Late last year Girona Camping Association and Costa Brava Tourism invited me to experience camping, glamping and all things inbetween across Costa Brava WITHOUT my kids. They didn’t have to ask me twice! Here is how I got on, including the highlights from my trip, my favoutire campsite and what I would highly recommend.
Take a historical tour with one of the licensed tour guides in the city of Girona. I highly recommend our tour guide, Yolanda Urrea, you could see she loved her job and was extremely passionate about the culture, art and history of this spectacular walled city.
Complete with its medieval cobblestoned lanes, Girona is a hotspot for Game of Thrones fans after all Girona was one of the major sites for the American fantasy drama series. You will be mesmerized as you walk through the cities walls to find yourself in some of the most famous filming locations in the world.
Like all cities, Girona is filled with myths and legends. Make sure you kiss the bottom of the lioness statue, discover why the walls are covered in statues of flies and learn all about La Cocollona and how she transformed into a crocodile with butterfly wings.
A stop off at the Jewish Quarter is highly recommended, it is one of the best preserved in the world and while you walk through the narrow streets climb the staircase of Girona Cathedral and finally, walk the medieval walls on the outskirts of the city – something we didn’t get to complete but Passeig de la Muralla is the best place for spectacular views of the city.
To cool off during your visit to Girona make sure you stop by Rocambolesc on the main street. This superb gelato parlour owned by pastry chef Jordi Roca has three Michelin stars. Absolutely mouthwatering.
For more information visit Girona Tour Guides.
Sant Antoni de Calonge Beach
One of the highlights for me in Costa Brava as a breastfeeding mother was visiting Sant Antoni de Calonge beach. They have taking family-friendly to a whole new level with an enclosed area specifically for breastfeeding mothers allowing them to feed their baby or toddler safely with comfort and ease.
With an outdoor shaded area to cool off, indoor changing facilities, fridges, microwaves and lockers it has everything a parent on the go would need for a day at the beach with small children.
If that wasn’t enough, surrounding the dedicated family area is an array of shops, cafes and eateries just waiting to be explored right on the beach front. And then just to the right of the enclosed area is an inflatable water park for more adventurous kids, both big and small.
Costa Brava Parc d’Aventura
One of the largest and most thrill-seeking family parks in Costa Brava, Parc d’Aventura is a must see. Located just a short distance from distance from the town of Platja d’Aro this treetop adventure park will test you to the limits with its variation of aerial trekking courses and 1500 metres of zip wires.
With something for everyone, even toddlers you are sure to find the best route for you and your family. I braved the 3.5metre course and pretty much screamed for my mammy throughout the whole route but it was great craic all the same.
All safety equipment is 100% secure so there is absolutely no chance of danger while up high in the sky and safety training prior to your climb is next to none which will make the least confident person, like me, feeling brave enough to climb mountains.
For more information visit Parc d’Aventura.
Natural Park of Wetlands of Empordá
We stopped off at the Natural Park of Wetlands of Empordá for some light hiking located just minutes from Camping Nautic Almatá, one of my favourite campsites in Costa Brava.
The park itself is set over 4,800 hectares and accommodates 327 different species including storks, wild horses and even snakes. Check out any of the seven bird watching hideouts dotted across the second largest wetland in Catalonia and make sure you climb the rice observation tower for unbelievable views of Catalonia.
The track is buggy and wheelchair friendly (mostly boardwalk) and there are toilets and an information centre on site.
Cadaqués is set on a slope of well preserved white houses with numerous narrow streets each bursting with culture, architecture and history just waiting to be explored. It really is a world away from your usual package holiday to Spain.
The Church of Santa Maria, a 16th-century chapel is a priority during your visit within this little city regardless of your religion. The panoramic views just outside will be one of the most spectacular things you will see during your stay in Costa Brava.
Hidden amongst the ‘white village’ is a gorgeous family bakery called Quer Cadaques and you basically haven’t been to Cadaqués if you haven’t tried their orange, ginger or lemon chocolate fingers. They are to die for! We were very lucky to meet Sergi Quer the owner who inherited the business from his great-grandfather back in 1879 during our short stay and his pastry recommendations during our visit were insane. I personally think you would be mad not to pop by if you are staying in or near Cadaqués.
Other Eateries in Costa Brava:
A personal favourite of mine and it reminded me a little of Avoca in Rathcoole on a hot summer’s day. Mas Gusó is a seasonal restaurant and the menu showcases many local fruits, vegetables and oils and of course, the dessert menu is out of this world. Make sure you take a stroll around the grounds after your meal and check out the wine cellar and market.
Once voted the Best Beach Restaurant in Spain this famous restaurant sits right on the coast and it is recommended to arrive by boat or water taxi as the roads leading to it are extremely bumpy. With its relaxed atmosphere sitting right on the beach front there is no strict dress code and if you arrive and they happen to be booked out they will happily deliver your meal to your boat. The local ‘Fideua’ dish comes highly recommended by the fellow meat eaters on my press trip.
