Camping in the Costa Brava
At the start of summer I decided to buy a campervan. I always wanted one but thought it was just a dream, something you wouldn’t really buy. But then I found one, fell in love and bought it straight away. We lived in Barcelona so it was the perfect place to get one – right in the middle of the Costa Brava.
We could drive to the most beautiful places in no time and explored everything around the city and a little bit further away. As a Dutchie, I always saw the Costa Brava as one of those super touristy areas. Where half of the country went on holiday in summer. My parents always preferred Croatia (before it got super touristy) and Italy. So automatically I took over their opinion and wasn’t a big fan of the Costa Brava either.
But now I got to explore the real Costa Brava, in low season as a well as high season and all I can say is that I absolutely love it. We camped at many places, some for one time, others for more than a few.
My favourite campings in the Costa Brava:
1. Calella de Palafrugell
Camping Moby Dick became my favourite from the moment I arrived. There are two areas of the camping and the one at the back is very spacious. If you go in spring it’s lovely, with green grass and little flowers. In July and August it gets very busy so we waited until September to go back again.
The best thing about the camping is that it’s in the middle of the town. Calella de Palafrugell is a beautiful white seaside village with stunning beaches. The water is very clear. I also really liked that there is a Spar right next to the camping which makes it easy to get your groceries. There’s a swimming pool as well.
2. Tossa de Mar
If you have a tent make sure to go to Camping Cala Llevado. The parcels for tents have incredible views over the sea. Camper and caravan spots are a little bit less pretty but the facilities and location of the camping make up for that. You can find four amazing beaches right next to the campsite (it’s on a hill so it’s a little hike down) and you can walk (3km) to Tossa de Mar. There’s also a nice swimming pool, good restaurant and camping supermarket.
Funny detail, I actually did go to this campsite as a kid and I remember it was a big adventure to camp there. Being able to go to all the different beaches and different areas of the camping was very exciting. So, if you have kids I can recommend this spot!
Calella is very popular with tourists so the town gets very crowded in high season. We went for the Ironman (the one in Barcelona takes place there) and ended up at camping Bonavista because the one we wanted to go to – El Far – turned out to be more of a parking lot than a campsite.
Camping Bonavista, however, is an amazing campsite which is open all year. Especially the showers and toilets were great and very clean. You can walk to the towns and the beaches in no time and there is a really good vibe on the camping itself. It was one of the more expensive campings we camped though, so keep that into consideration.
If you’re looking for a camping close to Barcelona, Camping 3 Estrellas is the one. It’s officially in Gava but it’s only a 20 minute drive from the city. There are really nice spots right on the beach. It’s a little bit more expensive but if you have an ACSI card make sure to show them because we even got discount before the low season started.
From the campsite you can walk straight on the sandy beach where you’ll find some great places to eat. You can also catch a bus to Barcelona, which is really close by. Even close is the airport, so be prepared to see a lot of planes flying over the campsite (my boyfriend is a pilot so I’m pretty sure this is why we went to this campsite in the first place – at the end of the weekend I knew everything about planes). If you have a car make sure to visit Sitges too.
Camping Punta Mila is located in the heart of a nature reserve. When you’re camping here you really feel like you’re away from it all, even though you can walk into L’Escala and visit the beaches easily. The camping has everything you need, a good restaurant, little shop and nice swimming pool. You can walk to the most beautiful cove bays with crystal clear water. It’s one of those campsites you don’t want to leave.
I always value it when the people at the reception are nice. At this camping reception they literally spoke every language and the guy at reception even performed with his band at the restaurant at night. Really nice place and I’ll come back here many more times.
Other places in Catalonia:
If you’re tired of the Costa Brava and want to swap beaches for nature make sure to visit these two places as well – my favourite ones in all of Spain (!) and not crowded in high season:
Right next to Lake Banyoles you can find Camping El Llac. The area has stunning nature and is great for cycling (go up Rocacorba). You can also do amazing hikes there and visit old towns. My favourite one to visit is Besalu, which used to be an important place in the Middle Ages (and makes you feel you’re back in time).
Congost de Mont-Rebei
The most beautiful place in Spain is Congost de Mont-Rebei. You can do a really cool hike through the whole gorge (can recommend that, bring enough water because we ended up drinking from the lake). But you can also kayak through it when you reserve in advance. It was my favourite trip in Spain -it’s just so incredibly beautiful there. Camping Vall d’Àger is nice, small spots but a good restaurant and next to the cute town Àger. Definitely go!