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Begur

Much more than just a quintessential Spanish town, Begur is blessed with being at the highest point in the area, meaning they have countryside and coastline views as tasty as the food on offer there. By day you can take in the skyline that begs you to get your camera out and appreciate it, and by night the place comes alive - especially if you visit during the summer. With Cuban, Italian, Spanish and more types of food on offer, you’re sure to find something to appeal to even the most refined palette. 

Begur

Few things pair better with the food and drinks on offer than the live music and dancing that floods the streets come nighttime, and the stunning remains of Castell de Begur are the perfect place to relax after it all. For years we have owned property in Begur and spent our holidays here, so you can trust us when we say it’s a special place. That also means we can answer any questions you may have about the area, and even offer recommendations for hidden spots that you may miss otherwise. 

Begur Beaches

Nestled on the coastline of the Costa Brava, Begur is one town that’s steeped in history and Spanish ambiance. The town is home to a medieval castle, found in Begur Massif this imposing monument is said to be 300-400 years old and stands tall as a proud monument to Begur’s rich heritage.

Take a stroll around Begur and you’ll discover colonial-style houses complemented by sixteenth century defence towers that have been an architectural figurehead of the town for centuries and the Casino Cultural, an exquisite old stone house that is as aesthetically jaw-dropping as it is inspiration.

But what really attracts tens of thousands of tourists to Begur every year are some of the most inviting and personify the very essence of coastal Spanish holidays – and are perfect for everyone.

So, if you’re intent on visiting some of the most prestigious beaches on the Costa Brava or are looking for that beach holiday hotspot to keep the whole family occupied, you really need to visit one – or all – of these Begur beaches.

Playa Sa Riera

To the north of Begur you’ll find Playa Sa Riera. Approximately 300 meters long and 100 meters wide, Playa Sa Riera features fine, golden sand and a quintessentially Spanish beachside experience. Relax and enjoy picturesque views whilst you contemplate the exquisite beauty of the environment or unwind and enjoy good food and drink on one of the terraces.

Traditionally a nucleus for fisherman, visit Playa Sa Riera and you’ll discover architecture that harks back hundreds of years. One of the best beaches in Begur to connect with nature, the seafaring past of Playa Sa Riera is distinctly evident and endures to this day, with the southern port being dotted with pleasure boats.

To the north, once you pass the Rei cove, stopping to marvel at its breath-taking views, you can take a walkway to the enticing cove of Illa Roja and, eventually Pals beach.

Platja del Raco

Venture into the area of Sa Punta and immediately behind the massif of Begur to the north and you’ll discover a wide, sandy beach – Platja del Raco. Commonly-known as Playa de Pals, the warm sand, welcoming family-friendly atmosphere and wealth of water sports and beachside activities make Platja del Raco one of the most popular beaches in Begur.

Awash with areas of outstanding natural beauty, Platja del Raco is famed for its ecosystems that call the large sand embankments home. The beach itself is approximately 400 meters long and 40 meters wide. Continue walking along the shore and you’ll reach L’Estartit. Diminutive coves complement the vast expanse of sand, making Platja del Raco perfect for sun-seekers.

Spend the afternoon sailing or windsurfing then relax at one of several beachside bars, enjoying a cool beverage as you while away the time at one of Costa Brava’s best kept coastal secrets.

Platja Fonda

Located at the foot of the Begur Cave, Platja Fonda, or ‘deep beach’ is a hidden beach. With unprecedented natural beauty, cinder grey sand and turquoise-green water, Platja Fonda has remained untouched over time and offers visitors a primitive, yet idyllic experience.

Access to Platja Fonda is via a single entrance and exit. A relatively-steep incline of stairs meander through a small estate of established hillside houses, but rest assured, getting to this secluded Begur paradise is quick and simple.

Sitting under cliffs that rise to the height of Cap Begur, Platja Fonda is often remarked to have a still calmness to its waters, giving it a transparent, aquarium-like vibe with schools of fish dancing in the water. Whilst you’re here, why not walk along the Fornells and Aiguablava walk and marvel at the costal scenery.