Espai del Peix
During our brief stay, we had a cooking class at Espai del Peix and watched as the fish came straight from the sea right to your plate in a matter of hours. This is the whole aim of the school itself and just below it is a fish auction which takes place daily for all the local restaurants, markets and hotels in the popular tourist town.
There’s a Campsite For Everyone:
Located in Roses, Camping Salatá is an ideal campsite for young families with a huge host of amenities, however, of all sites we visited during our stay in Costa Brava, it was the smallest. Camping Salata has numerous pitches for tents and camper vans, bungalows, mobile homes and studio apartments.
On-site there is a swimming pool (12 x 4 metres), a baby pool, supermarket with its own bakery, a pizzeria restaurant, laundrette, bar with terrace, children’s playground, sanitary blocks for campers and a leisure area for barbeques and al fresco dining. There is a Miniclub in high season for children aged 4-12 with workshops, activities and games taken place throughout the day and for the adults there is a small spa offering massages in high season and a sauna and jacuzzi for an extra charge.
Overall, I found this campsite very cramped considering I have four children with one on the way, however, I loved how the beach was only a five-minute walk away. We had an opportunity to paddle board with one of the on-site instructors which
For more information visit Salatà Camping.
Camping Cala Llevadó
Cala Llevadó is a stunning four-star eco-friendly campsite located south of Costa Brava. Here you will find wooden chalets perched high on the mountain tops, private cottages, quirky rustic cottages and pitches in an unspoilt natural environment.
With four spectacular private beaches right on the edge of the Mediterranean, it is a place of pure joy and happiness. It has its own supermarket, games room, pool and bar with an extensive menu suiting all taste buds with a sea view. With a wide range of sports and leisure activities, the kids will never be bored and they offer transport to and from one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen (which is also a short 10-minute walking distance, however, it is on a slope and not exactly buggy friendly). It has a large playground, regular inflatable games and water sports activities during high season and teenagers can enjoy speedboat outings every Wednesday during July and August.
The eco-friendly wooden chalet I stayed in had the usual kitchen essentials, all built in including a kettle, oven and coffee maker. There was also a spacious double room, twin room, bathroom with large shower, a small living area and a balcony. It was the definitely the most spacious accommodation during my camping experience at Costa Brava.
For more information visit Camping Cala Llevadó.
Located just a few short minutes from Sant Antoni beach, Eurocamping, Camping & Bungalow Park is a resort in itself with a huge selection of chalets, pitches, bungalows and mobile homes.
During my visit, I stayed in a mobile home with a double room, twin room and a pull out bed in the main living room. It would have fit my whole family however it would have been extremely cramped and claustrophobic if you ask me.
The site itself is ginormous, with two pools including a small waterpark and a heap of amenities including a soft play area. It is without a doubt built for families and even has a tourist train to take guests to the nearby beach where you will find the enclosed breastfeeding area I mentioned above.
Other facilities include two outdoor playgrounds, a large sports zone, mini-golf, a gym, games rooms and numerous sanitary blocks. During high season the animation team organise foam parties for the kids as well as theme parties, treasure hunts and competitions. They also have a spacious playroom for children up to the age of four with lots of toys to play and explore with perfect for that age group.
For more information visit Camping Eurocamping.
Camping Nautic Almatá
They do say save the best for last, so that’s exactly what I have done here. Set in the Natural Park of Aiguamolls l’Empordà, this campsite was right up my street and I know my kids would have adored it! It was a glamping experience like no other staying in a safari tent complete with a double room next door to a room of bunks for the smallies. It comes with a fully equipped electric kitchen, coffee maker, fridge and terrace with a table and chairs. However, there are no toilets. Located a short two-minute walk from your accommodation are spacious and comfortable restrooms with hot showers, baths for small children and everything you will need to wash up.
Other amenities include a large pool, a good sized baby pool, outdoor jacuzzi, a large supermarket with its own bakery, a laundrette, numerous playgrounds (I counted 4 but there could be more), a games room and sports facilities including mini-golf, tennis courts, basketball and ping pong tables. During high season there is a mini club offering a variety of activities and workshops including cooking, inflatable bouncers, body painting and mini disco’s just to name a few. There are regular live shows and performances as you await dinner in one of the many restaurants. Also from mid-June to the end of the season, there is an on-site doctor for all your medical needs including first aid.
I should also mention, this campsite is quite a large one with 1109 pitches. Regardless where you stay on site Camping Nautic Almatá has direct access to its own private sandy 3.5 km long. They have lodges, bungalows, villas and tents available too.
It was by far the most appealing campsite for me and my growing family and I’m pretty sure I will return with them over the next year or two!
For more information visit Camping Nautic Almatá.
Overall I had a wonderful trip in Costa Brava, prior to my visit I would never have even considering camping in Spain. Without a doubt,
Disclaimer: I was a guest of Travel Media, Girona Camping Association and Costa Brava Tourism during my visit to Costa Brava. As always all opinions are my own. All video credit goes to Leslie Graham from Unravel Travel TV.