Just back from a nice, long break to Spain. This was a scheduled 2020 trip, which, like many of you, has been rescheduled 3 times over the last two years. Well worth the wait even if not by choice.
Days 1-3 - Barcelona
We stayed at Hotel Granvia (based on recs from the Travel Forum) and it was a great independent hotel. It is very centrally located, has a terrific back patio and the rooms while small, were very comfortable. Barcelona is a big city and no way we could see it all but what we saw, we loved. Day 1 was Fight the Jet Lag day and we went Ciutadella Park and wandered around the Born neighborhood. We went to Bodega La Puntual for a fantastic dinner. Day 2 we did two Rick's Walks (CIty and Eiaxmple Walk) and 'freestyled' off of them - Born and Gothic quarter are really amazing neighborhoods. Day 3 was power packed with Sagrada Familia, Hospital Sant Pau and Park Guell. All three were amazing in their own right with Sant Pau being a favorite. We ended up walking to all three and stumbled through a multi-block street fair on the way back to the hotel (don't you just love when that happens). We did our own tapas tour for dinner/vino and loved it all. Can't wait to discover more of Barcelona on a future trip.
Days 4-17 - Begur (hub) and Costa Brava
We rented a car from Europcar (3 blocks from Hotel Granvia) and scooted out of Barcelona on a Saturday morning heading up to Begur, about an hour and fifteen minutes north on the coast. It is not our first trip to this stunning part of Spain (we did Cadaques in 2019) and it did not dissapoint. All told, I think we have over a 2,000 pictures between all of our travel partners. We rented a villa just outside Begur (7 people at the height of our trip) and used it as our hub. We visited several great towns (Llafranc, Pals, Palafrugell) and one terrific city (Girona), spent hours/days hiking/walking the Cami de Ronda (coastal path) in and around Begur and went to great beaches including Sa Tuna, Sa Riera (our favorite) and Pals. Our villa was situated perfectly and we could walk (on a trail) into Begur in 10 minutes and hike down to Sa Tuna beach (1 mile down and 1 mile up). We drank fabulous wine (some as low as 4 euro per bottle) and visited a great little vineyard (Mas Oller) for a tasting and, of course, purchasing. The Coastal path and hiking trails were the highlight of our trip. We hiked almost every day and we were rewarded with the most fantastic scenery and that silky blue Med water. You can't help but take a picture every 10 feet.
Dinner Recommendations - Begur
Havana - great Cuban food and dynamite mojitos
Juanita's - fresh fish in a wood burning stove
Carbo's - Steaks, seafood
Tapas Begur - one of the cooks has a side biz as 'Mr Paella' and he came to our rental home and cooked for us!
Mister Rostit - rottiserrie chicken food truck in the parking lot of Begur supermarket. Wow,,and cost effective.
Dinner Rec - Pals
Vicus - lovely restaraunt, dynamite food
Like any trip, people (locals) make the difference. Everyone (minus one cranky waiter) we ran into and chatted with, whether working in a shop or a restaraunt or fellow travelers/locals at the beach, bar etc were very kind and welcoming. We did our best with simple Spanish/Catalan phrases and played the pantomime or Google translate when we got stuck. All in all, another 'trip of a lifetime'. I highly recommend Begur, it is a great corner of Planet Earth.