In just a skip and a hop from Barcelona you will find yourself in this lovely seaside town on the Costa Brava
Tossa de Mar, also simply known as Tossa, is a popular and pretty town on the Costa Brava, located about an hour and a half away from Barcelona.
I first visited Tossa in November when hardly anyone visits. Despite not being very warm it was still a really nice day trip away from the city. One thing which surprised me was the completely clear water and I couldn’t resist to dip my feet in, even if it was just for a very, very brief moment! I cannot wait to come back in summer to properly enjoy the beach.
In contrast to neighbouring Lloret de Mar, which seems to have been taken over by tourists, this town has maintained most of its charm, particularly in the old town. Once a traditional fishing village, today you still find the typical souvenir shops but there are also nice boutiques and cafés throughout the small centre.
On asking a shop assistant in one of the boutiques “what is there to do in Tossa?” she replied that there is not a whole lot to do. Go to the beach and take a pleasant walk along by the castle and round to another smaller beach. So if you’re looking for an action-packed place with loads of attractions and places to visit, I would recommend elsewhere. But if you want to explore a pretty town with a great beach to relax and have a nap on, then Tossa is perfect!
Of course the main attraction is the castle and old town, which you can explore to your heart’s content. The “Vila Vella” (Old Town) boasts the only preserved medieval town in Catalonia today. Here you can meander through the narrow, cobbled streets with whitewashed houses and admire the small squares with cafés that entice you to sit, relax and soak up the atmosphere. The lighthouse you see today was once the site of a castle in the 12th century to protect the mediaeval town. From here you can get a great overview of the old part of the town and the surrounding scenery.
If you are desperate for something more exciting to do, Tossa de Mar is also a popular spot with divers. There are many diving sites nearby where you can go scuba diving whatever the time of year, including Illes de Medes.
How to get to Tossa de Mar from Barcelona
There are two ways to get to Tossa de Mar from Barcelona by public transport. You can take the train to Blanes and then a bus to Tossa which also stops at Lloret de Mar, and stop off and explore Blanes or Lloret de Mar on the way. Or take a direct bus from Estació del Nord Barcelona which takes about 1 hour 30 minutes.
Word to the wise
Make sure you are aware of the bus times. I went with friends and we had to kill three hours to wait for the next bus. To be fair it wasn’t too bad and we got to thoroughly explore every street in the town, have a really good nap on the beach and then quickly duck into a café to escape a sudden rain shower!