Tour Daze France Part 2 – The Costa Brava, Spain

By - November 21, 2006 (Updated: May 30, 2016)

This entry is part 2 of 9 in the series Tour Daze France 2006.

What words can I use to accurately describe the Costa Brava? Stunning, Breath-taking, Awe Inspiring, Dramatic? These all sound a tad over the top, but in all honesty I would add this to my Top 10 Beautiful Drives list in a heartbeat.

Having a dip in the Med.

As we left Avignon, we knew we had a long day’s drive ahead of us if we wanted to make it to Barcelona by dark. Andrew and I really wanted to drive as much of the coast as we could since our Michelin map had marked much of it as scenic (they weren’t kidding).

We hit the coast of France around lunch time and needed to find a map. (In my obsession with maps and guide books I forgot the atlas that we use for the areas not covered by our maps. Duh…) so we found a bite to eat and a tourist bureau to supply us with a map. Then we walked down to the beach so the in-laws could have the requisite dip in the Mediterranean.

Once we found the coastal route the going got very slow. Not only were the roads so twisty that you had to slow down to nothing to get around the hairpin turns, but we were stopping every few minuets to take pictures and gape at the scenery.

Towns hugged the coast, nestled between beach and mountain. Most of the hillsides were covered in vineyards that you would have to be part mountain goat to tend. The sea varied from pale turquoise to almost blue black and the pink stucco of the buildings and tile roofs contrasted with the green of the vines. I’ll leave you with some photos by Andrew and Bill in the hopes that you can get a sense of what it looked like.

Hillside covered in vineyards.
The rugged Costa Brava
Coastal town at sunset.
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Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She has visited 45 countries and is currently slow travelling through North America in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
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1 comment

  1. Comment by dARK sIDE dAD

    dARK sIDE dAD November 23, 2006 at 16:16

    Yo … what a beautiful coast. My only regret that I didn’t take a full dip in the Med … next time! Seeing the ruggedness of the terrain and sea and the determination of generations of families to make it beautiful and productive generates real admiration and an appreciation of the values that their kin brought to the “new world”. Glad we were there. Thanks.
    dARK sIDE dAD

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