Discos, fast food restaurants, gambling dens, neon signs - at first glance it works Lloret de Mar like a cheap version of Las Vegas: the whole city a gigantic amusement machine. And indeed Lloret is considered the epitome of drinking and fumbling tourism of young people.
Should they have fun in Lloret? At my favorite place Tamariu, about 40 kilometers further north, they would only get bored anyway: 89 inhabitants, no disco, shortly after midnight the lights go out. A bay framed by rocks and pine trees, the light-sand beach barely 200 meters wide, the sea speckled with colorful fishing boats swinging on the waves behind the bathing zone. If there are still places on the Costa Brava, this 200-kilometer-long coastline in northeastern Spain, visited every year by nearly four million tourists, then this one. Maybe not in midsummer, but in low season, in May or September.
A little more lively, but still pleasant are the slightly larger places llafranc and Calella de Palafrugell in the neighboring bays, two or four kilometers to the south. Llafranc, like Tamariu, has only one beach, but more bars, cafés and shops. Calella extends over several small, curved sandy coves, which are lined by a promenade.
From Tamariu to Llafranc it takes a good one and a half varied hours: dense forest, lush green glades, rocks and always magnificent views of the sea. And the carefree coastal path between Llafranc and Calella is perfect for a romantic evening walk. But then there is another place that is virtually out of competition: Cadaqués, located almost at the northernmost tip of the Costa Brava. From afar, the whitewashed houses of Salvador Dalí's home shine.
Idyll on the riverBesalú: Nearly 30 kilometers southwest of Figueres inland lies the picturesque town Besalú. A piece of pure Middle Ages! Since 1966, the 2100-inhabitant town is completely listed. Landmark and ubiquitous postcard motif: the 11th-century Pont Fortificat bridge. The special feature: it has a kink in the middle, because only then could the rocks in the river Riu Fluvià be used as a foundation. In the former Jewish quarter of El Call you can visit a bathhouse (the only one of its kind in Spain). Nice finish: a stop at the restaurant "Pont Vell" right on the bridge (see Tips Restaurants).
Fish with sea view"Tragamar", Calella de Palafrugell: tagliatelle with algae, carpaccio of tuna - sounds a bit different than the typical fish cuisine on the Costa Brava. The large dining room, which is entirely covered in wood, from the floor to the tables and chairs, is adorned with beautiful black and white photographs; the audience is young and stylishly styled. There is no better place in Calella for a cozy summer evening than on the terrace of this in-local beachfront hotel (Platja del Canadell, tel. 615189).
Nice bathing places Canyelles: beautiful bays, between Tossa and Lloret, framed by rocks and forest. Good destination for a day trip, many families. Platja del Codolar, Tossa de Mar: tiny bathing spot below the old town, a quiet alternative to the hustle and bustle of the main beach of Tossa. Coarse-grained sand. Only a beach shack, no music, many snorkelers. Tamariu: When the sun creeps out from behind the rock in the morning and switches on the light in the still deserted bay, it is difficult to resist a bath before breakfast. But even if not even 200 meters long beach fills up, it remains a pleasant place to relax. Sa Riera: former insider's tip not far from Begur, which unfortunately is no longer one. On the bright, only 300 meters wide strip of sand with lots of forest in the background, it can still be tolerated well. Cala Montgó: larger bay, not far from L'Escala. Fine sand, many families, ideal for children, because it is - almost like the Baltic Sea - very shallow into the water. Platja Sant Pere de Pescador: an almost six and a half kilometers long beach with powdered fine sand.
StayGirona: The capital of the Costa Brava region is one of the places with the highest quality of life in Spain. Worth seeing: the old town, almost completely spared by modern times, the picturesque row of houses on the river Onyar. Boutiques, nice cafés (for example "L'Arcada", Rambla de la Llibertat 38, with tapas, pizza), ice cream parlors (for example "Gelateria La Xixonenca", C / Argentería 8).
Charm of old times"Hotel Diana", Tossa de Mar: A hotel can hardly be better. The front entrance leads to the promenade, the rear directly to the plaza. The "Diana" is a swing door between city life and the beach and beautiful. After all, they were students of the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, who designed it in the mid-19th century.With typical curved lines, mirrors, marble and stained glass. Double / F 70 to 150 euros (Plaça d'Espanya 6, Tel./Fax 341886).
