Costa Brava is a coastal region about 60 km away from Barcelona. Its Mediterranean climate makes it a favourite holiday spot year-round, though it’s best in the summer when local festivals and music performances take place in various beach towns across the region.

    Figueres in Costa Brava is also the hometown of Salvador Dalí – as a result, you can find many interesting sights like beautiful hidden coves and historical architectures that had inspired the eccentric artist’s many masterpieces. Local tours may be recommended at some spots of Costa Brava, but driving is best if you want to explore at your own pace. We’ve compiled a list of things to do in Costa Brava to help you experience this rich Spanish region.

    What are the best things to do in Costa Brava?

    1

    Girona

    A medieval city in Catalonia

    Girona is the largest city in Spain’s north-eastern Catalonia region. Fans of the critically acclaimed series, Game of Thrones will recognise the Girona Cathedral as a filming spot for its 6th season. Unlike many modern cities, Girona still retains its medieval architecture from the past. A visit to Girona is incomplete without taking a walk on the medieval walls. These walls, called Passeig de la Muralla, offers a scenic view of the city’s eastern border.

    Located on the west side of Girona, the lovely square of Placa Indepencia has plenty of cafes and restaurants if you need a break over coffee or wine, alfresco style.

    Location: Girona, Spain

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    2

    Dali Theatre-Museum

    Experience surrealism in the art of Salvador Dalí

    The Dali Theatre-Museum sits on the ruins of the former Municipal Theatre of Figueres. Known as the largest surrealistic object in the world, the museum is one of the final works of art by Salvador Dalí. A walk around the Dali Theatre-Museum usually takes about 2 hours, where you can experience his artistic journey through interesting exhibitions and workshops.

    If you're visiting in the summer, you can join Dalí by Night – a special night tour of the museum. Bookings are highly recommended as the tours are limited to groups of 25 for each session.

    Location: Plaça Gala i Salvador Dalí, 5, 17600 Figueres, Girona, Spain

    Open: Daily from 9am to 8pm (hours may vary)

    Phone: +34 972 677 500

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    3

    Tossa de Mar

    A visit to the ancient fishermen’s village

    The historical Tossa de Mar of today is a popular tourist destination, where aerial views of the coast are made possible through a visit up the Tossa’s Lighthouse. Outside the walls, you'll find Sa Roqueta, the fishermen's quarters of Tossa de Mar. Dating back to the 16th century, it's a reminder of the village's first expansion outside the walls of Tossa de Mar.

    To complete your day at Tossa de Mar, be sure to make a visit down the beautiful beaches and take a dip in the clear and calm waters. Tossa de Mar also hosts the annual Festa Major d’Estiu in June where you can look forward to traditional Sardana dance shows, music performances, children's games, and fireworks. 

    Location: Girona, Spain

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    4

    Empordà wine region

    Enjoy a day of wine tasting

    The Empordà DO wine region spans over 2,000 hectares of land in the province of Girona. Stretching from across Figueres all to the way to the French border in the north, the region’s grapevines have been around since the 5th century BC. There are dozens of wineries dotting both the northern and southern parts of the region.

    The locals aren’t well-versed in English and discourage sudden turn-ups, so book a local tour before you visit the wineries. The wineries in Empordà are happy to accommodate activities such as tasting sessions and wine-pairing lunches. Summer is a great time to visit as you can look forward to picnics by the vineyards.

    Location: Emporda, Girona, Spain

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    5

    Play golf at PGA Catalunya

    Strike a hole in one

    PGA Catalunya Resort is one of Spain’s most popular golf courses. The resort has hosted various European golf tournaments, including the Spanish Open. Beginners – adults and children – can learn the basics at PGA Catalunya’s golf academy here.

    Serious golfers can look up PGA Catalunya’s 7-night golf experience or play until dark at reduced rates. PGA Catalunya Resort also has an onsite café, pro shop and a member’s lounge overlooking the Stadium Course.

