The Costa Brava is a 160-kilometre stretch of beautiful,
rugged coastline in the region of Catalonia in
the north east corner of Spain. Its natural beauty, endless miles of sandy
beaches and summer sunshine made it an obvious target for the tour operators
when the package holiday industry took off in the 1960s. Now you'll find modern,
international tourist resorts with high-rise hotels alongside unspoilt fishing
villages, sheltered rocky coves and medieval towns with ancient castles. The
Costa stretches from Blanes, north of Barcelona,
to Roses near the French border.
Besides the obvious attractions of its many wonderful beaches, the Costa Brava (meaning Wild Coast) is also an ideal base from which to explore the countless treasures of Catalonia. The regional capital of Barcelona must surely rank as one of the most fascinating cities on the planet with its mind-blowing Gaudi architecture, Pablo Picasso museum, Olympic village and world-famous La Rambla boulevard. The Salvador Dali museum at Figueres is one of the region's most popular tourist spots along with the Benedictine Monastery at Montserrat, perched high amid some extraordinary rock formations in the mountains to the north west of Barcelona. Europe's biggest water park is located just outside Lloret de Mar and the Marineland complex near Blanes is another hugely popular family day out with its dolphin, sea lion and parrot shows, water slides, reptile house and children's zoo.