A piece of the Middle AgesPals: In the old town district of Barri Vell - a fortified tower, an imposing wall and sandstone houses that have been so uniformly and perfectly restored that everything looks almost like a backdrop for films about the Middle Ages. And so the place with its flower-filled streets is more a museum than a real city. In the off-season in the morning you have Pals almost to yourself; but you should have breakfast before, because the few restaurants open only in the early afternoon.
Visit to the great masterDalí: The Museum in Figueres, his home in Port Lligat near Cadaqués and finally the castle in Púbol donated by the master of his Muse Gala - they form the so-called surrealist triangle. It will probably only charm absolute Salvador Dalí fans. Definitely worth a detour to Figueres, where Dalí was born in 1904. The playful Teatre-Museu Dalí is more adventure park than classical art temple. If you want to make a detour to Port Lligat from Cadaqués, you should know that you always have to register your visit to the house of the eccentric artist - otherwise you will wait for hours on site (Teatre-Museu Dalí, Plaça Gala-Salvador Dalí 5, Figueres, Tel 677500, high season daily, entrance fee: 9 Euro / Casa-Museu Salvador Dalí, Portlligat, tel. 251015, entrance fee: 8 Euro / Casa Castell Gala Dalí Museum, Púbol, Tel. 488655, Admission: 5,50 Euro Info: www.salvador-dali.org).
The best tips
Hotel Hostalillo ?, Tamariu: In the morning in a bathrobe to swim to the beach. Afterwards breakfast in a box seat over the bay. And at night listening to the sound of red wine and candlelight on the balcony - whoever lodges here has definitely arrived on vacation. Also half and full board. DZ / F depending on the season from 80 Euro (Bellavista 22, Tel. 620228, Fax 620184, www.hotelhostalillo.com).
Hotel Duran ?, Figueres: The hotel scene in Figueres is characterized above all by functionality; You are looking for houses with charm here in vain. A small exception: the "Hotel Duran". Although the traditional house of 1855 frightens with a grated exterior facade - but inside there is still the splendor of the times, as the guests pulled up in carriages. An imposing dining room with magnificent chandeliers, for example. Or a vaulted cellar with quaint wine tavern, where you sit on wooden benches in front of large oak barrels. DZ / F 59 Euro (Lasauca 5, Tel. 501250, Fax 502609, www.hotelduran.com).
Hotel Casamar ?, Llafranc: Of course you can live in Llafranc right on the beach. Quieter and a bit more familiar but up here, high above the bay. Those who have not gotten any of the 20 rooms, should at least take a break with a freshly squeezed orange juice while hiking on the Cami de Ronda, which leads directly to the hotel - of course on the terrace, which offers a wonderful view of the beach of Llafranc , DZ / F from 66 Euro (Del Nero 3, Tel. 300104, Fax 610651).
? Hotel Mas de Torrent ?, Torrent: A quarter of an hour to the beaches and a few miles from the medieval Pals, this dignified country hotel, whose walls date back to the 18th century. Fireplace room, top restaurant, tennis and four golf courses - but the epitome of luxury are probably the seven suites in the garden: each with its own heated pool. (Unfortunately, the audience sometimes gives themselves correspondingly snobbish.) Double / F 280 Euro (Tel 303292, Fax 303293, www.mastorrent.com).
"Hotel El Far", Palafrugell: Holiday in the lighthouse is not brand new. Here is the variant: Holiday next to the lighthouse - in a dating from the 18th century guest house, which belonged to the hermitage of Sant Sebastiá and was converted into a luxury hotel. Lobby, room, restaurant: all stylish and noble. DZ / F from 210 Euro (Platja de Llafranc, Tel. 301639, Fax 304328, www.elfar.net).
Hotel Bellmirall ?, Girona: No matter where you have booked in the city: At the latest, when you visit the old town suddenly comes past this hotel, you can sigh: Why only you did not stay here? The "Bellmirall", just a few meters from the cathedral, blends in perfectly with its historic walls. Seven enchanting, completely differently designed rooms with natural stone walls. The 84-year-old owner Isidre Vicens is a painter and uses the hotel as an exhibition space. The prices: moderate! DZ / F 56, triple room 75 Euro (Bellmirall 3, tel. 204009).
