Beautiful Begur is where you will find some of the best beaches and coves that the Costa Brava has to offer. Imagine crystalline waters, embraced by verdant green pines, that dig their roots into the cliff face. Their aroma is seductive, as you explore the spectacular surroundings of this chichi Catalan town. Cast your eyes over the sparkling Mediterranean sea, to take in the view of the Medes Islands, where the diving and snorkelling are superb.
Majestic medieval castle
Standing proudly guarding the town is the majestic medieval castle of Begur, which was originally mentioned in 11th century documentation. It suffered from the ravages of different wars, but restoration work was carried out in the 20th century.
Begur beaches and coves
The beaches and coves of Begur were voted in at position no. 3 in a Skyscanner survey for the best beaches in all of Spain. The pristine water that laps up against the shoreline, in a magical Mediterranean landscape, where the rocks and pine trees make their way down to the sea, and fishermen’s houses are dotted here and there. Sa Riera is the biggest beach and a fishing village within its own right, but be sure not to miss out on the wonderful coves of Sa Tuna and Aiguablava.
The Guardian & Telegraph newspapers also cast their votes
Begur gets the vote of two of the UK’s most important newspapers – the Telegraph and the Guardian. The Telegraph rates Begur as one of the Costa Brava’s top 10 attractions, while the Guardian describes it as having: “a spread of fantastic restaurants and boutique hotels offering a stylish Spanish beach holiday.”
Old quarter & architecture
The old quarter is charming with lots of interesting architecture and monuments. You can feel an old world charm there, enjoy picturesque views and some upmarket shopping. Narrow, winding cobblestone streets take you by inviting restaurants as the history story unwinds before you. Before exploring the old town, do be aware that it can be quite steep in parts. A special type of architecture is very much part of the character of Begur, that has links to Cuba. You can see many examples of this around the town.
Don’t miss some mojito induced merriment
Some of the wonderful colour and architecture that is part of the beauty of Begur today is because Cuba left its marks on this Catalan town. In the 19th century around 25% of the residents left to try to make their fortunes in the Americas. Many of the Begurencs (people from Begur) opened tobacco factories in Cuba. Later many returned to their hometown having made their fortunes and built delightful colonial style mansions, that add to the chichi character of Begur today.
The historical links with Cuba are celebrated in September during the Fira d’Indians – a fiesta that transforms the town into a little corner of Havana, for three days. Many of the colonial style, ostentatious mansions open their doors to the revellers and become informal bars during the fiesta. People dress up in white, while a range of activities take place to celebrate the history and the Cuban cultural connection. Of course there’s havaneres singing and plenty of partying, with mojito induced merriment, sometimes into the wee hours …In 2016 the dates for the Fira D’Indians are 2nd to 4th September.
Romantic coastal path walks
There’s a selection of coastal path walks to take from Begur, that are romantic with spectacular views. These paths were historically used by custom officers on the look out for tobacco smugglers, as well as sailors and fishermen.
Colonial-style boutique hotel – Hotel Restaurant Aiguaclara
To fully embrace the spirit of the town and its links with Cuba, why not stay in the highly rated colonial-style boutique hotel, Hotel Restaurant Aiguaclara. Set up in 2000 by a couple from Barcelona, Clara and Joan, the hotel is a lovingly restored mansion, originally built in 1866. The end result is a stylish, charming boutique hotel in a great location, where guests feel like they are visiting friends in their home. It is also home to one of Begur’s best restaurants, that perfectly balances Catalan cuisine with imagination and creativity.
The hotel and restaurant have plenty of charms, including an endearing quirkiness, but even so, it I were to choose only one ingredient that makes it the star of Begur… it would be the fact that everything is Fet Amb Love – Made With Love!
Jackie de Burca is Co-owner of Catalonia Valencia.