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Tossa de Mar Spain – A Romantic Seaside Destination

Tossa de Mar Spain – A Romantic Seaside Destination

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Tossa De Mar Spain is one of those places that instantly makes you relax, take a deep breath, and realize that the best things in life are savored, slowly. And hopefully with someone special to enjoy the day, walking hand in hand taking in the sights, smelling the sea, and tasting regional cuisine.

If you do, you will arrive at sights like this:

Tossa De Mar Castle

Tossa De Mar Castle from the Ferry

Where is Tossa de Mar?

Tossa de Mar is situated on the Costa Brava, in the Catalonia region of northeastern Spain. It is located approximately 103 kilometers (64 miles) northeast of Barcelona and 100 kilometers (62 miles) south of the French border.

A Brief History of Tossa de Mar, Spain

Tossa de Mar has a rich history that dates back to ancient times. The town was originally settled by the Iberians and later became a Roman municipality known as Turissa.

Over the centuries, it has been influenced by various civilizations, including the Visigoths and Moors. The town’s medieval origins are reflected in the Vila Vella.

It is the only remaining fortified medieval town on the Catalan coast, which served as a defensive structure against pirates and other invaders.

Exploring Beautiful Tossa de Mar

Tossa Beach

Playa Grande (platja gran) Beach seen through the ancient city walls

The water in Costa Brava is remarkably blue and crystal clear. There are wooded paths along the shore and woods for hiking, white sandy beaches, and a medieval castle to explore.

As we walked through the town, we were immediately drawn to the walled city. The medieval walled town (called the Vila vella) dates back to the 12th century and is a great place to start exploring.

Crossing through the arched entry, it’s one of those places where everywhere you look is like a postcard.

Cobbled Narrow Tossa De Mar Streets

Tossa De Mar’s cobbled narrow streets

Where to Eat in Tossa de Mar

There are quite a few restaurants in town where you can eat a lunch of fresh seafood with a view of the water and enjoy a glass of sparkling cava.

Restaurant Victoria: Specializes in e regional Catalan delicacies. We fell in love with their version of the dish Cim I Tomba (more about that dish below).

Restaurant Can Pini: Known for its fresh seafood and traditional Catalan dishes, this family-run restaurant offers a cozy atmosphere and a menu featuring local specialties.

Sa Barca: Offering a delightful selection of Mediterranean and Spanish cuisine, Sa Barca provides a scenic waterfront dining experience with a focus on fresh seafood and local flavors.

Restaurant Can Carlus: This charming eatery serves a mix of Catalan and Spanish dishes, including tapas, seafood, and grilled meats, in a welcoming and relaxed setting.

Restaurant La Lluna: With its focus on contemporary Catalan cuisine, La Lluna presents a menu that highlights local ingredients and flavors, accompanied by an extensive wine list.

Restaurant Bahia: Located by the beach, Bahia offers a diverse menu of seafood, paella, and other Mediterranean specialties, providing guests with picturesque views and a relaxing dining experience.

Tossa de Mar Fisherman’s Stew – Cim I Tomba

We enjoyed a sampling of many of the regional delicacies at the Victoria Restaurant and fell in love with this dish – Cim I Tomba. A regional delicacy that shouldn’t be missed!

Cimi I Tomba

Traditional Tossa De Mar Fisherman’s Stew – Cim i Tomba

Cim i Tomba is a traditional fish stew made by the fisherman who needed a way to cook up the parts of leftover fish that they caught during their multi-day voyages.

It’s a simple stew made more flavorful with the use of Spanish saffron and fresh garlic aioli, stirred in at the end of the cooking process.  The resulting dish of fresh fish with local seasoning mixed with centuries of practice is fantastic.

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Tossa De Mar Spain

Romance and Art in Tossa de Mar

The romance of Tossa de Mar was not wasted on film legend Ava Gardner, who filmed a movie here in 1951. The film “Pandora and the Flying Dutchman” was released in 1951, directed and produced by Albert Lewin.

Ava Gardner played Pandora Reynolds, a young and beautiful woman who becomes entangled with the mysterious and cursed sea captain Hendrik van der Zee, also known as the Flying Dutchman, played by James Mason.

She reportedly had an affair with one of her co-stars while filming here (while still married to Frank Sinatra).

You can join the bronze statue of her gazing out at a stunning view overlooking the town on a stroll toward the ancient tour after lunch.

Bronze Statue of Gretta Garbo in Tossa De Mar

Bronze Statue of Gretta Garbo in Tossa De Mar

Ava Gardner is not Tossa de Mar’s only famous visitor. Marc Chagall, the renowned Russian-French artist, spent a brief period in Tossa de Mar, during a stay in Catalonia in the summer of 1934.

This visit to the coastal town greatly influenced his artistic style, inspiring a series of artworks that reflected the vibrant colors and picturesque landscapes of the Mediterranean.

He was so taken by the beautiful beaches, castle walls, and crystal clear waters. He nicknamed the town “Blue Paradise” Chagall’s time in Tossa de Mar is believed to have sparked a shift in his creative approach.

This led to the incorporation of elements of the town’s architecture and coastal scenery into his renowned paintings, ultimately leaving a lasting imprint on his body of work.