    Location: Carretera N-II Km 701, 17455, 17455, Girona, Spain

    Open: Daily from 8am to 5pm

    Phone: +34 972 472 577

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    Cap Roig Botanical Gardens

    See history, nature, and art come together

    Cap Roig Botanical Gardens is home to over 1,000 species of plants, as well as sculptures from national and international artists. Located at the county of Baix Exporda, the gardens were the work of Russian colonel Nicolai Woevodskys and English aristocrat Dorothy Webster in 1927. The annual Cap Roig Festival takes place at its onsite auditorium in the summer.

    A map will be provided when you enter the gardens. It’s best to allocate around 1.5 hours to complete the walkabout through this 17-hectare space. Guided tours are available for a small fee.

    Location: Camí del Rus, 17210 Calella de Palafrugell, Girona, Spain

    Open: October–March: daily from 10am to 6pm. April–September: daily from 10am to 8pm

    Phone: +34 972 614 582

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    photo by Amante Darmanin (CC BY 2.0) modified

    7

    Ruins of Empúries

    Take a trip back in time

    Ruins of Empuries is one of the finest historic settings in Catalonia, just around 4 km northwest of L’Escala. With more than 2,500 years of history (including the civilisations of Greece and Rome), the town had once disappeared beneath the dunes in the 3rd century AD. Excavation efforts are still ongoing to uncover homes and constructions of the past.

    A must-see is a sculpture of Asclepios, the Greek God of Medicine, which occupies a temple overlooking the sea. Tickets include admission to the ruins, an archaeological museum, a brochure, and a map. You can also request for a free audio guide during your visit. It takes around 2 hours to explore Ruins of Empuries. Most of the remains are unshaded, so keep yourself hydrated if you’re visiting around midday.

    Location: C/ Puig i Cadafalch, 17130 L'Escala, Girona, Spain

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 10am to 5pm (Closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +34 972 770 208

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    8

    Cap De Creus

    Dive into the first nature reserve in Catalonia

    Cap de Creus is the first marine and terrestrial nature reserve in Catalonia. It offers a pleasant underwater excursion with its calm and clear waters. The bays are well-protected from the rocks of cliffs, making it an excellent dive spot for first-timers. For families with children, diving centres at Cap de Creus offering introductory lessons and diving gears for rent.

    Thanks to its location at the easternmost point of the Iberian Peninsula, Cap de Creus is also a popular meeting spot for locals looking to catch the first sunrise of the year.

    Location: Girona, Spain

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    Lloret de Mar

    Costa Brava’s nightlife hub

    The city of Lloret de Mar may be popular for its sunrise and sandy beaches, but it becomes a lively nightlife hub come sundown. Known as the party capital of Costa Brava, you can find over 100 pubs and nightclubs lining its streets.

    Situated at the southern end of Costa Brava, the best time to visit Lloret de Mar is during the summer as most bars are closed between November and April. Look out for a district within Lloret de Mar that's aptly called Party Town, where over 20 nightclubs await.

    Location: Lloret de Mar, Girona, Spain

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    La Santa Market

    Eat and shop through this annual summer market

    La Santa Market takes centre stage every summer in Santa Cristina De Aro, a small Spanish town of Costa Brava. Dozens of stalls are set up at nightfall, offering a wide range of local delicacies and handicrafts. You can also enjoy performances by local and international artists throughout the night.

    While you’re there, be sure to grab a bite of fideua, a traditional Catalan dish. Almost like paella, the dish is a mix of fideos (short, vermicelli-like noodles), fish stock and tomato-pepper sauce served with fresh local seafood. Finish your meal with a crème Catalana, a local rendition akin to crème brûlée, but with a softer texture.

    Location: C-250, 17246 Santa Cristina d'Aro, Girona, Spain

    Open: Daily from 6pm to 1am

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    Elie Lam | Contributing Writer

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