Properties for sale in Costa Brava, Catalonia, Spain

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* Sizes listed are approximate. Please contact the agent to confirm actual size.

The Costa Brava area guide

Sights and attractions

The Costa Brava is the rugged and undeniably beautiful north-eastern coast of Spain, running all the way to the border with France at the edge of the Pyrenees. It is a region famed for its stunning landscape, historic towns, fantastic food, music culture, and beautiful long beaches.

Up until the 1920s, it flew completely under the radar when compared to the nearby (and very similar) Côte d'Azur. Enjoyed primarily by those living in the pretty villages dotted along the coast and throughout the countryside, it relied heavily on fishing and farming.

It then began to attract a little more attention, which grew hugely after the Spanish Civil War ended and Spain once again popped onto the radar for explorers. In the 1950s, the Spanish government identified the Costa Brava as a potential hotspot for tourists and invested heavily on hotels and infrastructure to accommodate them. Throughout the 1960s and 70s, Northern Europeans began to flock there and tourism soon overtook fishing as the main income for the region.

However, it never lost the charm that made it famous. While some areas are very developed and modern, much of the area is completely unspoiled and offers a huge range of natural and cultural attractions.

The excellent climate (hot in summer, mild in winter) and wonderful natural beauty of the Costa Blanca means that hikers flock to it, and there’s no better area for it than the Sant Daniel Valley, on the western side of the Gavarres hills. It has trails of all types, difficulties, and lengths. It is also a very popular spot with mountain bikers.

History buffs will enjoy exploring the old market towns that can often be found nearby, many featuring beautiful medieval churches.

And, for music lovers, there are few better places than the Costa Brava. Music is deeply ingrained into the culture and it’s clear to see everywhere you go. This is manifested in the abundance of music festivals occurring annually in almost every town. Josep Ensesa was the man responsible for this phenomenon when he opened his gardens and house at Senya Blanca to music lovers in the 1950s for a few days, and thereby created the International Music Festival. It was a massive success and had a huge impact on the lifestyle of the people of the region.

Restaurants and cafes

The food culture of the Costa Blanca is fantastic and famous. Local seafood is varied and of a very high quality. The cuisine has absorbed influences from all over the Mediterranean. Local skate, anchovies, monkfish and prawns are all staples.

This culture is reflected in the very high number of Michelin-starred restaurants there are in the region, particularly in and around Girona.

The tourist hot spots have also brought in plenty of international options for those looking for a change in pace. Italian, Chinese, Japanese, and even English pub food is easy to find.

Shops

Shopping is a popular activity in the Costa Brava, with the industry fed a lot by the large numbers of visiting tourists. The developed areas feature huge shopping malls, replete with local and international brands and boutiques.

The city of Girona is a must-visit destination for shopping fans. The winding streets have a fantastic array of artisan stores, exotic boutiques, and high fashion outlets. Visitors can wander for hours without entering the same shop twice.

Travel

Barcelona and Girona are the major places to fly to from Northern Europe. Flights from the UK tend to take around 2 hours and are relatively cheap.

Once there, local trains and buses serve well to a point, but they cannot reliably reach the more remote areas. It’s recommended that visitors hire a car from one of the major car hire companies operating out of the airports, and those looking to stay more long term should think about buying a car locally.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact editor@primelocation.com

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.


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