? It Dofí ?, Tamariu:Tamariu is a tiny place, but anyone who wants can still eat elsewhere for a week every day. But why? The restaurant "Es Dofí" located at the far end of the small promenade. (German: the dolphin) is not to top anyway. Whether for the coffee in the afternoon, a Tostada in between (tip: those with the Anchoas) or the entire menu in the evening - here you always feel at the right time in the right place. (Tel. 620043, Cala Truela Pintor).
Pont Vell, Besalú: The small town of Besalú is approached daily by many coaches.Actually an ideal place for tourist-feeding stations. But when you cross the bridge, the symbol of the city, you do not expect fast food - just left - but the restaurant "Pont Vell". On three levels can be feasted in the old walls, most beautiful on the terrace under the bridge arch from the 11th century, overlooking the river. You can not go wrong here. (Pont Vell 24, Tel. 591027).
"El Pirata", Tossa de Mar: Nice little bar at the end of Carrer Portal, just below the castle wall. During the day, relax in the comfortable wicker armchairs with a latte. In the evening, the café turns into a bar with rock music. Then you sit best on the small terrace on the side facing the sea. There you can listen to music and waves. (Portal 30, 11 am to 3 am).
"La Bella Lola", Calella de Palafrugell: If a pub is called "Die fesche Lola" it sounds like music, and so it is: "La Bella Lola" is a typical Habaneras bar. Habaneras are melancholic songs that brought seafarers and returned emigrants from the Caribbean to Spain. So that tourists can sing along the pieces about longing and homesickness, the texts are printed on paper tablecloths. You can also drink Cremat, a flambé cocktail of rum, sugar, coffee, lemon zest and cinnamon. There's also takeaway (Plaça de St. Pere 4, Tel. 615279).
"Bar Cap de Creus", Cadaqués: Quite curious: a kind of Irish pub on the easternmost point of the Spanish mainland, on the Cap de Creus. Loud folk music as a contrast to the silence of the vast landscape. After a short period of getting used to, you feel as safe as in a rustic mountain lodge, can you taste cakes or spaghetti bolognese? and if you did not have to go back by car, you could sink here very well at the Maltwhiskey (Tel. 199005).
Begur: Many visitors only go to Begur to reach the surrounding bays Sa Riera, Aiguafreda and Sa Tuna. The place itself is worth a trip. The historic center around the Plaça de la Vila is pretty, but not an exhibit like in the neighboring village of Pals, but alive. Located on a plateau, Begur is also a natural vantage point from where you can see as far as Roses.
Cathedral of Girona: Girona is also called the city of churches because of its 23 houses of worship; the most important rises as a massive building over the old town: the cathedral. The construction started in the 14th century and took 400 years to complete. The interior comes up with a spectacular peculiarity: instead of the usual three there is only one ship 23 meters wide; It is the largest Gothic church vault in the world.
ceramics: The best place to go for ceramics fans: the small town of La Bisbal (between Girona and Palafrugell), where on Carrer l? Aigüeta one shop goes to the next.
Hike: One-week hike from S? Ageró via La Fosca to Calella de Palafrugell, Llafranc and Sant Sebastiá to Pals. Price: from 419 Euro, including half board, luggage transport (www.iberotours.de).
To go biking: Eight-day cycle tour through the Garrotxa region, on the "bicicarril", a disused railway line to the Mediterranean, to Begur, L? Escala. Start: in Olot, northwest of Girona. Price: from 495 Euro, including half board, bike, maps (www.vuelta.de).
Information for the journey
How to get there: Iberia flies from seven German airports to Barcelona, sometimes several times a day. Prices: from about 200 euros, last-minute offers from 130 euros. Information and booking under 01803/000613 (9 cents / minute) or www.iberia.de. The airport of Girona is mainly operated by charter companies, e.g. Hapag-Lloyd, driven. Reading: Detailed information in the holiday guide "Costa Brava" (travel know-how, 12,50 Euro) and in the band? Catalonia? (Michael Müller Verlag, 15.90 euros). Tips, tour planners and maps in "Costa Brava" (Merian live, 7.95 euros). Properly connected: Area code of Germany from 0034/972. Well informed: Spanish Tourist Office, Myliusstr. 14, 60323 Frankfurt / Main, Tel. 069/725038, Fax 069/725055, www.tourspain.es and www.costabrava.org.