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Costa Brava

Costa Brava

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The Costa Brava is a coastal region of northeastern Catalonia
Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, in the comarques
Comarques of Catalonia
This is a list of the comarques of Catalonia . A comarca is roughly equivalent to a US "county" or a UK "district". However, in the context of Catalonia, the term "county" can be a bit misleading, because in medieval Catalonia, the most important rulers were counts, notably the Counts of Barcelona...

of Alt Empordà
Alt Empordà
Alt Empordà is a comarca in Catalonia, Spain, one of two into which Empordà was divided by the comarcal division of Catalonia in 1936.- Municipalities :Populations are as of 2001.*Agullana - pop. 668*Albanyà - pop. 99*L'Armentera - pop. 742...

, Baix Empordà
Baix Empordà
Baix Empordà is a comarca in Catalonia, Spain, one of the two into which Empordà was divided in the comarcal division of 1936. It is popularly known as L'Empordanet .- Geography :...

 and Selva
Selva
Selva is a coastal comarca in Catalonia, Spain, located between the mountain range known as the Serralada Transversal or Puigsacalm and the Costa Brava . Unusually, it is divided between the provinces of Girona and Barcelona, with Fogars de la Selva being part of Barcelona province, and all other...

, in the province of Girona. Costa is the Catalan
Catalan language
Catalan is a Romance language, the national and only official language of Andorra and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencian Community, where it is known as Valencian , as well as in the city of Alghero, on the Italian island...

 and Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 word for 'coast', and Brava means 'rugged' or 'wild'. The Costa Brava stretches from Blanes
Blanes
Blanes is a town on the Costa Brava in the province of Girona, Catalonia, Spain.The coast of Blanes has 4 km of different kinds of beaches, including the Blanes beach and S'Abanell beach.-Main sights:...

, 60 km (37.3 mi) northeast of Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

, to the French border.

In the 1950s, the Costa Brava was identified by the Spanish government
Spanish Government
Spain is a constitutional monarchy whose government is defined by the Constitution of Spain. This was approved by a general referendum of the people of Spain in 1978...

 and local entrepreneurs as being suitable for substantial development as a holiday destination, mainly for package holiday
Package holiday
A package holiday or package tour consists of transport and accommodation advertised and sold together by a vendor known as a tour operator. Other services may be provided like a rental car, activities or outings during the holiday. Transport can be via charter airline to a foreign country...

 tourists from Northern Europe
Northern Europe
Northern Europe is the northern part or region of Europe. Northern Europe typically refers to the seven countries in the northern part of the European subcontinent which includes Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Finland and Sweden...

 and especially, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. The combination of a very good summer climate, nature, excellent beaches and a favourable foreign exchange rate was exploited by the construction of large numbers of hotels and apartments in such seaside resorts as Blanes
Blanes
Blanes is a town on the Costa Brava in the province of Girona, Catalonia, Spain.The coast of Blanes has 4 km of different kinds of beaches, including the Blanes beach and S'Abanell beach.-Main sights:...

, Tossa de Mar
Tossa de Mar
Tossa de Mar is a municipality in Catalonia, Spain, located on the Costa Brava, about 103 kilometres north of Barcelona and 100 kilometres south of the French border...

, and Lloret de Mar
Lloret de Mar
Lloret de Mar is a Mediterranean coastal town in Catalonia and one of the most popular holiday resorts on the Costa Brava. It is 40 kilometres from Girona and 75 kilometres from Barcelona and therefore easily accessible...

. Tourism rapidly took over from fishing as the principal business of the area.


While part of the Costa Brava coastline lent itself to tourist developments on a very large scale, other parts have retained a more traditional look and have become "hidden gems" for visitors who want a little more than sun, sand and sangria
Sangría
Sangria is a wine punch typical of Spain and Portugal, also consumed in Argentina and Uruguay. It normally consists of a wine, chopped fruit, a sweetener, and a small amount of added brandy. To be specific, a wine is a light, dry, young, high acid, unoaked, inexpensive wine, usually red wine due...

