Costa Brava holidays

The sun-soaked Costas are some of the top destinations for those looking for Spain holidays, and the Costa Brava is no different. Between the shimmering beaches with honey-coloured sands are quaint villages, historic towns and fun-filled waterparks that the whole family will love. With such a high concentration of natural and cultural attractions to explore, you'll never be short of things to do; is it any wonder it’s still one of the top places for Brits to head for some fun in the sun?

There's everything from thrilling banana boat rides to local museums packed with history, and water parks the kids will love; the choice is yours. Whether you’re booking your holidays to Costa Brava to experience the world-class nightlife of its seaside resorts, or to explore its Modernist or medieval architecture, this region has it all.

Things to do

Explore the beautiful city of Girona and see its magnificent cathedral and medieval quarter during your Costa Brava holiday. Admire the colourful buildings reflected in the waters of the Riu Onyar, see Girona’s other impressive Gothic and Romanesque landmarks, and dine in style at one of the city’s upmarket restaurants.

Love art? Check out the Portlligat Museum-House in Port Lligat, which was once the home and workplace of Salvador Dalí, one of the country's most celebrated artists. This impressive building, overlooking the sea, became a museum shortly after Dalí's death in 1982 and exhibits many of his best works.

Another place worth putting on your Costa Brava holidays places to see list is the medieval village of Besalú about a 35-minute journey from Girona, which is known for its wonderful Romanesque bridge.

Step away from the popular beaches and energetic bars and you’ll find honey-coloured buildings and a genuine, traditional Spanish atmosphere that gives you a glimpse into life in this welcoming Mediterranean destination. Back at the beach it’s sandcastle time, water sports galore, and theme parks that are the perfect family day out in the sun. Costa Brava holidays are still one of our favourites at any time of the year, and we know you love this destination as much as we do.

Attractions

From historical Roman ruins, picturesque medieval villages, and theme parks that are purpose-built to maximise some family fun in the sun, holidays to Costa Brava introduce you to a wealth of attractions. Art lovers will make a beeline for Dali’s home just outside Cadaqués, where you’ll even find a seven-foot-tall stuffed bear in the entrance, and a wacky garden filled with treasures, sculptures, and artefacts to amaze and delight. Close to the seaside town of L’Escala you’ll discover a Greco/Roman complex complete with pillars, walkways and surprisingly well-preserved remains. This is one of the most important archaeological sites in Spain and well worth a visit. Costa Brava holidays give you a chance to discover the attractions of Catalonia, one of Spain’s most unique and interesting regions.

Family Fun

From superb beaches that are perfect for sandcastle competitions, paddling, and having fun in the sun to purpose-built theme parks, the Costa Brava is a very family-friendly destination. However, while the slides, rides, and splash pools of the aqua parks are great there’s also plenty of natural wonders to discover as a family. Head close to the French border and you’ll find the Cap de Creus National Park, a wonderful spot if your family is into hiking, camping and exploring the mountains of Spain.

Entertainment

Costa Brava holidays are popular with groups of mates, who head here for the exceptional nightlife and fantastic bars, clubs and party scene that livens up the region every summer. There’s also a surprising range of nightlife on offer, too, from smooth jazz and Euro-House to Blues, classical, and lounge music, every taste is catered for on a Costa Brava holiday. Check out La Lluna in Begur, indulge in a cremat (black coffee fortified with rum and spices) on the terrace in Can Gelpi, or party hard in Lloret de Mar all summer long.

Towns and Cities

You’ll find incredible medieval towns and villages tumbling down hills to the coast, or ultra-sophisticated cities filled with museums and art galleries right across the region. One of the prettiest medieval towns is Begur, with golden houses, cobbled streets, and very little in the way of crowds, even during the height of summer. For party lovers the top city destination has to be Lloret de Mar, the capital of having a good time on the Costa, with 24/7 nightlife and affordable hotels. Leave the car behind and wander the tiny alleyways and cobbled squares of Peratallada, or spend the weekend in the city of Girona.

Map of Costa Brava

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8-28°C

The Costa Brava enjoys a typically Mediterranean climate, with long, very warm summers and mild, rainy winters. Daytime temperatures usually peak in the upper 20s °C by July and August, when it rarely falls below 18°C at night. So if you’re looking for almost guaranteed beach weather, book your Costa Brava holidays from around late June to early September. However, if you’re eager to explore the coast and avoid the crowds, visit in Spring or Autumn, when temperatures are perfect for leisurely strolls and a bit of exploring.

 

View live forecast

Approximately two hours

It’s one hour ahead of GMT/UK time. Fly to Girona Airport, which is 28km from Lloret de Mar.

Costa Brava is best for...

Beach lovers: Soak up the Mediterranean sun at any of the resorts along the coast. Tossa de Mar is home to two beaches with Blue Flag status.

Families: Enjoy an action-packed day at Marineland Catalunya or take an excursion and explore the nearby cities of Barcelona and Girona.

Nightlife: The resorts on the Costa Brava all have excellent cafés and bars, but for more bright lights and late nights, head to the discos and nightclubs of Lloret de Mar.

Fast facts for Costa Brava

Language: The language spoken in Costa Brava is mainly Catalan, but also Spanish. However, you’ll find English is spoken in many tourist-oriented venues such as hotels and theme parks. Download our handy language app or carry a phrasebook if you’d like to impress the locals with your Catalan or Spanish during your holidays to Costa Brava.

Currency: The currency used here is the Euro (€).

Local time: Costa Brava is 1 hour ahead of GMT/UK time.

Fly to: Girona Airport. The transfer time to Calella and Lloret de Mar is 1 hour, and to Malgrat de Mar it's 1.5 hours.

Flight time from the UK: The Costa Brava flight time is 2.5 hours.

Tourist information: Further Costa Brava tourist information can be found by visiting https://en.costabrava.org 

Visa / health: Before you travel, click https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain for advice on visas and health requirements for your holiday.

 

Getting around Costa Brava

By tourist train: This destination is known for its tourist trains, a fun and easy way to get to the beach or explore the town. The trains are ideal for sightseeing in comfort, particularly if you have young kids or have difficulty walking.

By bus: For some resort-hopping or just a quicker way to get to the beach during your holidays to Costa Brava, use the area’s bus service for the cheapest and quickest method of getting around. There are also bus services running to the cities of Barcelona and Girona.

By car: If you’re a family with young children, or just want a little more independence on your Costa Brava holidays, hiring a car can be a great way to get around. You’ll find car rental firms in all major resorts and in the airports of Barcelona El Prat and Girona.

By taxi: A taxi can be handy when you’re carrying lots of heavy baggage to or from the airport, or heading back to your hotel late at night. Just remember to agree on the fare before you set off.

Events in Costa Brava

Firework Festival: Taking place over five days throughout the last week of July, this is Catalonia's largest firework festival. It's held in the resort of Blanes and draws in tens of thousands of tourists and locals each year.

For music lovers: The region has a calendar of events and concerts throughout the year. One of the most popular is in early July when the Singing of the Havaneres takes place in Calella de Palafrugell. Huge crowds flock here to see groups sing songs brought back from the Caribbean.

Costa Brava weather

The Mediterranean climate means hot summers and plenty of sunshine, with peaks of nearly 30°C in July and August. For the perfect balance of sun and relaxation, book your holiday for late spring or autumn, when you can enjoy temperatures in the upper teens or low 20s °C. The sea is usually warm enough for comfortable swimming from around early July until the end of September, with water temperatures peaking in the mid-20s °C by August. Winters here are not quite as mild as those in the Costa del Sol, but temperatures on the coast often still reach 13°C by day in January, which is much warmer than what you’d expect in the UK.

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