Costa Brava, a picturesque region in Spain's northeast corner, features some of the country's most beautiful and diverse beaches. And with over 300 miles (483 km) of coastline, you have plenty of sandy stretches to choose from, so you might need some help deciding which beaches are best for you. Whether you're looking for a bustling and lively beach with a vibrant atmosphere and a lot of amenities or a secluded and serene beach where you can relax and soak up the sun, Costa Brava can provide it (and more).
Keep reading for a thorough breakdown of the best beaches in Costa Brava by theme: top beaches for families, couples and friends, relaxation, water sports enthusiasts, and those seeking a more peaceful and private experience.
Best Beaches for Families
When with your family, you'll likely look for kid-friendly beaches with shallow water, fluffy sand, and essential amenities that make traveling with the whole crew a little easier. Changing rooms, sun lounger rentals, and nearby eateries can make all the difference when you have your kids in tow. Many beaches in Costa Brava work well for families, but a few options stand out from the rest:
Long, wide, and sandy, Plaja Pals in Sant Feliu de Guixols is one of the most family-friendly beaches in Costa Brava, offering a range of facilities and activities for any age. The beach is in a natural bay, providing shelter from wind and waves and offering clear, calm waters. It's ideal for families with young children, and you and your crew can swim, paddle, splash, and play in a relatively safe area. The gently sloping shoreline makes it easy for children to enter and exit the water, and the soft sand is perfect for building sandcastles and playing beach games.
Getting there: Platja Pals is easily accessible by car, and you'll find plenty of parking nearby. It's just an 11-minute drive from the town of Begur and about one hour from Girona.
Facilities: Besides its natural beauty and ideal water conditions, Platja Pals offers several amenities and services that cater to families. You'll find convenient things like showers, changing rooms, sunbeds, umbrellas, lifeguard services, beachside restaurants, and cafés, plus a playground with swings, slides, and climbing frames.
Water sports: If you have older kids and want to try water sports, Platja Pals is suitable for kayaking, windsurfing, and paddleboarding. Equipment rental and lessons are available from several water sports centers near the beach.
Platja Gran, Tossa de Mar
Platja Gran is a beautiful beach located in the charming town of Tossa de Mar, a popular destination for families due to its spaciousness, calm waters, and abundance of amenities and activities. One of the unique features of the beach is its location at the foot of Tossa de Mar's Old Town, providing stunning views of the medieval walls and castle that overlook the coast. This is perfect if your family is also interested in local history—and kids love walking up to the castle.
Another highlight is the beach's size, stretching nearly 1,320 feet (400 m) long and providing ample space for families to spread out and enjoy the sun and sand without worrying too much about crowds. And because it's in a large cove, the water tends to be calm and clear—perfect for safe swimming with young children.
Getting there: Platja Gran is less than one hour from Begur and Girona by car, and you'll find several large parking lots in Tossa de Mar, both above and below ground. You can also park on the street and pay per minute with an app or at the meters.
Facilities: Various facilities and services cater to families right at the beach, including showers, changing rooms, sunbeds, and umbrellas. When ready for a meal, you can choose from the several beachside restaurants and cafés, and your kids can play at the city's nearby playground.
Water sports: For families looking for more active pursuits, Platja Gran offers a few water sports activities, such as paddleboarding, kayaking, and windsurfing. You can rent equipment and arrange lessons directly on the beach. The beach also has a volleyball court and several other seaside games when your kiddos need a break from swimming.
For a family-friendly itinerary with a potential beach day in Tossa de Mar, check out this 10-day trip combining Madrid, Barcelona, and Costa Brava.
Sant Marti d'Empuries, L'Escala
Sant Marti d'Empuries is a charming beach town in L'Escala, renowned for its beautiful sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and serene atmosphere. Not as busy as the beaches listed above, this option is ideal for families seeking a relaxing beach day.
The beach at Sant Marti d'Empuries stretches for miles, with soft golden sand perfect for building sandcastles or playing beach games with kids. The water here is shallow and calm, so swimming, splashing, and paddling are safe, and you'll also find lifeguards on duty.
Getting there: It's best to use a car to reach this beach, and there's a large parking lot right next to it with plenty of spots. From Begur, the drive is about 30 minutes. If coming from Girona, plan for 45 minutes and 50 minutes if starting in Cadaqués.
