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  • Costa Brava to Costa Blanca

    Costa Brava

    Costa Blanca

    Mas Lazuli

    Mas Lazuli

    Mas Lazuli

    Hostal de la Gavina

    Hostal de la Gavina

    Hostal de la Gavina

    Hostal de la Gavina

    Hostal de la Gavina

    Hotel Estela

    Hotel Estela

    Hotel Estela

    Hotel Estela

    Hospes Palau de la Mar

    Hospes Palau de la Mar

    Hospes Palau de la Mar

    La Posada del Mar

    La Posada del Mar

    La Posada del Mar

    Costa Brava to Costa Blanca

    Fly-drive - 12 nights/ 13 days
    Travel down Spain’s Eastern Coast on your way from the Costa Brava to the Costa Blanca. Begin in Catalonia, amongst verdant hills, fishing villages, and historic buildings, before beginning your drive south. Stop off on the beautiful beaches of S’Agaró’s peninsula, in the lively atmospheric town of Sitges on the Costa Dorada, and in artistic Valencia on the Orange Blossom Coast. Finally, spend three nights in Dénia, between the Natural parks and the blue sea of the Costa Blanca.

    This luxury touring holiday takes you along some of Spain’s most beautiful coastlines. Dipping in and out of resorts and cities popular with a-list stars since the 19th century, you pass from one artistic haven to the next, enjoying the quaint villages, bustling cities, and peaceful beaches as you go. Begin in the small village of Pau, just outside Figueres, at the Mas Lazuli. Indulge in the produce of the hotel’s vineyards, and explore the smaller coastal villages that give the Emporda region its picturesque reputation. Then, move on to the Hostal de la Gavina in S’Agaro, a fairly recent development that attracts the crème de la crème of fashionable movie stars. Enjoy the high quality luxury service and the phenomenal seaside position before exploring Spain’s most beautiful town and the colourful landscape around you. The third stop on this tour is the Hotel Estela in Sitges, though you may want to stop off en route in Barcelona. This art hotel is wholly unique, with individuality stamped across every bedroom. On the Costa Dorada, explore Sitges’ three main museums to shed light on this cultural and artistic city, before heading back north for a few hours in dynamic fast-paced Barcelona. Continue south for your fourth stop, and spend two nights in the Palau de la Mar in Valencia. Home to the Holy Grail, a 13th century Cathedral, and a vast ultra-modern City of Culture and Science, Valencia seamlessly blends its opulent history with the most recent architectural and technological developments. Your hotel, with a traditional urban façade and chic, minimalist interior design, does the same. Your final stop on this tour of Eastern Spain is in Denia, at La Posada del Mar. This quirky hotel invokes a more traditional Spanish feel, with signature furnishings and pride of place on Denia’s portside. With a crowning castle and remaining evidence of its Arabic past, Denia offers a valuable insight into the history of the Costa Blanca, and is the perfect place to end this tour. On your final day, head west to Alicante airport for your return flight to the UK.
    Click here to download a pdf with details about this touring holiday.

    Prices from £2,270 per person based on two people sharing.

    What's included:
    • Scheduled flights from London to Barcelona, and Alicante to London
    • Type A car-hire for duration of holiday
    • Accommodation with bed and breakfast at the following hotels, based on two people sharing a standard double room:
    • Two nights at the Mas Lazuli near Figueres
    • Three nights at the Hostal de la Gavina in S’Agaró
    • Two nights at the Hotel Estela in Sitges
    • Two nights at the Palau de la Mar in Valencia
    • Three nights at the Posada del Mar in Dénia

    Click the tabs above to view our suggested day-by-day touring itinerary and to find out more about the hotels featured.
    Click here to find out more about how our touring holidays work.

    Costa Brava to Costa Blanca


    Day-by-Day Itinerary

    DAY ONE: Arrive in Barcelona and drive northeast to Figueres for your first two nights
    After arriving in Barcelona and collecting your hire car, drive north east for just under two hours, through Girona and Figueres to the Mas Lazuli near the small village of Pau. This hotel was once an 11th Century medieval friary, and has retained some of its most beautiful original features.