Sa Tuna

Don’t be put off by the winding route that you’ll need to take to reach the remote, small beach of Sa Tuna. Shoreside you’ll discover whitewashed houses, completed with splashes of colour on their doors and shutters and beached boats dotted along the landscape.

A gravel beach of 80 meters in length and 25 meters wide, Sa Tuna doesn’t often get overcrowded and is perfect for families and couples alike. You’ll find the water ideal for swimming and warm – and there’s a smattering of coastal walks to help you stretch your legs and gain an understanding of the picturesque coastline that surrounds Sa Tuna.

An old fishing village, Sa Tuna is a real favourite amongst Catalans. Yet, despite its popularity the beach is never overcrowded and is always drenched in warm atmosphere.

These are just four of the best beaches in Begur. In truth, Begur – and the Costa Brava in general – is home to some of the more exquisitely beautiful beaches that the Mediterranean has to offer.

The real question to ask yourself is what type of experience do you want to have when idling the hours away at a Spanish beach? Answer this question and you’ll immediately discover the ideal beach for you to visit.

Begur Points of Interest

The Costa Brava or Spain’s ‘brave coast’, is scattered with charming fishing ports, hidden coves, some of the most exquisite beaches in the Mediterranean, a wealth of sporting activities, both coastal and inland, and charming fishing ports. It’s little surprise then that Begur is one of the region’s more densely-populated tourism hotspots.

Visitors to Begur are likely to discover a region that hosts chic resorts that tastefully combine the sophisticated appeal of traditional culture that has remained unchanged for decades and contemporary facilities that attract thousands of holiday-makers every year. Just an hour to the north of Barcelona, Begur offers traditional ambiance with a cosmopolitan twist. It’s hardly surprising that the municipality is favoured by Catalans wanting to get away from it all.

So, what are the points of interest in Begur that you should make a note to visit? Continue reading below to discover more than you may already know about Begur.

Castell de Begur

Heralded as the most important cultural asset of Begur, Castell de Begur is a castle that stands atop as rocky hillside and overlooks the whole municipality of Begur. Known for centuries as the guardian of this quaint Spanish town, any visit to Begur wouldn’t be complete without seeing the Castell de Begur.

 The perfect place to take panoramic pictures of Begur, the castle may not be in impeccable condition, yet it’s still as imposing as ever. When dusk falls, the Castell de Begur lights up, illuminating the path for visitors to come and visit this steadfast piece of Begur history.

The Indians Fair

Scheduled to be held on September 6th, 7th and 8th 2019, the Indians Fair celebrates the strong connection between Cuba and Begur which has endured since the 19th century when Cubans began emigrating to Begur.

During first weekend of September every year Begur is transformed, recreating a period of history which had a profound influence on Begur and its identity. The squares and streets of Begur host a market rich in overseas produce, displays of traditional crafts and musical performances.

Visit Begur during the Indians Fair and you’ll be treated to streets shows, recreations of the colonial era, habanera songs sung by internationally-renown Cuban groups, such as Barnahabana, Lla Maquina del Sabor and musicians including Moncho and Pepe Rubianes, exhibitions and guided tours.

Visit Esclanya

Located within the municipality of Begur, on the north-west borough, visitors to Begur should make a point to visit Esclanya. This quaint village is grouped around the Church of Sant Esteve d’Esclanya which dates all the way back to 1280.

One of the most distinctive architectural structures in the whole of Begur, the Church of Sant Esteve d’Esclanya features contrasting architecture from the differing Romanesque periods from the 10th century onwards, suggesting the existence of an earlier place of worship.

Also, here you’ll discover the Esclanya Tower. A large, rectangular 14th century Roman construction, the Esclanya Tower features battlements on the northern side. Any history buffs or those with a deep appreciation for architecture – especially architecture of the ancient world – will surely find Esclanya a perfect place to spend the day.

