Costa Brava with Kids – Top Activities in the Region

The Costa Brava is a very popular choice with families. It’s perfectly feasible to spend a holiday barely leaving the pool and the beach but I’ve included some destinations a little off the beaten track.  There’s much more to a ‘Costa’ than the coast.

1 CITY DAY TRIP – GIRONA  After days lounging poolside a trip to the city can be a draw.  Barcelona is always vibrant but Girona is a slightly less predictable choice. With winding, cobbled streets in the Jewish Quarter, a hilltop cathedral where toddlers love climbing ALL the stairs, colourful houses with river views, it’s a very walkable city. There are museums, such as the renowned Jewish Museum, but if you’re looking for a city to simply spend some time in, explore, have coffee and wander around, then Girona is a treat. The shops also looked nice but with two toddlers in tow I had to limit my experience to window shopping.

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Lake Banyoles

2 THE IDYLLIC LAKE BANYOLES – If you wish to escape the busy beaches, the cities and get some fresh air Lake Banyoles has to be the ultimate destination. Swim in a freshwater lake, in a stunning setting.  It doesn’t get much better than this.

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PP’s Amusement Park

3 IF YOU WANT YOUR KIDS TO LOVE YOU FOREVER – If happiness can be bought then I’d suggest PP’s Amusement  Park in Platja D’Aro. This is a busy, friendly resort but the Amusement Park is kiddie heaven with a range of rides to suit toddlers to teens. It’s loud, bright, fun, full on and fantastic. Children always cry when it’s time to leave.

4 A BEACH TOWN WITH AN OLD TOWN – If you wish to combine a morning catching some rays and building sandcastles on a long stretch of golden sand, with an afternoon in a picturesque old town then Tossa de Mar combines the two perfectly. Its walled town contains picturesque restaurants, excellent viewpoints, a historic tower and cobbled streets to explore.

5 BEACHLIFE – If you wish to hit the beach Costa Brava is busy but it’s pretty special. From small coves to miles of sandy beach there’s range and variety to explore.

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Santa Clotilde Gardens

6 SEEK SANCTUARY – If the sun and sand are getting too much and you wish to find a little greenery then Santa Clotilde Gardens in Lloret de Mar are quite breathtaking. Staggering views, beautiful planting, a peaceful, quiet setting with lots of space for little legs to explore.

7 GET WET The waterparks along the Costa Brava are pretty epic. It also felt like there were a lot of them to choose between. They’re not cheap, we figured out that entrance would cost €85, which wasn’t worth it for two toddlers. If you’ve got older kids and can spend a whole day there I figure it would one of the best memories of the holiday.

8 GET SOAKED Watersports were also popular along the coast. From silly rides on inflatable bananas to learning how to kayak there appeared to be a lot of opportunity to hire equipment or get tuition.

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The steak that stole my husband’s heart…

9 EAT OUT There is an absolute plethora of restaurants to choose between in every town and city along Costa Brava so eating out can be a pleasure. We ate well and received good service the vast majority of the time as the tourist pound is appreciated and valued. The one place we would recommend is Pizzeria Roma, Av. del Cavall Bernat, Platja D’Aro. Its name is very unassuming but it’s busy for a reason, the food is good. Mr Husband fell in love with his steak, which cost a small fortune but made his week. Our pastas and pizza were full of flavour and tempting ingredients such as walnuts and gorgonzola, and of course there were more subtle ingredients, so I would definitely recommend it. Service swift, by proud waiters, ample high chairs and lively surroundings.

10 EMBRACE THE STRIP!  Costa Brava puts the strip on another level. I’m used to beach resorts where there are small shops selling flip flops, sarongs, buckets and spades but when we stayed in Platja D’Aro the strip was a beast. It was so vast and bustling to the point that I spotted branches of Zara, Massimo Duti and Calezonia – the high street here was significantly busier and more vibrant than many high streets in the UK. So go with it, make the most of the selection of food and shops. Another bonus is that most people are on holiday, so unlike a high street at home most folk are in a particularly good mood!

