Review: Coasteering at the Costa Brava, Spain
Are you looking for fun things to do on the Costa Brava? Or for great day trips from Girona or Barcelona? Do you like the thrill of pushing your comfort zone? And at the same time you want to learn something about your destination? Read on, because this outdoor activity ticks all the boxes: Coasteering!
Up until a week ago I had never heard of it. But when I asked around I found that coasteering is totally a thing in Australia already and even on the British Islands they offer a somewhat similar activity called wet bouldering.
What is coasteering?
When you go coasteering in Spain, the idea is to find rocks and cliffs along the rugged coast to jump off from. The jumps start low and as you progress through the day get higher bit by bit. You will swim, walk or climb from one rock to the next.
The highest jump on the tour I did was about 8 meters (25 ft or so). That is a long free fall, I’m not gonna lie. Some of the jumps invite the acrobatically inclined to try a pose for their new profile picture.
You do not have to do each jump, if you do not want to. Some members of our group decided to skip the highest jump. And on many rocks you can chose how high you want to climb up before you jump. The heights are not for everybody.
Several companies in Spain offer it as a guided group activity. You need no experience as it is beginner friendly. You probably won’t have fun if you are scared of heights. But otherwise, it is a great mix of easy physical activty, refreshing short swims in the water and adrenaline pumping through your veins.
Do you need a guide?
Let me put it this way: If I am going to jump off a cliff, into a body of water I am not familiar with, I’d like to know it’s safe. A guide can show you where the water is deep enough, warn you of rocks that may get in your way and help on slippery climbs.
If you book with Aventura Girona they will also take pictures of you and do interpretive bits along the way. This way you learn about the animals on this stretch of coast, the rocks and the people on the Costa Brava.
Seeing carnivorous sea tomatoes and hearing stories of pirates who terrorized these beaches centuries ago will make you feel like you learned a lot while having so much fun.
It is always an advantage to explore a destination with a local. Our guide Carlos showed us his favorite view of the Costa Brava from one of the cliffs. The turquoise water is so clear you can see the ground all along the rocks that line coves and bays. If you are looking for instaworthy spots in Spain, don’t miss this one!
The guides made sure we were comfortable and safe throughout the activity, checking in with each member of the group on multiple occasions. And although nothing went wrong, it is comforting to have a professional with you who takes a first aid kit and a phone along in a waterproof case.
How do I book a guide for coasteering?
If you have read my last post you know I had a fantastic experience climbing with Aventura Girona. They also offer coasteering tours, and I was just as impressed. While there are other companies out there offering these tours, I have my doubts you will find one with the same level of customer service.
When I booked, I received all the information I needed about where to meet, where to park, what to bring, what is included in the activity and I had a contact number for our guide. I ended up needing it, as my bus was a few minutes late and wanted to make them aware. Turns out it was no problem at all, my friend and I were picked up by Franscec in the company van and taken to the beach parking lot.
What does the half day coasteering tour look like?
In our case it was a group of 10 people and two guides: Carlos and Francesc. They gave out wetsuits and helmets and briefed the group. (In the summer you do the activity in shorts, but as the water is a little cooler in May we had wetsuits) With the international make up of our group, the guides did the entire tour in Spanish/Catalan and English.
It is a short walk down to the water, then 2 hours of coasteering and about a 15 min walk back to the van. At the end they offer chilled drinks and the group stayed around and talked about the experiences of the day. It would be a great team building activity or just a fun thing to do with a group of friends. It’s also great family fun, as long as the children are over 8 years old. But even for solo travelers the guides create a sense of community with the group.
We were done in perfect time for lunch. Carlos and Francesc gave us restaurant recommendations and then we all went our ways. After the activity they sent us the pictures they had taken during the day.
How do I get there from Barcelona?
If you are doing the activity as a day trip from Barcelona, you can take the Moventis bus towards l’Escala. It leaves from the bus terminal Estacio de Nord and stops at S’Agaro, 4 minutes walk from the meeting point for the tour.
Remember to book your return tickets online at least the day before as seats are limited, especially in the summer.
The tour will take you along Sant Pol Beach, which is near Sant Feliu de Guixols. Not to be confused with Sant Pol de Mar, a village about 50km further down the coast!
Final thoughts on Coasteering
Coasteering is an activity that keeps you engaged from start to finish, mentally and physically. You alternate between pushing your limits and relaxing in the water. I thought it was great fun and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys outdoor adventures!
I felt very safe because of the reliable equipment and knowledgable guides. Although this activity was sponsored for me by Aventura Girona, all opinions are my own. And in my opinion this is hands down THE BEST adventure company.
They make it easy for you before, during and after the activity, speak fluent English, take excellent care of their groups and most important of all: they really know their stuff.