The upmarket yet traditional fishing town of Calella de Palafrugell basks in sophistication and natural beauty. High-quality restaurants line the seafront of this fashionable town, interspersed by a series of beaches and coves dotted across an incredibly pretty coastal path that traverses along the shoreline, where pine trees carpet the rocky cliff faces that tumble into the cobalt water of the Mediterranean.
Spain’s beautiful ‘Costa Brava’ – aka ‘Brave Coast’ – wasn’t given its name without reason. This exhilarating and incredibly beautiful coastline of Catalunya in North-East Spain, stretches for almost 300 kilometres, scattered with an invigorating mix of wide sandy bays, quirky coves backed with high cliffs and densely-populated pine forests, lively, vibrant towns and traditional fishing villages.
If you are looking for a holiday in the sun where you can enjoy world-class cuisine, upmarket sophistication blended with timeless traditionalism, within a beautiful secluded bay, gently lapped by the cobalt water of the Mediterranean, then look no further than Llafranc.
The Costa Brava, Spain’s ‘Brave Coast’, is scattered with hidden coves and charming fishing ports, a million miles from some of the region’s more densely-populated tourist hotspots. For the traveller willing to take a short step off the beaten track, discovering a host of chic resorts that tastefully combine a sophisticated appeal with a traditional culture that’s remained unchanged for decades, is their reward.
The word “Costa” can conjure up images of towering apartment blocks, thrown up to accommodate mass tourism. Spain’s Costa Brava – ‘Brave Coast’ – is a far cry from all crowds and nightlife, with many wild and beautiful parts to its rugged and diverse coastline
Calella de Palafrugell is best entered via a picturesque stroll around a wooded headland, from a neighbouring village. Do it in the evening and breathe in the fragrance of Aleppo pines and scent of dama de noche, this sensation is akin to a blend of orange blossom and jasmine. You will see this enchanting town with its jumble of tiny streets, lit like a fairy-tale.
With its winding narrow path made from local natural materials, traversing and ascending round the sparkling Mediterranean, Spain’s Costa Brava – Brave Coast – is an exhilarating delight to explore. We have to admit one of the most beautiful stretches of this rugged coastline is where the traditional yet elegant and affluent villages of Tamariu, Llafranc and Calella de Palafrugell can be found.
These three coastal towns belong to the municipality of Palafrugell in the Provence of Girona in Catalonia.
Close to the traditional market town of Torroella de Montgri and the busier coastal resort of Estartit, the Costa Brava’s Casa Torre Vella offers the best of both worlds – Culture, history and inspiring architecture or the traditional tourist highlights of any swinging yet upmarket coastal town.
Being well placed between two contrasting worlds visitors can enjoy many medieval buildings, villages and fortifications, such as the imposing Montgri Castle, which dominates the skyline of the nearby mountains one day. The following day they can visit the likes of Estartit, filled with all the usual ingredients of a thriving up-to-date holiday destination.
Alternatively you could spend the day lounging around Casa Torre Vella and its grounds, and being as stylish and stunning as this Spanish villa is, we can’t say we’d blame you.
Casa Torre Velle’s enclosed garden is green and natural with plenty of trees and shrubs. The view from the terrace over the southern end of The Bay of Roses is simply eye-watering. With an elevated position, in Casa Torre Vella you can see greenery from almost every window. The blue Mediterranean Sea framed by the Catalan countryside makes a scene that’s unrivalled by nowhere.
The spacious pool is ideal for splashing about or enjoying a good swim. The poolside terrace is large and enticing, perfect for drying off in the sun and soaking in the views after a dip in the pool.
Casa Torre Vella sleeps six in two twin bedrooms on the ground floor and double bedroom on the first floor. The master bedroom adjoins a spacious upper terrace from where glimpses of the Mediterranean twinkle through the window. Marble effect floor tiles work really well in the house, giving it an authentic Spanish feel.
Chunky balustrades run along the upper terrace casting shadows across the tiled floor and a mint striped awning provides subtle shade. Distinctly Spanish in style, Casa Torre Vella will help you settle straight into a local lifestyle upon your arrival.
Shops and restaurants are not too far away but it is the old market town of Torroella de Montgri where you will find the pick of the crop when it comes to dining out. You could try Palau Lo Mirador or Fonda Mitja Restaurante both of which have had great reviews.
