Costa Brava holidays introduce you to Spain at its wildest – whether it's the make-up-free beaches and thick forests, or the dizzying waterparks and nightlife of Lloret de Mar.

Wild card

Creeping up to the French border, the Costa Brava takes you to Spain’s less-trodden top corner. When it comes to landscapes, this place likes to go au naturel – think mountain backdrops and forest-tickled coves. It’s probably the reason Salvador Dali liked it so much – you’ll find a couple of museums dedicated to the artist around here. It’s just north of Barcelona, too, so daytrips are easy.

Big and bold

The so-called Rugged Coast still has all the beachy charms of the rest of the Costas along Catalonia. After all, there’s a reason why city slickers from Barcelona flock here to sunbathe. Loud- and-proud Lloret de Mar probably has the biggest helping of blue-water beaches in the palm of its hands – you can count five within a 10-minute drive. Plus, it’s got a bumper crop of bars to boot.

The quiet ones

Some of the Costa Brava’s holiday destinations like to lie low. They’re not exactly fishing villages per se, but they’re the type of places you can sip sangria or tuck into paella and watch the world go by. Pineda’s small, but well-stocked with tapas bars, cute squares and a big beach. And Santa Susanna’s even sleepier, with cobbled streets and plenty of family-friendly beaches.

At a Glance

  • Have a night on the town in Lloret de Mar
  • Settle down with a book on Pineda’s peaceful beach
  • Time travel in Tossa de Mar’s old town

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