Costa Brava, the ‘Rugged Coast’ of Spain
Costa Brava is one of the most beautiful and popular vacation spots in Spain. It has fantastic weather for the summer enthusiasts and great temperatures for those who love the winter months. From the gorgeous beaches to the Pyrenees Mountains, there seems to be something for everyone to enjoy.
Located in the Catalan province of Girona in North-eastern Catalonia, Costa Brava could well be your dream vacation.
The Coastline and the Mountains
Costa Brava translates to the “wild coast”. This name is fitting as the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea has everything from sandy beaches to private coves and craggy cliffs. The fabulous terrain is due to the close proximity of the Pyrenees Mountains. You could be relaxing on the beach one day, and go hiking in the mountains the next. In the morning, you could enjoy exploring the ragged beaches, and spend the afternoon swimming and relaxing at one of the many beaches along the 160 kilometre coastline. When in the mountains, you will see that the view from the cliffs and mountain ranges is spectacular!
With ideal temperatures during the summer months, Costa Brava remains one of the most popular summer vacation areas in all of Spain. The temperature ranges between 25 to 31 degrees Celsius with very little rain. The rainy season tends to be during the spring and fall. For avid skiers, the Pyrenees Mountains have an abundant amount of snow during the winter. The temperatures usually range between 10 to 15 degrees Celsius.
The Costa Brava region of Spain has a huge amount of appeal for historical buffs. There are ancient Cathedrals and Chapels to explore, museums, historical villages, unspoiled fishing villages, medieval towns, castles – all very close to the magnificence of Barcelona.
The Dali Museum features the Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali who lived in Cadaqués and Figueres. The museum is filled with his great works of art such as paintings and sculptures – even the building itself is a great work of art.
The Costa Brava region is well-known for its variety in dining. Some of the top chefs from Europe have restaurants that have been awarded Michelin stars*. And about eight of its restaurants have been awarded Michelin stars. Three went to Ferran Adrià of El Bulli in Roses, who also tops the European Restaurant Ranking.
Two others are awarded Michelin-stars: Chef Joan Roca of El Celler de Can Roca in Girona and Jaume Subirós of the restaurant at Hotel Empordà, near the Dali Museum in Figueres.
As you can see, the excellent cuisine is another reason that many tourists visit Costa Brava. There are many fine chefs that create the varied and unique dishes that are a pleasure to dine on.
* One-Michelin-star: A very good restaurant in its category.
One star indicates a good place to stop on your journey. But beware of comparing the star given to an expensive luxury establishment with that of a simple restaurant where you can appreciate fine cooking at a reasonable price.
** Two-Michelin-star: Excellent cooking, worth a detour.
Specialities and wines of first class quality. This will be reflected in the price.
*** Three-Michelin-star: Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.
One always eats here extremely well, sometimes superbly. Fine wines, faultless service, elegant surroundings. One will pay accordingly.
Art and Culture
Dali Museum Most Popular in Europe
The Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dalí lived in Cadaqués, and at Figueres, Dali’s birthplace, Museu Dali is one of Europe’s most popular museums. As much theater as museum, this is the largest of Dali’s works, filled with paintings, sculpture and installations – even the building itself celebrates surrealism.
Picasso and Chagall on the Costa Brava
Other leading figures of the arts who lived, visited and worked on the Costa Brava are Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Man Ray, the surrealist film director Luis Buñuel, the poet Federico García Lorca and poet Paul Eluard, one of the founders of surrealism.