An exciting getaway to the warm sea coast is just one of the things many of us dream about during a normal workday. Crashing waves, sunny weather, smiling people, amazing beach hotels, vibrant nightlife—you’ll find it all on Spain’s Costa Brava. Kilometers of sandy beach comprise this wonderful coastline and the charming beach towns are just a stone’s throw from some of Spain’s favorite cities like Barcelona and Girona. Beyond the beach, find a historic atmosphere and memory of Moorish and European medieval culture, as well as Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque influences everywhere you turn. Rowdy nightlife will satisfy those night-owls, while a simple Cava with the sunset is enough for the rest of us.
Where to stay at a beach hotel on Costa Brava? Top destinations at a glance:
Roses and the north: Natural coasts and relaxation
The northern chunk of the Costa Brava is alleged to be the prettiest, brimming with with stunning beaches, charming coves, and old Greek and Roman architecture. Where the mountains meet the sea, Roses was once a Greek colony and is home to a myriad beaches and sandy coves, as well as one of the most beautiful bays in the world. A great spot for snorkeling or discovering the old Greek architecture, a beach hotel in Roses promises to set you up for a perfect holiday in the sun. On the other side of the Costa Brava’s northern Cap de Creus is La Selva, a fisherman’s village with a variety of landscapes from high-peaked mountains to verdant vineyards to infinite coasts. With more wild shorelines up north, here you’ll find plenty of swimmable beaches in addition to more cliffy coasts, primed for hiking and taking in the views.
Tossa de Mar, Lloret de Mar, and the south: Sightseeing and old towns
Tossa de Mar, one of the most beautiful towns in Spain, was called a “blue paradise” by artist Marc Chagall. A stylish beach hotel will have you feeling both the memory of all the artists and intellectuals who have passed through, as well as the truth of the sentiment: imposing castle walls, gentle-sloped beaches, and a plethora hidden bays, this place really is paradise. Spend days wandering through the medieval architecture of the Old Town, the two castles, many churches, and taking in the perfectly-perserved historic ambience of the place. Though Lloret de Mar is the closest to the Girona airport and the most affordable of the coastal cities, you certainly won’t be sacrificing luxury or fun with a stay here. This beach city boasts a water park, blue flag beaches, a large selection of authentic restaurants, in addition to a happening nightlife. Lloret is the choice for those beach-goers who like to stay within the action, whether on a family vacation or a sunny getaway for two.
Platja d’Aro: Nightlife and shopping
Platja d’Aro is well-known for its party and going-out culture, but with a sophisticated twist. Located north up the coast from Lloret de Mar, the ancient city of of Platja d’Aro is surrounded by medieval walls and sits charmingly on the ocean. The beach hotels here come equipped with pristine pools, great service, and are conveniently located, allowing you to explore the vibrant dining and drinking scene. Choose Platja d’Aro if you like your beach vacation to have some options; some of them including a fun day trip to the Pp’s Park Platja d’Aro amusement park with the kids, a sunset on breathtaking beaches like Cala Cap Roig and Xalaro, shopping on High Street, or even an afternoon spent in the Doll Museum of the Castle d’Aro. For those seeking something quieter, just north of the region of Platja d’Aro are wonderful beach hotels scattered along the coasts in peaceful areas, setting you up for a relaxing stay with nothing but beach and your fellow travelers.
Good to know
Getting there: The Costa Brava is served by two airports, Girona in the north and Barcelona in the south. Girona is slightly closer and you can take trains down the coast, however, Lloret and Tossa de Mar are only reachable by bus or car. The bus company Sarfa runs air-conditioned coaches from Barcelona to most frequented stops on the coast. Rent a car at either airport for a hassle-free trip and the opportunity to bounce between cities on the coast, although there are local buses that provide this service as well.