Several villages in the Costa Brava region of Spain have worked hard to obtain the Family Tourist Destination seal of the Catalan Tourism Agency. This designation means you will find accommodations, eating establishments and services tailored for families. This makes traveling to these family tourist destinations easier and more enjoyable for both parents and children. Kid’s club on the beach anyone?
We visited seven Family Tourist coastal destinations during our tour of Costa Brava. There are many activities for families in the area and we just touched the surface of the things to do with kids.
The Official Family Destinations in Costa Brava are:
- Lloret de Mar
- Sant Feliu de Guíxols
- Sant Antoni de Calonge
- Platja d’Aro
Things to Do With Kids in Costa Brava, Spain:
Our tour started at the southernmost coastal village of Blanes. Blanes is the gateway to Costa Brava, situated between Barcelona and Girona. The picturesque landscapes and fishing boats dotting the cove make it the perfect spot to start a family adventure in España.
The kids took part in “a handful of Blanes” activity provided through the tourism office. Kids get an activity sheet with fun questions to help them learn about the nature side of Blanes through a clue game. Once kids complete the game, they receive a FREE ticket to the Marimurtra Botanical Gardens!
The game started off at the iconic rock, Sapalomera, in the middle of Blanes Bay. Legend has it that if you climb Sapalomera, you will return to Blanes. I think it worked. We already want to come back!
Here the kids learned about the Marine birds, cormorants and, as an aside from our local guide, the history of the Catalan flag. The activities continued, making stops to identify the sculpture sitting on a bench on the promenade, examining Washingtonia palm trees, looking for different examples of Aleppo Pine and Stone Pine and reading Roman numerals on the fountain with blue tiles representing Virgin Carmen with baby Jesus. It was a fun activity to get the kids involved (and learning) about Blanes.
We enjoyed a picnic on the beach and had the opportunity to meet the famous Blanes’ athlete, Xavi Marina. His story is inspiring, traveling the world through his love of running. We were able to sit and chat with him about some of the places he has visited and the incredible races he has run, from the Arctic Circle to Peru. K said it would be an awesome way to travel.
After our picnic on the beach, we took the tourist train, then ended our Blanes visit at the Marimurtra Botanical Gardens. The gardens are stunning and are definitely worth a visit. We really enjoyed the gardens, education and views. You can read all about our tour HERE.
When touring Blanes, don’t forget to stop by the fresh market. Purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers for a homemade meal or just a quick snack. One of the vendors even gave the girls in our group flowers. It was super sweet.
Lloret de Mar
Next up we had a fabulous lunch at El Ventall Restaurant, situated between Blanes and Lloret de Mar, before heading off to our next activity.
The kids explored the coast of Lloret de Mar, learning about local aquatic plants and animals and, at Xatrac La Casa del Mar, made a necklace and bracelet that included shells they found on the beach. We combined fun and education by investigating the rocky coastline and learning about the many difference types of sea weed and sea life. The kids held a sea cucumber, examined flora and fauna under the microscope and are still sporting the necklace and bracelet they made.
A few days later, we came back to spend more time in Lloret de Mar on our own. While the kids had fun playing on the beach, swimming in the hotel pool, riding the open air bus and wandering throughout the town, Xatrac remains their favorite activity in Lloret de Mar.
Looking for more ideas? Pop over to see 15 Best Things to Do in Lloret de Mar.
You can’t visit the Costa Brava region without walking along the Camino de Ronda trail. The trail is over 200 kilometers (124 miles) and stretches from Blanes to the French border city of Collioure. The trail was originally designed to help the Guardia Civil combat smuggling in the 19th century.
Much of the trail has been restored for hikers. We strolled along the path from S’Agaró to Sa Conca Beach. The kids ran around the well marked trail while the adults enjoyed the scenery, snapped pictures and discussed how amazing it would be to live in one of the houses overlooking the water. Camino de Ronda trail is a wonderful way to explore the coves, cliffs and magnificent beaches.
And here is something really unbelievable! One evening we went bowling. Bowling in Spain is pretty much like bowling in the States, except that Bowling Platja d’Aro is super clean and has AMAZING coffee. So really not the same at all 🙂
Bowling a game was the great way to relax after a fun filled day. The kids cheered each other on and ran around the arcade area while the adults took their turn on the lanes. Bowling a game or two would be perfect if it’s rainy, as a nice end to a busy day or even as an pastime when you need a break from all the sightseeing activities.
