BARCELONA TO COSTA BRAVA GUIDE
Day trips from Barcelona to Costa Brava. Here's a quick guide to explore.
Barcelona to Costa Brava guide
The Costa Brava is the coastal area from inland Girona. It starts in the south with Blanes and goes up to the border with France. The last town on the Costa Brava being Porbou.
The name 'Costa Brava' came from a famous journalist Ferran-Agullo. It was named in the village of Sant Feliu de Guíxols, just over the hill, where our tours take place. In his journal, he wanted to describe the coastal area with its cliffs and rocky areas and he described it in exactly that way "Costa Brava". Costa means coast and Brava means 'rugged'. This then appeared in a published magazine at the beginning of the 20th Century and little by little naming the area "Costa Brava" gained popularity.
This name, for one of the most aesthetically pleasing coastlines in Spain became official in 1965.
There are 24 towns along the coastline and it is undoubtedly one of the easiest and most beautiful areas to visit on a short weekend trip to Barcelona.
Because we want you live your best life, we're going to share some advice and tips of our favourite things you can try or places you can visit during your holiday in Spain, including how to visit taking the train, bus or by renting a car.
15 wonders of the Costa Brava
Beaches you can visit from Barcelona to Costa Brava
You can discover many beaches and coves on the coast of Spain, of great beauty. So if you're feeling like a day trip from Barcelona to the Costa Brava it's a must to visit a beach!
Let yourself fall in love with the landscapes of the Costa Brava, come on a tour with us and we'll show you landscapes only accessible from the sea in our area. Many of the most beautiful photo opportunities can be seen from a kayak.
Costa Brava coastal paths
There is a famous walk along the coast called "caminos de ronda". It is possible to travel a large part of the coast along the coastal paths. Coastal paths, as they sound, are paths that run along the coastline as close to the coast as possible. You will see impressive landscapes, seascapes and views while enjoying the feeling of a gentle breeze and the warm sun on your face.
Gastronomy, eat local, eat fresh
You will be able to discover the splendour and delight of Mediterranean gastronomy. Many of the towns and villages have typical and unique Catalan dishes that you can only taste in this part of Spain. Most of the ingredients are locally sourced and that includes seafood caught on the day to add to an exceptional menu of fresh, deliciously mouthwatering dishes.
The most symbolic towns of the Costa Brava
There are many villages in the Costa Brava, following the coastline from Barcelona towards France. We especially recommend the symbolic towns of Cadaqués - the town of the well-known Salvador Dalí. We also recommend other towns such as Calella de Palafrugell, and Tossa de Mar for their beauty and charismatic character.
There are many towns and villages with a long history, significant contributions or sites of past wars, revolutions and progression. Catalonia is around 1000 years old so if you like history, we recommend you visit the old town of Pals or Castelló d'Empuries as well as many other charming villages on the coast. You'll find medieval buildings, ruins and battlegrounds.
Barcelona to Costa Brava water sports
Going from Barcelona to Costa Brava is an ideal way to practice water sports especially during spring and summer, you will find many companies that offer water sports services such as paddle boarding, kayaking, windsurfing, you can rent boats and try sailing, practice jet-ski, the possibilities are infinite and luckily for you, that's what we do, so get in touch and if we can't provide exactly what you're looking for, our friends over at the school of water-sports probably can.
Ski in Costa Brava
The Costa Brava is not only sun and beach, but you can also ski if you feel like it, as it also has several ski resorts, only available in the winter season.. Among the best known are Vallter 2000, La Molina and La Masella.
From Barcelona to Costa Brava to play golf?! It's an excellent area to play due to its mild climate. You can practice golf all year round with a number of spectacular courses to choose from.
Enogastronomy - food and wine tourism
If you like wine, you can discover many D.O Empordà wines. This is an area building on traditional methods in winemaking since Roman times. All of the wonderful restaurants and bars on the coast will be stocked with locally sourced fresh fish, produce and most importantly, wines.
A protected natural reserve located in front of Estartit village, you will be able to see all the diversity of marine fauna and flora in its maximum splendour. You can take a glass-bottomed boat, or if you dare, or have the experience, we recommend you do a scuba dive. You will find various companies that do dives in the area. Check out our guide to sea-life.
