MY GUIDE TO THE COSTA BRAVA
I am lucky enough to have this stretch of dramatic coastline on my doorstep. I live only a short drive from the border of Spain, and this is one of the Countries hidden treasures. Having often heard the Costa Brava is spoilt by 'English' speaking tourists, I can vouch these towns are still authentic enough without being backwards - if you get my drift!
Two of my new found favourites are the towns of Cadaqués and Begur. Cadaqués is a beautiful white Mediterranean town, characterised by steep paved alleys winding round the hill it is built around. Its secluded location sets the scene and you could be sitting on an island in Greece if you didn't know any better. With a rich artistic heritage, Cadaqués has attracted and inspired a large number of artists such as Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp and Salvador Dalí - And lot of them settled in Cadaqués to exhibit their artistic talent. Dalí is a local hero in this town, with a statue in his honour. Begur is somewhat the opposite with a striking silhouette of a medieval castle overlooking the town. Located in the heart of Empordà, the town of Begur and its beaches are one of the most wonderful spots on the Costa Brava and you can spend days exploring the incredible coastline.
My insider tip is… If you want to make this home for longer than a few days, Airbnb has some incredible apartments and homes available throughout the area. And if flying, the best place to fly into is Girona (1hr drive) where you can organise transportation or hire a car - my tip hire a car!
In my hand… A Turkish Towel - you will always find somewhere to swim when you least expect.
I indulged in… too much seafood.
I brought back… a great tan!
Photography © Studio Arrc By Sophie Carr.
EL BARROCO 2, r/ Pla d'Enretalla, Cadaqués. Get your hit of Middle Eastern food here with some of the best Labanese I have eaten. Hidden behind its large blue gates, this little oasis including a flower filled courtyard has the perfect atmosphere for you to sit and enjoy a balmy Spanish evening.
CADAQUES CAFE 4, Carrer Hort D'en Sanes, Cadaqués. Not as the name suggests, this Italian restaurant is ideal for a large bowl of pasta and a great glass of Red - great for dinner.
MAITANQUI 8, Miquel Rosset street, Cadaqués. The perfect little cocktail bar complete with a modern menu of quinoa salads and Japanese inspired dishes.
TALLA 18, Riba Pitxot, Cadaqués. You won't want to miss this restaurant and its views of the white washed facades of Cadaqués. A very romantic setting.
HOTEL TRAMUNTANA 9, c/ de la Torre, Cadaqués. With only eleven rooms, and a common area that is nice enough to spend the day in, you will love this hotel. Gervasoni Ghost Sofa's and a beautifully hand cooked breakfast served daily with local ingredients - has my pick!
Photography © Studio Arrc By Sophie Carr.
HOTEL AIGUA BLAVA Platja de Fornells, Begur. The Hotel Aigua Blava, is situated in the Aiguablava Bay, surrounded by coves, rocks and pine trees framing its picturesque setting on the shores of the Mediterranean.
TOC AL MAR Platja de Aiguablava, Begur. Beautifully authentic Mediterranean cuisine, using only wild fish from the fishing boats in the area which are presented to you on a large platter, table after table before you make a selection. Book early to ensure your seat for lunch or dinner!
MAR I VENT RESTAURANT & BEACH CLUB Platja de Aiguablava, Begur. Over looking Aiguablava this beach club is a great place to escape the crowd and sit back with a cocktail and plate of tapas. Open for lunch & dinner.
RESTAURANT AIGUACLARA 2, Sant Miquel, Begur. Located in the town of Begur, this vibrant restaurant is a great place for pre dinner cocktails or stay and enjoy the open courtyard for dinner.
AIGUABLAVA is straight out of an iconic Slim Aaron's photograph. This sandy beach is laden with colourful umbrellas, which appear from a distance to be so close to each other they are touching - creating a colourful patchwork blanket affect. However this blanket isn't just an illusion, this beach is one of the most popular on this coastline - not only is it hard to find a place to park the car, it is hard to find a place to park your towel. Get their early to reserve your spot! Depending on the time of year, you will also hear the calls of a local man who sells coconuts and pineapple to the eager tourists. His unique chant is somewhat iconic to this beach.
SA TUNA is a small pebble beach set in a deep cove with a backdrop of pine clad hills - much like most of the beaches in this area. It has a beautiful coastal walk around the rocky point and it is great for snorkelling.
PLATJA FONDA stands out due its dark coloured sand. This private and secluded beach is somewhat less crowded than the others and you will have more room to spread your legs - be warned there are no restaurants so take a packed lunch and plenty of water!