Captivating Coves on the Costa Brava

Captivating Coves on the Costa Brava

Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!
Why not join us in Bath in November for the Mozartfest?

Where were you when the world changed with the spread of Covid-19? We were happily isolated on Spain’s glorious Costa Brava, perched in a tiny but perfectly equipped apartment on the 10th floor, overlooking the bay of Roses. With views like this, we were happy to quietly keep to ourselves, stepping out of the almost-deserted building daily to wander a lonely beach or a rocky path. We’ve spent time previously on this beautiful coast closer to Barcelona, but this time we’re researching the area further northeast, almost to the French border, for an upcoming private tour…and we’ll include these enticing sights in our Wonders of Barcelona tour as well.
The flamboyant Surrealist artist Salvador Dali called the Costa Brava home for 50 years, and we’ve taken previous tour guests to the Dali museum in Figueres, which was so crowded that several of us quickly walked through, then sought out a cafe in town to relax with a drink! Our visit to Dali’s house-museum in Portlligat, a tiny hamlet on the next cove from lovely Cadaques, is a polar opposite, with only 8 guests allowed at a time. Inside and out, Dali’s quirky creativity is obvious – a polar bear in a salon? Why not? Eggs on the terrace? Why not?
Also obvious is his appreciation of a view – both outside, and in, where his bed is positioned so that he was “the first person in Spain to see the sun rise” – via a precisely positioned mirror. He knew just what he wanted to see, and to convey with his inimitable art!
Days of exploring are followed by breathtaking sunsets from our little balcony, and perhaps a moonlight stroll to complete the day.
Cadaques, adjacent to Portlligat, is often called by Spaniards “the most beautiful village in Spain”, its whitewashed buildings clustered around a delightful cove.
Cobbled lanes lead to quiet paths along the water, where we stroll before stopping for a sublime seaside lunch.
Heading west along  Roses Bay one day, we pause at Sant Martí d’Empúries, a tiny walled village crowned by a stalwart church. Flanked by a pine forest on one side, on the other spreads a long sandy beach, with views back to Roses.

We fit in one more hike along Cala Montgo before catching the last United flight to the US from Barcelona – we know we’ll have two weeks of self-quarantine ahead of us so we’re enjoying this freedom and the beautiful views as much as we can! Our hiking guide pamphlet warns of steep cliffside paths, and we scramble upward for a while, look back at where we started, and decide that the safer option would be to head back towards the flatter boulders, where we pause for a selfie to look back on until we can return to the Mediterranean  – when will that be?!?

Hidden Coves and Medieval Towns

Hidden Coves and Medieval Towns

May 2018 – Music and Markets Barcelona Tour
Girona and the Costa Brava, Spain

Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!
Why not join us on our newest tour in September – Bordeaux and Dordogne

We’ve sped northeast to Girona on one of Spain’s super fast trains, picked up a car, and headed for the sea, where the coast towards France becomes rugged and remote, with gorgeous little coves edging in to the the rocky forested hillsides. Villages are few and far between, but worth stopping by – we pause at the pretty village of Begur for lunch, wandering through the market stalls til we find a few cafes in the historic center. Expecting a simple goat cheese salad, I’m surprised with a towering creation – lots of flavors complementing the baked cheese atop the salad-filled crepe – wow!Catching enticing glimpses of vivid turquoise as we wind down the steep road to Sa Tuna, we eagerly step out of the car – glad that the rain is holding off so we can walk to the next cove, as planned – see the path on the left? Knowing that our tour guests enjoy walking, we’d given them a choice of another museum today, or a coastal walk – we’re glad they wanted the hike! Every other step demands a pause to take in the latest vista – just gorgeous! Rounding the edge, we pass a couple of walkers and beg for a foursome photo, then continue towards Cala Aiguafreda – how about that private stairway to the water?! The raindrops start as we’re nearly back to Ca Tuna, with its little chapel  – just in time! An hour or so through the rain and we’re back in Girona, with its colorful homes hanging over the river – and a snazzy Eiffel-designed bridge across!The cathedral tops the town – lots of steps up no matter which way you go! On the way we pass through the Call, the ancient Jewish Quarter, and walk by several vaulted stairways – the rain has passed so we stay out in the open. And we head even higher, walking a ways on the ancient walls that used to surround the town. Behind the church, the wall is easily accessed from the Bishop’s Garden. We have time for one more stop before catching the train back to Barcelona – the best churros ever at Montse L’artesana on Cort Reial under the arches. Dipped in thick hot chocolate they’re a don’t-miss Spanish treat – wish I had some right now!