For more information, to see photos and for availability and booking of Casa Torre Vella click HERE.
Situated in the picturesque and historic old town of Begur, with its enchanting coves and pretty beaches, a stay at Villa Sargantana has all the ingredients necessary for a holiday of a lifetime.
In fact the classy, romantic and interesting town of Begur will seem like it is a million miles away from the stereotypical Costa Brava package holiday resorts. By comparison, Begur is a favourite choice of holiday destination of many Barcelonans, and when abroad, it often pays to put your trust in what the natives do!
The luxury villa in Begur, Villa Sargantana is just a couple of kilometres away from the centre of Begur and is ideal for couples or a small family. The open plan aspect of this tasteful villa gives a feeling of space with patio doors leading out on to a covered terrace. The house has a high standard facilities and appliances, including a TV, dishwasher, microwave, WiFi and central heating throughout.
Outside the villa is equally as beautiful and pristine. The covered terrace has a built in barbeque alongside a marvellous canvas covered dining area. Although it has to be said that the centrepiece of Villa Sargantana’s exterior is the swimming pool, set within a meticulously well-managed lawn. The garden is surrounded by well- proportioned hedges and discreet screens, which give a welcoming feeling of privacy.
The quaint and refined town of Begur and its beaches are true jewels of the Costa Brava. Adding to the unique beauty of the area are the many stunning neo-classical mansions which were built by Spanish merchants returning from Cuba in the late 19th century, intent on boasting their new found wealth.
In fact neo-classical architecture is evident amongst the Mediterranean pine woods, which grow down to the very edge of the sea shore. As you lay on your beach towel on the shimmering beaches of Sa Tuna or Sa Riera, you may ponder upon the opulent lifestyle of these wealthy people in their glamorous houses, which poke out from the wooded hillside every now and again.
The quality of the restaurants and bars in the Begur area are rivalled by little elsewhere. Whilst there are so many to choose from, food critic Laura Dixon of the Guardian recommends Sa Rascassa, where eating lobster under fairy lights is a particularly memorable experience.
The Costa Brava may well have its built-up areas with thumping heavy bass music and hordes of thrill-seeking young types, and why not? However, for those seeking a more sophisticated and relaxing time this unspoilt part of the Costa Brava, laden with pine trees and architectural masterpieces, shows Catalonia and its most charismatic.
The Costa Brava’s Palamos – A traditional Spanish working fishing port
Part of the beauty of Palamos is that although you find tourists here in the summer, the amount is nowhere near the levels of other places on the Costa Brava. The Catalans get on with the daily lives in this bustling fishing port as if they were oblivious and totally unreliant on the tourists.
Palamos town is on the north side of a huge curved bay, which eventually leads to another town at the southern end, known as St Anton. A delightful promenade that is tastefully decorated with palm trees and attractive paving connects the bowed bay. Without any cars this huge pedestrian highway provides a superb coastal walk, run, bike ride or roller skate.
The walkway borders Palamos beach which consists of flawless white sand with several protective stone causeways jutting out into the sea. At the northern most point of the beach you will find scores of old fishing boats with their nets strewn across the promenade, whilst old men and women repair them in the bright sunshine to get them in order for a late evening of fishing.
At night, you can watch the lights of these tiny vessels, all sticking together in close formation, probably all sharing a little light hearted banter as they work deep into the night towards the dawn. In fact the night time is particularly stunning in Palamos, as the town’s neon glow is cast across the water, the bright lights providing a stark contrast to the clear starry night above.
The next day, the fishermen’s hard nocturnal work in their tiny fishing boats can be tasted and savoured in the many wonderful local restaurants and bars.
A simple favourite Palamos dish is battered whitebait with a slice of lemon accompanied by a glass of fine Spanish beer. This can be bought in most of the bars either on the sea front or in restaurant down a cobbled street in the town.
All in all there are many great and reasonably priced restaurants in Palamos, some offering super budget ‘menu del dias’, such as the Vostra-Lar restaurant situated in a small square behind the tall block of flats to the north side of Palamos bay. Although it’s the fish that is the real winner in this working Costa Brava town, as you can rest assure that it has been caught fresh from the sea that day or, at the very most, the night before.