Facilities: As a family-friendly spot, there are plenty of facilities at the beach, including showers and changing rooms, restrooms, lifeguards, and playgrounds. The town of Sant Marti d'Empuries is family-friendly, too, with many restaurants serving local cuisine and seafood. Many of these eateries offer children's menus and high chairs. The town also has several shops, markets, and ice cream parlors that kids tend to love.
Water sports: Sant Marti d'Empuries has equipment rentals for various family-friendly activities, including boat tours, paddleboarding, and kayaking. These activities allow you to explore the coastline and take in the views of the Mediterranean Sea, all while building great memories.
Best Beaches for Couples & Friend Groups
Though the same perks of family-friendly beaches might also appeal to couples and small groups of friends, such as water sports or clear water, you might prefer a more lively spot, a bit more privacy, or an adult vibe. The following beaches are best for those looking for a bit of romance or a fun atmosphere.
Aigua Blava, Begur
Aigua Blava is a small, secluded beach in Begur on the Costa Brava. It's a popular destination for couples and young travelers seeking a more serene and relaxed beach experience. You can rent a boat, swim, or walk along the stunning coastal paths nearby. The beach also offers food tents and places to have drinks right on the sand, making spending an entire day here with your partner or friends easy.
Keep in mind that the beach is smaller than others on this list and can get crowded during peak season, but that's part of its charm. Enjoy that playful vibe of people hanging out, having drinks, and splashing in the water. If you'd like a bit more solitude, go early to avoid the crowds and take advantage of the beach's crystal-clear blue waters and golden sand.
Getting there: It's best to take a car to get to Aigua Blava. From Begur, it's just a quick eight-minute drive, but if starting in Girona, plan for an hour. You'll find parking near the beach, although it can fill up quickly during peak season. If you're staying at an accommodation in the general area, many properties have trails to Aigua Blava and other parts of the coast.
Facilities: Aigua Blava is equipped with several facilities and amenities, including showers, bathrooms, changing rooms, and a restaurant that serves traditional Spanish cuisine.
Water sports: In terms of water sports, Aigua Blava offers plenty of options. The calm waters are perfect for swimming and snorkeling, and kayaks and paddleboards are available for rent.
Cala Banys, Lloret de Mar
You'll find Cala Banys right next to the coastal town of Lloret de Mar, in a secluded cove with calm waters and a quiet atmosphere, making it perfect for couples looking for a relaxing and peaceful setting. One of the highlights of Cala Banys is its natural surroundings. The beach is enclosed by rocky cliffs and lush greenery, creating a picturesque and romantic backdrop.
Several restaurants and bars nearby offer food and cocktails, some with seating right on the water, and you'll find romantic paths that line the coast. Walk along these paths to find eateries and more privacy, and at night, there are street lights for even more romance.
Getting there: If not staying in Lloret de Mar, driving your rental car or taking a private transfer is the best way to get to Cala Banys. Blanes is the closest city, just a 15-minute drive, but if coming from Girona or Begur, plan for 45 minutes to one hour. There's a convenient parking lot near the beach, although it can fill up quickly during peak season, so you might want to arrive early.
Facilities: Cala Banys may be small, but it has several amenities, including showers, bathrooms, and a restaurant that serves tasty seafood dishes. Sun loungers and umbrellas are also available for rent.
Water sports: Cala Banys is ideal for couples or groups of friends who enjoy water sports. The crystal-clear waters are perfect for swimming, and kayaks and paddleboards are available for rent. Snorkeling is also popular in Cala Banys, as its underwater world is home to various marine species.
Cala Estreta, Begur
For more of an adventure with your significant other or friend group, consider the unspoiled beach of Cala Estreta, a small, secluded area in Sa Conca. It's known for its clear, turquoise waters and quiet, tranquil atmosphere. You'll find plenty of fine sand and swimming spots, but no facilities or services are available, which adds to its laid-back, natural charm.
This is the perfect spot if you're after a quiet, peaceful, and/or romantic beach day, as you can only access the beach on foot. Lay out your towel, relax, read a book, and soak up the sun, or enjoy swimming or snorkeling in the clear waters. If you're feeling adventurous, you can hike along the coastal path and explore the surrounding cliffs and coves. The secluded location also makes it ideal for watching the sunset with your partner or friends.
