Kayaking in Costa Brava near Barcelona

The vibrant city of Barcelona offers countless possibilities for entertainment and cultural events. In addition, its location, right on the coast of the Mediterranean sea, also provides easy access to various city beaches.

Without a doubt, if you are up for some amazing hiking, sea kayaking, or snorkeling experiences, leave Barcelona for a full day beach trip to Costa Brava.

As a matter of fact, the stunning coastal paradise with cliffs and crystal clear lagoons starts less than an hour’s drive north of Barcelona.

Hence, a full-day beach trip to Costa Brava is a must if you can fit it into your travel itinerary.

We want to share a handful of great beach spots with you so that your adventure turns out unforgettable.

Read more to have the most amazing beach trip to Costa Brava.

El Maresme - An Easy Plan B For A Beach Trip From Barcelona

Hopping on the R1 train line along the EL Maresme coastline is an easy beach trip. The train runs regularly every 20 minutes and you have total freedom of choice.

In fact, the train tracks literally run on the beach so you can watch out and admire the coast.  You can choose from dozens of beach towns that will easily outdo Barcelona’s city beaches.

If you are looking for a nice and quiet town to spend a day in. Somewhere to rest from the buzzing Barcelona. Then look no further as we highly recommend you getting off the train in Sant Pol de Mar.

On the other hand, if you are really eager to explore Costa Brava keep reading on.

We are going to share some valuable insights and tips on how to self-organize your beach trip to Costa Brava.

The best hidden beaches in Costa Brava

The Most Stunning Beach Trip To Costa Brava

Undoubtedly, one of the most picturesque towns in Costa Brava is Tossa de Mar.

It is famed for the Medieval fortress with spectacular sea views, loads of history dating back to Roman settlements, and some fantastic beaches to relax on.

As a matter of fact, you can count on the busy touristic streets, ceramic shops, local art and all kinds of souvenirs, splendid beachfront restaurants, and easy access to three wonderful town beaches.

Despite that Tossa de Mar attracts significant amounts of visitors in the peak season. It is a great town to explore in general. Try to aim for May to the middle of June before the holidaymakers arrive for their summer vacation.

It could turn out to be your perfect full-day beach trip to Costa Brava after all.

The famous coastal path El Camino de Ronda passes through the town too. In case the place feels rather crowded, you can always hike away to discover more secluded bays and beaches in the surrounding areas.

The path is fully signposted and offers some stunning sea views.

The direct bus lines from Barcelona will take you there and back without any problems. 

After all, it is just a matter of making sure to catch your last ride back.

Our Ultimate List Of The Best Beach Spots in Costa Brava

There are so many beautiful beach spots worth visiting in Costa Brava.

It would not do any justice to Costa Brava without including a shortlist of our hand-picked best spots. These are our favorites for visiting all year round.

Be sure to check the driving directions if you decide to rent a car and head out exploring.

The list starts with the closest beach spot from Barcelona.

Parking In Costa Brava

The rule of thumb for the busy summer season. The smaller the town or beach you decide to explore, the better experience with fewer people around. In addition, this also makes parking a little less stressful.

The paid parking, also known as ‘blue zones’, usually starts in the middle of June and finishes roughly at the end of September.

Make sure to leave the ticket in the car, if required. The local municipalities often employ extra people to keep checking the parking tickets throughout the entire day.

Locals sometimes park their cars in an unconventional manner. That is why you can sometimes see a car parked in a ditch on the side of the road. Beware of trying to park the same way as local police will give you a parking fine in the summer season.

All beach spots in our list above include beautiful sceneries, sandy beaches, and crystal clear lagoons to swim in or snorkel. We promise you will not be disappointed by any of these places.

Are you looking for a real off-the-beaten-track experience? Let us guide you along the Costa Brava coastline.

Do you have any doubts about organizing your trip? We are here to help you with our best insights.

We will also happily tailor-make a private beach trip to Costa Brava to any of these secluded spots for your group.

Santa Cristina beach in Costa Brava

What To Bring For A Beach Trip To Costa Brava

Everyone knows what to bring to a beach, right?

Apart from the obvious, we are going to give you some cool and practical tips on how to make your beach trip to Costa Brava even better.

Let’s start with the basics. Make sure you protect yourself against the sun. We know it may sound silly now, BUT…

After a full day on the beach, almost anyone could end up like a cooked shrimp without any sun protection.

Pack your sun shades, hat, cap, sun cream. Get a decent piece of string that you can use with your linen beach towel to set up an improvised shade sail.