    DAY TWO: Figueres
    During your two-night stay, use your hire car to explore the Emporda region. Though small, the village of Pau is the ideal place to sample some of the region’s finest produce, particularly in the wine estate owned by your hotel. The Romanesque medieval Monasterio de Sant Pere de Rodes is just a short drive away on a mountaintop. Its tall brooding towers and cavernous halls have a unique ambience. The fishing town of Cadaques, popular with artists such as Picasso and Dali, is on the eastern coast, and Roses, perfect for shopping and dining excursions, is to the south. Both of these towns offer wonderful golden sandy beaches, boat trips, and other watersports for the active visitor, as well as the typically Spanish seaside feel. To explore Spain’s natural landscape, we would recommend walking or cycling through the L’Albera Natural Park or the Natural Park of El Cap de Creus, the first maritime-terrestrial park in the country, to the monastery at its centre. The combination of sea, rocks, and verdant land ensures that these areas are teeming with land- and bird-life. In Figueres, part of the famous Dali Triangle, stands the inspiring Dali Museum, a vast pink palace with egg-shaped battlements and a huge glass globe. While in this artistic city, take the time to wander down La Rambla, the central avenue in Figueres that links the charming old quarter to the more modern areas. The street is lined by buildings of eclectic architecture, with styles including baroque, neoclassical, modernist, and rationalist all existing beside one another. After a busy day exploring the nearby towns, or a relaxing day enjoying the peaceful Emporda environment, dine in the Mas Lazuli’s restaurant and watch the chef’s prepare your food in the open kitchen. Alternatively, eat outside with a canopy of atmospheric lanterns.

    DAY THREE: Drive back south to S’Agaro and spend three nights

    An hour and a quarter’s drive south brings you to S’Agaró, home of the Hostal de la Gavina, your host for the next three nights. Emerging from the lush greenery of the town, the hotel has a traditional white-washed exterior. This elegant seaside villa offers guests a taste of traditional, rustic Spain, with ornate and colourful bedrooms with luxurious furnishings, and two dining courtyards, one beside the sea, and one with bright ceramic tiles and wrought iron chairs and tables. A favourite with stars such as John Wayne, Elizabeth Taylor, and Rock Hudson, the Hostal de la Gavina is situated within the garden walls of a Catalan private estate built at the beginning of the 20th century that started the development of the town. With direct access to the Sant Pol Beach, and close to both the S’Agaró coastal path and the wild Sa Conca Beach, your stay at the Hostal is the perfect opportunity for relaxing in the sun.

    Spend days four and five exploring the local area. The main beach is long and golden, with coves and rocky areas further along the coast; watersports and diving experiences are available with the local businesses. The town of S’Agaro, though small and elegant, has a town centre that offers excellent boutique shopping opportunities and a variety of gastronomic choices. The next town along is the larger, more cosmopolitan Platja d’Aro, which has a peaceful mediaeval old town and the Castell d’Aro at its centre. Nearby is Begur, a colourful hilltop town with stunning Cuban-style mansions, an austere castle, and excellent restaurants. Half an hour’s drive south along the coast will bring you to Tossa de Mar, believed to be the most beautiful walled town in Spain. The perfectly preserved walls and battlements stretch out onto a small peninsula, merging with the rocks, with blossoming forest trees rising up out of the streets, and crystal clear turquoise water lapping against the shore. Perhaps visit Tossa de Mar on your way to Sitges on Day Six if you run out of time while in S’Agaro. The city of Girona is within easy reach for a day’s excursion. For an unforgettable dining experience, drive 35 minutes northwest to the El Celler de Can Roca in Germans Sabat just outside Girona, reputedly the best restaurant in the world (this will need to be booked months in advance).

    DAY SIX: Continue south to Sitges on the Costa Dorada for two nights

    Continue driving south along the coast, from the Costa Brava to the Costa Dorada. Your next two nights will be spent at the Hotel Estela in Sitges, just outside of Barcelona. This unique Art Hotel has eclectic artwork and the colourful culture of Spain at its heart, with each room decorated in an individual way, and a stunning entrance hall with leafy interior balconies and a hanging centrepiece. A similarly infectious atmosphere is at the centre of Sitges’ culture, be it at one of the many film, theatre, or car festivals, the carnivals, or the year-round buzz of the town centre in the evenings.