Let kimkim plan your Costa Brava hike along Cala Estreta.
Getting there: Getting to Cala Estreta requires a bit of a hike, but the journey is well worth it. You can park your car at the nearby Sa Riera beach and enjoy a 20-minute walk through a beautiful forest and along a rocky coastal path to reach Cala Estreta.
Facilities: There aren't any facilities here, as it's a remote beach accessible only by foot, so be sure to take everything you'll need with you, including sun protection and water.
Water sports: You also won't find any equipment rentals at Cala Estreta, but you could always bring your snorkel equipment or a paddleboard. Still, it's one of those spots best for just swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying the secluded location and calm waters.
Cala Montjoi, Roses
Cala Montjoi is a beautiful, sandy beach in Roses, a town not far from Cadaqués and Figueres. The beach is nestled in a small cove surrounded by cliffs and crystal-clear waters, providing a tranquil atmosphere perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and enjoying water sports.
One of the reasons why Cala Montjoi is so popular among couples and groups of friends is its pristine and natural setting. The beach lets you escape the hustle and bustle of city life and reconnect with nature. It's also near the Cap de Creus Natural Park, known for its rugged terrain and diverse flora and fauna. You can soak up the sun and swim at the beach, then explore the park's many hiking and biking trails, scuba dive in the nearby waters, or take a boat tour to explore the area's hidden coves and bays. Let kimkim plan your cruise in Costa Brava and enjoy the region's scenery while aboard a yacht.
Getting there: Driving a rental car or taking a private transfer is the best way to reach Cala Montjoi. You can request a drop-off or park your rental in the nearby parking lot and walk down to the beach. Cala Montjoi is a 15-minute drive from Roses, 40 minutes from Cadaqués, and about 45 minutes from Figueres.
Facilities: The beach has public restrooms, showers, sun loungers and umbrellas for rent, and a small snack bar where you can grab a quick bite to eat or a refreshing drink. For other meals, the nearby town of Cala Montjoi is home to several restaurants and bars that serve local cuisine, from fresh seafood dishes to traditional Spanish tapas. The town is equally popular for a romantic dinner as it is a night out with friends.
Water sports: If you'd like to enjoy some water sports, Cala Montjoi has plenty of options. You can rent paddleboards, kayaks, and snorkeling equipment or even take a guided scuba diving tour to explore the underwater world. There are also several boat rental companies in the area.
Best Beaches for Relaxation
Relaxation and a beach day go hand-in-hand, so you can certainly find numerous patches of sand along Costa Brava perfect for relaxing. Of course, some beaches can get a little busy or be too lively for a quiet retreat. The following beaches are best to escape the buzz and chill on the sand.
Cala Sa Conca, S'Agaró
An excellent option for relaxation, Cala Sa Conca is a sheltered cove in S'Agaró that provides a serene escape from the crowds. Its tranquil waters and stunning views make it the perfect place to unwind and recharge. It's tucked away in a small cove surrounded by rocky cliffs covered in pine trees, creating a more intimate setting for sunbathing and swimming. And the crystal-clear water and soft golden sand are also perfect for snorkeling. The beach is ideal for a picnic or to enjoy a drink or snack from one of the beachside cafés.
Another reason Cala Sa Conca is great for relaxation is the absence of excessive crowds. The beach is situated away from the main road and requires a short walk to access the sand, which tends to keep the crowds to a minimum.
Getting there: It's best to drive or take a private transfer to Cala Sa Conca, about a 30-minute drive from the center of Begur. From Girona, plan for about 45 minutes. If traveling by car, you can park in the designated parking area near the beach, though be mindful that it can get busy during peak season. But you can easily walk to the beach if you're staying in nearby S'Agaró or Platja d'Aro.
Facilities: Facilities and services at Cala Sa Conca include a beachside restaurant, bar, showers, and bathrooms, plus sun loungers and umbrellas for rent. The restaurant serves various food and drinks, including fresh seafood, salads, and sandwiches.
Water sports: As for water sports, Cala Sa Conca is an excellent spot for snorkeling thanks to its crystal clear waters and abundant marine life. Kayaking and paddleboarding are also popular activities at the beach. However, it's important to note there are no water sports rental services directly at the beach, so it's best to bring your equipment or rent it in a nearby town like Begur.