The Equestrian Centre

Located in the heart of Costa Brava, a stone’s throw from Sorreres, there is an equestrian centre that welcomes visitors of all ages. Perfect for families wishing to spend some quality time together or couples looking for a romantic outdoor activity, a visit to Hipica Begur offers much to put a smile on everyone’s face.

From organised horseback rides along the headland, paths and forests near the Begur mountain and beachside in the exquisite natural setting of Les Sorreres to riding the ponies, and horse-riding lessons perfect for beginners, visit Hipica Begur and you’ll find something to occupy everyone.

Hipica Begur offers one, two- and three-hour horse-riding excursions. There’s no need to worry if you’ve never mounted a horse before as full support is provided, as is the opportunity to tailor an excursion to your degree of equestrian experience.

Aiguablava

The Begur coast, more specifically, the coves between Aiguablava and Sa Riera are renowned as the most scenic of the entire Costa Brava. Visit Aiguablava at the point where the state run Parador lies and you will immediately notice what is known as the ‘shining scenery’, so-named because of the exquisitely crystalline blue water.

Visit Platja Aiguablava and you’ll be treated to shallow, calm water and a range of amenities, located just a stone’s throw from the beach. Perfect for the whole family, Platja Aiguablava is the southernmost beach of Begur and, as such, it’s one of the most-frequented beaches in Begur.

Dive into the ocean and discover the refreshing waters as temperatures rise. Grab a bite to eat at one of the local eateries dotted around the shore or twiddle your toes in the fine sand as you relax and watch the world go by.

These are just a handful of the points of interest in Begur that you should make a point to visit when staying in the municipality. Interested in booking a holiday to Begur? One thing’s for sure, visit Begur and you won’t be short of places to visit or things to do.

Begur Activities

Discover Begur through the wealth of activities the municipality has to offer. A mere half an hour drive from Barcelona, Begur is one of the most attractive destinations on the Costa Brava for families. Visitors can enjoy superb panoramic views of the countryside and coastline, bask in the picturesque beauty of some of the most attractive beaches in the Mediterranean, or marvel at the

Beyond that, stroll through this traditional Spanish town any time of the day or night and you’ll be treated to an intoxicating mix of sights and sounds that won’t just pique your attention, they’ll hold it – morning, noon or night.

From the dulcet tones of live music in the summer months you’ll find in the Old Square in the summer months to the preserved architecture that extends across the whole town, there’s much to see and keep you occupied when visiting Begur.

Here’s a look at the activities that you can’t afford to miss when you come and visit one of Spain’s most enticing holiday destinations.

Hiking Along the Coastal Paths

Famed for its glorious coastal pathways and coves, Begur’s coastal pathways skirt the shoreline, overlook and lead directly to Begur’s hidden coves whilst being indicative of Begur’s history prior to and after the post-war eras.

Take a peaceful stroll through the one of Begur’s three separate coastal paths and discover different beaches and distinctive natural landmarks of the municipality.

The Northern Coastal Path – to the northern end of Begur you’ll discover a coastal path that links beaches of Sa Riera and Platja del Raco. Stemming from Sa Riera, the path traverses the coastline and features just a handful of steps along the route.

At just 1.6 km, it only takes an hour to hike up and down the Northern Coastal Path. You’ll first arrive at the impressive cove of Illa Roja before finally setting foot on Platja del Raco.

The Eastern Coastal Path – this central pathway links the coves of Sa Tuna and Aiguafreda. Traverse the route and you’ll discover several connecting landscape sections and a flatter series of steps.

Similar in length to the Northern Coastal Path, at only 1.5km, it should take hikers just 45 minutes to hike up and down the Eastern Coastal Path, though on the journey you’ll encounter landscapes of outstanding natural beauty and an easy to follow route marked by steps and headland.

The Southern Coastal Path – to the south you’ll discover the Southern Coastal Path. Linking the idyllic beaches of Aiguablava, Fornells and Platja Fonda, this pathway offers wonderful views of the Begur coastline.