    DAY SEVEN: Sitges
    During the day, enjoy the overarching serenity of the landscape, by taking a walk along the sea-front boulevard, or walking and cycling through the Garraf National park. The white-washed buildings of the town give the streets a very Spanish feel, while the art deco buildings add a modern touch. The 17 beaches in Sitges are recognised to be some of the best on the Costa Dorada, and indeed, on the coast of the Mediterranean. Several diverse museums are open to the public, from more traditional exhibits to the Cau Ferrat, the colourful former home of the Catalan writer Santiago Rusiñol, which has striking blue walls, and an abundance of intriguing ornaments and exhibits on every square metre. The Maricel Museum has a serene feel in its minimalist interior design, with the magnificent views from its seaside position acting as a backdrop through arched windows for its free-standing exhibits. The Maricel Palace has colourful courtyards and cloisters that open up onto the sea views. The Romantic Museum in the town centre is housed within an 18th century building, once one of Sitges’ grandest. If you have time, or perhaps before your arrival in Sitges, spend a few hours walking around the varied quarters of Barcelona, exploring the maze of narrow streets in the Barri Gotic, tracing the path of modernista architecture from the Sagrada Familia to Parc Güell in the Zona Alta, and enjoying the unrivalled seafood that is served in the restaurants on the six Blue Flag beaches. In the evenings, the Hostal de la Gavina offers a number of restaurant options serving delicious Mediterranean food: the Candlelight Restaurant in a pretty courtyard in the summer months, the poolside Garbí, the Blue Bar with sea views, the Gavina Terrace Bar, and the indoor Bar El Barco.

    DAY EIGHT: Continue further south and spend two nights in Valencia

    The fourth stop on this tour is further south, on the Orange Blossom Coast, in the third largest city in Spain, Valencia. The Palau de la Mar offers refined urban living in the centre of a lively, historic city. Its central location means that guests are granted easy access to Valencia’s main attractions.

    DAY NINE: Valencia
    The busy Puerto de Valencia is only a short walk away, with bars, restaurants, shops, and cafes set back from the dockyard. Valencia’s science and cultural park, designed by architect Santiago Calatrava, occupies the former riverbed of the Turia. The park has Europe’s largest aquarium, a curved 3D cinema, an interactive science museum, opera house, and botanical gardens. The city is, however, rich in more historic culture. You may wish to start this side of your exploration with the Torres de Serranos, one of the twelve gates that formed the original city walls. The small archway is protected by the two 14th century austere towers and their battlements. The imposing La Lonja hall was built in the late Gothic style, has a geometric but asymmetric façade, and is decorated with gargoyles and grotesques on the outside. Inside, the central hall is adorned with spiralling columns, iron chandeliers, and a cross-arched ceiling. For a taste of the far-distant past, visit the 13th Century cathedral, with its dramatic circular front window, and atmospheric interior. The octagonal tower is Valencia’s main landmark. Its unique appearance is most obvious in its three entrances, each built in a different style: one Romanesque, one Baroque, and one Gothic. One of the main attractions of this beautiful Cathedral is the agate cup that is kept inside, that some believe to be the Holy Grail. A building less well-known, however, is the Colegio del Patriarca, in which is housed a large painting of the Last Supper, which is, during certain services, lowered to reveal a mysterious painting of the crucifixion by an unknown German artist. This, combined with the ceiling covered in important frescoes, gives this church a very distinctive feel. Fine and modern art museums are in abundance, each housed within an intriguing contemporary or historic building, and enrich the experience of every visitor to Valencia. Return in the evenings to the ultra-modern chic Palau de la Mar for a few hours of intense relaxation in the spa, and then for the traditional Valencian flavours in the Ampar Restaurant.

    DAY TEN: Arrive in the Costa Blanca and spend three nights in Denia
    On the Costa Blanca, spend three nights at the Posada del Mar in Denia, a quirky building that has combined its original historic structure with the neutral tones of Spanish seaside design. This renovated 13th Century building stands overlooking the quay, at the foot of the hill on which stands Denia Castle. The restorative additions to the hotel, as well as the stone walls, cosy lounges, balconies, and twisting staircases compound the charms of the original features.

