Walking Costa Brava: A Walk on the Wild Side

Who doesn’t like long walks by the sea? If you’re thinking of walking in Spain, consider walking Costa Brava! It’s a walk a little more on the wild side.

Spain’s Costa Brava is somewhat of an unknown factor – to Americans, anyway – on the Mediterranean. Mention it in the U.S. and you’re likely to get a blank stare. When Americans think of Spain, they think of Madrid, or even running with the bulls in Pamplona. Mediterranean family cousins to the Costa Brava in France, Italy, Greece, and even Croatia typically receive the most love in the American travel press.

All of these places are wonderful, of course, and we’d be the last to discourage travelers from considering a visit to any of them. But we’re throwing our hat in the ring for Costa Brava, in northeast Spain. And we’re going to encourage you even further: to take a walk on the wild side – along its rocky paths meandering beside the sea, and inland through the Baix Empordà region.

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Rugged and rocky Costa Brava at Lloret de Mar

When Americans think of walking in Spain, they might think of the Camino de Santiago, a Christian (and now secular) pilgrimage in existence for hundreds of years. We know half a dozen couples, and at least two solo travelers who have walked the Camino. But walking Costa Brava can turn into a personal pilgrimage designed by you as well, if you desire.

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Trail To Platja de Fenals – Lloret de Mar

During our recent stay, we had more than one opportunity for walking Costa Brava: in Platja d’Aro along the Cami de Ronda – which stretches 43km from the village of San Feliu de Guixols to another favorite village of ours, Begur – and in other communities in Baix Empordà. 

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Wandering the Cami de Ronda

As well, we walked the coastal trail in Lloret de Mar, Costa Brava’s biggest resort city, perhaps best known for its casinos, late nightlife, and see-and-be-seen beach.

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Beach at Lloret de Mar

There’s a lot more we could say about the wild and beautiful scenery in Costa Brava, but words would fail.

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Palafrugell

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Mist in the morning

There’s definitely a lot more we could say about the outstanding food along the way when walking Costa Brava so we made this video for you to drool over enjoy.

There’s a lot more we could say about the sense of peace and tranquility that comes with walking Costa Brava, but perhaps these photos will convince you. We’ll shut up now.

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Serene places to gather

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Beached at Lloret de Mar

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Stacked and waiting

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These colors!

Pinnable Image:

Walking CB Pinterest Vertical

Practicalities, tips and information:

The Cami de Ronda consists of two routes, the linear and the circular at 43km and 140km respectively. The linear route connects coastal villages, and became a pivotal part of attempts in the 18th and 19th centuries to control smuggling and black market activities. In the 20th century, smugglers continued to operate along the Costa Brava well into the 1950’s as war and political unrest affected supply chains from international markets. The circular route begins and ends in Girona, running through medieval villages such as Palamos, Llafranc, and Begur. It traverses a variety of terrain, including the Gavarres Hills, beaches and the Sanctuary of Angels (where Salvador Dalí was married). Information and recommendations for all types of participants – from the physically fit to the sedentary weekend walker – outline different pacing and length of route. Baggage handling services can have your things waiting for you at any number of accommodations along the way. Rental GPS, insurance, transfers and private, certified guides are available.

Informal day walks can be enjoyed all along the Costa Brava. Our favorite villages for short walks: Palamos, Begur, Palafrugell and Platja d’Aro.

Baix Emporda Trail Network App – If you’re planning on walking, cycle touring or mountain biking in the Baix Empordà, download the Wikiloc app for Android or iPhone. Register your email and confirm for access to all the routes on the Baix Empordà channel free of charge. The routes are found in the Tourist Destinations section. The routes can be saved and accessed in your mobile device while offline.

Thanks to Costa Brava Tourism and Visit Empordà for hosting us in this wonderful region. As always, opinions and observations are our own.

Comments

  1. says

    These photos are so pretty, almost makes we want to start walking again – almost. We’re actually open to the idea of taking another walking journey but much shorter – and I want someone to carry my pack for me! 😉 I agree with you though in that Spain has SO much to offer visitors, it’s an incredible country and truly, if you want to get to know a country and its people, walk across it!
    Patti has an awesome blog post here: Porto, é Uma Parte de Mim ~My Profile

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi Patti – You’re allowed to take a break after finishing the Camino! I agree, walking across a country has to be an incredible way to get to know it. After I read Patrick Leigh Fermor’s series from the 1930’s where he walked from Holland to Romania and beyond, I was convinced.

  2. Andrew says

    Betsy: I really like the addition of the video in the post. Sometimes, it’s hard to articulate the beauty and essence of the place; and thankfully we have the technology to help us get the point across. With that said, it’s also a wonderfully written post. Tell your husband, that his idiomatic Spanish is hilarious and can be a video montage in itself.

