10 perfect beaches for snorkelling in the Costa Brava

2 de March de 2023

The bottom of the Costa Brava’s seas offers a unique natural space, a real treat for the eyes, and an unforgettable experience. Come and visit the best snorkelling beaches in the region and enjoy a truly incredible experience first-hand!

The Costa Brava’s picture-perfect natural environment

Stunning cliffs, beautiful natural coves hidden among rocks and enchanting sea views are just some of the Costa Brava’s highlights. However, another ingredient often goes unnoticed, but is worthy of our full attention: the seabed.

Although bathing in this idyllic setting is already a wonderful experience, you’ll be blown away when you jump in the water! Algae forests, Mediterranean tapeweed (Posidonia) meadows or small shoals of fish are just a snapshot of all that is hidden under the Costa Brava’s waters.

However, be aware that the seabed exists in a delicate state, susceptible to even tiny disruptions. Human activity on the coasts in recent years has caused significant setbacks in the quality of these ecosystems. So, please come and marvel at this Mediterranean masterpiece, but treat it with all the respect and awareness it deserves. Here is our list of 10 perfect beaches for snorkelling in the Costa Brava.


The 10 best beaches for snorkelling in the Costa Brava

Folks visiting the coast usually means environmental degradation. Therefore, the best beaches for snorkelling are usually more hidden or inaccessible to tourists, and are pristine, perfectly preserved spots.

However, the Costa Brava stuns all visitors to its beaches. So, even if you don’t fancy visiting the hidden coves that are more difficult to access, remember to take your snorkel and goggles to witness the impressive seabeds wherever you go!

1. Salt Cave and Mateua Island (L’Escala)

This list of perfect spots begins with snorkelling in one of the Costa Brava’s prettiest places: the l’Escala Salt Cave. A marine cave accessible only by sea, close to the wonderful Cala Montgó.

To get there, the easiest option is to rent a kayak at Cala Montgó or by paddle surfing; although certain other boats are able to visit the Cave. Impossible to visit by land, this cave is a unique, pristine natural place.

Visitors witness a near-mythical underwater spectacle, snorkelling peacefully and safely, sea conditions permitting. We recommend checking with local experts to pick the best time to visit the cave and get the most out of the experience.

Near the cave lies Mateua Island and its beach, another of Catalonia’s best spots for snorkelling. Therefore, if you’re in the area and love snorkelling, plentiful opportunities await!

Access: by sea. Easily accessible in a kayak, paddle surfing or in a suitable boat.

Snorkel L'Escala
Source: l’Escala Council

2. Cala de las Rocas Planas (Calonge)

If you want to get away from the typical Costa Brava landscapes and escape to an idyllic cove for snorkelling in crystalline waters, the Cala de las Rocas Planas (Flat Rocks Cove) is an excellent option.

Also known as the White Rocks Cove, the two adjectives perfectly describe what visitors will discover. A small rocky cove with remarkably coloured and shaped rocks, a highlight in the area.

To reach the cove, walk along the coastal path either from the Can Cristus beach or from the Valentina beach, approximately 10 and 25 minutes respectively.

After reaching the cove, enjoy the stunning seabed illuminated by the light colour of the rocks, making things more visible than ever. The flat rocks that give the cove its name are also ideal for lying down and sunbathing.

Access: 10 to 25 minutes by footpath.

Snorkel Calonge
Font: Wikiloc

3. Cala Jugadora (Cadaqués)

Sheltered by the mountains and near Cap de Creus, Cala Jugadora, a hidden gem, awaits visitors. If you park at the Cap de Creus lighthouse, it’s just a short walk. This, combined with its small size, means it gets crowded in summer.

Due to its shape, the cove’s waters are calm, and the rocky nature of the area creates a tremendously clear sea along the whole coastline, making it a great spot for snorkelling.

Words can’t describe just how beautiful this cove is in person. So, if you want a good snorkelling session in turquoise waters, what are you waiting for? Visit Cala Jugadora!

Access: about 15 minutes on an uneven footpath, with a slight slope.

Snorkel Cadaqués
Source: Jordi Carceller Comas

4. Cala del Señor Ramon (Santa Cristina de Aro)

The Senyor Ramon cove lies between the towns of Sant Feliu de Guíxols and Tossa de Mar, in one of the Costa Brava’s most iconic spots. Although a relatively large beach around 350 metres in length, the long walk to get there means it remains fairly quiet even in summer.

A sandy beach, with a steep slope down into the sea, it doesn’t attract many swimmers. However, it’s ideal for witnessing the seabed with a snorkel and goggles. It’s also considered a well-known nudist beach, so whether or not that’s your thing, please be aware of this information!

The cove also has services such as a beach bar and toilets, making it a great spot for a full day of snorkelling without suffering too much from the heat or other basic needs.

Access: 20-minute walk from the (paid) car park on the Tossa de Mar – Sant Feliu de Guíxols road.