Platja de Castell
You'll find Platja de Castell, a long stretch of golden sand with clear waters, in Palamós. This secluded beach is ideal for those seeking a more natural and unspoiled setting, away from the crowds and noise of more touristy areas. Adding to the appeal are the beach's rocky cliffs and a lush pine forest, which offer a quiet and peaceful atmosphere, perfect for relaxation.
This peaceful spot is also great for finding shade and enjoying a picnic, or you can also focus your time on swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing, or simply reading a book.
Getting there: Driving is the best way to reach Platja de Castell, as it's a bit remote. A 30-minute drive from Begur or one hour from Girona will get you there. Walking to the beach takes about five minutes from the parking lot. You can also access Platja de Castell on foot or bike via a scenic hiking trail that winds through a protected natural area.
Facilities: As Platja de Castell is off the beaten path, there aren't many facilities or amenities. You won't find sun loungers or umbrellas for rent, so bringing all you'll need is best. However, there are showers and restrooms.
Water sports: For those who enjoy water sports, Platja de Castell offers kayaking and standup paddleboarding opportunities. The beach is also popular among hikers, as several trails lead to nearby coves and viewpoints.
A perfect place to relax, Cala Joncols is a secluded cove near the small seaside town of Roses, providing a quiet and peaceful place to relax. It's a popular choice for those looking to "get away from it all," chill at the beach, and enjoy nature. Rocky cliffs and green shrubbery surround the cove, offering crystal-clear waters perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
Getting there: Adding to its relaxation appeal, Cala Joncols is genuinely off the beaten path, so driving to the beach, parking nearby, and walking to the shore is best. Plan for a 40-minute journey from Cadaqués or an hour from Figueres. The beach's parking lot is a short walk from the sand, but you could also hike to the cove by following a scenic trail through the surrounding hills.
Facilities: The facilities and amenities at Cala Joncols are limited, adding to the beach's natural and rustic charm. You won't find any sun loungers or umbrellas for rent, so plan to bring your own beach gear. However, there are showers and restrooms, and the beach is home to a small bar and restaurant where you can enjoy a drink or tasty meal while taking in the views.
Water sports: For those who enjoy water sports, Cala Joncols offers opportunities for kayaking, standup paddleboarding, and snorkeling. The beach is also a popular spot for hiking, with several trails leading to other nearby coves, beaches, and scenic viewpoints.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Best Beaches for Water Sports
Most of the beaches listed above provide the opportunity to enjoy water sports. Still, some beaches are better equipped than others or draw bigger crowds for kayaking, paddleboarding, and snorkeling. If you plan to enjoy a more active beach day, the following options are best for water sports enthusiasts.
Let kimkim plan an active day in Costa Brava with kayaking, hiking, and swimming.
This lively beach is popular among those looking for a bit of adventure. With plenty of water sports options, such as snorkeling, kayaking, and paddleboarding, Platja d'Aro is the ideal spot for a more active beach day. You'll enjoy over a mile (2 km) of golden sand and mostly clear waters that open to the sea. Because it's not in a protected cove like many other recommended beaches, you'll get more space, wind, and waves. This opens up the opportunity for different types of water sports, like windsurfing, kitesurfing, board surfing, and even jet skiing.
But just north and south of the beach are plenty of those more secluded coves and bays, so if you'd like to kayak, paddleboard, snorkel, or dive, there are many opportunities for those activities, too. In fact, you'll find several diving schools and centers that offer courses and equipment rental. For something less intense, Platja d'Aro is also an excellent destination for beach volleyball, with several courts available for use. And for a traditional beach day, you can also swim and sunbathe with lifeguards on duty during the summer months.
Getting there: Getting to Platja d'Aro is easy if you're staying in the town, so you can simply walk right up to the shore. Otherwise, driving or taking a private transfer is best, and you'll find several parking lots in the town and near the beach. From Begur, the drive is about 20 minutes; from Girona, plan for 30 minutes.