Some beach spots may provide a nice easing shade underneath the Aleppo or Stone pine trees that overhang to the beach. Nevertheless, it is always nice to have the option to set up a temporary canopy if needed.

Freeze Your Water For A Day Long Cooling Effect

Water, water, water. We can not stress this enough. Simply bring more freshwater than you think you might need.

Even better, freeze your plastic 1.5l water bottle a day before and use it to keep your picnic and other drinks nice and cool.

Once you arrive at the beach, dig out a decent hole in the sand and place all your food and drinks inside. Top it up with the sand leaving a clear mark so that you know where to dig when you get a sudden appetite for a beach snack.

As the day goes on, the ice will melt and you will have nice refreshing water all day long. Thus, do not bother to lug a cooling box around.

Bring Some Sport Gear To Play Like A Kid

A basic pair of swimming or diving goggles can be a great companion in Costa Brava. You will be able to fully explore the Mediterranean sea and dive around the sandstone cliffs and into the crystal clear lagoons.

Make sure you bring at least one pair. It would be a shame to miss out on the underwater paradise.

Costa Brava is full of sandstone cliffs that invite for an easy bouldering session or cliff diving. A pair of climbing or water shoes can make your life a lot easier if you enjoy one of the above-mentioned activities.

The list of things could go on, but basically, some secluded beaches are not equipped with any facilities. Thus, make sure you bring all you might need just in case.

Hiking, Kayaking And Snorkeling Beach Trip To Costa Brava

Your company is more important than the place.

Stepan Prindis, MSc., AEGM Guide

As we mentioned earlier, the Costa Brava coastline is made of beautiful sandstone cliffs and coves. You may find a few areas with granite rock that create spectacular rock formations.

The cliffs, rock formations, and lagoons truly make Costa Brava a stunning place to visit.

To fully immerse into this magical environment we suggest you get on the water.

Probably, the most popular and beginner-friendly water activity you can pick is sea kayaking. The sit-on-top double kayaks provide a reasonable amount of stability.

It is a suitable activity for anyone who is eager to explore the hidden gems of Costa Brava.

Get On The Water To Explore More

There is a hand full of locations that will provide rental services throughout the summer season. We recommend you call them in advance. Just to make sure they have got their equipment ready on the beach.

Our two favorite spots to go kayaking in Costa Brava are  La Playa de Sant Pol de S’Agaró. You can rent your kayaks from Escola de Vela I Kayak Sant Pol.

Alternatively, if you drive a little further north to La Playa del Castell. There you will find another company called Kayaking Costa Brava. They will equip you accordingly for your sea kayaking adventure.

In addition, both places also rent the stand-up paddleboards if you are keen to try something fun. It is wise to be at the beach relatively earlier so that you can enjoy the quiet ambiance of the surrounding environment.

Moreover, the morning sessions of sea kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding can be exceptionally beautiful.

Later on, as the sun rises and begins to gain more power, it normally gets windier and you should be ready for some small waves.

In other words, if you make it out of bed early enough. You will gently glide above the turquoise crystal clear lagoons.

Small group kayaking tour Costa Brava

Join A Small Group Kayaking Tour And Have A Blast In Costa Brava

By all means, if you are ready to self-organize your beach trip to Costa Brava you will not regret it.

However, if you decide to join our small group Costa Brava Kayaking & Lagoon Dipping Tour we take care of all logistics and equipment rental. We will safely guide you on the land as well as on the sea.

You will explore a secluded bay for lagoon dipping and snorkeling.

Finally, to wrap this amazing experience up,  in the days following our beach trip to Costa Brava, we will send you some cool action shots.

Our guides will take care of all the details. You can simply sit back and enjoy your beach adventure in Costa Brava.

Are you nervous about going kayaking for the first time? Our only requirement is that you know how to swim.

Your guide will firstly walk you through all kayaking basics on the beach.

Later, on the water, you will do some fun exercises to get the real feel for the kayak and paddle.

It also goes without saying that our guides will always look out to adjust the experience to the group’s physical levels and likings.

Without a doubt, exploring Costa Brava in a small group of co-minded travelers is also a great way to hang out on the beach or enjoy a seafood meal after our fabulous kayaking trip.

Just let us know and will tailor-make a special beach trip to Costa Brava. We will do our utmost to accommodate all your preferences.

Do not miss out on this one!

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Our Travel Tips & Insights

October 2023