Costa Brava Holiday

By: Helen Palmer

Your Costa Brava holiday will probably feature a trip to one of the glorious stretches of beach along the Costa Brava coast. How then to chose the best time of year and the best beach from the 190 kms of the Catalonian coast?

The amazing coastline that stretches for some 190kms starting at the French border has a spectacular number of beaches and coves. Choosing the right one is made instantly easier with the Blue Flag which guarantees a high level of standards.

Many of the beaches in the Costa Brava have been awarded Blue Flag status, which means that they have all passed the rigorous testing that allows the beach to be given the Blue Flag.

Things like water quality, cleanliness of the beach, information and education of the ecosystems around the coastline, adequate number of lifeguards and lifesaving equipment must be on hand, first aid equipment must be available on the beach and drinking water obtainable.

To be awarded the Blue Flag, 29 conditions have to be met and at any time these conditions are not being met, the flag will be removed. This guarantees that you will be able to enjoy your time at the beach to its fullest, safe in the knowledge that the little things that make the difference have been taken care of before you even step foot on the sands.

The Costa Brava coastline has the largest concentration of Blue Flag beaches in Spain, a tremendous accolade which tells you that the Costa Brava takes very seriously its duties towards you the visitor.

Here then are three of the prettiest coves which have been awarded the coveted Blue Flag.

There are many more that warrant further note, so watch out for more information on other beaches on the spectacular coastline of the Costa Brava.

Aigua Blava's turquoise blue water washes gently across the amarillo-yellow of the sand in this tiny inlet. Turned to face away from the cliff faces, nature has protected this special place from the ravages of the sea, allowing safe bathing in a picturesque and tranquil setting.

Back in the 1950's, for the first time more people had disposable income to spend on travel and with Spain being a short distance away and definitely 'abroad', the Costa Brava and Aigua Blava in particular became the focus of attention. What draws people back time and again is the wonderful vibrancy of the place. Coupled with friendly and attentive service at the hotels and restaurants, you will be sure to enjoy a wonderful Costa Brava holiday in this particular spot.

Tamariu is slightly bigger than Aigua Blava and a short hike across the cliff tops if you would like a change of scenery from Aigua Blava. This little cove opens out onto the Mediterranean Sea like a flower, allowing the sandy beach protection from the rugged rock faces that line the inlet.

The small spit of sand is lined with restaurants, boutique shops and whitewashed houses where elderly locals sit and watch the world go by in their wicker chairs whilst the restaurants ply their trade with their pavement tables and sun brollies. Sitting in the sun, gaze at the traditional, multi-coloured fishing boats pulled up onto the sand with their distinctive lanterns waiting for nightfall to cast their nets, bringing in the freshest sardines to serve at the restaurants next day.

Fancy a bit of exercise? Then walk the Cami de Ronda, the traditional coastline walk of sheep farmers and smugglers, to discover hidden coves and caves. The route takes you along the tree line towards Cala Pedrosa and onwards to Llafranc.

If walking is not your thing, hiring a kayak or small motorboat might be just the thing to find that pretty inlet where you are the only person on the beach!

Llafranc is the largest of our featured Blue Flag beaches, but is still small enough to retain an intimacy with its stylish little port and crescent shaped sandy beach stretching for some meters across the bay.

Here your children can play in safety with their buckets and spades, whilst you enjoy the tranquillity and fine cuisine on offer in the restaurants and hotels along the promenade - the perfect place to enjoy a sundowner, to sit back, relax and watch the evening passeig.

Which ever Blue Flag beach you choose on a Costa Brava holiday you will be sure of a warm welcome and outstanding natural beauty to please the eye. I invite you to use these tips to make the most of your holiday on the Costa Brava.

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