Facilities: Because you'll be in a larger city, the beach offers all the necessary facilities and amenities. Showers, changing rooms, bathrooms, sunbeds and umbrellas are available for rent, and numerous sports equipment rentals. Additionally, Platja d'Aro is known for its many restaurants, cafés, and bars that line a lively and bustling promenade.
Water sports: As mentioned above, Platja d'Aro is an ideal spot for water sports activities. Several rental shops along the beach offer equipment for windsurfing, kitesurfing, jet skiing, and other water activities. Experienced instructors are also available for those looking to take lessons or improve their skills.
Platja de Sant Pol, Sant Feliu de Guixols
You'll find Sant Pol Beach in the charming coastal hub of Sant Feliu de Guixols, so not only can you enjoy water sports, but you can also take breaks from the water and relax in the town. Just south of Platja d'Aro, this is a good alternative if you'd like to enjoy similar water sports but have more protection from the wind. Sant Pol offers a long, wide sandy beach with good waves and light winds, yet it's still slightly protected within a cove.
Stretching over a half mile (1 km), the beach is ideal for windsurfing and kitesurfing. Still, you can also enjoy more relaxing activities like kayaking, paddleboarding, and diving, perfect for exploring the nearby marine reserve. The gentle sea breeze usually blows during the day, so you can almost always count on suitable weather conditions for these sports. If you'd like to avoid stronger winds, arrive early.
Getting there: Getting to Sant Pol Beach is relatively easy, just a few minutes walk from the town center of Sant Feliu de Guixols. If driving or taking a private transfer, plan for 25 minutes from Begur and 30 minutes from Girona. You could also make a multiple beach day out of it. Walking from Platja d'Aro to Sa Conca and then to Sant Pol takes about one hour.
Facilities: The beach offers showers, changing rooms, bathrooms, and rentals for chairs, sunbeds, and umbrellas. When ready to grab a bite or refreshments, several beach bars and restaurants serve delicious local cuisine and drinks.
Water sports: To properly enjoy the water sports listed above, you'll find several rental shops situated along the beach offering equipment for windsurfing, paddleboarding, kayaking, and sailing. You can also take lessons or workshops if you're a beginner or want to improve your skills.
Sa Riera Beach, Begur
Costa Brava is an excellent location for snorkeling and diving, and one of the best beaches for these activities is Sa Riera, just outside of Begur. Though tucked into a protected cove, the beach is surprisingly large, and the crystal-clear waters offer a glimpse of the region's colorful marine life, including octopuses, sea urchins, and starfish. A diving center on the beach lets you easily rent equipment and go straight into the water. Just remember that diving requires certifications, which typically take a few days of training to receive.
Besides snorkeling and diving, the protection from winds and waves means you can also enjoy other sports like swimming, paddleboarding, and kayaking. You'll also find plenty of people simply relaxing on the sand and soaking up the sun. And when you're ready for a break from the water, Sa Riera Beach is also excellent for hiking, with several trails leading through the surrounding terrain.
Getting there: Sa Riera Beach is just a quick five-minute drive from Begur, though there's also a bus that regularly runs during the peak summer season. You'll find several parking lots located nearby, but you can also enjoy a pleasant walk down the hill from the town center of Begur to the beach, which takes roughly 40 minutes. If coming from Girona, plan for about an hour's drive and try to arrive early, as the parking lots tend to fill up fast.
Facilities: The beach is popular, so you'll find plenty of facilities, including showers, changing rooms, bathrooms, and rentals for water sports equipment, sunbeds, and umbrellas. Several beach bars and restaurants serve local cuisine and refreshing drinks, but Sa Riera is also an excellent spot for a picnic lunch.
Water sports: To enjoy water sports, rent equipment on the beach or bring your own. As mentioned, the most popular activities at Sa Riera include snorkeling, diving, paddleboarding, kayaking, and swimming. If you'd like to take lessons with a seasoned instructor, make reservations well in advance.
Tamariu Beach, Palafrugell
Tamariu Beach is quite similar to Sa Riera in that it's in a beautiful and well-protected cove. You can see straight into the transparent water on clear, calm days. So, again, this is another excellent spot for snorkeling, as well as paddleboarding and kayaking. And because you'll enjoy calm and shallow waters, Tamariu is best for beginners and children learning and practicing water sports.
