Costa Brava Holidays
The sun-soaked Costas are some of Spain’s top destinations for summer breaks, and the Costa Brava is no different. Between the shimmering beaches with honey-coloured sands are quaint villages, historic towns and fun-filled waterparks that the whole family will love. With such a high concentration of natural and cultural attractions to explore, you’ll never be short of things to do; is it any wonder it’s still one of the top places for Brits to head for some fun in the sun?
There’s everything from thrilling banana boat rides to local museums packed with history, and water parks the kids will love; the choice is yours. Whether you’re booking your holidays to Costa Brava to experience the world-class nightlife of its seaside resorts, or to explore its Modernist or medieval architecture, this region has it all.
The Costa Brava enjoys a typically Mediterranean climate, with long, very warm summers and mild, rainy winters. Daytime temperatures usually peak in the upper 20s °C by July and August, when it rarely falls below 18°C at night. So if you’re looking for almost guaranteed beach weather, book your Costa Brava holidays from around late June to early September. However, if you’re eager to explore the coast and avoid the crowds, visit in Spring or Autumn, when temperatures are perfect for leisurely strolls and a bit of exploring.
Costa Brava is best for…
Beach lovers: Soak up the Mediterranean sun at any of the resorts along the coast. Tossa de Mar is home to two beaches with Blue Flag status.
Families: Enjoy an action-packed day at Marineland Catalunya or take an excursion and explore the nearby cities of Barcelona and Girona.
Nightlife: The resorts on the Costa Brava all have excellent cafés and bars, but for more bright lights and late nights, head to the discos and nightclubs of Lloret de Mar.
Fast facts about the Costa Brava
Language: The language spoken in Costa Brava is mainly Catalan, but also Spanish. However, you’ll find English is spoken in many tourist-oriented venues such as hotels and theme parks. Download our handy language app or carry a phrasebook if you’d like to impress the locals with your Catalan or Spanish during your holidays to Costa Brava.
Currency: The currency used here is the Euro (€).
Local time: Costa Brava is 1 hour ahead of GMT/UK time.
Fly to: Girona Airport. The transfer time to Calella and Lloret de Mar is 1 hour, and to Malgrat de Mar it’s 1.5 hours.
Flight time from the UK: The Costa Brava flight time is 2.5 hours.
Tourist information: Further Costa Brava tourist information can be found by visiting http://en.costabrava.org
Visa & health: Before you travel, click https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain for advice on visas and health requirements for your holiday.
Weather & climate
The Mediterranean climate means hot summers and plenty of sunshine, with peaks of nearly 30°C in July and August. For the perfect balance of sun and relaxation, book your holiday for late spring or autumn, when you can enjoy temperatures in the upper teens or low 20s °C. The sea is usually warm enough for comfortable swimming from around early July until the end of September, with water temperatures peaking in the mid-20s °C by August. Winters here are not quite as mild as those in the Costa del Sol, but temperatures on the coast often still reach 13°C by day in January, which is much warmer than what you’d expect in the UK.
Getting around the Costa Brava
By tourist train: This destination is known for its tourist trains, a fun and easy way to get to the beach or explore the town. The trains are ideal for sightseeing in comfort, particularly if you have young kids or have difficulty walking.
By bus: For some resort-hopping or just a quicker way to get to the beach during your holidays to Costa Brava, use the area’s bus service for the cheapest and quickest method of getting around. There are also bus services running to the cities of Barcelona and Girona.
By car: If you’re a family with young children, or just want a little more independence on your Costa Brava holidays, hiring a car can be a great way to get around. You’ll find car rental firms in all major resorts and in the airports of Barcelona El Prat and Girona.
By taxi: A taxi can be handy when you’re carrying lots of heavy baggage to or from the airport, or heading back to your hotel late at night. Just remember to agree on the fare before you set off.
Costa Brava Events
Firework Festival: Taking place over five days throughout the last week of July, this is Catalonia’s largest firework festival. It’s held in the resort of Blanes and draws in tens of thousands of tourists and locals each year.
For music lovers: The region has a calendar of events and concerts throughout the year. One of the most popular is in early July when the Singing of the Havaneres takes place in Calella de Palafrugell. Huge crowds flock here to see groups sing songs brought back from the Caribbean.
Where to Stay
Calella: A laid-back chilled atmosphere welcomes you on your Calella holiday. The coastal town is home to beautiful golden sands and has become a hugely popular beach resort in Catalonia, which sees people return year after year. Holidays to Calella will make you forget about your everyday stresses as you relax in the sun on the beachfront. Head further into the centre where you won’t be short of bars and restaurants to choose from.
Lloret de Mar: With the best nightlife on the Costa Brava, holidays to Lloret de Mar will not be short of entertainment. In fact, you can visit a different venue for each night of your stay! Relax and top up your tan on one of two Blue Flag beaches, with the beach bars just seconds away. If you’re one for exploring you can also visit the nearby cultural city of Barcelona by bus for the day whilst on your Lloret de Mar holiday.
Malgrat de Mar: Located on the coast of Costa Brava, holidays to Malgrat de Mar are popular for its sun-soaked days and laid-back atmosphere. In this town, you’ll find a blend of old and new with the modern hotels and lively nightlife, and also the town’s traditional Catalan past where you can visit the 14th century castle. The hugely popular Port Aventura Theme Park and Water World are close by which families will love.
Things to Do
Explore the beautiful city of Girona and see its magnificent cathedral and medieval quarter during your Costa Brava holiday. Admire the colourful buildings reflected in the waters of the Riu Onyar, see Girona’s other impressive Gothic and Romanesque landmarks, and dine in style at one of the city’s upmarket restaurants.
Love art? Check out the Portlligat Museum-House in Port Lligat, which was once the home and workplace of Salvador Dalí, one of the country’s most celebrated artists. This impressive building, overlooking the sea, became a museum shortly after Dalí’s death in 1982 and exhibits many of his best works.
Another place worth putting on your Costa Brava holidays places to see list is the medieval village of Besalú about a 35-minute journey from Girona, which is known for its wonderful Romanesque bridge.
Beaches: This holiday hotspot is home to nearly 600km of coastline and endless beautiful coves and sandy bays. One of the most notable is Platja de Treumal near Blanes, a Caribbean-like paradise with bright emerald water, pristine white sand, and a botanical garden with loads of prickly cacti. Another is the dramatic rocky cove of Es Codolar near the cosmopolitan resort of Tossa de Mar, while the vast sandy beach of Cala del Senyor Ramon in the Baix Empordà region is popular with naturists
Natural attractions: Visit the gorgeous Lake of Banyoles in the Province of Girona, or go on an excursion to the stunning Medes Islands nature reserve, a popular snorkelling area and dolphin haven
Food and drink: From delicious tapas to seafood on the coast, the local cuisines use the freshest, highest quality ingredients, locally sourced wherever possible. Try some cheese bread with anchovies, treat yourself to a seafood style paella, and have a glass or two of Catalonia’s famous sparkling wine, Cava, during your holidays to Costa Brava.