LA COSTA BRAVA
...HELLO- BON DIA...GOODBYE- ADÉU...PLEASE- SI US PLAU...THANK YOU- GRÁCIES…
WHERE TO SLEEP
Mas Lazuli- Pau
This hotel is centrally located to access Roses, Cadaqués, Figueres and the rest of Alt Emporda. There is not much to do in the immediate surroundings but they rooms are decadently comfortable and there is a beautiful pool to siesta by. Also included in the room rate is a yummy breakfast and I've heard that dinner at the hotel restaurant is great, according to the Michelin guide ;)
Tramuntana Hotel- Cadaqués
Cadaqués is a wonderful coastal village where you will find hiking paths to the Cap de Creus national park, great restaurants, beautiful scenery and a view of the mountains and sea. This hotel in particular is perfectly situated in the middle of the small town with easy access to everything, comfortable beds and if you are lucky the extra friendly staff will offer to take you out for a sail to nearby coves.
Hostal Sa Rascassa- Aiguafreda
This place is my favorite in all of Costa Brava, it feels like an exclusive, adult-only summer camp. Located at the bottom of the hill from Begur and positioned on a small and beautiful cove is this magical 5 room hotel with an award winning restaurant inside. You never have to leave if you don't want to. Feel free to sunbathe and snorkel in the cove, pop up for lunch at the beachside xiringuito, El Vermut and then hike over to the neighboring village of Sa Tuna for afternoon drinks. Returning back to Sa Rascassa after a day of exploration or beach bumming feels like coming home and the food here is some of the best in Costa Brava.
WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK
This is hands down the best restaurant in Cadaqués! I can't actually say that I've eaten at all of them but I feel pretty confident in my previous statement. The menu is inventive while still classic Catalan and the service is incredible. My only regret was discovering this charming and delicious place on my last night in town.
If you are going to have one blowout meal in Costa Brava this should probably be where you have it. Alums of the famed El Bulli opened this restaurant (as well as Disfrutar in BCN) and have been cranking out great food and even better reviews since. While the ambiance is casual the food is refined... and don't be afraid to compartir ;)
One of many Martín Faixó restaurants spread all over Cadaqués. I can't say that this is a place you HAVE to go to but that is more because the prices are a little high for what you are getting on the plate. That being said, it is a solid choice and if you can't make it up the mountain to do a wine tasting at the MF cellar this is a great place to taste all of the wines.
Whether you are staying at this hotel or not, dining here is a MUST. One of the best meals to be had in Costa Brava is in this tiny cove below the town of Begur. The menu boasts only local and freshly caught seafood of the day so you can anticipate a different meal every time you eat here.
Anxoves El Xillu
If you happen to find yourself in the quaint, anchovy rich town of L’Escala stop into this spot for a snack of yummy little fish and a caña.
You will need a local to make a reservation for you here because while they are not big or fancy they happen to be one of Ferran Adria’s favorite restaurants and the word is out. Come to the town of Roses and gorge on fresh seafood and fantastic local wine just a few steps from the beach.
Cap de Creus Restaurant
After a long hike from Cadaqués to the lighthouse of Cap de Creus you will be pretty hungry and deservedly so. There are two options up here, one being more of a snack bar and this one which is a full restaurant. You can choose either but I had a delightful meal (with a better view) at this one. Reservations seem to be smart but you can wing it like we did and show up at the top of the lunch hour and hope to get a seat.
WHAT TO DO
Hiking Costa Brava
Some of the most well marked and beautifully mapped out hikes I have been on exist in Costa Brava. Everything from seaside town hopping to scaling the Pyrenees to walking in dormant volcanic craters can be done in this region. There are many websites dedicated to mapping out these hikes but I’ve attached a link to the one I find most complete and useful.
Kayaking Costa Brava
Take to the open ocean on one of the guided kayak tours of this beautiful coastline. Expect to be awed by how beautiful and clear the water is and how knowledgeable the guides are of the environment and region. This is definitely one of my fondest memories of all my time spent in Costa Brava.
Finca Bell- Lloc
Located in the Baix Empordá wine region is this finca/restaurant/winery. This winery nestled between the hills with a castle and hermitage nearby make this place a beautiful spot to spend an afternoon or a couple nights. The wine is pretty amazing too.
Celler La VInyeta
In Alt Empordá close to the French border there are many old wineries to visit however La Vinyeta is the new kid on the block. The story is that two brothers from the area bought the land in 2002 and started the winery in 2006 and much to the surprise of the more seasoned local growers and winemakers near by their first vintage won a regional award for best in show. There wines are special and sentimental as you will find out when you visit the beautiful grounds covered in vines and olive trees.
Dalí Theater and Museum
This museum in Figueres dedicated to and designed by Dalí himself could not be more colorful or magical. See many works from the artist himself as well as some from his private collection. My favorite spot in the whole museum is at the very end where you can view all of the jewelry he designed and made himself!
Casa Museu Salvador Dalí
Even if you aren’t a fan of the late, eccentric artist visiting he one-time residence in the charming fishing village of Port Lligat is a MUST. Imagine if his painting came to life and that doesn’t begin to describe how fantastical this house is. A short 15-minute walk from Cadaqués will get you here. Definitely buy your tickets in advance to avoid long lines or potential disappointment.