LOWDOWN – We flew from Edinburgh to Barcelona, picked up a hire car and drove up the coast to Costa Brava. Public transport is said to be good in the region but with two toddlers we found day trips easier with our own car. Driving was very easy in the area but parking could be a nightmare at popular beaches due to how busy they are, but head to Lake Banyoles or Girona and life is quieter.

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23 Comments

  1. Reply

    Rashmi Gopal Rao

    January 13, 2017

    Lots of activities for children!

  2. Reply

    tots2travel

    January 13, 2017

    And for big kids too. Looking forward to all going down the flumes together!

  3. Reply

    fifi + hop

    January 13, 2017

    Seems like everyone’s going to Costa Brava these days! Looks like we are most likely going to Barcelona this summer so pinning, saving, tweeting for later!

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      June 2, 2017

      If you make it to Barcelona be sure to visit the monastery at Montserrat. And if you can explore Costa Brava too I hope this has given you some food for thought.

  4. Reply

    darwinontherocks

    January 14, 2017

    The old town really looks lovely ! Do they have city walls where you can walk on it ?

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      January 15, 2017

      I think they do but we had a buggy and tiny tots with no sense of height or danger. There were great viewpoints nonetheless as the old town was elevated above the sea.

  5. Reply

    Anabel Marsh

    January 14, 2017

    Sounds great with or without tots! Currently considering an early Spring holiday – somewhere in Spain could be a contender.

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      January 15, 2017

      Costa Brava exceeded expectations. Being able to nip inland to Gironde or Lake Banyoles were particular highlights. And on the coast Santa Clotilde Gardens were stunning. I’d also be tempted by Seville or Grenada.

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      January 15, 2017

      Hope you choose somewhere lovely soon.

      • Reply

        Anabel Marsh

        January 15, 2017

        In the last hour have swung north and now looking at Budapest! But Spain / Portugal still in the mix. Too many places to choose…….

        • Reply

          tots2travel

          January 16, 2017

          I’ve never been there. If you go I’ll look out for your posts.

          • Anabel Marsh

            January 16, 2017

            Decision made – Budapest it will be in March.

          • tots2travel

            January 17, 2017

            Exciting. And that’s not far away either.

  6. Reply

    Marie

    January 23, 2017

    Sounds really great! Btw, I love your blog!

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      January 23, 2017

      Thanks so much. Much appreciated.

  7. Reply

    Baby Loves Travel

    February 28, 2017

    Lake Banyoles sounds good – I’m planning a road trip around several Spanish lakes with my toddler so I may add it to the list! #citytripping

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      February 28, 2017

      It’s the only Spanish lake I’ve been to so I can’t compare it but it was a wonderful, tranquil day out.

  8. Reply

    Coombe Mill

    February 28, 2017

    When I think of Costa Brava I think of 1970s package holidays, this looks so very different #CityTripping

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      February 28, 2017

      I knew that the ‘strip’ would be family friendly and bustling (which has its own benefits) but I didn’t realise how easy it would be to escape to some truly tranquil spots.

  9. Reply

    WanderMum

    March 2, 2017

    Sounds like a lot of fun, I wouldn’t mind a trip there now! It’s always great to combine a bit of city and beach. Thanks for linking to #citytripping

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      March 3, 2017

      City, beach and then throw in a lake too 🙂

  10. Reply

    MummyTravels

    March 4, 2017

    I’ve always rather fancied visiting Girona – the history makes it sound a lovely spot for a weekend. And I had a wonderful time just down the coast on the Costa Barcelona do I can imagine just how good the food and beach are. #citytripping

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      March 5, 2017

      Girona was quite beautiful. I loved the variety of the area, the famous coast, then a city with a story, and tranquil lakes and gardens I certainly never expected.

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