Things to do in Tossa de Mar

Iron Gate in Tossa

There are little doors to wander through leading to views of secluded stretches of beach that beckon you to linger.

Explore the Vila Vella (Old Town): Discover the historic medieval walls, charming cobblestone streets, and stunning viewpoints within the well-preserved ancient town.

Relax on Tossa de Mar Beaches: Spend time soaking up the sun and enjoying the beautiful sandy beaches such as Platja Gran and Mar Menuda.

Take a day trip to Cala Bona: Cala Bona is a picturesque cove that offers visitors a serene and idyllic coastal experience on the Costa Brava. The cove is known for its clear turquoise waters, pristine sandy beach, and surrounding cliffs.

It provides a tranquil and secluded setting for relaxation and sunbathing. Cala Bona is a perfect place for swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, and enjoying the scenic Mediterranean views.

Tossa De Mar Beach

Add a guitar and the ingredients for an irresistible romantic day by the sea are there

Visit the Tossa de Mar Lighthouse: Take a leisurely stroll to the lighthouse for breathtaking panoramic views of the coastline and the Mediterranean Sea.

Discover Tossa de Mar Castle: Explore the ruins of the ancient castle that overlooks the town, offering a glimpse into the area’s rich history and heritage.

Enjoy Water Activities: Engage in various water sports and activities, including snorkeling, diving, and boat tours, to experience the stunning marine life and coastal beauty of the area.

Explore the Ametllers de Tossa Roman villa: This archaeological site.was discovered in 1914. The ancient Roman villa dates back to the 4th century and was inhabited until the 6th century and, it provides insights into the region’s Roman past. The villa’s remains include well-preserved mosaics, architectural structures, and artifacts.

Indulge in Local Cuisine: Sample traditional Catalan and Spanish dishes at the local restaurants and cafes, savoring the fresh seafood and regional specialties

Visit the Municipal Museum: This local museum is a cultural institution that showcases the history and heritage of the town and its surrounding area. The small museum is housed in the historic Governor’s Palace, a well-preserved building that dates back to the 14th century.

Quiet Side Street in Tossa de Mar

Quiet side street in Tossa de Mar

Hiking in Tossa de Mar

Hiking in Tossa de Mar offers a wonderful opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the Costa Brava region and experience stunning coastal and mountain landscapes. Some routes include.

Camí de Ronda: The Camí de Ronda is a coastal path that connects several of the Costa Brava’s nearby towns, including Tossa de Mar. Hikers can enjoy breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea and access hidden coves and secluded beaches along the way.

Montaña de Tossa: This hill near Tossa de Mar provides excellent hiking opportunities. The trails lead to the Tossa de Mar lighthouse, which offers panoramic views of the town and coastline from the top of the hill.

Natural Parks: The nearby Montnegre-Corredor Natural Park and Montseny Natural Park provide additional hiking routes through forests, meadows, and rugged terrain, allowing hikers to immerse themselves in nature.

How to Get to Tossa de Mar

By Train: There is no direct train service to Tossa de Mar. The closest train station is in Blanes. From Blanes, you can take a taxi or a bus to reach Tossa de Mar.

By Bus: There are several bus companies that operate routes to Tossa de Mar. You can check the schedules and routes of buses that connect to Tossa de Mar from cities like Girona or Barcelona. Buses are a convenient option for those without a car. 

By Car: Tossa de Mar is accessible by car, and driving is a common way to reach the town. From Girona or Barcelona, take the AP-7 highway, which leads to Tossa de Mar. Follow the signs and directions to reach your destination.

By Ferry: There is a ferry from neighboring Lloret De Mar.

By Guided Tours: Some travel companies and tour operators offer guided tours to Tossa de Mar from various cities in Catalonia. These tours can be a convenient way to explore the town and its surroundings.

Tossa de Mar Spain

Where to stay in Tossa de Mar

There is every level of accommodation available in Tossa de Mar. You can find Luxury Villas, self-catering apartments, and hotels. There are also budget accommodations in inexpensive hotels, hostels, and camping.

We can recommend the beachfront Hotel Diana, a modernist-style boutique hotel with character and personalized service.

The Pola Giverola Camp is a beautiful camping spot located between 2 coves.

What is the best time to visit Tossa de Mar?

The best time to visit is during the spring and early summer months, from April to June, and in the early fall, from September to October.

During these times, the weather is generally mild and pleasant, making it ideal for outdoor activities, sightseeing, and beach relaxation.

The high season is from July to August when the town experiences high temperatures and increased crowds, particularly at the main beaches. If you prefer a quieter and more relaxed atmosphere, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons mentioned earlier.

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Abigail Slater

Monday 29th of May 2017

The photos in this post are absolutely stunning! I've never had Spain on my travel list before but I think I may have to add it.

Erica

Friday 6th of May 2016

Wow - this looks like a really magical spot.. I'll be adding it to my bucket list! Thank you!

Vanda

Tuesday 23rd of February 2016

Love the place and the post expresses the essence of Tossa. Congrats!

Ben

Monday 29th of June 2015

Tossa de Mar sure looks beautiful. I have only been to Tenerife so far in Spain but I can't wait to explore more of this awesome country.

chrysoula

Monday 29th of June 2015

It looks like a really romantic little town. I love the small alleys and the sandy beach. I will love to go when I visit Barcelona.