Begur serves up the very best of la Costa Brava on a silver platter. This tiny municipality has everything from a historic town on a hilltop to beaches and secret coves. Begur beckons to anyone new to the Costa Brava because it’s a bite-sized taste of Catalonia’s rocky coastline, having both a charming town protected by a medieval castle and beaches. Plus, the town is famous for its Cuban heritage (also called Indias), which is evident in the pastel-colored houses and architecture, and in their annual festival.
Things to Do and See
Beaches and Calas
When visiting la Costa Brava the main purpose is often the sea. The municipality of Begur offers both sandy beaches and quiet little coves. Here are our favorites.
Platja Cala Aiguablava
This wonderful little beach in the bay of Aiguablava offers crystal clear sea water (explaining the name Aiguablava, which means blue water in Catalan). It is a fine sand beach and not very large, which makes it an ideal choice for families. The beach offers parking nearby, which is a mixed blessing because the parking also causes the beach to get crowded during the holidays. Restaurants surrounding the little bay make it a perfect place to spend a leisurely morning at the seaside.
Platja Sa Tuna
Sa Tuna is a charming, tiny fishing village with an equally tiny beach. The beautiful, white houses perched along the coastline make the perfect background aesthetic for your sun tanning session. After a relaxing morning by the little bay, stroll over to check out the excellent restaurant options for lunch, both in Sa Tuna and in the neighboring bay Aiguafreda (a 15-minute walk along a coastal path). Parking spaces are limited in Sa Tuna, so get an early start if visiting on a weekend.
Platja de l’Illa Roja (nudist beach)
Next to a large, reddish and rocky island is Platja de l’Illa Roja (Catalan for red island). This is one of the trickier beaches to reach because the only way to get there is by a gravel path. It is a quiet beach tucked away from the crowds, which makes it the perfect place to relax for nudists who want to avoid curious looks from passersby.
Fonda is Catalan for deep, which becomes apparent as you descend the many, many…many steps from the car park above Platja Fonda. Once the gym session is over, you’ll be met by a sandy cove surrounded by pine trees. It is a beautiful natural setting in one of the more quiet coves of la Costa Brava. The remote location means there are no bars or cafes to refresh you for the climb back up to the car park. Take food and drinks along.
Most beaches and coves are a 10-minute drive by car from the city center of Begur.
There are several trails along the coastline, making it an ideal place for a combination of hiking and swimming. Here are the three major ones.
The Northern Coastal Path: Sa Riera – Illa Roja – Platja del Racó – Illa Roja –Sa Riera. This path is about 1.6 km long.
From Sa Riera, walk along the coast, passing the intimate cove of Illa Roja to the popular sandy beach of Platja del Racó. It is the ideal hike for lovers of a good sea view as you’ll have an undisturbed vista of the Mediterranean the entire way.
The Eastern Coastal Path: Sa Tuna – Aiguafreda – Sa Tuna. The walk is about 1.5 km.
This hike offers a stunning view to the Sa Tuna fishing village with the pine trees typical in the area as the backdrop. The hike is not difficult, which makes it the best choice for families with young children (no strollers though).
The Southern Coastal Path: Aiguablava – Fornells – Platja Fonda – Fornells – Aiguablava. At 2.5 km long, this is the longest of the three hikes.
This path will take you through town in Aiguablava and along some private properties also. It is the most adventurous of the three hikes (though still not very hard) and passes by both the popular beach Platja Fonda and some small quiet coves.
All hikes have steps, so consider other options if stairs will be difficult to navigate.
Nature and culture
A trip to Begur requires a visit to the castle, if only to get a birds-eye view of the entire municipality. Make this your starting point when visiting to get an impression of the area, and then head out to enjoy everything Begur has to offer.
Explore the weekly market
Every Wednesday morning, Plaça de l’Esglesia in the center of town hosts an open air market. Fruit stalls, clothes stalls, and cane weavers are out on the street selling their products. It’s a wonderful atmosphere with a great mix of locals stocking up on produce and visitors soaking in a day on the Costa Brava.
Mirador de Sant Josep/Sa Tuna
Located 90 meters over sea level by the cove of Sa Tuna is Mirador de Sant Josep (also known as Mirador Sa Tuna). From there you’ll have a wonderful view of the coastline all the way up to Estartit and Cap de Creus (Cadaqués). The walk up to the viewpoint is around 15 to 20 minutes, with the first part of the trek as a pathed walkway and the second (and last) part as a gravel path that requires proper footwear as it’s quite steep.