Slightly longer at 2.5 km and featuring steps dotted along the route, the Southern Coastal Path stretches from the Aiguablava to the coves of Fornells before reaching Platja Fonda, a stunningly beautiful and unspoiled bay.

Absorbing the Local Culture

If you don’t fancy a coastal walk and instead feel like absorbing the local culture, you’ll find much to explore and learn visiting one of the many places of culture Begur has to offer – and, if you’re lucky, you might visit Begur when a cultural event is being held.

The region of Begur is famed for its music festival. One of the most established and longstanding in the Girona region, the music festival draws quite the crowd, with residents and tourists alike flocking to the Old School courtyard to sample a variety of pop, rock, jazz, soul and classical music in the July and August months.

Explore the Colonial Houses

Why not spend some time exploring one of the historic Colonial houses of Begur? Arguably the best example of Begur’s heritage, each offers a unique cultural insight into a municipality that once was, having stood proudly on the landscape for hundreds of years.

Can Sora – this porch has retained frescoes of romantic landscapes. Built around 1870 when the Cama-Marti family returned from Havana after having made their fortune, the architecture is indicative of the landscapes of American colonies.

Casa Bonaventura Caner Bataller – neoclassical architecture at it’s finest, Casa Bonaventura Caner Bataller was built in 1866 by Bonaventura Caner Bataller. With stone pillars extending from the ground floor to the floors above and a design of quintessential Begur, Casa Bonaventura Caner Bataller is one abode you can’t afford to not visit when in Begur.

Mas Carreras – A majestic house designed in the Indies colonial style, Mas Carreras was built in the second half of the 19th century by Josep Carreras Frigola, a trader from Begur who emigrated to Santiago de Cuba in 1831.

A fine example of the purest Indies colonial style, this house features curiously decorated bedrooms and originally featured a 16th century tower within the property.

The Cultural Centre and Other Places of Interest in Begur

The Cultural Centre – Originally opened as a club in 1870, the Cultural Centre was originally built on the instructions of colonists returning from the Indies. The building was known as the Casino dels Senyors or Casino Vell and is a staple Begur landmark. Featuring notable architecture that includes huge picture windows and doors along with outer walls of rough-hewn stone, the Cultural Centre is the mecca for culture in Begur.

Begur Arts Centre – from the late 19th century to the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, Begur Arts Centre was the focal point for the town’s social and cultural life. Founded by the Forgas Estrabau family, the Arts Centre later rented the ballroom and theatre to silent screen cinema and remained in operation from 1918 to 1978.

The Church of St. Peter – Dating back to 1199, the Church of St. Peter is one of the most distinctive landmarks in Begur. Though expanded in 1600 and 1624, the Church of St. Peter has retained much of its original design features and remains a shining light on the Begur landscape.

Inside, the internal structure was modified in the 18th century, with a new space dedicated to Begur’s patron saint, Santa Reparada added. The Church of St. Peter is a place where a pilgrimage by secular and religious people alike must be made.

Interested in sampling some of Begur’s activities? These are just a handful of activities that holiday-makers can engage in when visiting the most attractive region of Spain.

Begur Attractions

Meander around Begur’s maze of narrow streets lined with colourful, Moorish buildings and you’ll discover one of the most engaging locations on the Costa Brava. A traditional Spanish town, Begur has evolved into becoming one of the prime Catalan holiday spots over the last few decades.

It’s not just the five-star beaches that adorn the landscape or the coves just waiting to be explored that draw holiday-makers back to Begur year-on-year. It’s the veritable treasure trove of attractions that one can engage in.

Are you thinking of booking a Spanish summer break and unsure of where to stay on the Costa Brava? Well, take a look at these attractions Begur has to offer and you may just find that your mind is instantly made up.

Aiguablava Dive Centre

Anyone interested in exploring the majestic ocean, or who has a deep affection for maritime life, should make a point to visit Aiguablava Dive Centre. As a PADI 5-Star dive centre with more than 25 years’ experience and being fully-authorised by the Generalitat de Catalunya, this is the best place in Begur to get your diving sea legs or reconnect with the ocean deep.

