Costa Brava, Spain: The Nature and Activity Guide
Only in Costa Brava can you have the thrill of climbing the one Via Ferrata route above the sea in all Europe, or skydive ten months a year from one of the best drop zones in the world, Empuriabrava. Not only that but you can also Kayak along the stunning Riu Ter, golf till your heart’s content, and hike to ancient castles with views for miles… all under the perfect summer sun.
Welcome to Costa Brava, here is a guide to some of the nature and activities on offer in the region.
Here is our nature and activity guide for the Costa Brava in Spain:
Camping on the Coast at La Ballena Alegre
Our day starts at Camping La Ballena Alegre, an incredible open air accommodation complex in Sant Pere Pesacdor, near L’Escala along the coast.
The campground is nothing like what you may imagine. La Ballena Alegre takes the concept to the next level with modern services on site, top class bungalows for families and couples alike, entertainment and sport services, restaurants and groceries, plus shops and even a spa.
What a place to start our journey.
Being One With Nature – Kayaking Along the Riu Ter
From La Ballena Alegre our first activity in the Costa Brava region is Kayaking the Riu Ter!!
We drove a short distance to the River Ter, one of the main rivers of the Costa Brava region flowing from Girona out into the Mediterranean. At the village of Colomers there is an input for the river and also the base of Kayak del Ter, a small business with a focus on eco-friendly tourism.
Kayak del Ter is a fun and active way to enjoy nature, perfect for families and people looking to disconnect for a few hours immersing yourself in the natural environment. The company is committed to boosting the awareness and protecting the biodiversity of the landscape surrounding the river. It’s a fantastic concept and great value for people of all ages and skill levels. Once we met our guide we got into double kayaks (two people in each) and started our 1 and a half hour descent downriver.
Kayaking the river Ter was a super relaxing and fun way to immerse oneself in nature. To turn off your phone and step away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The slow pace and calmness of the water is perfect to let go and just take it all in. From local bird life to turtles, to fish and even the odd otter, the wildlife was everywhere and I couldn’t think of a better way to see it than from the seat of our kayak.
Hiking to Ancient Castles with Views for Days
From the river and the amazing kayaking experience we decided to get back on dry land and go for a hike in the Natural Park of Montgrí, Costa Brava.
Atop a hill in the natural park is the Castle of Montgrí, a 13th century fortress built by James the II of Aragon. The hike up to the castle is an easy 45min and the rewards are fantastic with stunning panoramic views over the coast towards the Les Medes islands and all of inland Empordà, and best part… the entrance is free!!
The Land of the Sky!!
The views from the ancient castle were just a tease, we need to get higher!! From Montgrí we drove north towards Alt Empordà and the uber famous skydiving drop zone, Empuriabrava. Time to get suited up and jump out of a plane!!
Empuriabrava is one of the top skydive destinations in all Europe, if not the world. The conditions for skydiving here are perfect. Since the drop zone opened in 1985 it has recorded almost 2 million jumps. It is also the current site of many European & Spanish skydive records throughout multiple skydive disciplines. It is a mecca of the sport and a great place to jump.
Once we got a briefing for the Tandem experience, our crew was set and ready to go. Wheels up!! We ascended to 4,000 meters and then one by one exited the plane.
What a rush!!!
The skydive experience is difficult to put into words, it’s like a complete over sensory adrenaline rush. Falling at terminal velocity, 220 miles per hour, but at the same time the ground doesn’t seem to get any closer and you’re sort of floating. It’s about letting go and for one minute being completely captivated in an almost out of body experience. It’s amazing.
Pitt and Putt Par 3 in the Heart of Nature
After the Tandem skydiving experience with Empuriabrava we head back to the ground and straight to the Pitch and Putt golf course in Gualta.
The par 3 course is a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in the wonderful nature of the region. The short circuit is great for families and golfers of all abilities, there is even a driving range on site plus cuddly donkeys and a delicious restaurant. This pitch and putt is definitely worth a half day visit when exploring the area around Gualta.
The only Via Ferrata above the Sea!!
From the Pitch and Putt we drove back to the coast to experience the classic European Via Ferrata activity. A via ferrata is a sportive rock climbing route support by various metal equipment bolted into the rock. Things like ladders, handles, clips, and bridges, all designed to make the route fun, easy, and attractive for people of all ages. For those looking to begin rock climbing or challenge themselves in an exciting and safe environment- a via ferrata is perfect.
In Sant Feliu de Guíxols there is a fantastic via feratta called Cala Molí. We went to the beginning of the route and met up with our guides from Aventura Girona. They were super helpful getting us kitted out with the safety equipment and briefing us on the route. Cala Molí is set up in two different stages, combined the route takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes, but there is the option to exit midway if you wish. The first part of the route is easier with the second being more challenging, however overall the difficulty is only moderate.
Cala Molí is also the only via ferrata in all Europe which is over the sea and offers stunning views of the dramatic Costa Brava coastline.
Spa Time and a well deserved Massage
After the awesome climbing activity of the Via Ferrata it was time to end our day and relax a little. We headed back to the La Ballena Alegre campground for a well deserved visit to the spa onsite.
After a beautiful sunset we took some time to chill in the pool (and sauna) as well as treat ourselves to a massage before dinner. Well at least Lisa got to treat herself to a massage.
Nature and Activity Conclusion
Overall it was a fantastic end to a fun filled experience trying out a few of the different activities available in Costa Brava. Big thank you to all of the local businesses involved and the La Ballena Alegre campground for the perfect location and comfortable accommodation during our stay.
There is so much to see and do in Costa Brava, these are just a few of the great activities on offer. We hope you found this post helpful and be sure to watch the video for even more info and an exact look at all of the activities mentioned.
Travel tip shared by Greg Snell for Travel Dudes.