Exchange sweeping bays for the intimate coves and rocky outline of Costa Brava, the summer getaway destination stretching some 60 kilometers out of Barcelona to the French border. Despite being a tourist coast, it retains unspoiled headlands and dramatic seascapes that contrast the languid pace of its seaside towns. This Catalonian region glows with undisputed charm.
Moody capital-like Girona makes a great base, teeming with historical sites like its large cathedral and many monasteries. Follow the city wall to the ancient Arabic Baths and delve into the labyrinth-like Jewish Quarter. In contrast to the smooth, roof-flattened buildings of the big city are sloping villages of character; Besalu is a medieval incarnate with geometric bridges and towers, while Cadaques is a canvas of white-washed houses. Calella de Palafrugell and Llafranc edge along the coast to offer pleasant esplanades and sandy bays.
Unusual museums dot the region as well, ranging from the Cinema Museum to a Museum of Dolls and Museum of Jam. But its loudest artistic shout-out is the Dali Theatre Museum, which houses famous works of this eccentric artist. A former resident of Costa Brava, Salvador Dali is highly celebrated and his former residences popular attractions, including his quirky Portlligat home and Pubol town castle.
Still, many make their way to Costa Brava for intimate beaches. Nestled between rock formations and swooping cliffs, these coves are accessible on foot only. Adventure is the name of your visit, taking you along coastal paths to pebbled shorelines. Azure nuggets are secreted away, enforcing an unspoiled natural reserve.
Summer is by far the most popular season to visit, the peak average temperature of 28℃ tempered by dry winds. Sailors may want to avoid the winters as temperatures drop as low as 7℃.