From the French border and heading south to Tarragona, having the capital of Barcelona somewhere at the middle, the coastline of Catalunya is one of the most diverse and spectacular of the entire Iberian peninsula.
Divided into three main regions, the well-known Costa Brava, the area of Maresme (between Costa Brava and Barcelona) and the Costa Dourada, the area offers touristic spots with all amenities but also secluded Blue Flag beaches and places that still retain all their natural charm. Here we list our top choices.
Aigua Blava, Girona, Costa Brava
On the pictuesque northern side of Spain’s wildest coast, the Costa Brava, rocky cliffs hide some intimate coves. The bay of Aigua Blava, popular with sailors and small cruisers, is small but well served by seafood restaurants. Head up to the top of the rocky promontory for panoramic views. Head here if you’re into cliff walks. Its shallow, calm waters and the range of services that one can find just a stone’s throw from the beach, makes it very suitable for the whole family.
It is the most southern beach of Begur and in the surrounding area there are several restaurants, shops and services. So close, you almost don’t have to leave the sand to reach them. It has toilets and adapted showers and also offers the possibility of taking part in various water sports, such as the diving centre.
Caldes d’Estrac, Maresme
Caldes d’Estrac (also known as Caldetes) offers a truly unique paradise. The pristine beaches offer the best of the coastal lifestyle. The charming village has a mix of stunning Modernista and Gothic architecture and a series of year-round agricultural and horticultural events have led to a flourishing restaurant scene. In the late 20th Century up until the 1920s it became popular with the Barcelona bourgeoisie thanks to its thermal baths. The area equally accommodates recreation lovers looking for outdoor adventure as well as those keener on more cultural pursuits, with a literary trail that celebrates Caldes d’Estrac’s history of Spanish poets and writers.
Caldes d’Estrac has probably the best stretch of beach in all of Maresme and even in August it never gets overcrowded. Take a step back from the sands and you find yourself among some of the most visually striking architecture in the whole of Catalonia. A true gem.
Tamarit, Tarragona, Costa Dorada
Costa Dorada is one of the most popular coasts in Catalonia. The name translates to “The Golden Coast” and it’s known for its beaches of fine golden sands, pristine waters and breathtaking natural landscapes. Although it’s not as well known as Costa Brava, this dazzling coastline has plenty to offer anyone looking for a memorable beach holiday.
Playa Tamarit is a secluded protected beach and very picturesque if you look at the Tamarit castle within this amazing natural setting. It has fine sand, calm water and is cleaned daily. It has been awarded a Blue Flag and offers visitors all kinds of facilities, from showers and a restaurant and bar to water sports and lifeguards, but it doesn’t have a promenade. The beach is 1,750 metres long and 40 metres wide and isn’t usually very crowded. Playa Tamarit is the most northern beach of Tarragona town, close to the important natural area of PEIN – Riu Gaià.
Cover image via Catalunya.com