The beach's surroundings are just as scenic, attracting many hikers. If you'd like to stretch your legs, you'll find a couple of trails around Tamariu Beach, including parts of the area's famous Camí de Ronda route. There are also rocks and a diving board for jumping, and, of course, it's a great spot to sit on the sand and soak up the sun.
Getting there: Tamariu Beach is the main sandy stretch of Palafrugell. If starting in the village, you can drive or take a private transfer to the beach in just 10 minutes. In the busy summer season, there's also a public bus that makes the journey. You'll find plenty of parking, though it does fill up quickly in the summer. From Begur, the drive is about 15 minutes, and from Girona, a little less than an hour. For some adventure, you could also walk to Tamariu via the coastal path from the neighboring towns of Llafranc or Calella de Palafrugell.
Facilities: The beach offers several facilities and amenities, just like most others on this list. You'll find showers, changing rooms, bathrooms, sports equipment rentals, and rentals for sun loungers and umbrellas. For lunch, grab a meal or snack at one of the restaurants, bars, and cafés.
Water sports: You can rent equipment and boats from the beach. Planning ahead is best if you'd like to arrange a lesson, class, or workshop, as they only run seasonally and tend to fill up.
Best Beaches for Privacy
Beach days might be best for you if you can also enjoy some privacy. Luckily, Costa Brava has numerous coves and inlets in more secluded areas, so you'll likely only have a few neighbors at most. Some of the beaches above for relaxation are great options for this category, but a few more take privacy to the next level.
Cala Aiguafreda, Sant Antoni de Calonge
This secluded beach is ideal for those looking for some privacy. With limited access and crowds, Cala Aiguafreda is the perfect place to relax and enjoy solitude, as it's known for crystal-clear waters and a peaceful atmosphere. You'll find the beach tucked away in a cove, surrounded by pine trees and rocky cliffs, meaning it's only accessible by foot, adding to its level of privacy.
To get to the beach, park your car in a nearby parking lot and walk down to the sand. It's not a long trek, but keep in mind that it's down a steep hill via a dirt trail and some stone steps. It's best to wear sturdy shoes and bring any supplies with you in a backpack. Once on the beach, you'll enjoy crystal-clear turquoise waters and soft, golden sand. The beach has no facilities or amenities, which adds to the sense of seclusion and privacy—just remember to bring your own food, water, and beach equipment.
Getting there: Cala Aiguafreda is about one hour from Girona or a short, eight-minute drive from Begur, so taking a rental car or arranging a private transfer is your best bet. Remember that you'll need to park your car (or be dropped off) at the lot and then walk down to the beach. The region's beautiful Camí de Ronda coastal hiking route passes Cala Aiguafreda, so you could also start at Sa Riera or Sa Tuna and walk from there.
Facilities: As mentioned, there aren't any facilities on the beach here, though you'll find restaurants along the coastal path just north and south of the cove. Sa Tuna is just a 10-minute walk and has a few decent eateries.
Water sports: Cala Aiguafreda is not well-equipped for water sports, so it's best just to swim, sunbathe, and relax in its beautiful natural setting and calm waters.
Cala Montgó, L'Estartit
Another great option for privacy, Cala Montgó is a remote beach with stunning views and a peaceful atmosphere. It's a great place to escape the crowds and enjoy a day of serenity, as it's just a small, secluded beach in Mont-ras. Rocky cliffs surround this horseshoe-shaped cove and lush greenery, creating a stunning backdrop for a quiet, tranquil day at the beach, enjoying crystal-clear waters.
One of the main draws of Cala Montgó is its accessibility. The beach can be easily accessed by car, with a large parking lot located just a short walk away from the beach. So you can enjoy the privacy you're seeking without needing to hike. The beach is wide and spacious, with soft golden sand and shallow, calm waters perfect for swimming and relaxing water sports like paddleboarding and kayaking.
If you'd like to explore the surrounding area, Cala Montgó is part of the Camí de Ronda route, and there are several hiking trails into the nearby hills, offering stunning coastline views. You can also rent kayaks and paddle to caves like Les Tres Coves and Cova de la Sal.
Getting there: You drive right to the beach at Cala Montgó, in the charming town of L'Escala. From Begur, the drive is about 30 minutes, and from Girona, roughly 45 minutes. The beach is pretty central in Costa Brava, so it's also not far from Figueres (30 minutes) and Cadaqués (one hour).
