Picture this. Sitting under the safety of an outstretched umbrella whilst the sun glistens over the crystal clear waters of a private pool. A gentle breeze caresses your skin whilst you lay on a sun lounger sipping a cocktail or mocktail. Friends / children gently nattering, laughing and having a wonderful time not a care in the world.
Sounds great doesn’t it!
I love Spain. I used to travel there regularly as a child. My Father owned a travel agency so Spain was always one of our main holiday destinations as his company provided villas to rent in Costa Brava as well as other areas of Spain and Portugal. Since then I have travelled a little further afield to locations such as Florida, Mexico, Cyprus, The Dominican Republic and other wonderful destinations but the places that have forged a place in my heart the most are those that I grew up visiting with the lovely warm weather over the summer and mild winters, Mediterranean hospitality, fabulously fresh food and beautiful scenery. It’s the perfect place to visit all year round and the added bonus is it isn’t far from the UK.
Costa Brava in Spain boasts numerous beautiful towns, some of the best blue flag beaches in Europe and a large concentration of Michelin-starred chefs so of course it’s a foodies paradise.
Hiring A Villa
Most often on our trips to Spain we would stay in villas. It was fantastic and gives your holiday a far more luxurious feel than a hotel. It’s great to be able to be able to have that extra privacy. It’s so much more relaxed as you don’t need to worry about what you wear in the villa or around the pool. In addition you don’t need to concern yourself about children other than your own (if you take them) splashing round at the pool side and playing loudly.
In comparison to staying in a hotel, staying in a villa can be much more comfortable. Not only due to the privacy aspect but also as they are far more spacious. You have good size room(s), bathroom(s), a living area, a kitchen, in some cases games rooms and a private pool.
Should you choose to keep costs down whilst there you can buy in items from local supermarkets and cook for yourselves, why not, you’ll have your own kitchen. It really adds to your sense of freedom being able to just reach into a fridge and grab food or drinks of your choosing as and when you like.
Talking about keeping costs down hiring a villa can actually work out cheaper, even a luxury villa. This will of course depend on its size and how many it sleeps plus how many people you go with. When we travelled we would often go with cousins and their parents. It made it that much more enjoyable as we had other children to play with. Of course on the flip side it was also nicer for the adults having their friends too.
Costa Brava has some gorgeous areas where you can find the most amazing luxury villas. Whether you go with your family or a group of families or friends you are bound to have a wonderful time. I hope to go back soon with my family and friends and hire a luxury villa with an infinity pool – they looks so amazing don’t they!
Some villas can be located in areas where the views can be simply stunning. Views across beaches or gorgeous greenery can really help relax our minds and take us to a world so far away from our normally and often hectic lives.
As well as eating in you should try and sample some of the local cuisine. You will discover some exciting new flavours.
There are numerous great restaurants dotted around Costa Brava including:
Casa Anita where you’ll be seated at long tables with other dinners to help spark conversation. There isn’t a menu at this family owned restaurant, instead your waiter will reel off a list of the available dishes. Here you can enjoy all sorts of traditional dishes including paella, black rice with langoustines, fresh grilled fish and numerous other speciality dishes. A word of advice, make sure you book in advance the food is very good here and it gets busy.
A mix of traditional and modern flavours and a popular restaurant with locals and tourists alike. It is well priced, the menu is varied and the food here is very good. Again booking is advised to make sure you get to dine on a variety of dishes with fresh fish, meat, vegetarian and vegan options.
Not only can you get some great tapas here the prices are extremely reasonable. The atmosphere is relaxed, the food quality is good and this is backed up by the number of locals that frequent it. You’ve heard me say it before, look out for places the locals go to and you’ll find some real gems. This is a tapas bar rather than a restaurant so order small plates and get a variety of items to enjoy with a cool refreshing drink.
La Lluna (Tossa de Mar)
With a great location and an extensive range of tapas to enjoy this is a fantastic choice and has many guests returning numerous times during their visits to the area. The restaurant itself is located within the medieval town of Tossa De Mer mentioned below. The surroundings are pretty, the staff are friendly and the food good, what’s not to like.
The list of good restaurants is endless which really is wonderful as you have your pick of some really lovely places from more traditional, modern and a variety of different cuisines if you fancy something different.
There are also plenty of things to do and see in Costa Brava.
Places To Visit
Tossa de Mar
For those that want to visit a lovely beach and also take in a bit of history you can have it all at this fantastic location. Explore nearby caves, relax on the beach, travel back in time as you walk along the cobbled paths. There is an open air museum when you will see prehistoric, Roman and medieval remains. The views from the wall are breathtaking. Located nearby is a Moorish Tower. You’ll need to venture up a steep hill to get there – not for those with poor mobility, but the view of Tossa from there is worth the effort.
Sa Riera Park (Tossa de Mar)
This is close to the town centre and spans 12355 hectares . Here you will discover a large range of flora and fauna. There are numerous play areas for children if required. Relax and t ake in the beauty of the lush green surroundings as you stroll through the park.
WaterWorld / Aquabrava Waterpark
With two water parks in Costa Brava you are spoilt for choice. Both are popular and with ensure a fun day out. Bring a packed lunch or dine there but don’t forget your swim suits and factor 50! The rides vary so young and young at heart are guaranteed to have a fun day out. With any luck any kids you may have with you will be snooring on the journey home.
Ambre Adventure Park (Lloret de Mar)
Want a bit of action over your break then why not go paintballing – at Ambre Adveture Park. Also on their list of activities is Bubble Football which looks like it could be hilarious and Yellow Humor which involves dressing up in those large inflatable sumo type suits. The activities are for children and or adults and would be something different to consider for a hen or stag party or team building.
Gnomo Park (Lloret de Mar)
For families this is a great place to visit and is guaranteed to get little ones asleep early so you can have a peaceful, relaxed evening lounging around the villa sipping wine, mocktails or cocktails. The park caters for both under and over 12’s and can be an exciting, fun packed day out full of adventure. Ball pools, obstacle courses, soft paintball, craft rooms and much more await.
This picture perfect town is ideal to wander around. Take in the gorgeous pastels of the buildings, go visit the Arab baths which date back to the 11th century, see the Salvador Dali Museum or the Pujada de la Catedral outside of which a scene from Game of Thrones Season six was filmed.
There is so much more to see and do so whether you want a relaxing or a more involved holiday full of history Costa Brava will have just what you are looking for.
Have you visited Costa Brava before? If so did you have any suggestions of places to visit?
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This is a collaborative post.