We have spent the last two days exploring Costa Brava’s beautiful rocky coast with its medieval towns, former fishing villages and hidden sand coves. We climbed high up to old castles overlooking the plains and the sea, walked through narrow lanes in the picturesque villages, had drinks in the market squares, ate delicious sea food, enjoyed the sun, the flowers, and our nice hotel Aiguaclara. This little hotel would really deserve a few stars. It is located in the middle of the little medieval town of Begur, in an old mid-19th century house, which had been artistically renovated. One could probably call it a boutique hotel. No big luxury, but the style of the house, the very warm welcome by the friendly owners, the nice breakfast with fresh fruits, fresh orange juice, tortillas, sausages, cheese, and bread in the small patio, the furnishing of the rooms and the relaxed atmosphere was exactly what I like. Just a five-minute drive away is the cozy beach of Sa Riera, one of the many small beaches along Costa Brava. Since the tourist season had not yet started, we had most of the beach for ourselves. These places will become crowded in only a few weeks and the empty houses will fill up with people. None of the small villages or towns we visited has the ugly tourist bunkers, which seem like a hallmark for the Spanish coast. Instead, houses had been carefully restored, or large villas had been built on the slopes, nicely merging with the surrounding landscape. However on our way to Cadaqués and the small village, which had been Dalí’s home for many years, we passed Golfo de Roses, a large sandy bay, and got a glimpse of what tourist Spain looks like: hotel after hotel, high rises and tourist bunkers.
The contrast between the former fishing villages, which have turned into luxury getaways for the well-off middle and upper class, and the bunker hotels lining the sandy beach of Roses could not be greater. The fairly undisturbed nature is for the well off or environmentally conscious, while the hamburger bars and pizza places, and high rises are for those who obviously have less.