Llafranc- One of Spain’s best kept secrets

Llafranc beach

This summer has been very special because not only we got to drool over the dazzling Eiffel tower at night but also got to be a beach bum to our heart’s content. This little piece of heaven we are talking about is tucked along Costa Brava, the wild coasts of Spain. About 2 hours drive from Barcelona and you are thrown in front of a bed of blue and velvety waters. The place is called Llafranc, a quaint little Mediterranean town atop rocky hills.

From the winding roads atop you can have a gluttonous view of the crystal like water beneath. Now, this sounds like a typical coastal town but trust me Costa Brava is special for so many reasons.

One, the beaches are less crowded (some of them almost look abandoned. So you can have the whole beach by yourself. Second, it’s not very far from the hustle bustle of Barcelona and yet looks like a destination far away from the chaos of the city life. Third, there are innumerable water sports options  which do not cost you much.

Llafranc beach

However, choose any destination in Costa Brava, three things you will find common there; deep blue sea, lip smacking food and friendly locals. We went to two places in Costa Brava- Begur and Palafrugell. Llafranc is a part of the municipality of Palafrugell.

Both Begur and Palafrugell are within 20-25 minutes distance (by car) from one another.

To begin with, we hired a car in Barcelona and took AP-7 highway to reach this paradise. There is another more scenic highway (C-32) which ends in Blanes, another scenic coastal town in Costa Brava and from there one has to take AP-7 again. Overall, both the roads are amazingly great. There are toll points but the money you spend there is absolutely nothing (about 7-8 euro one way).

The one we took led us through a few Spanish villages with sprawling wheat fields. The view was just amazing. Plus, I have a thing for neatly rolled hay left to dry in the sun. Reminds me of the saying, make your hay while the sun shines.

On reaching Palafrugell, we headed straight to Llafranc which was just about 5 kilometres away. We parked the car in a free parking lot atop the hill and went straight to the inviting sea. There were not many people at the beach but we saw a few families sun bathing.

Remember, in Spain, most of the beaches are nude beaches and people do not mind skin show. This one was not a nude one but people felt free to think otherwise. So if you have a problem with nudity, this is probably not your kind of place. But we would suggest you to mind your own fun. Having said that, we absolutely loved the crowd and the warm water. May be it was our lucky day as the sea was calm and less windy.

Llafranc beach houses

Unfortunately, we missed the boat excursion to the coves nearby as the boat leaves at 11 AM and the evening one doesn’t leave unless there’s a large group. Therefore, we decided to hire a speedboat for about 80 euro which came with a guide as well.

This was probably the best thing to do as the guide lets you ride the road on the way back and takes you to the other nearby beaches. He clicks your pictures and lets you swim wherever you want. Our guide, Adrian, was a Catalan young man spending his summer break in his hometown while doing what he loves to do the most. Otherwise, he is a student in Barcelona university.  His jolly nature only reflected what the Mediterranean sun does to your mood. if you are a pro, you can hire a boat, stock up food & drink and set out on your little sea excursion.

Another great option is kayaking which is cheaper and a more adventurous thing to do. Just go to the beach and you will see yellow kayaks stacked together and a very friendly looking gentleman waiting to guide you. Exactly, from there, you can book a speed boat or a scuba diving trip.

View from the boat ride at LLafranc

Apart from these activities, you got to try Catalan food in Costa Brava. The prices are medium ranged as per European standards but a hungry stomach knows nothing. The verdict is- the food is worth your money, no matter how much it costs. Like any other beaches in the world, this one at Llafranc is strewn with roadside eateries but we strayed away from the beach and found a cute little restaurant in one of the narrow passages inside the town.

There we tried Sangria, the ‘must-try’ Spanish drink. This was little hard for me and I almost choked on the first trip. Funny thing is, the amount of Sangria they give you for one person is enough to make you drown (okay, I am exaggerating). About the food, we tried shallot chicken served with potato chips and fried pork fillets.

Not sure, we liked the food just because we were hungry or they were really mouth watering. Any how, the food tasted divine. Sadly, we didn’t try any sea food because we didn’t want to experiment at this point of time. Because when you are hungry you settle for the easiest bet. Don’t you?

Catalan food- shallot chicken and Spanish drink Sangria

Now dragging ourselves from the beach, we went to Begur which was another pretty little town with sandy beaches and innumerable eateries. There is a city center where you can shop till you drop for souvenirs, beach wear and other stuff.

One ‘must visit place’ is the Botanical garden in Palafrugell. One can hike up to the garden and get a spectacular view of the sea and this is where they host summer concerts and festivals. El Golfet beach near Palafrugell is the place where you can witness a fisherman’s life from a close proximity as well as private bungalows which will blow your mind away. This little beach is strewn with innumerable fishing boats and the fisherman village is just nearby.

view from the top

The best way to wrap up a perfect day in Costa Brava is definitely a visit to one of the sunflower fields in nearby villages but for that you have ask around. We didn’t know the name of the villages and the sun was already hanging loose. Therefore, we decided to skip the sunflower fields for this time. But if this life permits, we will definitely go back to whatever we left unfinished.

Here are few useful links-

1. More information on Llafranc

2. Llafranc tourist services

3. Things to do in Llafranc


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