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi Andrew – Thank you so much. Pete is really proud of his new Spanish! Even though he can’t speak very much, he is starting to get the gist of conversations, which is really cool. He edited the part out of me snickering. 😉

  3. says

    Betsy, I adore the wild coast, but have never tackled the Camino. Friends who’ve done segments of it say if refreshes the soul, but the old body can take a beating. However, that said…..you remind me that Spain is versatile, diverse, and fascinating. Great pix, too!

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi Suze – We got by with flip flops! Might be a bit slick should it rain, but other than that, you’re never far from the beach, so I think hiking boots would be overkill.

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi Toni – The nice thing about it is you can go as far as you like and not very, if that’s how you feel. 🙂

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi Fiona – There is a region close to Barcelona called Maresme, which someone described as land and sea so united he wasn’t bothered to draw a boundary between them. We look forward to exploring more.

  4. says

    Oh Spain, what a magical looking place! One day I will make it over there to Europe. I love walking too. I walk everywhere I just wish I walked around these kinds of places more often! Great post!

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi Orana – If this coastline doesn’t make someone a walker, there’s no hope. Here’s to your dream of visiting Europe!

  5. says

    So beautiful. Reminds me a lot of California, up near Carmel. I had a big trip to Spain and Portugal planned about 10 years ago, then accidentally had kids and haven’t left the country since! Some day I’ll get back there.

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi Jenny – The idyll at Cap Roig (part and parcel of our stay at the Silken Park Hotel San Jorge) was just breathtaking. I could take that walk down to the beach every day of my life and never get tired.

  6. Carol Colborn says

    You were at Costa Brava while we were at Costa del Sol and the French Riviera. The Meditteranean truly fascinates me. I have to see this wild side, much like Big Sur in the American West Coast!

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi Carol – It’s very similar to Big Sure in terms of the rocky cliffs, but there’s also that Old World layer in the atmosphere. Definitely wonderful.

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi Karen – Yes, a big surprise. So grateful we were led along the paths, so to speak. 🙂

  7. says

    It’s been too long since I’ve visited this area, I prefer this to the wild and very crowded Costa del Sol area and nature walks are truly stunning like your photos!
    noel has an awesome blog post here: walking around ParisMy Profile

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi Billie – We knew a few vague things about it before we visited, but now we know we’ve only scratched the surface of everything this amazing region has to offer. You would love it if you’re a sea lover like we are.

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi Donna – Yes, we agree on the Cami de Ronda. Just the fact that it’s alongside the sea puts it at the top of my list.

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi Susan – Thank you! It is so grounding to walk along the sea. There is not a better way to start any day.

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi Paula – A visit to the Costa Brava will inevitably have you plotting to return. 🙂

  8. says

    Bravo for Brava! Beautiful photos and as you said, the colours of the ocean!!! I’ve only been to Spain once, and this is making me want to go back again soon.

  9. says

    I love Costa Brava! It’s odd that I didn’t go to the TBEX there this year but I’d gone to one there a couple years earlier and wanted to do something different this year. But Costa Brava is so fabulous! Two years ago I did a 6 week home exchange of my (then) home in Boston for a lovely condo overlooking the sea in Calella de Palafrugell and that was so much fun! I really enjoyed your pictures – they evoked great memories!
    Kay Dougherty has an awesome blog post here: Trinidad (the one in Cuba)My Profile

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi Kay – Costa Brava makes it so easy to fall in love no matter what your interests. Glad we could remind you of your happy stay. 🙂

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi Irene – Thank you so much. Easy to take a gazillion shots when wherever you look it’s gorgeous. 🙂

  10. says

    Your pictures are really making me wonder why we passed on the TBEX trip. It looks simply beautiful. I also loved your little video the tone of your voice is very soothing. I’d really enjoy an afternoon at that seaside restaurant. Salad and dessert that’s definitely the way to go!
    Sue Reddel has an awesome blog post here: Featured Food Travelist: Dion LimMy Profile

    • Betsy Wuebker says

      Hi Sue – You’d have loved the entire experience. We can’t wait to return and have that same salad! LOL

  11. says

    What fun! I’m loving the experience of revisiting Costa Brava through everyone’s posts, but must say yours are especially researched and informative. I enjoyed eating lunch with you both, even if it was vicarious pleasure. That restaurant looks like a hidden gem. Keep it up!
    alison abbott has an awesome blog post here: Armchair Travel No.17My Profile

    • CaviarErHvadViHar says

      Agreed with Kavitha, great writeup and amazing pictures. @kavitha if you ever make it to Costa Brava be sure to check out some of these amazing sights.

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