It’s been over three weeks since coming back from an end-of-the-summer trip to Europe, and I wanted to share one of my favourite destinations before all the details slip out of my mind. The first stop of our trip before heading to Barcelona was Tossa De Mar, an old coastal town of the Costa Brava. We spent just over a day and a half there (arriving Friday early afternoon and leaving Sunday morning), but this gem of a town has totally captured my heart.
What to Do
Castillo de Tossa de Mar
Our first stop was a medieval castle with glorious views overlooking the beach and town of Tossa de Mar. We woke up extra early for our last morning to catch the sunrise from the castle (definitely worth it!).
From the back of the castle, we made our way to a charming fortified old town, with gift shops, restaurants, and a glance into the lives of people who still live there. The streets are made of cobblestone roads, and the houses are adorned with greenery. Every alley you turn just gets more and more picturesque.
Hike to Cala Pola
We didn’t want to swim at the main beach because of how crowded it was, so we opted to hike along the shoreline to Cala Pola, a gorgeous cove around an hour hike away. The hike was beautiful, with tons of lookouts with panoramic views of the ocean. It was a relatively easy hike – nothing too steep, but with some parts that should be crossed with caution (close to the edge, slippery loose rocks and sand, etc.). On the way to Cala Pola, you will pass by Cala Bona, which is another beautiful cove, but a little smaller with shallower waters.
Instead of settling down on the beach area of the cove, we made ourselves comfortable on the big rocks by the side. You can avoid the crowds, don’t have to deal with getting sand everywhere, and have direct access to jumping straight into the Mediterranean sea! Definitely bring some snacks along to munch on between swims (but don’t forget to clean up after yourselves when you leave!).
Where to Eat
There are tons and tons of options for dining in Tossa de Mar. We tried Braseria Pini Pizza and La Lluna (a cute little tapas bar in the center of the old town). Both had promising reviews online, and while I thought they were decent, nothing particularly stood out to me compared to what we had in Barcelona.
Tossa De Mar is very easily accessible by the Sarfa bus, making it easy for foreign travellers like me. We made it the first stop of our trip because there is a direct bus from the airport in Terminal 2. When we arrived, there was a guy in a yellow vest with ‘moventis’ who sold tickets to us and gave us instructions on which bus to get on. You can also buy tickets online ahead of time, but if you miss your bus (which is not unlikely as planes and airports are unpredictable), you will need to buy new tickets.
Where to Live
As a touristy area, there are an abundance of small hotels/hostels in Tossa de Mar. We stayed at Hotel Simeon, which is a simple hotel located right in the heart of Tossa. This hotel is by no means fancy, but if you’re looking for a relatively cheap, clean, and safe place to stay, Hotel Simeon is a solid choice. Breakfast is included, which is always a plus!
I definitely recommend checking out Tossa de Mar if you’re exploring the Costa Brava, or if you’re just looking for side trip/weekend trip from Barcelona (although there definitely is a bigger crowd on weekends). It’s one of the most charming places I’ve been to, and would love to go back again if I had the chance!