The Other Catalonia: Begur
A short drive from Barcelona, Begur, Spain, is a summertime secret on the Mediterranean.
To sophisticated American travelers, Spain’s northeastern Costa Brava may seem too touristy to consider. But in and around Begur, about an hour and a half north of the Barcelona airport, is where smart Barcelonans have vacationed for generations. The quaint coastal town is crowned by hilltop ruins of a 16th-century castle that overlooks the central Plaça de la Vila, pedestrian-only streets, secluded coves along the Mediterranean Sea, and Cuban colonial mansions built by local Begurencs who, in the 19th century, left town for Havana and returned after making small fortunes. There are a few hotels in Begur’s medieval center and some options outside of town, but villa rentals are the way to go. The best months to visit are May, June, July, and September to avoid crowds.