    Spend a morning in Denia exploring the castle and its towers, which now mostly hide behind the trees and shrubs that have grown on the rock. Keyhole archways and paths still remain to guide you around the complex, particularly the Portal de la Vila, which connects the castle to the town, and has done since Moorish reign. Inside, the castle houses Denia’s Archaeological Museum, though the main attraction of the castle may be the views from the top. Boat trips can be taken from the coast, or stay on land to appreciate the green parks in the town, including the Torrecremada Park, the Bosc de Diana Park, and Les Basetes Park. Denia’s main street is the Marques de Campo, which holds many of Denia’s best cafes and shops, and marks the point of the town’s expansion in the 20th century. The gnarled trees that grow on either side reach towards the centre and their branches and leaves shade the café chairs and tables from the sun. A wander through the Les Roques neighbourhood of Denia will introduce you to what is left of the Arabic city that once stood on this ground. Mementos can still be found in the remaining Arabic walls, keyhole archways, and the layout of the streets. The neighbourhood in the city centre has much more evidence of Denia’s more prosperous history, with grander 19th century houses, and the bourgeois building of the Ethnology Museum, which traces the town’s development. Outside Denia, the Montgó and Peñon de Ifach Natural Parks are perfect for active visitors, while the towns of Calpe, Moraira, and Benissa, among others, offer fantastic coves, cliffs, and fishing ports undiscovered by tourists. For a spectacular culinary treat, have dinner in the triple-Michelin-starred restaurant that sits 3km from your hotel.

    DAY THIRTEEN: Return to the UK from Alicante airport

    Drive southwest along the coast to Alicante airport where you drop off your hire car for your return flight to London from Alicante.

    Driving times for this touring holiday:
    Barcelona to Figueres: 1 hour 55 minutes
    Figueres to S’Agaro: 1 hour 20 minutes
    S’Agaro to Sitges: 1 hour 40 minutes
    Sitges to Valencia: 2 hours 55 minutes
    Valencia to Denia: 1 hour 15 minutes
    Denia to Alicante: 1 hour 10 minutes

    Click the 'Hotel Information' tab to find out more about the hotels featured in this touring itinerary.


    Costa Brava to Costa Blanca 17 Mar 16

    Hotel Information

    These are the luxury hotels that feature on this touring holiday of eastern Spain. Alternative hotels are available in some destinations - please contact us for full details.

    Mas Lazuli
    Near Figueres
    The Mas Lazuli is an exclusive four star hotel in Catalonia with Spa and Wellness facilities, just a short distance from picturesque towns such as Figueres, Girona, and Cadaques. A converted 11th Century friary and country house surrounded by palm trees, the Mas Lazuli proudly looks out across the vineyards and olive groves of the Emporda region of Spain. Situated amidst the landscape that inspired the Mannerist painters, the saltwater infinity pool acts as a focal point in the hotel grounds. Inside, the Reception, Spa, and Wellness Centre make a feature of the dramatic low arched friary ceiling and the rustic stone walls. The 7 suites and 9 rooms are light, airy, and refined, with an all-encompassing air of exclusivity. A neutral palette pervades, highlighting the soft tones of the original stone, and drawing attention to the splashes of colour in the signature pieces of modern art that adorn the walls. The restaurant’s chef, Jordi Dalmau, trained with Michelin-star chefs, and focuses his culinary imagination on adding innovative twists to Catalan dishes, without losing the heartiness that makes the regional cuisine so special. Dine inside the Mas Lazuli’s restaurant and watch the expert chefs at work in the open kitchen, or dine outside on the restaurant terrace, canopied by authentic wood and atmospheric lanterns that serve to frame the fantastic views. The Spa and Wellness Centre offer a number of unique health and beauty treatments, though guests can also enjoy the relaxing simplicity of massages and the Hammam. The olive groves and vineyards can be enjoyed up-close, not just from the comfort of your balcony, but on walks around the nearby countryside. By renting a bicycle from the hotel, or making the most of the hotel trips to Cadaques and the invigorating boat trips, guests can explore much more of the natural landscape around the beautiful Mas Lazuli. Use your hire car to travel a little further afield, perhaps continuing the modern art theme of the hotel by visiting the Dali museum in Figueres, or by driving south to Girona. Whatever activities you chose to enjoy on your stay at the Mas Lazuli, this luxury hotel provides a wonderfully relaxing base for your experience of the Spanish lifestyle.
    Find out more here.

