Costa BravaBest Beaches in Spain
known for it's rugged coast
They call it the ‘rugged, wild coast’ in Spanish. Costa Brava is certainly spectacular.
The beautiful coastline stretches from Blanes to the south and the French border to the north. Further south is the Golden Coast (Costa Dorada).
Costa Brava offers a combination of beaches and nature. Its pleasant Mediterranean climate makes it a popular vacation destination but you can always find hidden beach coves with fewer visitors. They are further away from the urban centres but totally worth the effort to get there. In this episode of Best Beaches in Spain, Costa Brava, we will share what to expect and where exactly you can find them. Make sure to check out our map below.
Sant Pol de Mar
One of the best-kept secrets on the Costa Brava is Sant Pol de Mar. This beautiful bay with a unique dune landscape and shallow waters is ideal for families with children, especially as it has a play area for children in the Parque de las Dunas.
The beach is almost 1 km long and 25 metres wide and offers all kinds of facilities, including a nice promenade and watersports such as sailing, kayaking, windsurfing and water ski. You can also explore nearby coves and see colourful fish. The water is so clear, you might not need a mask while snorkelling.
Cala Sant Francesc, Blanes
Blanes is a charming former fishing village and is a popular beach vacation destination. It has sandy beaches with all the facilities and rocky coves known for their natural beauty.
Cala Sant Francesc, surrounded by pine trees has golden sand and calm waters. This little beach runs 220 meters long and 35 meters wide. A great place for everyone including families with children.
The centre of Blanes is 2 km away and the stunning botanical garden, Marimurta is close by. You can easily combine a walk in the gardens with a visit at Cala Bona.
Two easy ways to access it:
On foot from the centre of Blanes: take the Passeig de Carles Faust street behind the port. Walk past the Jardín Botánico Marimurtra and continue along the same street for about 500 metres. It should take you about 30 minutes.
By car: drive towards the beach resort of Lloret de Mar. About 100 metres before reaching the exit sign of Blanes, follow the sign ‘Urbanització Cala Sant Francesc’ and turn right. If there’s no free parking space left, you can use the underground car park.
Facilities include: showers, sunbeds, paddle boats, lifeguards, parking facilities and a restaurant.
Cala Sa Caleta, Lloret de Mar
Located in Sant Feliu de Guíxols, in South Costa Brava, Baix Empordà county. It is 110 meters long by 15 meters wide and can be accessed on foot or by car. It is next to the main beach of Lloret de Mar.
What is amazing about this cove, is the feeling of being transported to the Middle Ages. Look up and you will see a castle above this rocky inlet. You can enjoy the stunning natural setting, the pebbly beach and an ideal place for snorkelling.
Cala Giverola, Tossa de Mar
Cala Giverola is only one of the wonderful beaches you can find at Tossa de Mar. This beautiful cove, about 5 km from the centre, has inviting turquoise coloured water along with fine golden sand, perfect for sunbathing.
About 170 meters long with width ranging from 15 to 50 meters, Cala Giverola offers all kinds of services that will add to your pleasant day on the beach.
The services include showers and sunbeds. You can also rent kayaks and boats so you can enjoy the beautiful scenery from the sea. There is even a boat service (with a glass bottom) which takes you for a trip along the wonderful coastline. If you get hungry, head over to the restaurant with the terrace overlooking the Cala. You can also find a beach bar (aka chiringuito).
Bring along diving glasses and snorkelling equipment, and don’t forget your underwater camera! The water becomes deep quite fast and is perfect for swimming or diving. You can also climb the nearby mountain for amazing views over the Cala.
This beach is easily accessible by car and has parking too. The beautiful town of Pola-Giverola is visible from the road between Tossa de Mar and Sant Feliu.
Cala Bona, Tossa de Mar
3 km north of Tossa de Mar lies this little cove. It has a tiny beach but is perfect for swimming and snorkelling because it is shielded from winds and waves by long rocky walls. Clear, turquoise water, rocks and pine trees makes Cala Bona truly picturesque.
During the summer, you can find a beach bar with views looking over the beach and boats anchored in the bay.
If possible, it is best to get to Cala Bona by boat. However, you can walk there from the historical centre of Tossa de Mar. If you are coming from the north, you can enjoy a 15 minute walk through the forest from neighbouring Cala de Pola or Cala Giverola.
Cala Rovira, Platja d’Aro
Cala Rovira runs about 237 meters long and about 40 meters wide making it appear more of a beach instead of a cove. It has coarse sand and a steep slope as you enter the water so wearing aqua socks would be a good idea.
The archaeological remains of the Roman villa of Pla de Palol, 1st century BC – 7th century AD., are nearby. Traces of industry such as wine, oils, and cereals stores were found here and used Cala Rovira to export them abroad.
Cala Rovira offers an idyllic setting including access by car. There are plenty of facilities to enjoy a relaxing day at the beach.
Cala del Pi, Platja d’Aro
This tiny beach that is just 65 meters long and 15 wide, is paradise. Pristine, clear water and golden sand surrounded by nature makes this cove a snorkeler’s haven.
There are no amenities nearby so make sure to pack a picnic lunch including sun screen, water and snacks.