Those hoping to take to the ocean with the scuba diving equipment are in luck. Visit Aiguablava Dive Centre and choose from a range of diving excursions. Six dives with equipment costs just 240.00 Euros and 10 dives with equipment just 380.00 Euros.

You can also choose from a wealth of diving courses. From introductory to advanced courses, divers of all standards can learn how to astutely explore the ocean. Those already confident with an air tank and snorkel can learn to become a verified divemaster by taking a 3-week diving course.

Though it may not be a suitable course for those visiting Begur for a week or so, if you’re spending the summer on the Costa Brava coast and are looking to become a suitable divemaster, visit Aiguablava Dive Centre.

Take a Walk in Plage de Sa Tuna

Perhaps more than anything else, Begur is famed for its costal paths and coves. Skirting the shoreline, there are few more relaxing endeavours than walking around the breath-taking landscape of Begur.

Most of the routes should take hikers an hour or two to traverse, weather permitting and physical fitness aside, yet there are some routes that stretch for almost 20km – and some paths that are simply more attractive than others.

The quintessential walking route in Begur is that Sa Tuna. Setting off from the charming pebbled bay enclosed by a small collection of old-style fishing villages and houses the path traverses the elevated headland behind the beach, offering increasingly spectacular views of the bay the higher you climb.

Follow the markers and head inland through the scrub and bracken and you’ll find yourself walking in tandem with the cliff face. Anyone without a head for heights may want to keep their eyes affixed ahead until the path emerges onto a sparely populated estate with homes that seemingly cling to the hillside and have a wondrous sea view.

One of the best walking routes in the Costa Brava, venturing along pathways around the Plage de Sa Tuna is an experience that everyone should enjoy when visiting Begur.

Bar Musical Noctambul

Begur may have a wealth of daytime activities, certain to appeal to holiday-makers, but when the sun goes down there’s much to keep everyone entertained. You could venture to Old Town and sample some tapas before having a cerveza or two, or you could visit Bar Musical Noctambul.

A kooky bar decorated with distinctive memorabilia including a life size model of the king himself – Elvis Presley – Bar Musical Noctambul is a celebration of music from around the globe. Grab a drink and relax, laugh with friends and family or dance the night away all night long when visiting Bar Noctambul.

Catch the bartender’s eye and order a round of the best mojitos you’re likely to find in the Costa Brava. Open all night, Bar Musical Noctambul is the ideal place to come if you want to while away the hours until early in the morning or have a quiet drink or two after enjoying a lovely Spanish meal.

Visit the Village of Pals

Pals is universally accepted as one of the most charming villages in the whole of the Costa Brava. Sat atop a hill, Pals was built around a fortress and its medieval visage has endured to this day.

The historical centre is renowned for its local traditions and gastronomy – something that attracts a wealth of visitors to this day. Several gastronomic and cultural events are organised every single year, events that if you’re staying in Begur at the same time, you owe it to yourself to sample.

Walking around Pals is a relaxing experience. With its vibrant and authentic beauty and history, you’ll be struck by the eye-catching arches and doorways and flowers that add s dash of colour to the stone walls. Beautifully preserved, the village of Pals has been designated a Site of Historical Interest since 1973, having been first mentioned in the pages of history in the 9th century.

Unsure of where you want to go or what you want to experience when visiting Begur? Try visiting one – or all – of these locations. You won’t be disappointed!

Begur Shopping

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Begur is all sun, sea and fun. Yes, you’ll find all three things in Begur – and so much more! The municipality has so much to offer. It’s unsurprising that the region attracts thousands of holiday-makers every single year.

Those who love nothing more than spending hour upon hour casting their eyes across a shop’s inventory before deciding to treat themselves and put their hands in their pockets, or holiday-makers that like to get a feel for the ambiance of a region by studying what the shops have for sale will find much to admire and a tantalising array of shopping experienced when in Begur.