    Hostal de la Gavina

    The five-star Hostal de La Gavina is a timeless and luxurious seaside villa with an air of exclusivity, located in a slightly elevated position overlooking the bay of Sant Pol on the Costa Brava. On the small peninsula it calls home, the hotel boasts glorious views over rugged cliffs, down to crystal-clear waters and off to the picturesque cove. Built in the early 1920s, the property exudes a style and elegance that is true to that era – and the region. This is thanks to the romantic vision of architect Rafael Masó i Valentí, who sought to maintain authentic Catalan style with similar architecture to the surrounding villas. Originally home to just 11 rooms, the structure has been added to over the years in the most sympathetic manner, and it is now home to 74 rooms and suites. Interiors harbour a distinctive design with traditional influences, with antiques, tapestries and fine fabrics standing out against white walls. Spacious guestrooms are individually furnished and feature historical pieces, whilst wooden or tiled floors ensure that rooms remain cool even in the heat of the summer. Rooms boast lovely views over the patio or out to sea, which can be enjoyed from the balcony of a Superior room. Meanwhile the incredibly luxurious suites offer grandness, opulence and an abundance of space. The dining experience of Hostal de La Gavina promises sumptuous Mediterranean flavours in a variety of romantic settings. An exclusive option is the glamorous and intimate Candlelight Restaurant, which spills out onto a pretty sunken courtyard in the summer months with live piano music to accompany your meal. For daytime bites there is also the Snack Bar El Barco and Garbi poolside restaurant, with plenty of tables on cool outdoor terraces. One of the highlights of Hostal de la Gavina is the lovely area surrounding the seawater pool, where guests can relax on sun loungers which overlook the nearby cove whilst being looked after by attentive staff. Meanwhile, the hotel’s luxury spa is a haven of relaxation, complete with a heated pool, Jacuzzi, hammam, sauna and Roman bath. Families are welcomed at Hostal de la Gavina, with a number of connecting rooms available and a kids’ club which runs in summer and is based in the tennis centre. If guests wish to venture outside the hotel, they can hire sun loungers and cabanas on the adjacent beach where they will also find the outstanding Taverna del Mar restaurant, or wander along the seafront path which passes picturesque villas and rocky coves on the way to another lovely stretch of sand. Hostal de la Gavina is an elegant hotel in a beautiful setting, where guests can enjoy a luxurious holiday on the Costa Brava.
    Find out more here.

    Hotel Estela

    The contemporary five star Hotel Estela, otherwise known as the Hotel Del Arte, has been designed with modern art and state-of-the-art furnishings in mind. Best-suited to art-lovers looking to explore this cultural area of Spain, the Hotel Estela offers an entirely unique art hotel setting for an intriguing and fulfilling city break. Embrace Spanish Art, or learn some of the skills for yourself, before venturing out to explore the artistic marks left on Sitges and Barcelona by famous designers such as Gaudi. The Hotel Estela is located on the waterfront, beside the Sitges marina and its beaches. This offers guests the chance to appreciate the artistry of the Spanish horizon inland, as well as across the sea. From the outside, the elegant building is unassuming, aside from the exceptional seafront position, with little extravagance beside the travertine marble sculpture which spells the hotel’s name, a bronze sculpture by Dali, and a pink marble sculpture by Atchugarry. Yet, the interior is interspersed with bright, lively artworks, and calming modern sculptures. Beside the main staircase and along the hotel’s corridors, guests can uncover more fascinating works by the likes of Dali, Subirachs, Josep Bofill, and Lorenzo Quinn. Rooms are individually decorated from floor to ceiling, with either glamorous monochromatic centrepieces, or colourful paintings that subtly hark back to a more traditional Spain. Art coexists with delicious cuisine in the Iris Gallery Restaurant, which serves seasonal, fresh Mediterranean food with a creative twist. In the summer months, guests can choose to either dine on the terrace or amidst the exhibitions of the dining room. The poolside and gardens are tranquil, with dynamic sculptures emerging from the manicured grass, allowing the sounds and views of the sea to come into their own. On top of this, the hotel offers Art Workshops which truly submerge guests in the culture of the hotel, Reiki relaxation, and Physiotherapeutic Massages which aim to revitalise guests after days exploring Sitges, Tarragona, and Barcelona. The unique atmosphere of this enchanting city hotel will attract guests with a keen eye for art, as well as those looking to explore cultural Spain, for long, revitalising city breaks.
    Find out more here.