In Costa Brava and Girona we recommend you discover the natural park of Cap de Creus, the natural park of Aiguamolls de I’empordà or the park Natural de la Garrotxa area.
If you are a music lover, we recommend the music festivals that take place at the Costa Brava, especially during the summer season. Among the most recommended and well-known we find the Castell de Peralada International Festival and the Festival de la Porta Ferrada that takes place in Sant Feliu de Guíxols and finally the Festival de Cap Roig.
Local or municipal festivals take place all over Spain. During the summer, most towns celebrate their main festival in which concerts are held, backed up by vibrant small craft shops, fairground attractions and beach bars are set up for you to have some food and enjoy a drink.
Monuments and architecture of the Costa Brava
Monuments and architecture are dotted across the Costa Brava. Among the most important and impressive from the Roman era is the monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes at the port of the jungle, the Girona Cathedral or the Basilica of Santa Maria.
As you've guessed, the coastline is an ideal habitat for many species of sea life including whales and dolphins. We're also lucky enough to enjoy a large number of beautiful birds and mammals, and, if you happen to stroll far enough towards the wildlife parks of the Pyrenees... you may encounter bears, wolves, marmots, deer, otters, lynxes and a lot of squirrels too.
The Costa Brava has a winemaking tradition that dates back even before the time of the Roman Empire as we've mentioned above on our list. In Catalonia there are many different variations of origin and most of the wineries offer vineyard tours, for example: DO Penedès Wines, DO Terra Alta Wines, DO Tarragona Wines, DO Conca de Barberà Wines, DO Wines Costers del Segre, DO Empordà Wines, DO Montsant Wines, DO Priorat Wines. As for the Costa Brava, the most well-known , important and historical winemaker is D.O Empordà.
S'Agaro - A perfect Barcelona to Costa Brava example
S'Agaró and its picturesque town is part of the municipality of Castell-Platja d'Aro. This incredibly captivating hidden gem has been declared a Cultural Asset of National Interest; one of the main attractions of the town are its coves and beaches. Best explored from the water, this is why we chose S'Agaró as our base for our kayak and paddleboard and escape room excursions.
Coastal walk Camina
S'Agaró also hosts a fantastic coastal path, considered one of the most beautiful on the Costa Brava.
Camí de Ronda (Camino de Ronda) is the name by which the route that runs along the coast is known and in the past it was used by the Civil Guard to control the Spanish maritime border and prevent smuggling. In recent years, reforms have been made, thanks to which the walk is now a tourist route.
Its origins date back to the 19th century when a small path was set up through the cliffs and coasts of the coast of Catalonia to control the populations of the coast. In the twentieth century, especially in the postwar period, it acquired capital importance by basically serving as control of the black market, an activity that was booming due to the terrible situation in Spain after the Spanish Civil War.
St Feliu de Guíxols
Sant Feliu de Guixols is a lovely little seaside town that is also the place where Costa Brava found its name. Situated over the hill from our kayak, paddleboarding and escape tours, we love its charm, fresh food and artisan shops.
Sant Feliu has a splendid example of a small coastal harbour. Teaming with small sailing boats and the occasional large yacht, you can soak in the atmosphere on the water, from the beach, by boat or over a beer from a beach bar.
A little beauty spot in Sant Feliu that's often overlooked is the cemetery. It's really worth a visit, and is not far from the main beach strip.
Sant Feliu beach
The beach is small but well kept and hosts a selection of beach bars and attractions to be enjoyed or join. The sun is around for most of the day and although it's not the quietest in the height of summer, it's certainly a place to relax with all amenities close by.
Travel, transport and weather of the Costa Brava
We're very lucky with our weather on the Costa Brava with 6 months of the year above 20°C and normally close to, or around the 30's.
Average temperatures of Costa Brava by month °C →
To give you an example of the travel times from Barcelona to Costa Brava on public transport, from Barcelona to Blanes, the closest town of Costa Brava, it's just over 1.5 hours. To the furthest point, Barcelona to Portbou, it's around 3 hours.
Our tours from pick up to arrival take just over 1 hour. The time flies by and you're on the water before you know it. Check out our tour options for kayaking, paddleboarding or doing an outdoor escape room.
If you have a little more time and would like to make your own way to a beauty spot from Barcelona to Costa Brava, you have a few options of how to get there with links to more information.