Best coastal walks on the Costa Brava

13 December, 2017

Platja de la Fosca – Platja del Castell

This family-friendly route around Palamós is ideal for exploring this area for a leisurely hour or so and also maybe stopping along the way for a shady picnic.

Start your 6km round trip at the Platja de la Fosca, with its soft sand, inviting turquoise waters and large black Fosca Rock that divides the beach. Follow the path northwards, walk up the stairs and take in the panoramic view on the way up to the medieval castle of Sant Esteve de Mar. These magnificent coastal views include the small rocky Les Formigues islands.

The historic castle is strategically positioned and is thought to have been built on Roman remains, which themselves were built on an ancient Iberian settlement or even earlier. You can visit this Cultural Asset of National Interest for free.

Rejoin the path and head towards Cala del Castell, but before heading into the white pine forest of La Pineda d’en Gori, take a photo break at the notorious picture postcard spot – the iron window that frames the Platja del Castell.

You also can’t miss Cala S’Alguer, with its colourful, iconic fishermen’s houses dating back to the 16th Century. Another Cultural Asset of National Interest, they present a tranquil scene with boats pulled up onto the beach outside and from here you are just a two-minute walk to Cala S’Alguer Apartaments.

Follow the path along Cala S’Alguer but remember to go down the steps to the beach first – kids will love skimming the water with stones! The beaches following Casa Rosa are particularly spectacular. When you reach the Riere d’Abui, look north to the l’Agulla de Castell, the small mountain that is home to the restored remains of a 6th Century BC Iberian settlement. You can also see the lovely La Foradada cove which is only accessible by sea.

Cala S’Alguer

 

Platja de la Fosca – Platja del Castell

 

Platja de Castell

 

Calella de Palafrugell – Llafranc

The elegant, easy path between Calella de Palafrugell and Llafranc takes about 20 minutes. A good place to start is at Platja del Canadell where the Josep Pla family summer house is still preserved next to the beach. For lunch try out Tragamar on Canadell beach – one of the Costa Brava’s true gastronomic treats! The promenade also provides great views of some stunning rock formations.

From the beach, follow the stairs up past the terraces with their beautiful views towards Canadell beach and Cap Roig. You’ll see that this area does not have the characteristic plunging Costa Brava coastline but is a more gently sloping affair which appeals to fisherman, walkers and sun worshippers alike.

This walk also provides horticultural interest, because in contrast to the area’s lush and fragrant pine forests it has largely tropical vegetation, including agaves and cacti that are able to deal with the hot climate.

Stop for a moment at the fishermen’s monument and prepare to discover the lovely bay of Llafranc, presided over by the Sant Sebastià lighthouse. Here you can choose between taking a dip in the clear waters off the beaches of Llafranc (or a cold beer or ice-cream on the promenade) or tackle the slightly more challenging route up to the lighthouse.

The best option is probably to walk up, take in the views and then return to the beach, celebrate with a swim and a long lunch or dinner in this bustling, beautiful cove before enjoying a lovely return journey.

Llafranc

 

Aiguablava – Begur – Pals

Start on the sand at Malaret next to beautiful Aiguablava beach and discover the picturesque coves of this beautiful stretch of the Costa Brava as you make your way to your destination at Racó near Pals, around 10km away.

Wind in and out of pine trees and encounter new vistas at every turn, including the remarkable underwater worlds beneath the crystal clear waters that lap against beaches and rocks.

Highlights include Cala N’Estasia, with its freshwater spring and sweeping coastal views to Cap Rubí where the greys and greens of the landscape give way to the darker rocks of the coast as you continue northwards.

Evocative Costa Brava places punctuate this lovely walk, including Aiguafreda, Sa Riera, Espinuda, Illa Roja and Roca Negra. Together they provide a wealth of stunning locations, from soft beaches where you can relax, swim and appreciate the scenery, to exposed islands and rocky outcrops that add drama to every step.

Aiguablava

 

Roses Lighthouse – Almadrava

Start your walk with a leisurely wander around the Roses lighthouse, built at the turn of the 20th Century and the imposing La Trinitat castle, built nearly 500 years earlier during the reign of Charles V.

The views from here are spectacular enough, but enhance your connection with the landscape by taking this family-friendly path through the rocky outcrops and arriving some 2.5 hours later on l’Almadrava beach, named after the fishing practice of using traps.

Along the way the scenery continues to amaze, whether you find yourself above or beside beaches that include Canyelles Petites, watching the fishermen at l’Omella and l’Ullastrell or watching the fascinating variety of birds that live on the rocky Els Brancs island.

