I think the easiest, cheapest, quickest and best option for a FIRST taste of the amazing Costa Brava is TOSSA DE MAR. With pristine waters, cobblestone alleyways, great food, shopping, and a medieval castle right on the beach, you CAN’T go wrong! How to get there: From Barcelona, go to the Estacio Nord bus station, but be sure to get a ticket in advance, as lines can be long, especially in the summer months. Round-trip tickets will cost about 25 euros and takes approximately 1 hr 30 min each way.
If you’re feeling slightly more adventurous, Calella de Palafrugell is about 20 minutes further, also accessible from Barcelona by bus (and not train). Leaving from Estacio Nord, a round-trip ticket will cost 33 euros. Smaller and slightly more remote than Tossa, this picturesque and quaint coastal town is sure to wow you. It’s lined with beautiful coves and turquoise waters, which, if you’re daring enough, you can dive right into from the cliffs above. Tossa and Calella de Palafrugell are each breathtakingly beautiful, in different ways, and both will impress anyone who’s never been to the Costa Brava before. Make sure to go to Callela de Palafrugell and not just “Calella”!!!
If you’re feeling up for the trip, Cadaqués is worth the journey. This small village is the former hometown of surrealist Salvador Dali, not to mention the backdrop for many of his paintings. Upon entering the city you’ll immediately see why this unique gem along the northernmost part of the Catalonian coast was such an inspiration. Dotted with all white and blue door houses, and a couple of moderniste buildings thrown into the mix, it’s truly a Mediterranean town. Travel time is approximately 2.5-3 hours away by bus; however, we recommend renting a car, as it can be a bit difficult to get around. The beaches there are nowhere near the caliber of those in Calella de Palafrugell and Tossa del Mar, but the town itself is sure to charm you. There’s a tourist train that can take you to nearby Cap de Creus (one of Hi This Is Barcelona’s favorite places!!) If you want to visit Dali’s house, we recommend you call to reserve your admission ASAP!!