Costa Brava, once a quiet fishing town in north-eastern Spain, has quickly become a hot tourist spot thanks to its combination of nature, beaches, and Mediterranean climate. It’s about 60 km northeast of Barcelona, making it an excellent location for day trips. Better yet, book a hotel in Costa Brava so that you can explore several beaches without travelling to and from the Catalonian capital.

    With around 199 beaches and hidden coves to choose from, how could you figure out which Costa Brava escapade suits you best? Well, wonder no more as we've handpicked the finest of the lot for you. From the adventurous to the exclusives, these Costa Brava beaches should make it on your next holiday list.


    Cala Pola

    Stay at a campsite at this hidden gem

    Cala Pola is a hidden cove located about 4 km north of Tossa. If you're looking to stay the night, you’ll be able to book out a tent at Cala Pola’s campsite operating under the same name. The beach is only accessible on foot once you’ve crossed the campsite, but the blue that awaits is well worth the effort.

    Cala Pola is one of Costa Brava’s most beautiful landscapes and its exclusivity also means smaller crowds, simply for you to enjoy the beach to yourself. If you’re planning a day trip, Cala Pola offers basic amenities such as showers, toilets, and a restaurant on site. Note that the beach is only open in July and August.

    Location: 17320 Tossa de Mar, Girona, Spain


    Cala del Senyor Ramon

    The beach for adventure seekers

    Cala Del Senyor Ramon is a popular nudist beach in Costa Brava, surrounded by 800-metre-tall cliffs. A long walk ensues before you could reach the coast, but well worth it for its pristine waters which offer excellent snorkelling opportunities.

    Cala del Senyor Ramon attracts a fair share of tourists annually but doesn’t get overcrowded even in the summer. The beach has showers, toilets, and a small bar that opens only in summertime. If you’re strolling along Cala del Senyor Ramon, be sure to head north of the beach and watch out for the colourful reefs of Canyet along the way.

    Location: Cala del Senyor Ramon, 17246, Girona, Spain


    Platja de Castell

    Escape the hustles and bustles of the city

    Platja de Castell, once a spot for lavish parties, has now become a spot for those looking to escape the busy cityscape of Palamós. Locals have worked hard in pushing away developers from putting up hotels and bars by the beach. Easily accessible by car, this naturally relaxing beach has crystal clear waters that are excellent for diving. It even offers a kayak school for tourists.

    In the nearby woods, you can find a small hut that was built in honour of the late Spanish artist, Salvador Dalí. Locally called Barraca de Salvador Dalí (Salvador Dalí's hut), it's around 10 minutes' walk from Platja de Castell.

    Location: 17230 Palamós, Girona, Spain


    Platja del Canadell

    Jump into one of the biggest beaches in Calella de Palafrugell

    Platja del Canadell stretches over 250 metres long and is one of the biggest beaches in the town of Calella de Palafrugell. On the far right of the beach stands a huge rock named La Trona and thrill-seekers are often seen jumping off and into the pristine waters of this Costa Brava beach. This rock formation also naturally separates Platja del Canadell from Platja del Port Bo.

    Besides sunbathing and swimming, kayaks and paddleboards are available for rent from a floating pier that stands in the middle of Platja Canadell.

    Location: Passeig Canadell, 17210 Palafrugell, Girona, Spain


    Platja del Port Bo

    Watch havaneres come alive every summer

    Platja del Port Bo is where the annual Singing of Havaneres takes place every summer. An auditorium is set up specifically to celebrate this event, and you can enjoy live music together with the locals. It’s been said that the tunes are like what sailors would sing on their ventures, so be sure to look out for that.

    Located next to Platja Canadell, Platja del Port Bo spans around 190 metres in length. Boats are docked by the shore, and this sight is often featured on postcards sold across Costa Brava.

    Location: Carrer Miramar, 2, 17210 Palafrugell, Girona, Spain


    Platja Fonda

    Discover the hidden gem at the foot of Begur Cave

    Platja Fonda is a hidden spot with cinder-grey sand that helps the seawater turn turquoise green. located at the foot of the Begur Cave, it’s one of the most peaceful coves along the coastline of Begur with little visitors even in the summer.

    Do note that the beach is only accessible via a coastal path. There’s a set of steep stairs to tackle before reaching Platja Fonda, so it probably isn’t suitable for young children or the elderly. If you’re planning a visit, be sure to wear a pair of comfortable shoes for the excursion.

    Location: Platja Fonda, 17255, Girona, Spain


    Platja d'es Codolar

    Enjoy a scenic view of Tossa de Mar

    Platja d'es Codolar, right below the castle towers of Tossa de Mar, was an old fisherman's beach. The 12th-century towers offer a scenic view of the Catalonian town, while the beach itself if popular for sunbathing, swimming, and snorkelling. Although the waters at Platja D’Es Codolar is usually steady, you should be careful of the pink jellyfish around the beach. If you do need help, just reach out to the staff at the beachside bar.

    Be sure to visit the lighthouse on top of the castle hill. Inside, you’ll find a museum and a café that doubles as a great lookout point when the castle grounds are full.

    Location: Carrer del Portal, s/n, 17320 Tossa de Mar, Girona, Spain


    Platja Aiguablava

    The beach for families with young children

    Platja Aiguablava has calm waters, so parents can breathe easy in bringing their children close to the sea. The beach is around 40 metres long and 80 metres wide. As the white sand meets the bright blue waters, it’s easy to see why it’s one of the most popular beaches of Costa Brava. 

    The beach is easily accessible by car, and it’s best to get there as early as possible to find your favourite spot. A small fee may be collected during the summer. You'll find numerous amenities on the beach, including kayak rentals, scuba diving gear shops, as well as lifeguards and disabled access.

    Location: Carrer Platja d'Aiguablava, 17255, Spain


    Platja de Sant Martí d'Empúries

    Visit the beach and spot some history while you’re at it

    The long and sandy Platja de Sant Martí d'Empúries awaits when you walk along the Passeig Maritim D’Empuries from L’Escala. This 420-metre-long beach is an excellent snorkelling spot with calm and clear waters. Families often pack for a beachside picnic when visiting, but there are many restaurants serving local dishes.

    Just behind Platja de Empuries, the architectural ruins of Emporion remain standing for those looking to enjoy some sightseeing. Dating back to early 1st century BC, these ruins mark the arrival of the Phoenicians, Greeks, and Romans who once disembarked on this beach to build their cities.

    Location: Passeig Miranda, 1, 17130 L'Escala, Girona, Spain


    photo by Jordiferrer (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Platja Illa Roja

    Discover the divide of the Red Island

    Platja Illa Roja, or Red Island, is a quiet and hidden beach set under a cliff. Divided into 2 sandy expanses, this reddish rocky island has clear and steady waters. It receives lesser sun than the other beaches in Costa Brava, but it doesn't mean you should give it a miss. Depending on the tide, you'll be able to walk to the island or just see it floating in the sea.

    You can get to Platja Illa Roja just by walking along the coast of Cala de Sa Riera. The beach is open to nudists and unfortunately lacks basic amenities, except for a snack bar that usually only opens in the summer.

    Location: 17255 Begur, Girona, Spain

    Elie Lam | Contributing Writer

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