Cuban festival in early September
A Cuban festival in Begur? Qué? It might sound out-of-place, but nonetheless, it’s true. Begur has a rich history of Cuban culture (locally named Indians) because a large number of Catalans emigrated to the Americas, especially Cuba, at the beginning of the 19th century. An economic crisis in Spain caused the search for wealth abroad and around 500 young men left their hometown of Begur. Those who were successful returned years later and brought back with them their newfound Cuban culture and architecture.
Pastel-colored, colonial-style houses can be found throughout town and various colonial mansions are still standing. Several of the mansions have been converted into lovely restaurants and hotels, such as the Aiguaclara. At another mansion, the Japanese-Mediterranean restaurant, Casa Indiana Pere Cortada Sabater, can be found on the ground level and a typical Catalan restaurant is on the first floor.
Begur even offers an official route through town that takes you past all of the colonial houses.
The town also hosts the annual Fira d’Indians (Indians fair) every September (4th-6th in 2020). The fair includes live music, various activities, and market stalls with imported products from Cuba.
Places to eat & drink in Begur
El Jardí de Can Marc
El Jardí de Can Marc is legendary in Begur. Their enormous garden has fabulous views of the town and the castle. This is undoubtedly the best place you can go to get your Instagram-worthy photo of Begur (thank us later when it’s framed in your home). El Jardí de Can Marc is a gastro-& cocktail bar and the ideal place to end your day in Begur, especially if you’re staying at a hotel in town.
If you fancy a nice meal in a proper restaurant setting, then Turandot fits the bill. The restaurant serves up plates of sophisticated Mediterranean food in an intimate setting. Dress up for dinner here, then continue to a cocktail bar to complete your summer night in Begur.
Casa Juanita is a down-to-earth little gem in Begur with a long history. The casita dates back to 1978 and is now run by Juanita’s son, Jordi. Expect the catch of the day to be presented to you on a tray for selection. Your choice is then prepared in an oak wood fed oven inside the restaurant. The restaurant only serves fresh fish caught the same day in the area, so the variety depends of the season and day. Casa Juanita is a true must-try for lovers of history and locally sourced, 0km food.
Places to eat/drink by the coast
If relaxed reggae tunes in a pine forest appeal to you, then Braai Begur is your afternoon and evening chillout destination. Braai is like a beach club (in a forest) with food trucks and cocktails for everyone. There is live music every evening, all summer.
Hostal Sa Tuna
Hostal Sa Tuna was a fishermen’s house until 1949, when it was converted to a hotel and restaurant. They pride themselves on having the best fish stew in the area, not to mention having the best location in town. The restaurant is in the first line of the little bay of Sa Tuna. After a full lunch here you can take the coastal walk to the neighboring bay in Aiguafreda for coffee in the little chiringuito there.
Hostal Restaurante Sa Rascassa
The little cove of Aiguafreda hides the tiny hotel and restaurant Sa Rascassa. Good thing it’s a worthwhile stop because it’s the only establishment in the area, except for the little chiringuito mentioned above. Rascassa is Catalan for scorpion fish, which is the typical fish in the area and very common on the menu in Begur. The restaurant has a wonderful outdoor area and an excellent menu dominated by fish dishes. Pair your scorpion fish with a crisp, local DO Emporda wine for a true all-around Catalan experience.
Where to shop
A little jewelry shopping never hurt anyone, especially during a weekender on the Costa Brava. Plus, you can always fit an extra pair of earrings into the weekend luggage. Candela Joies was born as a Spanish – Brazilian project back in 2001. The brand has a popular online shop and the actual store is in Begur. Besides jewelry, the store also offers clothing and accessories.
This is the place to shop those boho-inspired summer dresses we dream about. Kumade Begur is run by lifelong friends Claudia & Alexandra, who became business associates 5 years ago when they opened their store. They have created a stunning Instagram handle for the brand to get you into the mood before visiting the little Begur boutique. Their main products are swimwear, summer dresses, straw bags and a few home accessories. Remember to stop for a post-shopping drink by the beach to show off your new wardrobe.
Where to Stay
Cluc (Little boutique hotel right in the city center of Begur)
Hostalet de Begur (Right in the city center of Begur Adults only)
Hostal Restaurante Sa Rascassa (tiny little hotel in a little cove in Aiguafreda bay)
Hotel Aiguablava (perfect location by the sea and perfect for families. Large pool, tennis court etc.)