Charming seaside villages, blue-green coves and heavenly seafood – Spain’s Costa Brava is a summer delight. From famed art to restaurants, here are a few of the sights and experiences to try on your next trip along the “Wild Coast.” Time to get planning!
If you’ve arrived in Spain via Barcelona, chances are you’ve already seen some of the surrealist works the Catalan region is known for – Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, Casa Battló and Casa Milà are among the city’s most iconic landmarks. A couple of hours to the north, it’s another surrealist painter, Salvador Dalí, that’s in the spotlight – in the small fishing village of Portlligat. Opened to the public in 1997, the Salvador Dalí House was the artist’s home and studio for most of his adult life. As fascinating and eccentric as Dalí’s painted work, the well-preserved house and gardens feature drawings, sculptures and furniture. For a chance to see some of Dalí’s more celebrated paintings, plan a separate stop at the excellent Dalí Theatro-Museum in Figueres.
Dine on Fresh Coastal Cuisine
From affordable family-run bistros to one of the best restaurants on the planet, the Costa Brava is a foodie paradise. At the high end lies El Cellar de Can Roca – an avant-garde, three-Michelin-star restaurant run by the Roca brothers. Named the “Best Restaurant in the World” by Restaurant Magazine in 2013, tables at this 55-seat Girona restaurant are nearly impossible to obtain, booking up eleven months in advance! Not much of a forward planner? Try your luck on the waiting list and aim for a mid-week meal to up your chances. Of course, even if you don’t wind up with a coveted El Cellar table, the Costa Brava’s many other restaurants are sure to please with their fresh Mediterranean flavors. Try the delicious suquet de peix (fish stew), one of the region’s signature dishes, featuring local shrimp, mussels, and tomatoes.
Shimmering blue-green and crystal clear, the Mediterranean Sea is the main draw for most Costa Brava travelers. And while the beaches are far from a well-kept secret, it’s still possible to enjoy a peaceful dip in the many small coves or calas that dot this rugged coastline. Rent a car and explore the coast at your leisure – from wide golden sandy beaches to the tiniest of pebbled coves, there are endless places to enjoy a dip or soak up the sun. At their most crowded during the popular July-August vacation months, the beaches are just as appealing in June or September. For a swim with a view, it’s hard to beat Sa Caleta cove in Lloret de Mar – a small stretch of sand overlooked by the medieval Saint Joan’s Castle.
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