We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Which beach town would you recommend for a family vacation?

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
12 posts
3 reviews
Save Topic
Which beach town would you recommend for a family vacation?

Hi,

we plan to visit Costa Brava next summer and can't decide where to stay. It's our first time. Maybe you can help me out. It'll be my husband, our kids (ages 10 and 7), my parents and myself.

We're looking for a house or apartment in/very near a nice beach town that's not too touristy (if that's still available) and offers a good local atmosphere, nice restaurants, a good beach and enough things to see/do for all of us. The main goal is to relax and have fun. We're not sure if we'll get a car so the beach and a local supermarket should be within walking distance if possible. I've been told Cadaques is great but the beach is not. How about Calella de Palafrugell, Tossa or Sant Pol de Mar? I liked what I read about Calella and found a place near El Golfet beach but then I learned the beach is so tiny (75m x 15 m) that I was concerned since we're going there during the high season.

My questions: Where would you go if you didn't have a car? where would you go if you did have a car? Do you have any recommendations for us? do you know any websites I can check re house/apartments rentals? we want to stay away from places like Lloret de mar which I understand is very touristy.

Thanks in advance for all your valuable input!!

Sonia

Girona, Spain
Level Contributor
748 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Which beach town would you recommend for a family vacation?

Hi,

Firstly, if you want to stay somewhere without a car, it would need to be one of the bigger resorts which will have more facilities, but will also be much more touristy. Platja dÁro, Tossa del Mar,LÉscala, Estartit and Roses would all fit the bill. Personally I´d highly recommend you have a car as there is so much to see on the Costa Brava and transport to the smaller, more appealing areas is poor or non existent.

If you want somewhere less touristy, staying in a charming historical village or near a wonderful beach you should look at Begur, Tamariu, Llafranc and Calella de Palafrugell, all of which are delightful!

For self catering apartments look at www.holiday-rentals.co.uk and www.spain-holidays.com.

I hope this helps, get back to me if you need more information.

Kind regards,

Denise

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
12 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Which beach town would you recommend for a family vacation?

Thanks so much, Denise. I appreciate your input. You make very valid points. I'll let you know if I've any other questions. Thanks very much again!

Sonia

Bristol
Level Contributor
398 posts
45 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Which beach town would you recommend for a family vacation?

Denise is spot on with the recommendations as usual. Of the smaller resorts I'd go for Calella de Palafugell, which is slightly larger than Llafranc or Tamariu. It actually has 2 or 3 beaches in addition to El Golfet (which is more shingle than the others) spread along the front of the town. As Denise mentions hiring a car would be an advantage because less touristy means the transport links are not so good. However it would be possible to Get to C de P by public transport either by bus from Barcelona to Palafugell, and then taxi, or train to Girona and then bus and / or taxi.

From C de P you can actually walk round to Llafranc in about 20 - 30 mins on the Coastal path which in itsself is a pleasant walk and in my opionion Llafranc has a slightly better beach.

Alternatively I'd consider Begur or Tossa

Tim.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
12 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Which beach town would you recommend for a family vacation?

Thank you, Tim! You guys are great. This is very helpful. You both convinced me. We'll most likely rent a car and try to go to Calella de P. having a good beach and a nice little town nearby is key to us. In terms if restaurants are there enough good options in the area? Also, my kids are 7 and 10. Are there any activities for kids nearby?

Bristol
Level Contributor
398 posts
45 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Which beach town would you recommend for a family vacation?

Sorry dont know enough about kids entertainment during the summer as we dont tend to go in July or August, the snorkling is good though.

Llafranc has a small harbour at the north end of the bay which does boat trips and sailing lessons I think. There are various scuba diving outfits but I assume this would just be for adults.

Here is a webcam link to C de P which might be of interest if you havent found it already.

http://www.finquesfrigola.com/webcam.htm

There is also a link to one at Tamariu

Tim

london/playa de pals
Level Contributor
25 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Which beach town would you recommend for a family vacation?

You could consider playa de Pals,the beach is much larger so there is always room.It's not too overdeveloped ,but there is mini golf nearby and a couple of trampolines, the fabulous Pals golf club,the new Parc d'Aventura which is similar to Go Ape an adventure park in the woods with zip lines and enough places to eat and 2 good supermarkets.On the beach there are pedaloes,scuba diving and wind surfing.

A car is necessary to visit the prettier villages and Old Pals but people fail to mention that traffic and parking are horrendous in July and August.

We visited friends in Tamariu last summer from Pals it took ages to find a parking spot and there was no room at all on the beach,the same goes for Callell de Palafrugell wher5e the towels are literally touching each other.

Try http://www.pci-holidays.com/ they have some nice properties.

london/playa de pals
Level Contributor
25 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Which beach town would you recommend for a family vacation?

Sorry forgot to mention tha Pals Tourist website palsturisme.com/uk/pals-turisme-costa-brava.…

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
12 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Which beach town would you recommend for a family vacation?

Great! Thanks again, Tim and Nicolamonday. Very helpful info. I have heard about the crowds and the parking situation. This was one of the reasons we were not to keen to rent a car. It's tricky. I wish we could go in September instead of the second half of August but we can't due to school. Thanks again to you all for your help!! I'll let you know what we end up doing.

Barcelona, Spain
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Berlin
Level Contributor
20,004 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Which beach town would you recommend for a family vacation?

We stay a week in Pals every summer, usually early July but have also been towards the end of August. Prices drop dramatically towards the end of August so if you can aim for that period it's worth it. That obviously means that it's generally quieter because season is winding down.

The beach never really gets crowded because it's long (and sandy) and Pals beach is mainly apartments (and a couple of campsites), no big hotels.

There's windsufing and kayaking (and golf), as well as a minigolf by the beach and another near Cypsela campsite (inland). lots of pretty villages to visit on the coast and inland and Greco-Roman site at Empuries and an Iberian site at ullastret. Roads are quiet and a car is nearly a must I'd say if you want to explore even a bit.

We stay in an apartment right by the beach in a private complex so no organised kids activities. In any case most visitors are Catalan, French or Dutch, also Germans but not many Brits at all.

Cadaques is very pretty but not good beaches as you know and it's no good at all as a base to explore the area.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
12 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Which beach town would you recommend for a family vacation?

Thank you, Lynda! This is great info.

Get answers to your questions about Costa Brava
Recent Conversations