Facilities: Cala Montgó has several small cafés, bars, and sun lounger rentals, plus kayaks and paddleboards during the peak season. You'll also find showers and bathrooms, so this option mixes privacy, tranquility, and convenience.
Water sports: Right on the beach is a seasonal kayak and paddleboard rental shop, but that's about it for water sports. However, these are perfect options, as just south of the cove are some of the area's most incredible cliffs, caves, and bays, so you can paddle right into them. Some even have their own rocky beaches if you want even more privacy.
Cala S'Alguer, Palamos
Cala S'Alguer is perfect for privacy and charm; you might feel like you're in Greece or southern Italy. This beautiful and serene beach is surrounded by picturesque and historic fishing cottages, creating a unique and authentic atmosphere and offering stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. The beach has no facilities, making it ideal for a quiet and peaceful escape.
The cove isn't accessible by car, which means it is less crowded than other beaches in the area. You'll need to park in the nearby village and take a short walk down (10 minutes or so) to the beach. You'll find clear blue waters and small pebbles on the shore instead of sand. The beach is relatively small, but its intimate size adds to the charm and secluded atmosphere.
After your day at the beach, you can stop in the nearby village of S'Alguer, which offers several restaurants and cafés serving traditional Catalan dishes and seafood specialties. There are also several hiking trails in the area, and you can continue on the same path from the parking lot, which passes Cala S'Alguer and leads you to the beautiful ruins of Castell De Sant Esteve near Cala de la Fosca. This cove has another beach with sand, though it's not nearly as private.
Getting there: A truly remote beach, getting to the coast requires a short hike (about 10-15 minutes) from the main parking lot near Playa El Castell. If the closer lot is full, there's a backup parking lot, which adds another 10 minutes to your walk. There's another free and slightly hidden parking lot that's closer (only a five-minute walk away), but it's nearly always full. The drive from Begur to the parking lot is about 20 minutes; from Girona, plan for 45 minutes.
Facilities: Again, as the epitome of privacy and seclusion, you won't find any facilities here, so be sure to bring anything you'll need. Packing it all in a backpack is best since you'll need to walk to the beach from the parking lot.
Water sports: Despite the lack of amenities, Cala S'Alguer is still an excellent spot for water sports. However, you must rent kayaks or standup paddleboards from nearby vendors, the closest being at Playa El Castell, which is near the parking lot anyway. Then you can paddle to the cove rather than hike, exploring the surrounding areas. Snorkeling and diving are also popular activities in the area, as the clear waters allow for excellent visibility of marine life and underwater rock formations.
No matter your preferences, Costa Brava has beaches that suit your needs, from family-friendly options to peaceful coves. But as you make your decision, here are a few additional considerations you might want to think about:
Should you have a car?
Having a car or arranging a private transfer is almost always a must when visiting Costa Brava beaches, especially if you want to explore multiple beaches or have more freedom with your time. However, some beaches are not easily accessible by car, and parking can be limited or expensive during peak season. Public transportation or walking to the beach may be more convenient in some cases, but that's only possible with beaches near big hubs and when buses are running (such as in Begur).
What should you bring?
When visiting Costa Brava beaches, plan ahead and pack appropriate clothing, including swimsuits, sun hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen. It's also a good idea to bring a towel, beach mat or chair, and a cooler with snacks and drinks, as not all beaches have facilities or amenities. Water shoes or sandals may be useful at some beaches with pebbles or rocky areas. Bring appropriate equipment or consider renting gear from local vendors for water sports, and be sure to wear sturdy shoes for beaches that require a hike.
Are there any restrictions to consider?
Following local regulations and restrictions is essential when visiting Costa Brava beaches. Plan as best you can, as some beaches may restrict certain activities, such as fishing, fires, camping, smoking, and bringing pets. Like any beach in any country, it's important to respect the natural environment and avoid leaving trash or damaging the surroundings. And keep in mind that some beaches may have restricted hours during the summer months or require reservations to limit overcrowding.
Costa Brava Itineraries
If you need some trip inspiration for how to spend your time in Spain, specifically Catalonia, past kimkim travelers have enjoyed the following itineraries that include time for a beach day in Costa Brava: