SPAIN


Giverola, Costa Brava, Spain 2015

It was the autumn holiday again and this time we decided to fly to Girona and spend a week at the coast of Costa Brava. Girona airport is located only about 30km from the coastal line and the nearest cities such as Lloret de Mar or Tossa de Mar can be reached by a shuttle bus in 30 minutes.
We wanted to stay away from cities like Lloret de Mar and spend our free time closer to the nature. One of our choices was Camping Cala Llevadó but at the end we decided to book an apartment at Giverola Resort.

Anything described as “Resort” would normally be removed from my list immediately but this Resort is really extraordinary. It is located on the spectacular Cala Giverola cove in a nature reserve on the most beautiful section of the Costa Brava. From the land it is surrounded by forests and mountains of the Cadiretes Massif (Massís de l’Ardenya, also known as Massís de Cadiretes). The Resort was built on hills surrounding the Cala Giverola cove in such a way that it is in harmony with nature. The picturesque village of Tossa de Mar is just 5 km away and Barcelona is also close enough for a day trip.

The location of the Resort, the surrounding nature and the Resort itself offer so many different activities that the holiday just have to be good !

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View from our terrace over the Giverola bay

We booked the cheapest apartment at the Resort and there was a note “Mountain View” on our booking so we were not expecting any spectacular views from our balcony… However, to my surprise, the balcony was oriented towards Cala Giverola cove and the view was fantastic !

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Panoramic view over the Giverola Resort

There is of course a price for the balcony view 🙂 There are 220 stairs from the apartment to the beach…
I didn’t mind really … This kind of exercise can only do you good. The beach is divided into 2 parts: main sandy beach in front of the Resort and smaller stony beach located further to the east.
The seabed is mainly rocky which makes it perfect for snorkeling. I have spent a lot of time snorkeling at Giverola and I have even seen a green octopus not far from the shore.
More information about Cala Giverola beach can be found here: Giverola Giverola beach – Info.

There was a full weekly program at the Resort for kids and adults: variety of sport acivities, competitions, quiz, foam party etc.. the list is endless. Every evening there was a disco or cinema for kids and a show at the main stage (flamenco dance, guitar concert, acrobatics, magician etc.)

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Foam Party for kids at Giverola Resort

The nearest city Tossa de Mar can be reached either by shuttle bus from the Resort or by a boat with crystal floors departing from the beach www.fondocristal.com.
On the second day we took the shuttle bus and went to Tossa de Mar to do some sightseeing and buy groceries for the next 2 days. The supermarket at the Resort doesn’t have much to offer… Our favorite shop was Centre Comercial Gerpal located at the corner Av. de la Costa Brava and Av. Vila de Blanes. The shop is located not far from the main bus station where the shuttle bus to Giverola departs.
We have visited the old town of Tossa, the medieval castle and then went to check the Mar Menuda Beach which claim to be one of the best diving sites at Costa Brava. The good thing about this place is, that you don’t need a boat access this area. You can have a great diving or snorkeling just by entering the sea from the shore. I have visited this beach at least 3 times during our stay beacause it is really great for snorkeling. This is the only place along the coast where my snorkeling was better then at Cala Giverola beach. This beach is a must !

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Vila Vella (Old Town), Tossa de Mar

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View from the Tossa de Mar castle towards the Mar Menuda Beach

Capturing the sunrise at Cala Giverola was pretty easy at this time of the year because the sunrise starts shortly before 8am. This is relatively “late” so there was no need to wake up early… Everyday I sat on the balcony and spent some time enjoying the moment of sunrise with the view of the cove and hills surrounding the bay.
On the third day of our stay we climbed the hills located on the opposite side of our apartment. There was a nice view over the Resort and surrounding area. On the other side of the hill there are steep stairs leading to Platja Futadera. There was nobody on this beach and I suppose that this beach is never crowdy, even during the season. It is probably a good beach if you want to get away from the crowds at Giverola beach. I didn’t swim there so I don’t know how good it is for snorkeling.

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Shortly before sunrise at Giverola

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View over Giverola from the hill

There are several hiking/walking trails in the area. Routes an itineraries can be found at Tossa de Mar website http://www.infotossa.com.
We did the coastal part of the Cala Pola Route which starts in Cala Pola, runs over the cliffs along the shore, through Cala Bona and finishes at Platja Mar Menuda in Tossa de Mar. It is a relatively easy, short route but caution should be taken because the path leads sometimes very close to the cliff edge.

Cala Pola Route

Cala Pola route – Elevation Chart

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Natural sandy beach Cala Pola

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Cala Pola route

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Cala Pola route

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Cliffs at the Cala Pola route

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View over Mar Menuda and Tossa de Mar

One day we decided to rent a pedal boat at Giverola and go along the shore towards Tossa de Mar with the idea of finding some good snorkeling spots on the way and explore all the caves where. Fondo Cristal boats stops also at these caves but you don’t have the possibility to jump off the boat and do some snorkeling there. Looking through the glass floor at some fishes doesn’t sound like fun for me…
After visiting all the caves we stopped at Cala Bona to for snorkeling but I wasn’t impressed and we continued pedaling in direction Tossa de Mar.
Shortly before Mar Menuda we discovered a very small, stony beach which had enough space for parking our pedal boat. We maneuvered through the rocks, got to the beach and pulled to boat away from the water. It turned out that this place was an amazing place for snorkeling. The water was crystal clear with rich and diversified ecosystem. It was like being in a huge aquarium !.
We came back to Giverola after 3 hours and the rescue team already started worrying about us because we rented the boat for 1 hour only…

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Small beach near Mar Menuda

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Snorkeling near Mar Menuda

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Snorkeling near Mar Menuda

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Our boys playing aliens

On Saturday, two day before our departure, we visited the yearly Medieval Fair in Tossa de Mar. With the castle in the background and numerous stalls set up around the castle it really felt like being on a journey back in time. I was reading “The Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follet at that time, a novel set in the middle of the 12th century in England, so the experience of being at a medieval market was almost real…
We finished the day with a delicious Fideuà – Catalan noodle paella with seafood at our favorite restaurant in Tossa (Restaurant Luis, Carrer la Guàrdia 22) and ice cream at a shop located just across the restaurant.

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Fideuà – Catalan noodle paella with seafood

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Tossa de Mar Castle during the Medieval Fair

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Delicious sausages at the Medieval Fair

At the end I just want express my feelings about tourists visiting Spain almost every year (or people who go to Spain frequently).
Why the hell don’t these ignorants learn some basic spanish ????
I have seen many people who cannot even say Un bocadillo, por favor (A sandwich please). Is it that difficult to learn ?? Why are people so ignorant and don’t care ???
I have learned just enough Spanish to communicate with people and I must say that it makes a huge difference. It may not always be correct what I say, but I try and that counts a lot. I was really received well by locals and they were very helpful and chatty.
Respect people and you will be respected as well!

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Our hungry neighbour at the Resort

Giverola map

Map of Giverola area showing the green marked path Cala Pola leading to Tossa de Mar

LINKS:
www.giverola-resort.com – Giverola Resort website
www.campingpola.es – Camping Cala Pola
www.calallevado.com – Camping Cala Llevadó
www.infotossa.com – Tourist Information: Tossa de Mar
www.lloretdemar.org – Tourist Information: Lloret de Mar
www.girona-tourist-guide.com – Girona Tourist Information
www.mapaidec.icgc.cat – Very useful topographic map of Catalunya
www.idee.es – Topo Map of Spain
maps.peterrobins.co.uk – Map of Spain by Peter Robins
www.restaurantpizzerialluis.com – Restaurant Luis in Tossa de Mar

Information about diving and snorkeling sites near Tossa de Mar:
www.lloretdiving.com – Diving sites near Lloret de Mar
www.4alldivers.com – Info about Roca Muladera
www.tossasub.com – Information about diving sites
www.canyelles-diving.com – Information about diving sites
www.parcsnaturals.gencat.cat – Information about diving sites at Illes Medes
www.elreidelmar.com – Diving sites near Illes Medes


Catalunya, Spain 2010

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