The Costa Brava is Spain's "wild coast" – and even after seven decades as one of the country’s most popular travel destinations, it still deserves its name. Here seaside resorts are interspersed with rocky shorelines and thick forest, and sleepy fishing villages alternate with medieval hilltop towns and Roman ruins. The area's famous for its celebrity holidaymakers, from Elizabeth Taylor to Orson Welles, who came in glamorous droves to enjoy the mild weather, deep blue seas, wine and seafood delights of the Catalonian coast.
Visit the medieval town of Giron, where the white truncated tower of the Sant Feliu church overlooks fortifications preserved since the fourteenth century. Stroll through Santa Clotilde Gardens in Lloret de Mar, where two gigantic mermaid statues guard the tree-lined steps up from the sea. Touch down in Figueres, home of the surrealist artist Salvador Dalí, to enjoy the weirdness of the Dalí Theatre, an egg-topped toytown fortress which houses an extensive collection of the artist's works and the crypt containing his remains. For a look at some rather more classical architecture, you can't do better than the Empúries ruins, a Greco-Roman town near L'Escala where you can walk amidst Roman mosaics and walls dating back to the fifth century BC. In fact, the only problem you'll have to address is how to carve out a bit of beach time among all the sightseeing: after all, sun, sea and sand are the true essence of a Costa Brava holiday!