The beaches in the Costa Brava, Spain, are full of beer-swilling package tourists practicing their favourite sport of hurling themselves from balconies. Or are they?
Although this may be true of a few spots along the Costa Brava coast, there are many Costa Brava beaches which are not. Isolated gems in the rugged countryside, these beaches offer a world apart, where the only rush is the sound of the waves and where there’s nothing between you, the sun and the sea. There are also some great family spots and more active places, too.
The Cala Fredosa is a quiet contrast to buzzing nearby top tourist destination Cadaques, and can be reached via a path winding down from the lighthouse on the Cap de Creus. Although it’s a fairly rocky spot, water as blue and transparent as a bottle from the apothecary makes up for it. Busy? No. Sandy? Rocky. Beautiful? Stunning.
Platja del Castell
The Platja del Castell is a great argument for tourism in the Costa Brava. This large beach offers hammock, sun umbrella and kayak rental as well as a beach bar. Fierce opposition by locals has protected it from development. The surroundings are well worth a visit, too, featuring remains from Iberican settlements as well as smaller coves hidden amongst the pines. Busy? Medium. Sandy? Yes. Beautiful? Especially around the outskirts.
Platja del Canadell
You’ll find the Platja del Canadell full of Catalan and Spanish families off on holiday (with so much natural beauty and sunshine around, it’s no surprise that travel abroad with young children is less common here, and large groups of extended family tend to holiday in the Costa Brava together in the same spot every year).
Pastel-coloured seafront houses are sprinkled in front of the horseshoe-shaped beach, and there’s plenty of cafés and restaurants serving typical food around. Busy? Yes, but visitors mostly local. Sandy? Yes. Beautiful? Yes, especially the nearby town.