Good Base for Costa Brava Spain

Old Apr 9th, 2013, 04:06 PM
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Good Base for Costa Brava Spain

I like to take day trips from a base that is convenient and typically I will rent a house or an apartment. What would be a good base for the Costa Brava area so that exploring, mostly the northern end ,which I hear is more interesting and scenic, wouldn't involve too many hours of driving. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated even if it is to advise not to pick one base. How about two bases? Any suggestions. Thank you~ Justine.
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Old Apr 9th, 2013, 04:28 PM
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You might think about Sant Feliu de Guixols. It's close to Barcelona (one hour) and also to France (one + hour), is large enough to have a fair number of hotels, etc. It has a decent beach and a nice rambla. I lived in Spain off and on for many years and my sister-in-law still lives in San Feliu. An interesting place to stay, much smaller, is Estartit, a beach community and even more interesting is the old town of Pals. Pals, for many years was voted the prettiest town in Spain (it is charming) but quite small. The newer town has a major golf course and is close to the beach, but old Pals is charming, particularly at night when the tourists leave. Also, there's Tossa del Mar (hope I spelled that correctly) but for more restaurants, a decent beach, lots of accommodations I recommend San Feliu.
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Old Apr 9th, 2013, 05:07 PM
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Anne, I am grateful for your response which is very helpful. Thank you so much. I may have a question or two after I do a little research. Many thanks, Justine.
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Old Apr 12th, 2013, 11:09 PM
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Anne, I'm looking at rentals in Palafrugell. What do you know about that town and area? It seems to be mid-way between Barcelona and Perpignan. I'd really like to know what you think~~ or anyone else who knows the Costa Brava. Thank you all again.
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Old Apr 13th, 2013, 12:15 AM
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Since you want to visit the northern end of Costa Brava you could consider Rosas. Not far from Figueres and Cadaques (Dali); San Pere de Rodes (monastery), Empuries (Greek ruins), Besalu (Jewish miqva), Olot (volcanic area), Girona, Cap Creus (natural park), the Medès Islands (bird sanctuary, protected area) natural park of Els Aiguamolls (protected natural park) etc..........
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Old Apr 13th, 2013, 06:25 AM
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I do know Palafrugell and it is easier to get to than San Felieu. My sister-in-law lived there when they first moved to Spain. Don't believe it's on the beach but it might be. Larger than San Felieu but for me at least it lacked charm. If you want to be in a larger city you might consider Girona. You didn't say but I assumed you would be driving. If not driving than don't consider San Felieu as it would be more difficult to get in and out via public transportation. Yes, and do go to Empuries if you can find time and Girona.
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Old Apr 13th, 2013, 11:05 AM
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Thank you both Anne and Pvogageuse~ I will be driving and I am not interested in a larger town and definitely want charm. Also, don't want to have to drive for hours to see all the beautiful places that you have listed.....so as central as possible without being a beachy touristy place and yet still interesting. I love outdoor markets, nature trails, ancient ruins, etc. Very much looking forward to this part of our trip.
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Old Apr 15th, 2013, 03:59 PM
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How about Begur as a base? Or if we were to have two bases over a two week period we could choose San Feliu and somewhere else on the coast? Begur, Cadaqués?
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Old Apr 15th, 2013, 07:27 PM
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The road to Cadaques is very winding and you'd have to drive it twice a day if you take day trips. It can be awfully jammed in summer. Begur is lovely.
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Old Apr 15th, 2013, 09:39 PM
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Yes, I agree about Cadaques. Very difficult road and not really central to the Costa Brava. Begur is very nice; forgotten a lot but I think it may also be more difficult to get in and out of than San Felieu. But without checking a map, can't really be sure. I'm off to the Costa Brava on May 19 to visit in-laws and can report back when I return if you're still around. I'll be in San Felieu in fact.
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Old Apr 15th, 2013, 10:08 PM
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Anne, that's when we should be in the area! Actually, that will be towards the end of our trip. I'm looking for rentals now.
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Old Apr 16th, 2013, 02:51 PM
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Perhaps we'll run into each other although my family live there so tend to frequent different places than visitors. Have a great time.
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Old Apr 21st, 2013, 10:38 AM
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I have some choices for the Costa Brava Holiday. A lovely house in Pals but only for four days (it's booked up) then I have to switch to Palafrugell (an apartment which is quite nice) or somewhere else for a few nights? Was thinking Cadaques? Or another lovely house in Begur for a week?
I envision us doing day trips but also walking into town for a drink with tapas or a coffee in the morning. Both the Begur and Pals accommodation are within walking distance and Palafrugell is obviously right in the town. Which would be best for my walking into the village fantasy? What thinks you all? Need to decide. And yes, I am also going to Istanbul as well...crazy trip!
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Old Apr 21st, 2013, 12:02 PM
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Justine...you may want to consider Girona and see Cadaques for a few days..IMO the Dali house is worth the trip..it's all Dali, idiosyncractic at his best. I don't think May will be as congested traffic-wise as the summer when I would avoid all of Iberia and South of Italy.