El Port de la Selva – Llança

Choose from two coastal paths that radiate from the important fishing community of El Port de la Selva. The one to Llança is slightly longer, but both offer a stunningly authentic experience of the world famous Costa Brava scenery.

Both walks also underline the abundance of intimate golden beaches, hidden coves and dramatic rocky outcrops that give this stretch of the coast such character. You can follow one path that connects the coves of Fornells with Tamariu, a perfect location for a lunch to recover and relive a route that took you past the stunning beaches of Cala Cativa and Cala Fornells.

The other starts at La Vall beach and winds for 5km, which is slightly longer but well worth it as it takes you around a peninsula that was once a military zone. This means it escaped the extensive development of this area which has somehow overcome the remarkable challenges of the plunging landscape.

S’Arnella is also where you’ll find a lighthouse and sense the constant brooding presence of the Sant Pere de Rodes monastery, perched high on the Verdera mountain. The monastery dominates the landscape here and though its origin is unknown, there is

Sant Feliu de Guíxols – S’Agaró – Port d’Aro

Originally built around a monastery, Sant Feliu de Guíxols now covers more than 6km of coastline and is a major and highly deserving Costa Brava tourist hub.

However, it’s easy to lose yourself in the peace and quiet of the hidden coves and secluded beaches of the area by taking this lovely walk to Port Sant Pol beach at S’Agaró and then, after recuperating in one of the town’s many bars and restaurants, continuing on to Port d’Aro.

This is an interesting walk that combines lovely beach resorts, amazing houses clinging to the cliffs overlooking the sparking Mediterranean and peaceful paths where you can get back to nature. The fresh scent of pines is ever-present as you follow the meandering coastline.

The many viewpoints create ever-changing panoramas as you twist and turn your way along this well-kept path between the craggy outcrops, only to descend to another beautiful beach where a rich natural world awaits, from shining shoals of fish to defiant clutches of sea urchins.

This is a path of endless variety and plenty of opportunities to take rest and refreshment, before turning for home or continuing on to be back in time to take in the sunset at Port d’Aro.

S’Agaró

 

Sant Feliu de Guíxols

 

Cala Llevadors – Tossa de Mar

Embrace the challenge of the Costa Brava topography with this path that rises and plunges along the cliffs between the cove at Llevador and the welcoming civilization and refreshments of Tossa de Mar.

This is a walk that has its ups and downs, but the sweeping views are a constant reward and the excellent signposting ensures that you’ll never get lost. You’ll be free to enjoy the poetry of the local names such as Moltó, Raja l’Aigua and Es Sot d’en Cona.

At times you may wish that you had chosen to join the sailors or kayakers pottering along on the sea below, but as you crest another high point and take in the views that they can only dream of, you’ll be pleased you chose this route.

Platja d’Aro – Sant Antoni de Calonge

This path gives you access to some of the jewels of the Costa Brava with spectacular views along the way. Keep your camera at the ready as you come across beaches, tunnels, rocky points and islands.

A highlight is the Rodones de Dientre y la Fora, a group of reefs that reveal themselves to you with the movement of the waves, and the Roca dels Musclos, a name that conjures up images of a well-earned seafood lunch.

An abundance of beaches and coves provides endless opportunities to rest and recuperate, each with its own character but each symbolic of the landscape and endless beauty that makes the Costa Brava such a unique destination.

Lloret de Mar and Tossa de Mar

Lloret de Mar and Tossa de Mar have well-earned reputations for their nightlife, but take a few steps up and down the coast and you’ll discover that much of traditional and beautiful Costa Brava is still just waiting to be explored.

Walk beside steep grey cliffs and encounter lovely beaches on your way from Lloret to Blanes, where you can recount tales of sea urchins and reefs and check your photos from the viewing point of La Dona Marinera.

Alternatively you can start at the viewing point of Mallorca and wander a path between Lloret and Els Cabdells point, passing by the beaches and coves of Sa Caleta, Els Frares and En Trons along the way.

Slightly further up towards Tossa lies the coastal path between the coves of Canyelles and Morisca. This option has spectacular views and lush surroundings but is also narrower and more challenging thanks to the steep steps that cling to the famous craggy topography of the area.

For a more leisurely view of the coast you can take the boat from Tossa to the Porto Pi beach, but this trip can also be taken via the coastal path that starts from the Llorell cove.
 

Lloret de Mar

 

Tossa de Mar

 

Here are a few other stretches that give you a flavour of this beautiful region:

Sant Feliu de Guíxols – Palamós (17km)

Palamós – Calella de Palafrugell (11km)

Calella de Palafrugell – Tamariu (7km)

Cadaqués to Cap de Creus (7km)

Llancà – Colera (7km)

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