Here’s a guide to the best places to go shopping when in Begur. Whether you’re looking for that gift for a special someone or want to mark your trip to Begur by decorating your home with trinkets or products indicative of Catalan culture will find much to admire when browsing Catalan shops. Interested in learning of the best shopping opportunities in Begur? Read on.

Centre Commercial Cavallers

Most of us don’t visit exotic European destinations solely for the purpose of shopping – unless of course you’re in the market for something specific that you just can’t find at home. Yet, many holiday-makers derive great enjoyment and satisfaction from visiting the local shopping outlets.

Just a stone’s throw from Begur is Centre Commercial Cavallers. Holiday-makers can take a short bus ride and spend an afternoon, or longer exploring the wealth of shops housed within one of Catalan’s more frequented outlet malls.

Find that elegant or comfortable summer ensemble or grab a bite to eat at one of the established eateries within the centre. Looking to pick-up a new iPhone or grab the latest tablet at a discounted price? In search of Spanish apparel to keep you cool – and stylish as the temperature rises? You’ll find just what you’re looking for at Centre Commercial Cavallers.

Old Town Palamos

As convenient as Centre Commercial Cavallers is to pick-up a wealth of goods at highly attractive prices, a visit to the shopping centre hardly immerses one in the spirit of traditional Catalan shopping. Anyone looking to sample authentic Catalan shopping culture would be better off seeking out somewhere different – somewhere like Old Town Palamos.

Famed for its historic streets and quintessentially Catalan architecture, a trip to Old Town Palamos offers an immerse experience and the chance to browse a collection of wonderfully quaint boutiques.

Discover creatively woven baskets, perfect for home storage or as laundry hampers – even as a beach bag. Once you’ve finished browsing all the stalls, why not end your shopping excursion in Old Town Palamos by tucking into delectable seafood, like anchovies packed in oil. Truly a shopping excursion to savour!

Municipal Market

If you’re looking to sample a splash of authentic Spanish culture whilst enjoying an intoxicating shopping experience, a visit to the Municipal Market could be just for you.

With a bustling, flavourful scene, both of Spanish culture and the collection of culinary delights on offer, Municipal Market is the Palamos’ principal market. Stroll around the market and your senses dance and sing with the selection of local produce. A true taste of the Costa Brava, Municipal Market is the perfect place to visit for anyone staying in self-catering accommodation in the region.

Open from 7am to 1:30pm every day save for Sunday, visitors are advised to get there early to avoid the crowds. With such exquisite, fresh produce available you don’t need to be a Michelin Starred chef to pick up the ingredients and cook a meal to savour.

La Bisbal Ceramics

One of the leading pottery centres in Catalonia, La Bisbal Ceramics houses a collection of bespoke, eye-catching ceramic items that have been masterfully crafted from some of the leading ceramic artists in Catalonia.

Found just a twenty-minute drive from Palamos, the pottery on display is indicative of the local landscape. Renowned for its slender silhouettes and delicate designs, a trip to La Bisbal Ceramics and you’ll be able to buy some of the most distinctive pottery the region has to offer.

Anyone looking to veer away from standard, mundane home crockery or who has their heart set on owning a distinctive ceramic design to bring out of the cupboard and leave guests’ mouths agape when hosting a dinner party needs only to visit La Bisbal Ceramics.

These are just a handful of the best places for shopping that Begur has to offer. The truth is that when visiting the municipality, a range of inviting shopping excursions await you – which is just one of the reasons why Begur has evolved to be one of the most popular destinations for holiday-makers hoping to sample a bit of the cherished Catalan lifestyle.

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Aiguablava Summary

 

Aiguablava is for many people the Costa Brava`s most perfect spot, where the cliffs reach down into a turquoise bay backed by a beach of gently shelving sand. It was here in 1908 that Ferran Agullo first coined the term Costa Brava. Although Aiguablava (its name means `blue water` in Catalan) has been `discovered` and villas are creeping up the hillsides, this remains a good place to experience the Costa Brava as it was before mass tourism took over in the more southern resorts.