    La Palau de la Mar
    The five-star Hotel Hospes Palau de la Mar is a luxurious property In the Eixample Noble of district of Valencia, poised between the city’s historic centre, modern area and the Turia Gardens. In this excellent location, the hotel occupies a terraced building that was once a 19th century palace – as is seen in the Romantic architecture. Step off the bustling streets and into a serene environment which has been totally revamped and revived with a contemporary design template, where fresh whites are complemented by coloured mood lighting. You can still taste the original grandeur of the building in the lobby thanks to the lofty ceilings, richly-embellished arched window frames and marble staircases. Into the guestrooms, the style continues in a similar vein, though the minimalist ambience is more comfortable than stark, with pristine white walls and bed linens offset by warmer tones in the wooden floor boards and mood lighting. Choose between spacious rooms and suites in the main building and around the interior garden, while family rooms benefit from extra living space. Some rooms have a small terrace, either within an internal atrium or looking out over the gardens. To satisfy your cravings after a day’s exploration, you can seek Ampar Restaurant for traditional recipes that exploit local produce and seafood, as well as a gourmet sampling menu of Mediterranean and Valencian flavours. The cosmopolitan Ampar Lounge and Cocktail Bar might be more suitable for light daytime bites and alcoholic beverages. For a final touch of indulgence, Bodyna Spa has two zones: the ground floor wellness area with a small gym, hot tub, sauna and a divine Turkish bath, and a separate treatment area. Hotel Hospes Palau de la Mar is a stylish and contemporary centre from which to base your exploration of Valencia, perfectly located for a luxury short break and only ten minutes’ drive from Joaquin Sorolla train station.
    Find out more here.

    La Posada del Mar
    La Posada del Mar is a four star, traditionally styled hotel in the port-town of Denia about one hour’s drive from Alicante. This luxury hotel can be found just a few minutes’ walk from a sandy beach and overlooks Denia's marina. The boutique hotel’s white washed exterior and romantic wrought iron balconies give a timeless and attractive appearance whilst the golden cliffs behind are crowned with the historic castellations and turrets of Denia’s 11th Century fortress. Despite the hotel’s 19th Century styled exterior, the oldest parts of La Posada del Mar actually date back to the 13th Century and can be found in communal areas of the hotel, typified by their exposed stone archways and golden stone bricks. Arranged over four floors, La Posada del Mar’s 25 rooms and suites are decorated in a simple yet luxurious style with large terracotta floor tiles, white bed linens and key pieces of dark wooden furniture. An air of romantic seclusion is created in some rooms with the inclusion of a four poster bed with draped, pale muslin. All rooms benefit from either a balcony or terrace where guests can relax on loungers with views of the marina, sea or surrounding town. The restaurant is styled in a contemporary fashion with comfortable wicker armchairs, exposed stone work and Moroccan inspired lighting, the inclusion of a porthole is a quirky and fun nod to the numerous ships hauled at the port. The menu offers a traditional choice of dishes and uses fresh seafood from Denia’s own fish market, all accompanied by a wide range of wines from the hotel’s well-stocked cellar. La Posada del Mar is ideally placed for exploring Denia, with its great fortress and marina, or wandering to its sandy beach. It is possible to visit Alicante and other towns along the Costa Blanca by tram, or to explore the national parks and surrounding countryside along eastern Spain’s coastline by car.
    Find out more here.

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