Tossa de Mar is a pretty town with cobbled streets, constructed around a magnificent ancient castle, located in the Spanish region of Catalonia on the Costa Brava. The beautiful mountainous hinterland with lush green valleys, gorges and natural springs creates a stunning backdrop. There is also a bustling beach life in this attractive resort which appeals to couples and families alike.
An attractive part of this historic town is the Villa Vella (old quarter) with its ancient defensive walls and towers still intact.
Situated 95 kilometres north of Barcelona and 100 kilometres south of the French border, the resort is approximately 40 minutes drive from the very well served airport at Girona, and around 1 hour 30 minutes by car from the major international airport in the Barcelona suburb of El Prat.
History Medieval Tossa dates back to the year 966; in 1187 the castle was built on the headland to defend the town. Today the castle is only invaded by tourists, who delight in the sense of history and wonderful views to be had from this, the highest point of the town.
The walled enclosure, built in the 12th and 14th centuries has been preserved along with the original towers, which have become the emblem of Tossa de Mar. The enclosure, accessed via an arched portal, is the only surviving example of a fortified medieval town on the whole of the Catalan coast. It’s a delightful labyrinth of medieval alleys peppered with shops, restaurants and ancient houses .
Beaches The coastline is a 14-kilometre stretch of sandy beaches and small sheltered coves. The main beaches around the town are very well served by facilities such as showers, sun beds, kiosks, restaurants, bars, lifeguards, first aid, playgrounds and various land and water sports.
Leisure & Recreation There is a full range of water sports to be enjoyed in the area; the crystal clear waters and nearby islands are a magnet for scuba divers, snorkelers (and those who prefer underwater discovery from the safety of a glass bottomed boat!).
The many traffic free paths along the coast are attractive to walkers and joggers, plus cycle hire is available. Close to the town are riding stables, go-karting and tennis.
Golf There are several good golf courses within one hour’s drive of Tossa de Mar. Remember to book your tee time in advance, as turning up without a reservation often leads to disappointment. You may well be asked for evidence of handicap.
Excursions The Sa Riera park is a man-made nature reserve consisting of a Mediterranean forest, river and lake with an underground watering system all designed to encourage interest in and a wealth and diversity of plant and animal life.
The Massif of Cadiretes is a vast natural reserve, which extends over most of the wider area of Tossa between the plain of La Selva and the coast. This wild, mountainous territory is intersected by riverbeds, lush valleys and hollows, and has a special ecosystem born out of the Mediterranean climate. The result is a rich variety of flora and fauna that thrive including many rare species that have been found along the six kilometres of protected coastline.
Eating out Tossa del Mar has many restaurants and eateries. Pizza is very popular and there are some good pizzerias in town. Look out for the ones that bake in a wood oven (horno de lena) for extra good flavour.
Seafood is also popular here, and the choice is extensive. You might like to try the Restaurant Bahia, serving fresh daily fish choice and many other excellent Spanish dishes, located on the Passeig del Mar.
Cuisine The gastronomy of Catalonia is rich and varied. Principally it is the typical Mediterranean diet of fish and seafood with fresh vegetables, olives and olive oil rice and pasta.
We recommend that visitors try some traditional Catalan dishes whilst on holiday, especially delicious are Escudella I Carn D'olla, vegetable broth with pork, veal and chicken. Pa Amb Tomàquet, simply rustic bread, can be toasted, rubbed with tomato pulp and dressed with oil and salt; these delcious breakfast can also be served with ham, sausage or tortilla.
Coca is a very thin dough baked with onions, peppers and other vegetables served with and meats, or fish (especially sardines).
Climate Tossa de Mar enjoys a mild climate throughout the year. Sunshine prevails on most days. However the visitor should be prepared for some precipitation especially during the winter months.
The best holiday resort in Costa Brava? It certainly would be if it had a sandy beach and it might be without it. Has an upmarket and historic feel whilst remaining reasonably priced.
Costa Brava reviews
Beautiful coastline and stunning beaches with crystal clear water. Beaches are small though and can be over crowded. Resorts are beautiful with a spanish feel and none of the 'egg-and-bacon' bars that crowd some other spanish resorts popular with brits.
Popular with visitors from UK, France, Russia and Sweden.
Wonderful little city. Lots of tourists, but not as many as Lloret de Mar, and has a less "party" feel to it. This would be a city ideal for family vacations.
There are lots of activities offered for touristic purposes, and lots of option for relaxation.
In the last week of June, there was a farmer's market set up right on the beach, followed by San Juan celebration.
Costa Brava reviews
Travelling around the cities using the bus is very cheap and convenient. I would highly recommend visit other cities like Lloret de Mar (and the botanical gardens there).