Begur! Costa Brava! The magic of the Mediterranean. Turns out Costa Brava region is yet another place I would happily live. Reading about Hotel Aiguaclara on a travel blog lured us to Begur—a town I’d never heard of—and we had the good fortune to discover its coastal path. You must visit, and when you do, please stroll these magical coastal walkways.

View of the 10th century castle of Begur in the upper right as well as views of hilly town of Begur and its stunning sea views.

Begur’s backstory

Thanks to Begur’s hilltop views and strategic location, everyone from the Greeks to the Romans have staked their claim and left their cultural mark. Splashes of Cuba are present, too, in the richly ornate colonial mansions and public buildings. Both the money to build and the architectural style came from Spaniards returning from Cuba in the mid-1800s with their newly colonized riches. If the cultural influence isn’t enough to tempt you, Suddenly, Last Summer (starring Liz Taylor) was filmed in Begur and the climax takes place atop the 10th century castle that looks over the town (and upon which I stood).

Exploring Begur

Although more off-the-beaten path than Barcelona, Begur still receives its share of tourists. Because of its appeal, visiting in late summer or early fall is—like in most of Europe—more relaxed. The city is refined, clean, elegant and retains that old-world, wealthy colonial feel. Hotel Aiguaclara—a colonial style mansion built in 1866—sits near the old town. This is the hotel that beckoned us with its gorgeous breakfast buffet (honestly I can’t fight a lavish spread), colorful and welcoming decor, and incredibly friendly service. Due to it being mid-week in shoulder (aka, start of the off) season we were upgraded to a two-bedroom junior suite that had us feeling quite subtle glamour rock n roll.

Charming antique hotel facade with a mural in Catalan reading made with love.
Made with Love, Hotel Aiguaclara
Wife, being so fabulous in Hotel Aiguaclara.

Cami de Ronda

The coastal paths—known as Cami de Ronda in Catalan—have been used for centuries to fight pirates, help shipwrecks, and catch smugglers. Nowadays the magical coastal paths are a gentle tourist draw but mainly just magic for the people lucky enough to live there. There are three paths linking eight coves and beaches down the steep hillside from Begur. I dream of renting a seaside abode that steps out onto the path. Some dreamy late summer month my wife and I will just write and stroll the azure sea waters.

Exploring the coastal path out of Sa Riera

Our first afternoon, we walked from Begur to Sa Riera, a sweet cove with a handful of restaurants, a small sandy beach with access to the northern coastal path. This sign waited for us.

A tile sign written in Catalan welcoming visitors to the beachside village of Sa Riera.
In Catalan: Friend, Sa Riera is not a mirage or a fable, it is a beautiful corner of Costa Brava.
Welcome and enjoy.
Wife, heading north on the Northern Coastal Path. The water was such a dreamy clear turqouise.

Our second day we got wise and drove to Sa Tuna instead of attempting to walk. The road down the mountain is miniature, full of hairpin turns, and sharp drop-offs. Drive the 10 minutes with caution but, oh is it worth it. Once there, you can stroll the coastal paths and swim in the coves. From Sa Tuna, the Eastern Coastal Path takes you to Aiguafreda and back in ~ 45 minute walk. The weather was perfection, but the water was a bit brisk. Here are some of the views:

Gorgeous views
The swimming pad where the river of Aiguafreda merges into the Mediterranean Sea. The path (up behind me) scrolls along the seaside in front of luxury houses and beach villas and tiny restaurants and lush forest.
Coastal path outside of Sa Tuna to Aiguafreda. Have you ever seen bluer water? Or a cuter “little” seaside cottage?
That water! So clear! The path wends along in front of houses, over the teeniest little beaches, and anyone can access them. It felt quite paradisical.

Our last day we ate lunch at Toc Almar, a fancy beach hut restaurant perched over the softy, sandy beach of Aiguablava. We both agreed that maybe we were meant to live on the Mediterranean Sea? Afterwards, we walked the Southern Coastal Path from Aiguablava to Platja Fonda and back. Dreamy.

Lunch at Toc Almar at Aiguaclara

I’d love to return and do a more concentrated effort to hike along Spain’s glorious coast line. Have you been?

Here are some shots of our darling Hotel Aiguaclara. I’m a big fan. There were tons of nooks and crannies and everything just so. Below are also driving logistics for visiting the beach and the coastal paths. Bye, we love ya.

Outdoor lounge area of the Hotel Aiguaclara.
One of the outdoor nooks at the hotel.
Woman lying on a bed looking at camera.
Our two-room junior suite was chilled out elegance.
After dinner lounge.

Logistics:

  • Distance-wise, walking from Begur to the beaches is doable but the lack of pedestrian-friendly infrastructure makes it a no-go. Our first day we walked from Begur to Sa Riera and it was a steep, hot, and often sidewalk-less hike. I definitely don’t recommend.
  • There’s a free beach bus that you’d be wise to hop on, especially during summer. You might lose your mind attempting to access the beaches in summer via car due to minimal parking and minuscule roads in and out.
  • Late season presented no problems in driving to and parking at the beach.
  • Look for a hotel with parking. Especially in the old town, parking is limited and will be an added cost if your hotel doesn’t provide.

From Barcelona to Begur

After landing in Barcelona, we got our bright blue, super miniature rental car and drove to Begur. The drive was only 1.5 hours and super chill. Driving in Spain is like driving in any major U.S. city. Along the way we stopped through Petrallada (a town carved of stone) which was utterly charming and completely empty. If you want food, coffee, or souvenirs after late summer, be sure to arrive after 12pm. This town seems to thrive on tourism, and since it’s an historic stone-carved town, it’s the perfect place for a roadie (espresso, hey). As long as you don’t want a morning espresso.

Woman walking through the town of Petrallada
Tiffany strolling Petrallada
A stone gate in the town of Petrallada.

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