8 Great Cool Things to See in Costa Brava

Cool things to see in Costa Brava Spain include Game of Thrones filming locations in Girona, medieval villages, Salvador Dali’s home, and much more. Girona is the capital and largest city in Costa Brava, with medieval buildings and a long Catalan history. Girona (Gerona) receives a lot of attention for its many Game of Thrones filming locations but it is also a classic tourist destination in northeast Spain.

While Visit Costa Brava—and various properties, attractions, and restaurants—hosted McCool Travel and picked up the tab for much of this glorious trip, please be certain that my message is carefully crafted for my awesome audience so that you can make informed decisions in order to Travel Happy on future trips.

For other Game of Thrones destination you can visit, please read: Great Places to Visit in Northern Ireland
map of Costa Brava, Catalonia, Spain
Costa Brava map. Photo from TheBlueWalk.com

8 Great Cool Things to See in Costa Brava

1. Girona Spain and Games of Thrones Film Sites

The classic view of Girona is from the Eiffel bridge. Yes, the bridge was designed and built by the same guy who built that tower in Paris France.

places to visit in Costa Brava Spain: Eiffel bridge in Girona. Article and photo by Charles McCool for McCool Travel
experience excellent views from the Eiffel bridge in Girona

The winding medieval streets of Girona were the filming site for several iconic moments in the HBO series, Game of Thrones. Wander the old city and you will find yourself in Bravos, begging for coins with Arya. Scale the stone steps of the cathedral and you are headed to the Sept of Baelor, and an encounter with the High Sparrow. Enter one of many religious buildings in the city, and you are in OldTown.

Sept of Baelor from Game of Thrones in Girona Spain
Sept of Baelor from Game of Thrones in Girona Spain. Photo from Julie McCool

You can explore all of the Game of Thrones locations in Girona on a meandering walk through the old city. It is easy to recreate your own Game of Thrones photo opportunity, without the help of CGI, in many locations. The Jewish Quarter of Girona became Bravos for several of Arya’s scenes. The dramatic Pujada de Sant Domènec steps, where Arya ran from The Waif, is one of the most photogenic spots in the city. Not far away, a blind Arya begged on the curved steps of the Carrer Bisbe Cartañà.

Stand in the square below the Cathedral to capture the scene where Jamie rode his horse up the stone steps for a confrontation with the High Sparrow at the Sept of Baelor. Enter the Monestir de Sant Pere de Galligant and you are in Old Town, entering the Citadel for the first time with Samwell Tarley. Even if you are not a GoT fan, you will find yourself transported to another time when you explore the ancient stone streets, arches, bridges, and buildings of Girona’s old city.

places to see in Costa Brava Spain: medieval Girona and Game of Thrones location. Article and photo by Charles McCool for McCool Travel
walk the centuries old steps of medieval Girona

Imagine heading into Sunday Mass and seeing an ancient coffin hanging above your head. Is it a warning sign? A status symbol?

what to see in Costa Brava Spain: medieval Girona. Article and photo by Charles McCool for McCool Travel
medieval Girona is a Game of Thrones location

2. Salvador Dali’s House in Cadaqués

Salvador Dali is one of Spain’s cultural icons and this is the view from his longtime home in Cadaqués.

cool things to do in Costa Brava Spain: Salvador Dali house in Cadaques. Article and photo by Charles McCool for McCool Travel
cool things to do in Costa Brava Spain: Salvador Dali house in Cadaqués

And when that glorious view did not provide enough inspiration, Dali could always chill at his pool.

cool things to do in Costa Brava Spain: Salvador Dali pool in Cadaques. Article and photo by Charles McCool for McCool Travel
cool things to see in Costa Brava Spain: Salvador Dali pool in Cadaqués

Appointments are necessary to visit Salvador Dali’s home. While you wait for your time slot, explore the magnificent bay with Kayak Costa Brava.

3. Medieval Villages of Pals and Peratallada

Less than 15 miles from Girona are lovely medieval towns called Pals and Peratallada. Walk around the cool Catalan villages and find scenes like this for hours.

places to visit in Costa Brava Spain: medieval Pals. Article and photo by Charles McCool for McCool Travel
medieval Pals in Costa Brava Spain
places to visit in Costa Brava Spain: medieval Peratallada. Article and photo by Charles McCool for McCool Travel
places to visit in Costa Brava Spain: medieval Peratallada