Sant Feliu de Guíxols
We were up bright and early for our exciting adventure at Parc Aventura. The entire family had an absolute blast climbing, (attempting) to walk across rope bridges and zip-lining over the forest. K loved the skateboard line where you had to “ride” a skateboard high above the trees.
Lucy (7) almost completed the entire course! She was a real trooper and made it across a lot of tough rope bridges. We were beyond proud of the kids for managing a course that even Derrick & I struggled with. It was a fun day that gave me a great workout. At the end the course, we visited a treehouse built by the owners. The kids had fun exploring and even locked the trap doop to keep the adults out.
K made a video to share our adventure.
Can’t see the video? Click HERE
After our morning excitement, we went to the Museu d’Història de la Joguina or Toy Museum. Built in the 14th century, the details of the building itself- the painted ceilings, mosaic floors and impressive 2 story stained glass windows in the conservatory, make the visit even more worthwhile.
Displayed in the museum are toys dating as far back as 1875 and others made as recently as the 1960’s. You can find tin plate toys from different eras, wood toys, board games, trains, and plastic toys starting from 1952 called Arre caballito. There is also a horror street, but my kids were not a fan of these “toys.” The Toy Museum was a nice way to view history in a new way.
We enjoyed lunch at Hotel Restaurant Can Segura before racing off to our next activity.
On our 3rd day, we took a Catamaran and spent the morning sailing along the coast. The Bravamar team was great with the kids. The boys were the Captains during most of our journey and piloted us along the blue sea. Landmarks were pointed out and we even saw flying fish next to the Catamaran.
Can’t see the video? Click HERE
Sant Antoni de Calonge
A bike ride through the countryside to Mas Ponsjoan Winery was one of the highlights of our trip. All the produce and wine produced on the farm is sold to locals. They come to the vineyard to purchase a bottle (or two) of “natural” wine and what ever else might be in season. You can read all about our farm to table experience in Spain HERE.
After our bike ride and wine sampling, we headed to lunch at Restaurant Guillermo right on the promenade overlooking the water.
One of the best ways to get to know Costa Brava is in the water! We took a Club Nàutic snorkel trip to Meda Island, the largest of the Medes Islands (Islas Medas) and learned about the sealife there. Of interest is the fortress built on Meda Island in the 15th century. It was used as a prison in the 18th century and during the Napoleonic Wars. We went out on a cloudy day, so the visibility wasn’t optimum, but it was still a great experience. We still saw some fish and it was the first time the kids and I had worn wetsuits. The water was freezing, but the wetsuits made the swim tolerable – even for my 7 year old.
Arriving in Roses, we kayaked through the coves of Cap de Creus Natural Park with SK Kayak. The kids had a blast and even held a Sea Urchin thanks to our guide Eric. Kayaking is such a fun way to explore. We were able to get into the shallow areas and see the flora and fauna of the coast up close.
After kayaking and having to beg the kids to leave the gorgeous beach, we enjoyed a fabulous lunch learning, cooking and eating at Restaurant Sódemar.
A must when visiting Roses is a trip to the fish auction in Roses Harbour. Around 4:30pm, the fishing boats start to arrive. You can watch the fisherman haul in their catch and cart it off to be auctioned. They move those fish in fast, so make sure you’re on time!
Next we went into to watch the auction. It’s interesting to watch the fish move along the conveyer belt as merchants bid on the fish. We finished off our tour seeing some of the largest lobsters EVER. The kids and adults alike enjoyed learning about the local tradition. If you’re interested in a tour, contact the tourism office to schedule a tour.
A visit to Coll de Roses wine museum finished up our grand Costa Brava escapade. The grounds are gorgeous, the wine delicious and the museum is very well done. We learned about the history of wine and grafting of the grapevine roots. The wine we tasted was fantastic. If I hadn’t had my limit at lunch, I would have loved to sample more.
We can’t wait to return for the Costa Brava wine route tour!
Look below to see a quick video on things to do in Costa Brava.
Can’t see the video? Click HERE
The kids made a video to share their experience in Costa Brava. Click HERE to see their video as well.
Have you been to the Costa Brava area of Spain? Share with us your favorite places to visit.