Costa Brava Villages: Cadaqués, Figueres, Begur & Palafrugell

Views from the hiking trails along the Costa Brava
Renowned for its stunning coastal villages and rugged coastline with numerous idyllic coves, ports, and beaches, the Costa Brava runs from the Spanish and French Mediterranean border down to just north of Barcelona. A day trip exploring some of the Costa Brava’s most charming villages and beaches allows you to discover what makes this region so special.

If you’re interested in art and history backed by a stunning natural setting, don’t miss the coastal village of Cadaqués. Its rocky coast, fringed by beautiful beaches and quiet coves, forms one of the region's main attractions, together with the incredible landscape offered by the Cap de Creus Natural Park. The village is dominated by the 16th-century Church of Santa María, famous for its intricate baroque retablo. 

Many leading artists, including Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, Federico García Lorca, and André Breton, found their particular source of inspiration in this beautiful town. However, it was Salvador Dalí who brought it international fame, as it's the village in which he resided for over 30 years. His house (now a museum) beside Port Lligat Bay offers a look at Dalí's life here in the mid-20th century and hosts some of his extensive surrealist work.

To continue your peek into the life of Salvador Dalí, head to Figueres. A small town near the border of France and one of the three points forming the so-called "Dalí triangle," Figueres is both the birthplace of the artist and home to the surrealist museum he designed. The Dalí Theatre-Museum gives visitors an unprecedented look into the artist’s mind and holds more of his paintings than any other single location in the world. The museum also features a crypt below ground, where the artist himself lays to rest.

If you’d prefer to spend today along the coastline, visit Begur, one of Costa Brava’s most delightful villages. Along with an iconic castle, cobbled streets, and whitewashed houses, Begur offers fantastic restaurants and boutique hotels. Within the village center, there are numerous monuments of interest. Be sure to climb up to the ruins of Castell de Begur, a medieval castle that overlooks the town. Its hilltop positioning makes for a pleasant walk and a beautiful panoramic view over the village to the ocean. 

One dish to try in Begur is the rockfish (or peix de roca), which is celebrated during its own culinary festival each year from late April to early June.

In addition to charming villages, the Costa Brava is home to some of the country’s best (albeit smaller) beaches, often hidden by soaring clifftops and unusual rock formations. Many of these can only be reached by foot, making the journey part of the fun, and you'll be rewarded by turquoise blue water with lapping waves. The coastline around Begur is a wonderful mix of craggy cliffs and small coves with several good beaches. Even in the height of summer, you can often find a secluded sandy cove all to yourself. We recommend the following:
  • Sa Tuna offers turquoise water off a pebble beach surrounded by picturesque white-washed houses and a few lovely walking paths.
  • Aiguablava is a small sandy beach with a nice restaurant right onshore.
  • Platja Fonda sits in a small cove and is a beloved swimming spot known for its clear blue water and relaxed atmosphere, right near the impressive Begur Cave.
Lastly, one more Costa Brava village to visit is Palafrugell, home to the Cap Roig Botanical Gardens, considered to be some of the best in the Mediterranean. Terraced gardens cascade from the hilltop castle right down to the beach and feature plants from around the world as well as sculptures by international artists. 

For dinner in Palafrugell, we recommend La Blava. Housed in a former fisherman’s house overlooking the beach, La Blava is known for its seafood, a small, well-curated menu, and outdoor dining.

Discover more experiences on the Costa Brava.

Itineraries with Costa Brava Villages: Cadaqués, Figueres, Begur & Palafrugell

Best of Barcelona & the Costa Brava - 9 days

This complete nine-day cultural itinerary features the vibrant and eclectic city of Barcelona, the quaint villages along the rugged Costa Brava coastline, as well as a day trip into the Montserrat mountains. You'll experience a broad range of cultural tours covering the history, architecture, and ancient and current traditions at the hands of knowledgeable private guides, with free time to go at your own pace. You'll drink wine, eat authentic Catalan fare, and swim in the Mediterranean.

Discover Barcelona - 6 Days

Barcelona is one of Spain's most beautiful and vibrant cities, and on this six-day tour you can really focus on what makes it so special. With a combination of time in the central city and surrounding areas, focusing on culture as well as natural attractions, you'll experience the best of Barcelona. Learn about its history and iconic architecture, get a taste of the beautiful Mediterranean Sea along the Costa Brava, and take your pick of nearby day trip destinations.