It became official with National Geographic listing the Costa Brava as one of their Best Trips of 2012. But wait, Spain (and more to the point, Catalonia) has been welcoming tourists for decades. Isn’t this a has-been, a tourist trap, a definitive no-go for people who want to enjoy themselves? In truth, no. Sure, it can be crowded during the summer as is the entire coast of Spain, but the trick Costa Brava has up its sleeve is that if you want to get past just staying in an apartment on the beach, there is a great deal more to offer.
History? Oh yeah. As shown in the picture above with the ruins of Empúries from which the Empordà counties the Costa Brava lies in take their name, history is here. 2,000+ years ago, Phoenicians, Greeks, and then the Romans all made landings here and established structures and villages that still stand to this day. They also brought something else: wine.
For the gastronomically-inclined, beyond the multiple Michelin-starred restaurants are wineries galore. We cover all of them in our Empordà & Costa Brava enotourism guide. Starting in Blanes, the “gateway to the Costa Brava” there are the two Cava wineries of Ses Vernes and Mont Ferran.
Head a little further up the coast between Platja d’Aro and Palamós, you’ll find Calonge. Home to a number of wineries such as the upscale Clos d’Agon, you’ll also find a whole wealth of natural winemakers (known locally in Catalan as “vi de pagès”), bottling their wines in much the same, delicious manner as they have been for centuries. They’re a great quality and value level.
As you move up to the full bay of Costa Brava between Escala and Roses, you’ll encounter the wines from the Empordà plain such as Perelada and Espelt. The later of which even has a wine museum in Roses called, Coll de Roses that warrants a visit for anyone in the neighborhood.
While sadly, el Bulli is no longer with us near Roses, el Celler de Can Roca is down in nearby Girona for everyone’s three star Michelin needs. Of course, the entire region of the Costa Brava and Empordà is awash in good food (such as the fantastic la Plaça picture above). It’s only natural as it needs to match the wine.
So, go to the Costa Brava for your holiday. Just make sure to take our wine guide along to mix in some grapes with your holiday.