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Know of a cute town in Costa Brava? We are thinkin of Palamos or Sant Feliu de Guixols.

Know of a cute town in Costa Brava? We are thinkin of Palamos or Sant Feliu de Guixols.

Old Mar 20th, 2003, 08:13 AM
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Know of a cute town in Costa Brava? We are thinkin of Palamos or Sant Feliu de Guixols.

My Husband and three kids and I are going to Barcelona in June. We would like to spend 2 nights in a cute spanish town on the beach of Costa Brava. No big American type resorts for us. But the kids would love a pool. We won't have a car so we would like to stay right in town. I am thinking of Palamos or Sant Feliu de Guixols. Does anyone have any ideas for me?
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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 08:47 AM
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We loved Tossa de Mar--great beach.
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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 10:36 AM
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Hi,
Check out this link: lots of info on Costa Brava and rentals there
http://tourism.catalonia.net/ckw/villasnear.html#townhouse
We stayed near L'Escala last Sept: loved it. Despite touristy surroundings (mostly German tourists) it has interesting Greek ruins and great seaside promenade at night. It definitely is a typical seaside resort, but very old fasioned.
Hope you find something you like.
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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 10:50 AM
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Hi Sash:
I second bob's recommendation for Tossa de mar. Your children would love the beach there especially the smaller of the two beaches, the mar menuda. There are two hotels here. the Grand hotel reymar and the mar menuda. Both are Best Westerns so info is available online. (one with a pool one without).Or across from the larger beach is the Diana, a charming hotel as well.

I have been to both Palamos and Sant Feliu a couple of times and your description of cute probably doesn't fit these two places. They are a bit big and the harbours are busy. Maybe if Tossa isn't what you are looking for you could try further north along the coast at perhaps Tamariu, Llafranc or Aiguablava. I know others who post on here have written about hotels they have stayed at in these little towns. Maybe do a search and see if there's anything that sounds like what you're looking for.
Tossa is only about 1 and 1/2 hours by bus from Barcelona the others quite a bit further, but bus service should be available especially from June onwards.
Good luck, you'll love the area.
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Old Mar 21st, 2003, 05:59 AM
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Thanks so much for the great info. We are going to make plans at Tossa De Mar. If anyone has any other info on this area please let me know.
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Old Mar 21st, 2003, 06:06 AM
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I was in Tossa four years ago in July. Although it is pleasant enough, it is certainly not cute. More like a boardwalk town on the Jersey shore. The hotel was nice enough, and should be fun with kids. But remember that it's a resort mainly for European and English families, who don't expect beach towels, etc.
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Old Mar 21st, 2003, 04:45 PM
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Sash,
I don't find Tossa "cute" due to its mass tourism in the summer, but it's a good value and very good for families. I do have to agree with Mallory that it's very "Jersey Shore", to use a US analogy. But Tossa does has activities that please most everyone and every budget.

We're personally more fond of the upper, northern Costa Brava, in particular the fishing village of Llafranc and the tiny, extremely scenic cove of Aiguablava. We like the Hotel Llafranc and the Hotel Llevant right on the beach in Llafranc, although they don't have pools; they simply face the beach. For a nice hotel with pool in that area, I would choose the Parador in Aiguablava or the classy, well run Hotel Aiguablava right across the bay of Fornells (where we spent 4 wonderful days last summer) that receives a very loyal, repeat clientele each summer. We love their pool area (very kid friendly) and the gorgeous vistas. It's a very nice, very Spanish (catalán) resort. We're personally not fans of Palamos or Sant Feliu de Guixols.
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Old Mar 21st, 2003, 06:00 PM
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Mallory and Maribelle, thanks for the response. I will look into Llafranc and Aiguablava. I really am looking for more of a "Spanish"experience. I think if we wanted the Jersy Shore it would be easier for us to go to the real thing in the states (which I have heard is beautiful and fun). I have the idea of us strolling down cute spanish streets and shopping at quaint spanish markets and playing on a beautiful sandy beach. Am I crazy? If you know any good web sites or guide books on the area please let me know. Thanks again for your help
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Old Mar 22nd, 2003, 04:34 AM
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Sash,
Since you're interested in beautiful beaches, I should explain a bit about the ones in the Llafranc/Aiguablava area.
Because of the rocky, hilly terrain, the serpentine roads and very craggy coastline (the really "brava" part of the Costa Brava) of tiny pine-covered inlets in this area, the beaches of these small fishing villages on small coves (calas) between Palafruguell and Begur (Calella de Palafruguell, Llafranc, Tamariu, Aiguablava, Aiguafreda, Sa Tuna, Sa Riera) are not long, expansive, wide sandy beaches like the one in Tossa. All are tiny in comparison, and many are quite pebbly. The largest sandy beach you'll find is Llafranc (and Sa Riera, but no hotels). The small, sandy beach below the Parador in Aiguablava, in the gorgeous turquiose bay of Fornells, has a spectacular location, enchanting vistas and spectacular homes, mansions built by the catalán elite, clinging precariously to the hillsides. The Hotel Aiguablava has its own miniscule pebble beach across the way but also a great garden area with pool/tennis courts. It's all quite picturesque, upscale but low key and tucked away, rather private, harder to reach without a car. They're not your typical Spanish resort towns, as the lack of long, flat stretches precludes the building of the customary concrete high rise hotels, apartment blocks you'll find at other Spanish beach resorts on the Mediterranean.
We're not big beach lovers, so we enjoy this area for its pretty towns, the stunning medieval villages, Roman-Greek ruins, markets nearby, plus France just a short drive away, and we tour by car. Our friend, a water sports lover traveling with us last summer, longed for one "Florida-type" beach day to lie out in the sun on a long stretch of golden sand with hundreds of others, so we drove down to Tossa for our "real" beach experience. L'Estartit is closer but Tossa has a prettier backdrop with the remains on the hill of its medieval fortified town, plus the drive from Sant Feliu de Guíxols to Tossa is one of the Spanish coasts' most spectacular.

As to guidebooks, I highly recommend the new "Rough Guide to the Costa Brava", which will explain to you far better than I just did the difference between these resorts. Also Lonely Planet's "Catalunya and the Costa Brava" has great practical information. For touring all of Catalonia, I think you absolutely can't beach the excellent Thomas Cook "Signpost Guide to Catalonia and the Spanish Pyrenees" but you may not need it since you won't have a car.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2003, 04:41 AM
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Forgot the website! You might find some helpful info at
www.costabrava.org
Under "Districts and villages" and "Accomodations", click on El Baix Empordá on the map.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2003, 11:41 AM
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Maribel, you are a wealth of information! Thanks so much.
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