Here are selected scanned pics of Barcelona, Girona abd Cadaques. If you have not been to Barcelona, give it a day or two at least...Stu

https://picasaweb.google.com/stuartt...ironaCadaques#
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Old Apr 21st, 2013, 04:21 PM
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Yes, thank you tower.....will be in Barcelona and have been many times. I'm looking for answers to my specific questions. I know about all the wonderful places to see. I will repost my last comment so others might read it.
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Old Apr 21st, 2013, 04:22 PM
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I have some choices for the Costa Brava Holiday. A lovely house in Pals but only for four days (it's booked up) then I have to switch to Palafrugell (an apartment which is quite nice) or somewhere else for a few nights? Was thinking Cadaques? Or another lovely house in Begur for a week?
I envision us doing day trips but also walking into town for a drink with tapas or a coffee in the morning. Both the Begur and Pals accommodation are within walking distance and Palafrugell is obviously right in the town. Which would be best for my walking into the village fantasy? What thinks you all? Need to decide. And yes, I am also going to Istanbul as well...crazy trip!
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Old Apr 22nd, 2013, 01:44 PM
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Justine..no offense..since you hadn't mentioned your broad experience in the area, I was just trying to help a bit.

Since I cannot travel any longer my goal is to contruibute based on my own experiences. I've never rented an apartment or house anywhere, so I could not reply direct to your very clear, specific questions...but you mentioned Cadaques a few times, and I wanted to share some overview familiarization pics with you. Hope someone answers your questions soon. Enjoy Istanbul, too. You will.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2013, 10:39 PM
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Justine, I stayed in Pals for a few months many years ago, in old Pals not new. If you are talking old Pals it is a very small town with very few places open in the evening after the tourists have left. Of course, it may have changed considerably since then but I have my doubts. My husband and I lived there with the village priest, the local policeman and his wife and small children and the owner of the town, Signora Pifigures. New Pals no doubt has more places open but it's rather like most of the beach towns on the Costa Brava. Cadaques and Roses are a bit out of the way but very charming towns and certainly there are places to have breakfast or a drink in the evening. Begur might be a good choice.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2013, 03:40 AM
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I stayed in Palafrugell some time ago. It's a nice town with a pleasant town square but there's nothing going on there. No sites, no beach, few restaurants and nothing to do unless you have a car to go somewhere else! It might make a good base for an overnighter, but for longer you might consider a beach-side resort such as Calella de Palafrugell or Llafranc - they're quite close to Palafrugell but offer better amenities for tourists - beaches (very nice), bars and restaurants - all very low key but very pleasant.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2013, 09:38 AM
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Thank you anne and ter, very much. I am very appreciative of your advice. I've decided on a house in Begur and then--- at the moment-- I'm leaving a few days open for,possibly, Cadaques or I might go into France to visit friends who live outside of Perpignan. Not sure. The other plan since I have always wanted to see Cadaques is renting there for a few nights. And yes, we will have a car but ter2000 I suspected that Palafrugell would be a little dull. Looking forward to a nice relaxing time. And thank you all again. Fodors friends have helped us with many a trip--it's a wonderful resource.

p.s. to tower: sorry you feel appreciated. That was not my intention.
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