This medieval town perched atop a hill, with sunny views of the Mediterranean, on the Costa Brava coast is a star. While the usual suspects of Madrid, Barcelona, and pretty Andalusian towns wowed me with their general prettiness during my time in Spain, it’s this tiny town that surprised me during my visit in 2015 and today I’m going to tell you all about my time there.
Where is Costa Brava?
A coastal stretch in the Catalonia region, it is a quiet getaway from the loud Barcelona crowds. The airports in Barcelona and Girona make it easily accessible for those who come here for a weekend away from the hustle of the cities. It is a beautiful coastline with many beach towns along the way and Begur makes a great base for a holiday here.
Why go at all?
When you have had your share of history, architecture, sight seeing and want a holiday from your holiday, you can slink away to this quiet town for some time to slow down. I am a big fan of slow travel, where your plan for the day is to pick a place to eat and watch the sunset; thus Begur made it on my list of must do’s while in Spain. It is a picturesque town with cobblestone streets, fairy lit cafes, an old cathedral and a fort atop a hill which offers phenomenal views. Lazy walks, tapas hauls and an early night tucked into bed to catch up on some reading, that kind of vibe is what this town is all about!
What to do there?
Even though one can master the art of doing nothing here, there is plenty that this town offers.
- Begur Fort: Castelle de Begur is a dilapidated fort which is the centre of this town. A sharp incline up will get you to its gate, but the views that it offers will take your breath away. The whole of Begur lies in front of you and beyond it lies the Mediterranean and its many hues! A great spot to catch the sunset and to watch the ocean change colours, strange kind of peace emanates from this place.
2. Tapas crawls: Taste the Catalonian variety of tapas here, at the many family run tapas bars. You are spoilt for choice, so you can take your pick from the many friendly nooks around the corner. At the end of your meal you need to show the number of toothpicks you have (the tapas is generally held together with it) and you can pay the bill on that basis!
3. Beach days: Though Begur is not a beach town, it offers many beautiful shores in its vicinity, making a beach day an essential part of your stay here. You can pack your swimwear and head to the many beaches that lie nearby. Dramatic cliffs, hidden coves, white sands are typical characteristics of the beaches in the vicinity. I visited the tiny Sa Tuna during my time there and it was a lovely place to spend a day soaking in the sun!
4. Retail therapy: Begur does see its share of holiday goers and that has led to many shops that have sprung up in the recent past. They sell everything from fashionable clothing, antique items, souvenirs to even nautical themed articles. I found this beautiful shop here, which retailed everything related to the sea; it even had a bag of sand from the Costa Brava coast that you could take back home, I kid you not!
5. Heritage walk: In the 19th Century a quarter of the town’s population left to go to America to look for fortunes, as the town was in economic shambles. Most of them went to Cuba and set up tobacco factories. The ones who made their wealth came back to their hometown and made beautiful colonial style homes, which are a delight to walk past. The homes have descriptions of the families who own them with a brief history of its contribution to the town. A walk around town will bring you to such homes at every corner and it is quite a beautiful thing! To honour their Cuban connection they even have a festival in September called Fira d’Indians which is a 3 day affair of merriment, when the town honours its historical liaison with Cuba. “Indians” means entrepreneur , which denotes the residents who set up business in Cuba and did well there.
6. Adventure seekers: Horse stables right in the middle of town offer a chance for you to go riding with your family. If you don’t know to ride, you can always just visit to spend an afternoon with these gentle creatures. For those of you who like to do things more hands on, sky diving and scuba diving avenues are nearby and you can take the plunge, quite literally here. Empuriabrava is the hub of skydiving in the region, being very close to Girona and one can get a certificate in diving from Begur diving. The diving sites nearby are : Ala de Auguafreda, Furio de fito, Cap Begur e lia Negra to name a few.
7. Art lovers converge: The Dali triangle which consists of his home, his museum and his work shop is 30 kms away. One can visit Púbol which is Dali’s home, then go to Figures which houses the Dali museum and then move on to Cadaques which showcases the shed where he worked and produced his masterpieces. You can cover the whole triangle over two days.
I stayed at this beautiful mansion called B&B Hostalet Dels Indians. The owner, a lovely lady called Alexa has maintained her home beautifully, retaining its character, making you feel very much at home and serving you a breakfast meant for kings. Their ceiling fresco was 150 years old and they have kept it that way!
I stayed in a 2 room apartment, which had a massive balcony to sun myself in.
There are many lovely guesthouses in Colonial homes which will make your stay in Begur cosy and comfortable, book in advance to get to pick and choose your home for the stay.
How to get to Begur?
- Take a bus from Barcelona, it’s a 2.5 hour drive through sleepy towns, so it would be a good idea to catch up on some reading, while you watch the semi urban small towns pass you by as you make your way away from Barcelona.
- Fly directly into Girona and take a taxi to Begur. Alternatively fly into Barcelona and take a taxi to Begur. Accessibility is not a problem at all.
Flights from India To Barcelona start at Rs. 35000 return and upwards, and if you book in advance you can get a better deal.