Cala San Roque, Calella de Palafrugell
Cala Sant Roc or Els Canyers (in Catalan) is a small cove formed by coarse sand and rocks, located in the residential area of Calella de Palafrugell. It is surrounded by beautiful natural cliffs and rocks.
To get to the beach, you need to walk down circular stairs from a viewpoint with an exceptional panoramic view of the bay of Calella. The old fishermen’s porticos, where boats used to be stored when there was a storm, adds to the charm.
Cala San Roque is an ideal place to relax and have a quiet time while you immerse yourself in the crystal-clear waters.
This cove is easily accessible on foot, by car, by boat or even by bus and offers shower service, a bar area along with some restaurants on the promenade.
A quiet and secluded bay in Costa Brava, Tamariu is close to the nearby inland towns of Palafrugell and Begur. Its name comes from the presence of many tamarisk shrubs (aka saltcedar) along the promenade.
Families love this unspoilt beach due to its crystal-clear waters and facilities that include showers, a diving club, a sailing club, kayaks for rent and more. If you love fresh fish, then you will enjoy visiting one of the beachside restaurants who serve the fresh catch of the day.
Cala Sa Tuna, Begur
One of the most picturesque coves of Costa Brava, takes a bit of effort to get there but well worth it. You will need to drive through a winding road to get to this remote little beach. Once there, you will see whitewashed houses splashed with colourful doors and shutters, beached boats, and terraces.
The beach has main facilities like public showers and a paid parking. Make sure you bring along some aqua socks as it is a gravel beach.
La Platgeta, L’Estartit
In the middle of Costa Brava, in L’Estartit is the hidden gem, La Platgeta (La Pletera). It is located inside the Parque Natural Ter Vell so it is a bit more difficult to access. It is part of an environmental protection programme for the recovery of natural heritage.
You can be guaranteed a day of complete relaxation because of the pure air and natural beauty. You can also go diving in the crystal-clear water or try kite-surfing.
El Pedrigolet, L’Escala
L’Escala has more than 7km of coastline so beach lovers are bound to find an ideal spot. El Pedrigolet is a unique cove and is so well-hidden that you could spend a whole day by yourself. Although located between 2 bigger beaches, Rec del Moli and Portixol, you can only get there by walking from one of the viewpoints in the surrounding area.
It is a perfect spot for snorkelling because Pedrigolet is protected from the north winds by a bay.
Located between the entry to the largest residential marina in Europe and the mouth of the Muga river, it occupies an area of 1,300 metres.
Platja de Empuriabrava was awarded the blue flag and the ‘Q’ for tourist quality, in addition to achieving European EMAS and ISO 14001 certifications.
There are many facilities available, including a children’s playground, sports courts, access for people with reduced mobility, amphibious chairs for the disabled and bars and restaurants. The sandy beach, wide promenade, and plenty of parking space, makes this a great spot for families.
So, lay back and look at the beautiful view of the Golf de Roses, including the imposing pair of Cap de Creus and Montgri Massif.
An old fishing village that’s now a summer playground for wealthy Catalans, continues to charm everyone who visits.
Take a stroll along its promenade and marvel at the luxury beachside apartments and beautiful villas.
The wide range of restaurants and bars is almost infinite: El Canadell is one of the most upmarket destinations on the Costa Brava.
The sandy El Canadell beach offers plenty of facilities within its colourful surroundings. You can easily get there by tour bus or car, with a car park nearby.
Cap de Creus
Located in one of the largest, protected, natural reserves in Catalonia, with the distinctive feature of being Catalonia’s first marine and natural reserve.
Take your time to explore the same picturesque landscape which inspired Salvador Dalí, the great Spanish artis whose home in Port Lligat is along the same coast.
Cap Creus is your perfect vacation get-away. Enjoy the beautiful turquoise water and the many rock pools around.
El Port de la Selva
Now a popular resort, Port de la Selva was once a fishing village. Lucky for all visitors, it has kept it charming, whitewashed houses, picturesque fishing port and spectacular views.
While visiting its main beach, you might be more comfortable wearing aqua socks as it is a mixture of sand and pebbles. It offers all kinds of facilities including watersports like jet skiing or parasailing, access for those with limited mobility and a car park just a few meters from the beach.
Platja del Pi, Port Bou
After crossing the French border, Platja del Pi is the first accessible beach by car. It is a lovely little cove surrounded by a beautiful natural environment of cliffs and pines. It is known for its intimate and relaxed atmosphere, making it the perfect spot for nudists and nature lovers. It is also the perfect spot for snorkelling or scuba diving.
Next to the beach there is a cave and a waterfall. Make sure you wear sensible footwear as there are some rocky areas along the way.
Now you know about some of the hidden treasures along the Costa Brava. Any destination will be worth it as long as you bring things that will make your stay more comfortable.
Below is our basic must-haves when heading to the beach. All packed in my favorite, versatile Longchamps Le Pliage Original size M bag.
Postcards from Valencia Basic Beach list:
- Lip balm
- Packable sun hat
- Scarf (act as sun protection, a beach cover-up or as a shawl on a chilly beach)
- Aqua socks
- Wet wipes
- Double-walled stainless steel water bottle filled with cold water (1 per person)
- Portable power bank (+ phone cord and wall charger)
- Travel toothbrush/toothpaste
- Bathing suit