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.
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.