. Small towns like Cadaqués
Cadaqués
Cadaqués is a town in the Alt Empordà comarca, in the province of Girona, Catalonia, Spain. It is on a bay in the middle of the Cap de Creus peninsula, near Cap de Creus cape, on the Costa Brava of the Mediterranean...

, which is close to the French border and close to the foothills of the Pyrenees, have attracted artists, such as Salvador Dalí
Salvador Dalí
Salvador Domènec Felip Jacint Dalí i Domènech, Marquis de Púbol , commonly known as Salvador Dalí , was a prominent Spanish Catalan surrealist painter born in Figueres,Spain....

, Joan Miró
Joan Miró
Joan Miró i Ferrà was a Spanish Catalan painter, sculptor, and ceramicist born in Barcelona.Earning international acclaim, his work has been interpreted as Surrealism, a sandbox for the subconscious mind, a re-creation of the childlike, and a manifestation of Catalan pride...

 and Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the...

. The Dalí Theatre and Museum
Dalí Theatre and Museum
The Dalí Theatre and Museum , is a museum of the artist Salvador Dalí in his home town of Figueres, in Catalonia.- History :The heart of the museum was the building that housed the town's theatre when Dalí was a child, and where one of the first public exhibitions of young Dalí's art was shown...

 in Figueres
Figueres
Figueres is the capital of the comarca of Alt Empordà, in the province of Girona, Catalonia, Spain.The town is the birthplace of artist Salvador Dalí, and houses the Teatre-Museu Gala Salvador Dalí, a large museum designed by Dalí himself which attracts many visitors...

 is one of the most important and visited museums in Catalonia. One can also visit Dalí's House-Museum in Port Lligat
Port Lligat
Port Lligat or Portlligat is a small village located in a small bay on Cap de Creus peninsula, on the Costa Brava of the Mediterranean Sea, near the city of Cadaqués in the Alt Empordà comarca, in Girona province, Catalonia, Spain...

, near Cadaqués
Cadaqués
Cadaqués is a town in the Alt Empordà comarca, in the province of Girona, Catalonia, Spain. It is on a bay in the middle of the Cap de Creus peninsula, near Cap de Creus cape, on the Costa Brava of the Mediterranean...

 and the Castle of Púbol
Castle of Púbol
The Castle of Púbol is located in Púbol, in the comarca of Baix Empordà, Girona, Catalonia. It was the home to surrealist painter Salvador Dalí and his wife Gala .Dalí bought the castle in 1969...

 in Púbol
Pubol
Púbolis a small town located in the comarca of Baix Empordà, in the province of Girona, Catalonia, Spain.The artist Salvador Dalí lived at the Castle of Púbol; in 1982, he was named Marquis of Púbol....

. The coast between Roses and Tossa de Mar
Tossa de Mar
Tossa de Mar is a municipality in Catalonia, Spain, located on the Costa Brava, about 103 kilometres north of Barcelona and 100 kilometres south of the French border...

 has many delightful small coastal towns, such as Pals
Pals
Pals is a medieval town in Catalonia, northern Spain a few kilometres from the sea in the heart of the Bay of Emporda on the Costa Brava. It lies on the C31 Palafrugell-L'Estartit road.-Main sights:...

, Begur, Tamariu
Tamariu
Tamariu is one of three coastal towns belonging to the municipality of Palafrugell, province of Girona, Spain, the other two being Calella de Palafrugell and Llafranc. It is part of the Costa Brava, the coastal region of northeastern Catalonia, in the comarca of Baix Empordà...

, S'Agaró
S'Agaró
S'Agaró is an upmarket resort on the Costa Brava between Sant Feliu de Guíxols and Castell-Platja d'Aro in Spain.In the early 1920s Josep Ensesa Gubert, the son of a successful Girona industrialist, persuaded his father to buy the land between the bay at Sant Pol and the long beach at Sa Conca...

