Scenic Views from Costa Brava: Tossa de Mar

Located about halfway between the city of Barcelona and the French border, Tossa de Mar is an ancient fishermen’s village with an important historical background, that has become a well known tourist destination in the Costa Brava.

Once a meeting place for artists from around the world, and the scene set for Pandora and the Flying Dutchman filmed almost entirely here in 1951, Tossa is a real open-air museum where prehistoric remains overlap with Roman Túrissa, medieval Tursa and today’s Tossa, one-time retreat for artists and intellectuals and now host town for tourists and visitors.

La Vila Vella Castle

La Vila Vella castle is an icon of Tossa de Mar and the image you’ll typically see on postcards – a marvelous medieval walled town filled with narrow, pebbled streets. The town’s stone walls shelter the part of the town known the Old Town. The impressive medieval wall which was built between the 12th and 13th century. We encourage you to explore the length of the wall once the sun has gone down a bit because the views of the sunset and the coast are spectacular. The walls are made up of four big towers and three smaller watchtowers, the main tower is called La Torre d’en Jonas and it presides over the bay.

At the highest point of the wall we find the Far de Tossa or the Tossa de Mar lighthouse. It’s definitely worth a visit, as right next to it is the Centro de Interpretació dels Fars de la Mediterrània Museum, which displays exhibits all about the lighthouses which illuminate this part of the Mediterranean.

Tossa de Mar Beaches and Coves

The beaches and coves of Tossa de Mar are among the most beautiful in Spain. Expect wonderful, clean beaches with turquoise waters and fine golden sand. Some are more urban, with all amenities you might need within reach, while others are quite remote and difficult to access. The crystal clear waters and fantastic sea floor make Tossa de Mar a paradise for lovers of diving and snorkelling. Also Tossa de Mar’s Playa Gran beach has been hosting numerous musical events throughout the year including the original Catalan Rumba Festival – the Catalan rumba is a genre of music that developed in Barcelona’s Romani community beginning in the 1950s with its rhythms derived from the flamenco rumba, with influences from Cuban music and rock and roll.


In Tossa de Mar they take pride in their local dishes like Casseroled Noodles, Tossa stuffed squids or rices but the most typical dish here is Cim i tomba, a fisherman’s favourite made from a delicious base of fresh fish (anglerfish, turbot, cod and skate) to which rich smoked fish, potatoes, parsley, garlic, salt, tomato, saffron, olive oil and aioli sauce are added.

Every year during the month of September, a gastronomic celebration centred around Cim i tomba when local restaurants come up with their own recipe inspired by this maritime tradition.

In the bakeries of Tossa you can also find Besos de Ava Gardner – Ava Gardner’s kisses, sweet treats to recall the film we started our story with.

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