Since I got the Lonely Planet’s guide to Spain, I’ve wanted to visit Costa Brava. So when I heard that we have long holidays here in Spain during Easter (YAY), I instantly started looking at Airbnbs – and we stayed at the nicest hacienda with a view to the mountains. JUST LOOK AT THIS:
Anyway, our Costa Brava trip was a perfect little getaway. It’s really different from Barcelona, although it is not that far. Costa Brava is so diverse with medieval stone villages and breathtaking sandy beaches. And the constant view of the mountains while driving!! ♥
The 3 days we spent there were enough to get a glimpse of the magic of Costa Brava. I wrote a little overview of every place we visited and shared my opinion which ones are worth going. Don’t worry, if you are not into reading, the pictures give a great vibe to the places as well.
Girona – 5/5
The outer part of Girona is quite basic…but when you go into the old town part, it is EPIC. Feels like time has stopped there – all those medieval buildings and the wilderness between. It’s so cool to think how people lived there centuries ago. Of course, we saw the famous Cathedral, where GOT was filmed (still was exciting, although I haven’t seen the series). The weather was gloomy, which fit perfectly with the surroundings. So yes, definitely worth the visit!
Banyoles is such a small place, with a super-chill vibe. What makes this town special is the picturesque lake. There is not much to do, but it’s nice to walk a while and stretch your legs from the long car ride. We had some coffee in the sun and just enjoyed the view to the lake. Banyoles is a nice place, but nothing extraordinary.
Besalu is perfect for a quick visit. The whole city is inside a fortress, which also feels like going back to the medieval times. The narrow little streets are super cool. But I must say, it is VERY touristic. Got to thinking if people actually live there or it is just nowadays a tourist attraction. Although, when we walked a bit away from the main street, it was so empty and calm – so not that bad overall. HUGE plus points for having free parking areas before the city – it should be like that everywhere!
We started the second morning at the beach in Empuriabrava. The sky was clear blue and there were no people. No people at ALL. We thought we had found a hidden gem – a beautiful city without tourists. It turned out, we were just so early 😀 After some time lying on the beach, the crowds started to arrive. But the beach is HUGE, so there’s room for everyone! What makes the town unique, in addition to the amazingly large beach, are the canals. The houses are built on water and people use boats instead of cars. Like a little Venice!
This is another cute seaside town in Costa Brava. The reason why this town doesn’t get 5/5 is just because coming from the A-M-A-Z-I-N-G Empuriabrava, it wasn’t that impressive. And we arrived there during the lunchtime, so at first it was impossible to find parking. The only thing I dislike about these little towns is the number of cars and the lack of parking spaces. But anyway, the town is nice and the view is stunning – we had a picnic in the sunny seaside with snowy mountains in the background.
Okay. This place. Again problems with parking and the crowd, but MAN, this white city on the coast is just breathtaking. WOW. I could have sit there and just stare at the blue water and white houses for hours. My all-time favourite place. I totally understand the hype of it! And why Dali and Picasso loved it. Soooo worth going. Maybe try to avoid the prime time of the day – go early in the morning or later in the evening. The main attraction is the seaside and the city is so small that you can walk through it with an hour.
Cap de Creus 1/5
This is not a city, but a lighthouse near Cadaques. Maybe it was just bad timing for us, but it was not worth the go. First, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to find parking there. Second, when we got out of the car it was soooooo windy. Like SOOOO windy. I don’t know if there is always this windy or just we got unlucky with the day, but I could not even enjoy being up there. We stayed for about 2 minutes. The lighthouse is nothing special, but the view to the sea is okay. Looks exactly like the view in Mallorca. I guess If you have never been to Mallorca nor seeing the cliffs then you might like it, but to us it was same old same old. So I wouldn’t recommend this place – it was uncomfortably windy and crowded and the views are not worth the hustle. But at least now we know it for sure.
Hah, forgot to take a photo there! #oops
We went to Figueres to visit the famous Dali museum, but before that, we had a morning coffee in the sun and walked around the town. It seemed that the museum is the only attraction in the town and when you go two streets away from it, the city felt empty, tired and ragged. Maybe we ended up on the wrong streets? Anyway, it did not give us a good feeling.
The Dali museum and my thoughts
My suggestion: go to the Dali museum if you are interested in art / Dali / surrealism, don’t go there just because Dali is famous (←what we did).
The Dali museum was cool. Or exactly as I imagined. I wasn’t disappointed nor was I blown away by it. But we started discussing with Markus, that neither of us is a total art fan…and maybe this now is an unpopular opinion, but we found that there is no point in going to museums if that is something we don’t quite love. We prefer being outdoors and just wandering around so much more than being inside and watching paintings.
And we just started talking that when we would see one of Dali’s paintings at a flea market, we would not appreciate it – so basically we just “like it” and are interested in seeing it because of the name behind it. So we decided that next time we would not go to a museum just because it is a famous artist and that’s something we “should do”. Of course, that does not mean that we don’t go to a museum ever again, we have seen some cool exhibitions in Barcelona. But we are going to choose more carefully what we see and not be blinded by the hype or fame of the artist.
I would love to know your views on it! Do you agree with me or think the opposite? And are museums and sightseeings always on your to-go list, when visiting a new place? Let me know in the comments!
♥ THANKS FOR STICKING AROUND TILL THE END ♥