Aiguablava villas

Haven On Earth have an excellent selection of villas with private pools in Aiguablava, as well as apartments in smart developments such as Cap Rubi and Los Oliveres. The villas we have in Aiguablava range from 2 bedrooms to 6 bedrooms. We have a selection of smart, modern villas in this area, offering a contemporary feel to your holiday and for those looking for more of a traditional experience we have older villas which do tend to be better value for those who don’t mind a rustic feel.

Aiguablava beaches

Platja Fonda: Platja Fonda can be reached via the coastal footpath from Fornells. The beach is approximately 130m long, has coarse, dark sand and is quite low down in comparison to the path, meaning that it is reached by a long set of steps. The beach remains unspoilt and wild thanks to its access.

Platja de Fornells: Fornells is well known for its small harbour and can be easily reached from >Begur by road and also via the coastal path that runs between >Aiguablava and Fornells. Fornells enjoys favourable weather conditions making it a pleasant holiday location. The original beauty and charm of Fornells has not been lost despite it becoming more residencial. Fornells is also a great place for fishing. At each side of Fornells there are two small coves: `Ses Orats` and `Can Malaret`.

"Three miles to the north, the triple whammy of Aiguablava, Fornells and Platja Fonda will spark a best-beach debate..." Extract from `The Perfect Spanish Costa` by Chris Haslam from The Times January 13, 2008

Platja d`Aiguablava: >Aiguablava is for many people the Costa Brava`s most perfect spot, where the cliffs reach down into a turquoise bay backed by a beach of gently shelving sand. The beach offers fine, light-coloured sand and beautiful shallow waters – a perfect setting for any holiday maker. The beach of >Aiguablava is easily reached by road with good parking facilities. The beach is one of the most popular beaches not only in >Begur, but the whole of Catalonia. Over the years many artists and writers have depicted this wonderful location in their works.

"Aiguablava: The setting here — a sunset-pink rocky inlet where little boats ride on Smartie-coloured buoys against an amphitheatre of green hills — is Mediterranean perfection." Extract from `The wilder side of the Costa Brava` by David Wickers from The Times, June 26, 2005

Aiguablava history

Aiguablava seems immune to change; probably why it is still among our preferred destinations on the Costa Brava. As we approach, we pass through lush vegetation and catch glimpses here and there of resplendent, well-hidden private houses dotting the hills. At times the ascent from the waterfront is so steep that construction is virtually impossible; and yet the government-sponsored Parador de Aiguablava crowns one of the highest rocky crags. The hotel, modern and spare in style and well over 30 years old, takes a back seat to the vertiginous views. The hotel pool, at the edge of the precipice, is perfectly situated. In the evening, lights sparkle from the houses in the surrounding hills, and we briefly contemplate staying put but we can`t resist exploring nearby villages and their own coves: Tamari, Aigua Xelida, Sa Tuna, Aiguafreda, and Llafranc, where the simple but immaculate little Hotel Llafranc sits along the tree-shaded seaside promenade.

When we returned to the Costa Brava in October, we checked into Mas de Torrent, a few miles inland from Aiguablava. The hotel was at the vanguard of a wave of small deluxe hotels sprouting in Spain. An 18th-century masia (Catalonian manor house) in the countryside, exquisitely refurbished; the hotel is ideally situated to take advantage of both the coast and the rural interior. While here we direct our attention inward, visiting beautifully preserved medieval towns like Peratallada, with cobbled streets, covered passageways and an 11th-century castle (now a deluxe hotel with eight guest rooms), and Pals, former fief of feudal lords that was rediscovered by city folk who have splendidly restored the houses as weekend retreats. We are especially charmed by the isolated town of Monells and its singular Plaza Mayor, from which multiarched porticoed streets, tunnel-like passageways and alleyways emerge at odd angles.

Property to wish list.