Although there’s no such thing as the Spanish Riviera, travel websites usually use the term when they talk about Spain’s magnificent beaches, and the Iberian country is blessed with plenty of them. So, if there would be a Spanish Riviera, this would probably include most of the country’s seashores, as Spain is almost entirely surrounded by beautiful coasts kissed by the Mediterranean and the Southern Atlantic. Our favorite day trip from Barcelona was an afternoon in Calella de Palafrugell.
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Where is the Spanish Riviera?
Starting with Costa Brava – Spain’s “wild coast”, which stretches from the French border to the north of Barcelona and melts beautifully into Costa Dorada, the country takes pride in a plethora of wonderful beaches. Further along, the Mediterranean gives rise to other three famous shores – Costa del Azahar, Costa de Valencia, and the glorious Costa Blanca, all of them belonging to the autonomous community of Valencia.
Costa Blanca is followed by the scenic Costa Calida in the province of Murcia, from where it begins the Andalusian spectacle with its four superstars: Costa Almeria, Costa Tropical, Costa del Sol, and Costa de la Luz, in that particular order. Then, on the far North West corner of Spain, on the Atlantic shore, lies the unspoilt Costa de Galicia, followed by the stunning Costa Verde in the Principality of Asturias, and the charming Costa Vasca in the Basque Country.
We went on a day trip from Barcelona, and spent a glorious afternoon basking in the sun and enjoying some Sangria and Paella on one of the beautiful beach villages of the Costa Brava in Calella de Palafrugell. Calella de Palafrugell is one of three coastal towns belonging to the municipality of Palafrugell in the Province of Girona, Spain, the other two being Llafranc and Tamariu.
Calella de Palafrugell is a perfect day trip away from the hustle and bustle of Barcelona, while it is popular in the summer season, it does not have the large hotels and mass tourism of other Costa Brava resorts such as Lloret de Mar. It remains a local favorite and a hidden gem. The coastline of the town stretches some two kilometers south to the El Golfet beach – part of the Cap Roig headland where beautiful Botanical gardens are located. Plan a visit if you have time, we choose to just skip and enjoy the beach on this trip. Calella de Palafrugell has a number of beautiful small coves with colorful boats docked and children playing on the rocks and families having some fun in the sun.
A Glorious afternoon in Calella de Palafrugell
Here are a few pictures from our afternoon in Calella de Palafrugell… while the kids perused the beach, swam to the rocks, we people watched enjoying the cloudless blue sky, sun and the sand… and the sangria!
How to get to Calella de Palafrugell
Although you can do this trip on your own, we booked our tour ahead of time, with a small group operator. We had stopped at Pals and Girona before getting to Palafrugell. We could have easily driven there ourselves and spent a few days on the coast exploring other little towns along the coast.
- It is 135 km from Barcelona to Palafrugell. Take the AP7 motorway towards Gerona/France and get off at junction 9 (Vidreres / Lloret), taking the road to Sant Feliu de Guíxols and Platja d’Aro (C-35) and then aiming for Palamós (C-31), taking junction 331 Palafrugell Sud.
- It is 80 km from the French border to Palafrugell. Take the AP7 towards Barcelona and get off at junction 6 (Girona Nord), take the road to La Bisbal / Palamós (C-66) and the exit for Palafrugell Nord.
- You can take a train to the nearest railway station to Palafrugell which is in Flaçà, 25 km away. From here there are Sarfa buses to Palafrugell.
Where to eat in Calella de Palafrugell
As always we checked out the beach lined with cafes and restaurants for the ones with the most locals and ate there- La Vela was the name of the place. You can check thefork.com for other eats around this beautiful coast – Tragamar and La Placenta were the names that popped up when searching for popular establishments around. For more information you can check Tourism website for Visit Palafrugell.
You might also like – Top things to do in Barcelona with kids, Things to do in Venice with kids, Top Things to do in London with kids, Road trip through the White villages of Spain and 7 day Andalusia Itinerary and our other posts from Spain.