3 Costa Brava must-see Towns for Slow Travelers
The Costa Brava (the “wild coast”) of Catalonia is my favorite destination for a weekend trip from Barcelona, or even for a day trip from Barcelona. There is so much to see, do and explore!
peaceful white town at the edge of the world, home to eccentric artist
A town in white. With a church on a hill by the bay. Wooden fisher boats along the beach and floating on the water. With restaurants that close between meals.
And yet famous! Mostly because it‘s just a short hike away from Port Lligat, home of Salvador Dali the world famous surrealist painter. Both villages are tucked away behind mountains. If you want to visit the Dali house, make sure to book tickets in advance. Also don‘t miss the Cap de Creus, the Eastern most cliffs on continental Spain. Instagrammable as can be.
If you don‘t have a car it‘s a bit of an adventure to get there. I opted for a train-bus combo via Figueres. If you are in Figueres anyway, you may as well visit the Dali museum. He was quite a character that one. If he were still around to have a beer with, I‘d have some questions for Salvador!
Tossa de Mar
fairy tale old town
Tossa takes you back to a completely different time than Cadaques, much earlier in European history. The medival old town is a must-see! You can walk around in on the old city wall. Then descend onto narrow, winding cobble stone roads to visit the shops and restaurants.
Through literally a hole in the wall you can climb onto a terrace overlooking the small local beach and the sea! Gothic ruins on the hill are worth another photo session, with the view of the Costa Brava in the background. There is also a wide, sandy beach in case you are up for a swim. Easy direct bus ride from Barcelona with only one stop along the way in Lloret de Mar.
flowers on the cliffs
So I saw this picture on google and decided that I wanted to take the same shot, myself. So I grabbed my DSLR, took a train from Barcelona to Blanes and asked around where this pic was taken. It was a miserably hot hike up a hill before I reached the ruins of the fortress that thrones over Blanes, but I got my photo and am delighted to share it with you! 🙂
Afterwards I strolled through their infamous botanical garden. Sounds boring, I know. I didn’t know I was into plants either. But Blanes made me a fan. I must have taken over 200 pictures there alone, sharing just a few ones here.
Costa Brava FAQ
How far is Costa Brava from Barcelona
The Costa Brava is not just one beach, but a whole stretch of coastline. So the answer is: it depends. the closest town on the Costa Brava to Barcelona is Blanes. Blanes is about 1h drive from Barcelona or 1h50min on the train. If you go farther up the coast towards France, you’ll be on your way longer than that.
How much is train from Barcelona to Costa Brava?
Again, it depends where on the Costa Brava you want to go. Here a few popular destinations and 2023 one-way prices for local (read: not high speed) trains:
- Blanes: 6,95€
- Girona: 8,40€
- Figueres: 12€
- Portbou: 13,50€
You can check the Rodalies website for current schedules and pricing info.
Can you do a day trip to Costa Brava from Barcelona?
Yes, absolutely! You can take a bus from Estacio de Nord in Barcelona and return the same day. Make sure to book ahead in the summer time. Alternatively, you can take a train or drive. Either way, the Costa Brava makes for an excellent day trip destination from Barcelona!
Is Costa Brava near Barcelona?
Yes, I would say it is near. Blanes is about 70km (43 miles) away, which takes about an hour to drive. Other towns along the Costa Brava will take a little longer. Portbou is the farest from Barcelona and closest to the French border. It is about 170km (106 miles) and takes a bit over 2h to drive.
How do I get from Barcelona to Costa Brava beach?
Remember that Costa Brava is more than just one beach, it is a strech of coastline on the Mediterranean coast of Spain, near France. From Barcelona there are daily busses that serve all the villages. The R1 train from the train company Rodalies also stops on many of the Costa Brava towns. But the easiest and fastest way is to drive if you have the option.
What is your favorite place on the Costa Brava and why? Comment below and don´t forget to subscribe to receive new blog posts via e-mail directly into your inbox!