Snorkel cala Senyor Ramon
Source: Santa Cristina d’Aro Council

5. Es codolar (Tossa de Mar)

Right next to the town of Tossa, specifically at the foot of the Old Town walls, lies the Es Codolar cove, a natural spot just as impressive as any of the region’s coves situated further away from town centres.

The proximity to the town means a dip in the sea affords wonderful views of the walls, which tower over the cove. The easy access and small size also mean that in summer, the beach gets somewhat crowded, although you can always take a dip and marvel at the seabed.

If you head towards the right of the cove, a beautiful algae forest awaits, nestled between the rocks, offering a memorable experience. This sustains an ecosystem of fish and crustaceans, a real treat for the eyes.

Access: on foot from the old town of Tossa de Mar.

Snorkel a Tossa de Mar
Source: Hecktic Travels

6. Red Island beach (Begur)

One of the Costa Brava’s most famous coves, which routinely appears on postcards in local souvenir stores. We’re talking about the Red Island cove in the town of Begur, a gorgeous cove for snorkelling, swimming, and sunbathing.

There are several ways to reach the cove, although most visit by car and park in the nearest urban area. Other options include hiking sections of the coastal path from the Pals beach or Begur centre, or even by sea.

This nudist beach offers a unique, must-see natural environment. The water’s transparency makes it a benchmark for snorkelling fans.

Access: parking in the area or on foot via the coastal path.

Snorkel Illa Roja
Source: Julien Collet

7. Estreta Cove (Palamós)

Estreta cove is one of the most fascinating, lesser-known spots in the Costa Brava and rightly so, because visitors must walk for 30 minutes from the Castell de Palamós beach to get there.

Humanity’s only presence at this beach will be you and the other intrepid visitors. This environment is so unspoiled that it’s a perfect manifestation of the Costa Brava’s true beauty.

The beach’s immutability makes it the ideal place for enjoying nature, in and out of the sea. To the left, you’ll find rocks home to remarkable marine fauna and flora in the cove.

Access: 20-30 minutes’ walk from the Palamós Castle beach.

Snorkel Palamós
Source: Daniel Punsetí

8. Cala Futadera (Tossa de Mar)

Around 300 steps separate you from the calm and beauty of the Futadera cove, situated in the beautiful coastal area between Tossa de Mar and Sant Feliu de Guíxols. As before, you must travel along the road connecting these two towns. After parking, walk for a while to the cove.

Access is fairly easy, although take your time, especially if you suffer from vertigo, because the steps down to the cove can be steep at times. However, it’s worth the effort. The cove is truly stunning.

In this beautiful place, pine forests sweep down to almost the seashore, and rocky walls jut into the water, creating unique, memorable sensations for snorkellers.

Access: on foot down some steps, leaving the car at the highway exit.

Snorkel Tossa de Mar
Source: Tossa de Mar Tourist Information Office

9. Sa Tuna (Begur)

While you might think that a cove in the middle of a town would not be the best spot for snorkelling, Sa Tuna in Begur will change your opinion. Rarely has an environment with water as clear as this cove been seen.

Sa Tuna offers visitors the chance to swim surrounded by white houses, tall pine trees and calm turquoise waters. This cove exudes great calm. Nearby restaurants in Begur also offer the chance to sample the Costa Brava’s cuisine.

If you want to witness a stunning seabed, have all your creature comforts on hand, and not have to embark on long hikes to get there, Sa Tuna offers all this and more. Don’t miss it!

Access: extremely easy from Begur centre. Suitable for everyone.

Snorkel Begur
Source: Vicky Pirata

10. Cala Morisca (Lloret de Mar)

Lastly, we’re going to talk about a legendary cove and tales of pirates: Lloret de Mar’s Morisca cove. Away from the vibrant atmosphere of central Lloret, and almost in the town of Tossa de Mar, this cove offers peace and tranquillity without having to travel far.

Due to its form and southeast-facing, this cove is rarely windy and offers ideal snorkelling conditions. Access is fairly easy: by driving to the Cala Brava town or via a path through the forest from the north.

In some tunnels near the cove, currently sealed off, a smuggler used to hide in a wagon system to load and unload merchandise from boats in the 20th century. A real world of adventures and pirates!

Access: on foot from the Cala Brava town or via the Llorell bay.

Snorkel Lloret de Mar
Source: Jan Figueras

Water Sport campsites

The Girona Campsites Association seeks to promote water sports of every kind, so everyone can enjoy this beautiful coastline even if lacking water sports experience.

Therefore, several of the association’s campsites have received the Water Sport seal. These campsites offer guidance for visitors seeking to do water sports, equipment rental, and even guided activities with professionals.

The sports on offer include snorkelling, windsurfing, paddle surfing, scuba diving or kayak rentals, and much, much more! Visit the Costa Brava’s Water Sport campsites and enjoy water sports like never before!

Water Sport seal

And that’s it for this post on the best snorkelling spots in the Costa Brava! If you want further inspiration for your holidays, visit the Inspírate blog on our website and get ready for an amazing trip. See you soon!

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