, Empuriabrava
Empuriabrava
Empuriabrava is one of the largest marinas in the world. It is located on the coast of Girona ....

, Llafranc
Llafranc
Llafranc is one of three coastal towns belonging to the municipality of Palafrugell, province of Girona, Spain, the other two being Calella de Palafrugell and Tamariu. It is part of the Costa Brava, the coastal region of northeastern Catalonia, in the comarca of Baix Empordà.The combination of a...

, L'Estartit
L'Estartit
L'Estartit is a small town and seaside resort on the Costa Brava, on the north-eastern coast of Spain.The town is situated between the foothills of the Montgrí Massif and the Mediterranean Sea, and is part of the borough of Torroella de Montgrí, in the Baix Empordà county, Girona province,...

, Aigua Blava
Aigua Blava
Aigua Blava is a small bay on the Costa Brava, Girona, Catalonia near Begur and Palafrugell with a small beach and a few mainly seafood restaurants. It is a popular mooring place for sailing and motor boats. Overlooking the bay on one side is a large Parador Hotel situated high on a clifftop. On...

, Fornells
Fornells, Catalonia
Fornells is a small bay in the Costa Brava, Catalonia, northern Spain, lying between Sa Tuna and Tamariu and close to Aigua Blava bay. It was formerly mainly a fishing village and, whilst there is still some fishing activity...

, Calella de Palafrugell
Calella de Palafrugell
Calella de Palafrugell is one of three coastal towns belonging to the municipality of Palafrugell, province of Girona, Spain, the other two being Llafranc and Tamariu. It is part of the Costa Brava, the coastal region of northeastern Catalonia, in the comarca of Baix Empordà...

, Calonge
Calonge
Calonge is a municipality in the comarca of the Baix Empordà in Catalonia, Spain.The town comprises two parts, a medieval hill village and modern seaside resort. The main urban centre and original village is about 4 km inland from the Bay of Sant Antoni...

, Palamós
Palamós
Palamós is a town and municipality in the Mediterranean Costa Brava, located in the comarca of Baix Empordà, in the province of Girona, Catalonia, Spain....

 and Sant Feliu de Guíxols
Sant Feliu de Guíxols
Sant Feliu de Guíxols is a municipality in the comarca of the Baix Empordà inCatalonia, Spain. It is situated on the Costa Brava and is an important port and tourist centre. The district abuts to the north, the upmarket s'Agaró resort built round the Sant Pol Beach. In addition to tourism and the...

.


Environmental protection


In 1998, the coastal towns of the Costa Brava signed a charter, called the Carta de Tossa, which undertook to pursue environmental protection, along with tourism. This recognised the value of the region's wide range of natural habitats and microclimate
Microclimate
A microclimate is a local atmospheric zone where the climate differs from the surrounding area. The term may refer to areas as small as a few square feet or as large as many square miles...

s http://www.gencat.es. The Medes Islands off the coast of L'Estartit
L'Estartit
L'Estartit is a small town and seaside resort on the Costa Brava, on the north-eastern coast of Spain.The town is situated between the foothills of the Montgrí Massif and the Mediterranean Sea, and is part of the borough of Torroella de Montgrí, in the Baix Empordà county, Girona province,...

 are in Spain's first marine reserve
Marine reserve
For the United States Marine Corps Reserve see: Marine Forces ReserveA marine reserve is an area of the sea which has legal protection against fishing or development. This is to be distinguished from a marine park, but there is some overlap in usage...

 and provide a home to a wide range of fish and aquatic flora. The nearby wildfowl reserve on marsh
Marsh
In geography, a marsh, or morass, is a type of wetland that is subject to frequent or continuous flood. Typically the water is shallow and features grasses, rushes, reeds, typhas, sedges, other herbaceous plants, and moss....

lands at Aiguamolls de l’Empordà also saved land from the potential ravages of development.

External links