Best areas

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Begur, on the Costa Brava
Generally speaking, most of the coastline from Palamos to L’Estartit is prime Costa Brava, though the most sought after areas lie around the villages of Begur, Pals, Calella de Palafrugell, Llafranch and Tamariu.

Cadaques, just south of the French border, is also a lovely coastal village prized by property buyers from Barcelona, though it is not the easiest place to reach (the one road in over the hill can be a serious inconvenience in the high season).

Inland from the coast, the best areas are in the Baix and Alt Emporda, which remind one a bit of Tuscany, with beautifully kept orchards and farms, and gently undulating hills.

Which are the worst areas of the Costa Brava?

Tossa and Lloret de Mar were some of the first package holiday destinations, and they never recovered from a ‘pack’m in and sell’m cheap’ philosophy. This despite the fact that Tossa used to be a chic destination, frequented by film stars such as Eva Gardner. Lloret de Mar, in particular, is an over-developed destination blighted by yobbish tourists in the high season.

Playa de Aro, with its high rise blocks of flats, in nothing special either.