Welcome to the Costa Brava ! From the town of Blanes all the way to the French border in north-east Spain, 214 kilometres of rugged cliffs punctuated by small sandy bays and crystal clear water. This stretch of the Spanish coastline boasts a total of 28 blue-flagged beaches which are testament to the health of the marine ecosystem. The Costa Brava also hosts 2 national park marine reserves, one at the Cap de Creus in the north and the other by L’Esartit at the Illes de Medes.
The closest beach to Casa Cal Domino is just 3.5km away and walkable from the Villa via the old medieval track through olive groves and corn fields and takes about 45 minutes. The beach at St Antoni links with the main beach at Palamós. It’s a bit touristy for us, but both of these beaches have chiringuitos (beach bars) a multitude of bars and restaurants, lifeguards and all of the services that you would need for a day at the beach. Although we don’t use this beach ourselves, we do recommend the chiringuito nearest to Torre Valentina on the south end of the beach. “Blue Fish” is an up-market restaurant right on the beach mainly specialising in fresh fish. They are only open during high season and a reservation is recommended. We recommend them for sundowners and dinner.
The beach at La Fosca is just 7 km away and is the closest blue-flagged beach near to the Villa. It has shallow water which is unusual for the Costa Brava as most bays shelve steeply, and the protective bay ensures warm, relatively calm water which is perfect for smaller children. The village is small enough not to have attracted over-development over the years, but still has all of the necessary facilities that you need. For lunch, we recommend the Hostal La Fosca. Good food at reasonable prices and we recommend reserving a table in high season. Alternatively, there are a few budget cafés nearby and a chiringuito.
In our opinion, by far the best local beach close to the Villa is Platja Castell. It’s a few kms to the north of Palamós and an easy hike from La Fosca beach along the Cami de Ronda. It has protected pay parking which in 2019 was €5 for the day. There is a short walk from the car park to the beach which boasts a chiringuito, lifeguards and kayak hire, but it is situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty with no development permitted, so Benidorm it is not. On the north end of the beach are the Iberic ruins dating back to the Stone Age which have been partially excavated and are free to look around. On the south end of the beach behind some large rocks, you’ll find a small sandy bay which hosts the naturist beach. It’s not very big, but it is completely private from the main beach should you want to go skinny-dipping or go au natural for the day.
On the other side of the Iberic ruins you’ll find La Foradada. It’s only accessible by boat, but hire a kayak from the beach at Castell and you can explore the bay and it’s natural arch carved through the cliffs. It’s also great for snorkelling or rent a boat and park up for the day for a long lazy picnic lunch.
If you really like a beach with no tan lines, then the next beach up the coast will tick all the boxes. It’s situated in the Cap Roig national park and no development is permitted. There are two main naturist beaches close to the Villa and Cala Estreta is one of them. There are no lifeguards or facilities here, so come prepared with a picnic and water for the day.
The next beach to the north is at Calella de Palafrugell. A small town with all the facilities and many restaurants to chose from. We recommend Les Voltes for a reasonable meal at a medium price. Calella is a bit of a tourist trap and the prices reflect those of front line restaurants with sea views.
A short walk along the Cami de Ronda from Calella de Palafrugell is Llafranc. Another small sized town with all the facilities. We don’t normally go there to be honest, but, a short (ahem) walk up the hill to where this photo was taken and you’ll find the lighthouse of Sant Sebastian. There are two good restaurants there, the first in the El Far Hotel and the second, a sushi bar, underneath the lighthouse itself. We highly recommend the sushi bar 🙂
Next up is the little village of Tamariu. We love this place although it can be a little tricky parking in high season. Try El Palangui for lunch (they don’t have a website), but they do have excellent Fideuá, chipperones, cool white wine and you can’t get closer to the sea without getting your feet wet..
To the north, you’ll find Fornells, Sa Tuna and Sa Riera which are all small beaches attached to small villages, but there’s nothing to write home about and parking in these little villages can be problematic in the summer. The next big beach is the jewel in the skinny-dipping crown. Illa Roja. This is about 40 minutes to the north of the Villa and about as far as we go. The beaches don’t stop here… there are some wonderful places to visit further north, but not really close enough to be classed as a local beach.
Heading south from the Villa, we suggest taking the Cami de ronda (coastal path) and try out the classic Calas which are unaccessible by car. In between Sant Antoni de Calonge and Platja d’Aro, you’ll find a number of small intimate beaches away from the tourist route.
This is by no means the definitive guide…. there are loads of small calas which are only accessible by boat. Contact us for more information on boat rental or hiking the Cami de Ronda. We also have an Instagram account with photos of places of interest here in north-east Spain.