Standing proudly on the north coast of Catalonia, the historic city of Tossa de Mar is a treasure. The town offers panoramic views out across the Mediterranean Sea and it’s famous for its sandy beaches, its lighthouse and, of course, its historic fortified medieval town.
|Duration: 2 days||Public transport: 1 h 20 min from Barcelona / 1 h 20 min from Girona|
|When: May to September||Driving time: 1 h 30 min from Barcelona / 50 min from Girona|
|Difficulty: Easy||Show map|
All you need to know to spend 2 days in Tossa de Mar
- What to do
- Where to sleep
- Where to eat
- When is the best time to go to Tossa de Mar
- How to arrive in Tossa de Mar
- For the curious minds
2 days in Tossa de Mar
Follow Camí de Ronda (which means Ronda’s footpath) north and south from Tossa de Mar and get trough impressive pinewoods to reach beautiful hidden crystal-clear coves.
Day 1: Northern path and the Old Town
Walking north from Tossa de Mar, we found ourselves following the red and white signs that guide you through this path. On this direction, the footpath presented some steep hills but the fragrance of pines trees, rosemary and thyme made us not think about them.
After 3km, we spot the first cove, Cala Bona (Good cove) and the first thing we did was jumping directly into the sea to fight the intense summer hot. If you like snorkeling, you’ll love to explore the seabed of this cove and swim along with all kind of mediterranean fishes. This is a good time for a break and to eat something before continuing the search for new coves. There’s even a restaurant in the cove, but -come on! It’s holidays- let’s do a good old-fashioned picnic to enjoy nature at its most!
The next treasure is not far from Cala Bona. Only after 1km walk Cala Pola appeared. This one is a sandy cove with crystal blue water and it’s bigger than the one before. It’s normally quite crowded (specially in summer) because there’s a camping next to it. Anyway, it’s a great place to lay on the sand, get a bit tanned -sun cream highly recommended!- and play a beach tennis match.
The last cove we visited was Cala Giverola and it’s 5km far from Tossa de Mar (only 1km after the last cove). It’s the biggest one and similar to Cala Pola, but the boats anchored in the bay and the shape of the coast make from this cove the best one in terms of views. And also the bigger the cove, the larger the seabed to explore.
We made our way back to Tossa through the same path and when we arrived to the city we stopped to enjoy an ice cream in the fresh sea air.
A must-do to finish this day in a great way is to visit the most iconic spot of Tossa de Mar, the Old Town. This majestic medieval part of the city is full of history and is the only example of a fortified medieval town still standing on the Catalan coast. With its cobblestoned narrow streets and seven towers in total, it seems that time has stopped in the Old Town. It’s like having travelled back in time to the middle age.
Day 2: Southern path
If you want to start your day with an absolute blast, wake up early and watch the sun rise from the sea marking the start of a new journey full of opportunities to explore. We know that waking up early is hard, but for this reason we can assure you that you won’t regret it. It’s a show of the nature worth not to be missed.
Starting from Tossa de Mar again, the second day we were heading south instead of north. Grab some breakfast in a bakery or a supermarket and walk for 3.5km until you get to Llorell beaches, two beaches (Llevant and Garbí) that are configured as only one large beach. This natural area begs to be explored, and the region is a magnet for water sports addicts. There’s a wide variety of sports you can practise there such as scuba diving, kayaking, waterskiing or windsurfing.
On the way to Llorell beaches, there are two more coves but we didn’t stop in any of them. However, on our way back, 3km before arriving to Tossa de Mar, we discovered a little paradise: the cove Cala Figuera (Cala d’es Rajols). The abundant vegetation that surrounds this cove makes it very special as you can’t see any buildings around and you feel isolated in the middle of the nature. And best of all? It’s not as crowded as the other coves on this area. Be aware that nudism is a common practise there.
Where to sleep
As we wanted to be close to a cove to watch the sun rise over the sea we chose to spend the night at Camping Pola, just next to Cala Pola. We brought our own tent and we rent the pitch. The price was around 20€/night with parking included. The camping has 2 bars, 2 restaurants, a supermarket and a swimming pool.
Where to eat
To eat in Tossa de Mar we recommend you a restaurant called La lluna, which means “The moon”. They’re specialised in tapas, which are a variety of dishes typical from Spain. What you do when you eat tapas is always order a variety of them and share them with your friends, family or partner. Then you don’t get to eat only one dish but you try as many as possible!
If you go there we recommend you to try:
- Seitons en vinagre: a kind of anchovies in vinegar sauce.
- Empedrat: a salad made with cold cod and white beans.
- Gaspatxo: a kind of tomato soup that you eat cold.
- Patates braves: fried potatoes served with a spicy sauce.
- Croquetes: chicken croquettes.
- Pebrots del piquillo: sweet peppers stuffed with brandade (a mixture of salt cod and olive oil).
When is the best time to go to Tossa
During the summer months it’s when Tossa de Mar comes alive. People swimming at the beach, eating and drinking in the restaurants’ terraces and taking a walk around the city center. That’s why from June to September is a good time to come here. If it’s possible, avoid August as it’s the most crowded month and it might even be too hot during the day to take a walk. For us, June and September are the best months as it’s a bit quieter and cooler.
How to arrive in Tossa de Mar
Tossa de Mar is not far from either Girona or Barcelona. How can you get there?
- By car: Tossa de Mar is one of the Costa Brava’s beaches that is closest to Barcelona and Girona. That makes it ideal for either a day trip or a weekend trip, if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the big cities. From Barcelona, you need to drive 1 h 30 min to be in Tossa de Mar, whereas from Girona it’s only 50 mins.
- By bus: there’s public transport from both Girona and Barcelona to Tossa de Mar. From Barcelona, there’s a direct bus that leaves from Estació del Nord and it takes 1 h 20 mins. This bus departs more or less each hour and it cost 12,35€ each way. Click here to check the schedule. On the other hand, if you’re going from Girona, it’s a bit more complicated. There’s no direct bus to Tossa de Mar, so you must take a bus to Lloret de Mar and then change to another one that goes to Tossa de Mar. This will take in total about 1 h and 20 min.
For the curious minds
Tossa de Mar is located at the province of Girona and exactly 103km north of Barcelona. The story of this city started in the 12th century, when Tossa de Mar was a medieval town walled off with the castle of the Monastery Santa Maria de Ripoll -the territorial Lord of the town- on the highest point of the city. Years after, this castle was replaced by a windmill which in turn was replaced by a lighthouse. Nowadays, the lighthouse is still operational and the site has been declared a national historic monument.
An interesting fact about Tossa de Mar is that it was the first place in the world to declare itself an Anti-Bullfighting City. That happened in 1989.