Having a car rental with us in Spain gave us a lot of freedom in traveling around to wherever we pleased. Although it may seem daunting to research where to go and how to get there, it is not difficult to stumble upon some interesting sights while driving through Costa Brava. There are plenty of interesting small towns that each have their own little charms whether it be a small part of history like a castle or a church, or a stunning view of the mountains or the Mediterranean Sea. As tempting as it is to speed from one tourist town to another, make time to detour through some of these hidden gems for a genuine Costa Brava experience.
Since it was just the two of us, we rented a car from Budget, big enough to be comfortable for long rides, but small enough to park easily. With the inbuilt GPS system, we had a much easier time getting around. Just punch in the end destination and we were on our way! It was also able to notify us of the many toll stations that you are likely to go through when traveling through the Spanish countryside, for the sake of convenience, carry around a good amount of change because tolls can run from 0,75 to 3,00 euros depending on how far you are traveling. Make sure to be cautious of your gasoline consumption as well as it is not always easy to find a gas station outside of cities. Locate a station near where you intend to drop off your rental car so you can fill up and avoid gasoline fees.
Beautiful little houses scale the hills in Tossa de Mar. Can’t say I’m not a little bit jealous.
One of our adventures across Costa Brave took us to the beautiful seaside city of Tossa De Mar, about 103 kilometres north of Barcelona and known for its stunning beaches and centuries old medieval town that stands above the rest of the city on a hilltop overlooking the Sea. With lots of shops and restaurants, it’s perfect for a day trip to the beach.
Although we knew very little about the town prior to going, it’s easy to see where its main attractions lie. Follow anyone in the city and you will most likely find yourself at the beach or at the walled-in Old Town near the beach. Getting around should be easy as there are lots of signs to guide you around the sights.
There is a beautiful contrast between the orange stoned buildings inside the Old Town’s walls and the white, more modern buildings of the city.
We spent most of our trip at the “Vila Vella enceinte” exploring the remains of a fortified medieval town that dates back to the end of the 14th century. It was truly beautiful with its original stone walls and towers. You are able to walk through narrow cobblestone streets and visit the Governor’s House (which is now the Municipal museum), a medieval hospital and the remnants of two churches; one Romanesque and one Gothic. The Municipal museum houses a collection of important contemporary art pieces from Spanish and foreign artists who frequented Tossa de Mar in the 1930s. It also holds many ancient artifacts from the Paleolithic Period to the Late Middle Ages.
When you are finished strolling around the Old Town, be sure to find your way to one of the staircases that will take you to the top of the wall. We were able to walk around a great portion of the Old Town and the views were nothing less than stunning. Luckily, we had chosen a perfect day, so the sky was blue and it made for some wonderful pictures. We didn’t make it all the way to the highest point of the town (which is the lighthouse), but regardless we were able to see a perfect view of the main beach and the city.
Walking on top of the Old Town’s walls.
By the time lunch rolled around, we were both fairly hungry and there was an abundant selection of restaurants by the seaside. We chose a restaurant near the Old Town that seemed to be serving an admirable amount of customers but there was little selection and the food was only mediocre. Let this be a lesson, don’t be lazy! Do some research beforehand and find a good restaurant that has been approved by multiple recent customers so that you can use your money wisely. Throughout our entire trip, we agreed that our meal in Tossa de Mar had been the most disappointing. So, trust travel and food bloggers. They know what they are doing!
One of the smaller beaches in Tossa de Mar. Surrounded by cliffs, this beach has a much more private feel compared to the busy Main beach.
There was a lively crowd at the beach that day. Many people were taking advantage of the lovely weather to go boating, swimming or simply just to tan a little on the sand. Since we were not staying in Tossa de Mar, we chose not to bring any swimming gear with us on our day trip.
Looking down at the Mediterranean Sea from one of the towers in the Old Town. No filters here folks! The water really is that colour!
There was a true Mediterranean feel to the city, with its mixture of ancient ruins and modern buildings, cool air and relaxed visitors slowly trailing through the brick roads. The streets were filled with colourful vendors and sweet smelling food. Besides the disappointing lunch, we were able to have a wonderful tour around this city that holds many beautiful sights, sounds and smells. Can’t wait to go back and see it again!