Get Ready for an Adventure Travel Holiday on Spain s Costa Brava

Spain’s ruggedly beautiful Costa Brava, the sunny “Wild Coast” stretches for 160 km along Catalonia’s northeastern shores from Port Bou on the Franco-Spanish border to Tossa del Mar just north of Barcelona. Lined with green hillsides, craggy, wild cliffs, sandy inlets and caves, this is an adventure travelers paradise, where all manner of water sports, cycling and hiking are found.

The rugged coastline is dotted with lovely resorts interposed with unspoilt fishing villages and vibrant marinas. Exploring the hidden delights of the craggy coastline by boat, you discover deserted pine and citrus scented coves, ancient castles and fortifications.

On this jagged coast, L”Estartit is a diver’s heaven with an abundance of wrecks to explore in the crystalline waters. Just a mile offshore, the Medes Islands, a small archipelago of seven islets and a few reefs, features one of the richest marine reserves in the Mediterranean. Here, snorkelers and divers of every level delight in the thousands of fish and plant species that inhabit the submarine caves and crevices. To the south, Tossa del Mar, with its 12th Century walled town, its narrow, twisting streets and its lovely sandy beaches is one of the most attractive of the coastal villages and offers excellent opportunities for windsurfing, sailing, snorkeling and boating.

On the northern coast, Figueres, the birthplace of Salvador Dali, houses a most unique museum created by the artist – a surrealistic fuchsia building topped with gigantic golden eggs. Dali is buried here in an unmarked crypt. Just a few miles away, Cadaques, Dali’s childhood home, is the epitome of a postcard-perfect Catalan seaside village, with its striking white houses with tiled red roofs, its splendid old church and winding cobblestone streets to the backdrop of towering mountains and the cobalt blue sea. Situated on a breathtaking bay, Rosas, Catalonia’s oldest town was a Greek trading post over 2000 years ago. Across the bay, the village of Empuries is the site of many ancient, romantic cultures: Originally a small Phoenician trading post, it was replaced by the Greek colonial village of Emporio in the 6th century BC and 4 centuries later it had become a Roman naval port. The ruins of an acropolis and of beautiful Greek and Roman villas dot the area.

Away from the coast, a very different Spain greets you. Here, you’re deep in Catalonia, with its ancient traditions and ambiance. Banyoles, a historic lakeside town north of Girona dates from 812, has developed around a Benedictine monastery. Its old town is crammed with fascinating ancient buildings centered on a lovely arcaded square, and its lake offers every kind of boating, from rowing to pedal boats.

En route from the Pyrenees to Barcelona, Girona, an unspoilt, more intimate urban center than its sister, Barcelona, is a quaint ancient city founded by the Romans which later became a Moorish stronghold. The meandering Onyar River runs through the town, flanked by pastel-colored houses from the Middle Ages perched on the site of the old city walls. This charming, medieval town, with its genuine Gothic character, has a present-day personality rooted in the Middle Ages. Wandering around its winding, old cobblestone streets, you suddenly discover a section of ancient Roman ramparts, or at another turning a magnificent 12th century cathedral or the ruins of the 12th century Arab baths. The “Call”, the old Jewish quarter, is a wonderful characteristic labyrinth of steep streets and ancient buildings, a perfectly preserved enclave which was the heart of Jewish life in the north and the seat of the Iberian Hebrew intellectual, Rabbi Moses Maimonides.

A trip to the Costa Brava is a trip through time, from the ancient ruins and castles of Roman, Greek and Moorish prominence through the medieval towns like Banyoles and Girona to the modern seaside resorts splashed with charming picturesque fishing villages.

From watersports to relaxed cycling, to wandering the gently rolling hills, this is a region for family adventure travel at its best.

Where Can You Find the Best Travel Holiday Deals

Booking your holiday is one of the biggest decisions you will make all year, so you should consider carefully where the best place is to book travel holiday deals, as this can save you a lot of money!

Most people are now booking their package holidays online, as the bigger tour operators such as Thomas Cook, Direct Holidays, and Virgin holidays all offer exclusive, extra discounts when you book online. This makes commercial sense for tour operators as they cut out the staff costs as their websites can offer prices and availability as well as reviews and even videos of selected hotels.

However, there are still some advantages if you are booking with your local travel agent. Firstly, you have that personal touch that websites can’t offer and your travel agent may also be an expert as they have visited many destinations and can offer advice based on your needs.

Travel agents are often sent on educational visits so they can get a feel for holiday resorts and hotels and can pass on their feedback to customers to help inform them before booking their holiday.

Another advantage when booking with your travel agent locally is that you can pop in and make regular payments to your holiday. Many older people still don’t use their credit cards online so they prefer this option.

However, despite these plus points there is one big factor when you are deciding on the best holiday deal and that’s the price! Booking your package holiday online can save you up to 10% and if we assume the average holiday spend is about £2000 then you are saving £200!

Booking holidays online is becoming more popular and the main reason is simply the lower prices available.