is all about relaxing, and its sandy beaches are a huge draw. Days can be spent simply enjoying the sunshine, eating tapas and sipping Spanish wine by the sea, while adventure-seekers can get to know what lies beneath the ocean, too – the Costa Brava is celebrated for its marine life, and divers are spoilt for choice when it comes to spotting sealife.

Not all holidays to Costa Brava need to just zone in on the beach, though. The cities of Girona and Barcelona are an easy drive away, both of which are enticing destinations in their own right. In Girona, spend a day in Figueres discovering the life and works of Salvador Dali, the eccentric surrealist painter who lived and died there, or potter around Barcelona’s many world-class museums and galleries.

Three tips for a top trip

Hire a car
While there are bus routes running through all the region’s towns, a faster way to get around – and to explore more nooks and crannies along the coast – is to rent a car.
Book dinner in advance
The Costa Brava is incredibly popular during the summer months, and with good reason. This means restaurants can get booked up quickly, so do plan ahead.
Take a boat trip
A great way to experience the beauty of the rugged coastline is by boat. Take your pick of catamaran rides, motorboat cruises and other excursions on offer from many ports.

Best attractions to see in Costa Brava

Salvador Dali’s legacy

Surrealist painter Salvador Dali was born, and died, in Figueres, here in Costa Brava. Admire some of his best work in the zany, Dali-designed Teatro Museo.

Cathedral of Girona

There are cathedrals, and then there is the Placa de la Catedral. This towering Gothic building dates back to the 5th century – learn all about it in the museum.

Jardin Botanico Marmurta

With more than 4,000 plant species, this extraordinary botanical garden by the sea is well worth a trip. Admire the exotic specimens or simply enjoy the panoramic coastal views.

Your Costa Brava questions, answered

Here in Spain’s Catalonia region, Catalan is the Costa Brava’s native tongue. But many locals are fluent in Spanish, and often French and English, too.

Catalan history and culture are deeply entwined in the region’s cuisine. Dishes such as paella and fish dominate, while French influences are found in seasonings and flavours.

For classic beach holidays, the best time to visit is during the hotter months of June, July and August. May and September are also warm, and you’ll avoid the summer crowds.