Many people know Costa Brava as a place for mass tourism, crowded beaches and all-in hotels with food of dubious quality. To be very honest, this was also the image I had until about 6 years ago, when I first came to Barcelona to study. Luckily, the only people I knew before arriving there, lived in a precious little village in the Costa Brava, called Peratallada. That time I didn’t have the chance to visit this beautiful, hidden gem – but when I came back to Barcelona to live back in 2013, I slowly started exploring the precious coast of the Costa Brava.
One of the most beautiful locations, and my favourite, is surely Begur. Begur is village that is not yet crowded by mass tourism, and mostly visited by Catalan people. It overlooks the surroundings from the hill-top it’s located on, with breathtaking views of the Costa Brava on one side, and the Pyrenees mountains on the other side.
If you’re coming here by car, visiting Pertallada is an absolute must! This will be one of the most enchanting, little villages you will find in Catalonia. Its name literally means “cut from stone”, and once you start wandering through the narrow streets of the village, you will understand why – almost every house is constructed out of locally sourced stone. In the Middle Ages, it was one of the best fortified villages in Spain – and you can still visit the old walls and the castle, just by walking around the village.
The beach files
Since Begur lies on top of a hill, you have a couple of different beaches to explore in different directions. If you don’t have a car – you’d better like hiking 🙂 It will take you an hour walk to the beaches in both directions, but I promise, they’re more than worth it!
I have only been on the Southern part of the beaches on my trips, but they all have the same turquoise waters and a touch of fine sand between your toes. If you follow the “Cami de Ronda”, the hiking path that follows the coastline, you will find some other, hidden beaches on your way that are totally deserted.
Platja Fonda has dark grey sand and is surrounded by savage rock formations. It has no services, and is somewhat deserted – so if you’re looking for peace, this is your spot.
Platja Aiguablava is one of the beaches that is starring the promotional posters of Begur around the highway – obviously the merit of its turquoise waters. This one is way more touristic, and has a restaurant where many locals come to have lunch and dinner in summer. Another reason why it’s so popular, is the fact that it’s directly reachable by car. There are some other, smaller beaches along the coast – like Aigua Xelida – which are a good choice as well for being more quiet and less crowded. If you understand some Catalan or Spanish, you will quickly realize that waters are quite fresh here: “Aigufreda” litterally stand for “cold water”, and “Aigua Xelida” takes it even one step furhter with “ice cold water” 🙂
Somewhere along the Cami de Ronda there are also some beautiful natural pools.
The beaches in this area of the coast are truly beautiful, and if you have ever visited Mallorca or Menorca, you will find a lot of similarities. This area is a true paradise for the secret beach lovers!
How to get there?
Begur is easily reachable by bus from Barcelona or Girona – and therefore,also from the airports in both cities. The trip from Barcelona by bus takes a bit more than 2 hours, will be just under 20 Euro one-way and can be purchase on the website of Sarfa, the bus company serving this route. It’s easier and cheaper to get here by car, especially if you’re more than one person – but believe me, even paying the bus,it’s a trip that’s more than worth it!
Where to sleep?
Unfortunately, Begur doesn’t have a lot of cheap options – let’s say that authenticity has its price. A double room starts from around 60 Euro, and one of the hotels I would personally recommend is Sa Barraca – a family run hotel on the road from the village of Begur to the beaches, with amazing sea views. I haven’t tried it myself, but I’ve seen plenty of spots between the trees to pitch a tent – though obviously, we are talking about wild camping here, something that is nog legal in Spain. Make sure that your tent is not visible from the road, don’t make too much light, take your tent down by sunrise – an I’d say everything will be fine. I have camped in the wild in Menorca, and it was honestly one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done – so if you have the guts and the wild spirit, go for it!
Enjoy the beauty of Begur!