4. Volcano Hike at La Garrotxa

On a guided hike in the La Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park, I learned that there are 40 volcanoes and 20 flows in the area. Olot, with 83% of the people in Garrotxa region, has four volcano cones within the town limits. I learned that Garrotxa means “hard to walk” because of the region’s rough terrain, that cork is an oak tree, and that Natural Parc designations are different than National Parc. It is cool to learn stuff.

cool things to see in Costa Brava Spain: volcano hike. Article and photo by Charles McCool for McCool Travel
cool things to do in Costa Brava Spain: La Garrotxa volcano hike

5. Hike Calella de Palafrugell to Llafranc Beach

In the heart of Baix Emporda (a region of Costa Brava), Llafranc is one of the most gorgeous beaches you will find in Europe and is best approached by trekking in from Calella de Palafrugell. For nothing else than views like this. It reminded me a lot of Big Sur and the La Jolla California cliffs. So gorgeous! For more information and photos of the Costa Brava coastal paths, please see Camino de Ronda Hiking Plan.

cool places to see in Costa Brava Spain: Calella de Palafrugell. Article and photo by Charles McCool for McCool Travel
Calella de Palafrugell is one of the best Costa Brava beaches

6. Hidden Gem Costa Brava Restaurants

The Costa Brava restaurant scene is astounding. Fresh seafood from the Mediterranean Sea, local organic produce often from feet away, and small batch wines are typical features everywhere!

After our Costa Brava coastal walks, the typical rice lunch at Vicus Restaurant in the medieval village of Pals hit the spot. The starter of local olives stuffed with local anchovies provided anticipation of amazing things to come.

places to eat in Costa Brava Spain: Vicus Restaurant in Pals. Article and photo by Charles McCool for McCool Travel
Vicus Restaurant in Pals is one of the best Costa Brava restaurants

A nice spot for lunch after visiting La Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park is Restaurant Cal Sastre in nearby Santa Pau. The mixed beans with sausage is the traditional Santa Pau entree and it is sandwiched between amazing pumpkin soup and stuffed cannelloni with truffle sauce (and other courses!).

places to visit in Costa Brava Spain: Restorante Cal Sastre, Santa Pau. Article and photo by Charles McCool for McCool Travel
where to eat in Costa Brava: Restaurant Cal Sastre in Santa Pau, Catalonia

7. Organic Costa Brava Wine at Mas Vida Celler

Adriana Fernandez is a dynamo who took over her family farm a couple of years after her father passed. She is in love with the land, the history, and organic farming. She is not afraid to show visitors around the rugged terrain of Mas Vida in her well-worn 4WD. This is her favorite view in Catalonia, she told me.

where to go in Costa Brava Spain: Mas Vida Celler. Article and photo by Charles McCool for McCool Travel
where to go in Costa Brava Spain: Mas Vida Celler

After a thrilling and informative tour of the property, the wine tastes that much sweeter. Mas Vida!

Costa Brava wine: Mas Vida Celler. Article and photo by Charles McCool for McCool Travel
Adriana Fernandez at Mas Vida Celler is one of the important small business owners in Costa Brava

8. Medieval Castle: Castel Peralada

A fantastically intact 14th century medieval castle (former convent) and perhaps the only castle casino in the world, Castel Peralada is actually much more than it appears. Besides the casino, onsite are remarkable restaurants (order pork belly), an international festival, largest collection of Don Quixote works in the world, meticulous gardens, and several museums (wine, crystal, library, more). Nearby is its sister property, a luxury golf and wine spa. Yes, indeed!

places to visit in Costa Brava Spain: Castel Peralada. Article and photo by Charles McCool for McCool Travel
Castel Peralada is a cool place to visit in Costa Brava Spain

Can you suggest other cool things to see in Costa Brava? Leave a comment below.

8 Great Things to See in Costa Brava was first published on McCool Travel in May 24, 2018.

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21 thoughts on “8 Great Cool Things to See in Costa Brava”

  1. Ah the Sept of Baelor. How cool Charles. I see myself walking up the stairs with my show down, glancing at the picture. For GOT purposes alone, Costa Brava is on my list. Add in its beauty, must see, all the way. Fabulous images buddy.

    Reply
  2. The medieval town of Besalu – with it’s old roman bridge is also worth a visit.
    And Castellfollit de la Roca – high on an old lava cliff – is a spectacular place.

    Reply
  3. Costa Brava look so gorgeous! There is so much to see and do. It looks like a really beautiful drive. You captured awesome pictures in your travel trip.

    Reply
  4. I loved my time in Costa Brava and all the medieval villages I discovered. I had a long term home exchange in Palamos. My favourites included some of the smaller spots like Sant Julià De Boada, Torrent, and Fontclara.

    Reply

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