Tossa de Mar’s old town is a fabulous example of the fairytale idyllic small towns that await your visit throughout Catalonia. Located on the Costa Brava, a visit to Tossa can be perfectly combined with a stop by the beach, making it the perfect complete package for a day trip from Barcelona or Girona.
With its picturesque fortress right near the gorgeous sandy beach with the turquoise clear waters of the Costa Brava, Tossa de Mar is also a real visual experience. Therefore, in this article, we want to discover together with you the most beautiful things to see during a Tossa de Mar Day Trip.
What to find out in this post
- 1 Tossa de Mar, Spain Facts
- 2 Where is Tossa de Mar? – Map
- 3 How to get to Tossa de Mar
- 4 Tossa de Mar Transport
- 5 The best things to do on a Tossa de Mar Day Trip
- 6 Tossa de Mar’s Old Town – Vila Vella
- 7 Castillo de Tossa de Mar
- 8 Tossa de Mar Beaches
- 9 Faro de Tossa
- 10 Museo Municipal de Tossa
- 11 Villa Romana dels Ametllers
- 12 Església Vella de Sant Vicenç
- 13 The Ava Gardener Statue
- 14 Where to stay in Tossa de Mar
Tossa de Mar, Spain Facts
- Catalan seaside resort
- Belonging to the province of Girona
- Home to about 5,500 people
- It is closer to the French border than to Barcelona.
Where is Tossa de Mar? – Map
Tossa de Mar is located on the northern Mediterranean coast of Catalonia, more precisely on the Costa Brava, about 90 km from Barcelona and 85 km from the French border.
How to get to Tossa de Mar
Getting to Tossa de Marby bus
The most popular way to reach Tossa de Mar is by bus. There are several daily connections of the bus company Sarfa (Moventis) between Tossa de Mar and various Catalan towns such as Barcelona, Girona, Palamós, Lloret de Mar, and Blanes.
The trip from Barcelona takes about 1 hour 20 minutes and costs between 12 – 15 € per trip per person. From Girona, it takes about 45 minutes to get to Tossa. Although you can buy tickets at the bus station (e.g., Estación Nord in Barcelona), it may be worth booking your ticket online in advance to avoid sold-out seats on the spot.
Getting to Tossa de Mar by car
Another option is to arrive by car. To do this, take the A-7 freeway from Barcelona to Blanes and follow the signs for Tossa de Mar. The drive takes about 1 hour 20 minutes. From Girona, there is also a one-way route to Tossa, which takes about 45 minutes. You can either go on your own or rent a car.
Getting to Tossa de Mar by airplane
Due to its size, Tossa does not have its own airport connection. The nearest airports are Girona Airport and El Prat Airport in Barcelona. From both airports, there are bus connections to Tossa de Mar, respectively Lloret de Mar.
Join a tour to Tossa de Mar
Another great option to discover Tossa de Mar is to join a tour. Such tours usually start from Barcelona or Girona and often include several destinations, such as the nearby Lloret de Mar. It’s a great way to meet other people and spend your time planning anything. You can find great tour options on GetYourGuide.
Tossa de Mar Transport
In general, no means of transportation is necessary inside of Tossa de Mar, as the old town is only quite small and thus very pedestrian. However, if you want to explore a bit more of the Costa Brava, you can hop on one of the boats and explore the area from the water.
However, for those who don’t like walking, the little blue tourist train can take you around. This is a popular mode of transportation, especially for children.
The best things to do on a Tossa de Mar Day Trip
Tossa de Mar’s Old Town – Vila Vella
The historic walled town of Tossa de Mar is not under monument protection for nothing. With its picturesque old streets, the small old town simply invites you to dream and is therefore probably one of the main reasons to visit Tossa. It is not necessary to have an exact plan of the winding streets of the city. Just let yourself drift a bit and discover this unique place, which is one of the most popular attractions of Costa Brava.
Already the Iberians and the Romans had set up their settlements in Tossa de Mar’s urban area. But also in the Middle Ages, people already lived here. In 1187, Tossa was finally granted the official town charter. At that time, the construction of the city walls and defensive towers began. The remains of which can still be admired in the historic center of Tossa today. Therefore, the most important and outstanding attraction of Tossa is and remains its magnificent fortifications.
Castillo de Tossa de Mar
With its location right on the coast, the magnificent city of Tossa was naturally easy prey for pirates who sailed around the Mediterranean. For this reason, an impressive city wall was built around the city between the late 12th and 14th centuries. Even today, you can admire this imposing structure with a total length of more than 300 meters and a whole seven 20-meter high towers.
Torre d’en Joanàs
Probably the most striking of the towers is the Torre d’en Joanàs. With its location at the top of the mountain, it is still popular with visitors today as a vantage point over the main beach of Tossa. The Catalan independence flag on the tower is a real highlight for many Catalans here, but it is a thorn in the side of the Spanish central government.
Tossa de Mar Beaches
With Tossa’s location right on the Costa Brava, many visitors simply can’t miss a visit to the beach. I must admit, the crystal clear, refreshing water of the coast is also just too inviting. Directly in Tossa, there are three great beaches that invite you to relax, splash around and sunbathe. If you travel by car, you can also take the chance to visit some of the quieter beaches in the area. In the following, we would like to introduce you to the three city beaches of Tossa.
The Platja Gran or Playa Grande is located directly on the city walls of Tossa and is considered the main beach of the city. With its almost 400 meters of length, the beach is always well attended. Along the beach, there is also a good selection of bars and restaurants to provide a short refreshment after a relaxing sunbath.
Besides Platja Gran, Mar Menuda is considered the second main beach of Tossa. With its location just a few minutes walk from the city center, the beach can be reached quickly and easily and is also very popular with visitors and locals alike.
Platja d’es Codolar
Our personal favorite beach is Platja d’es Codolar. It is located on the other side of the fortification Tossas and only about 60 x 80 meters in size. Due to its small length, it can, unfortunately, especially during the summer months, not be easy to find a place here. Therefore, it is recommended to arrive early. Since the beach is located in a bay, the water here is even clearer, making this section of the beach perfect for snorkeling.
Faro de Tossa
Opening Hours Faro de Tossa: Tue – Sun: 10 am – 2 pm; Closed Mondays
Entrance fee Faro de Tossa: € 1,50
The Tossa Lighthouse is a real must-see on any visit to Tossa. The Faro (Spanish for lighthouse) is located on the hill above the town’s rooftops and thus offers a breathtaking view. From here, you can not only discover parts of the city from above but also experience a fascinating panoramic view over the turquoise clear waters of the Costa Brava.
To reach the top of the hill, we recommend you take a relaxing walk. However, if you are not good on foot, you can also take the small tourist train to go up to the lighthouse.
Next to the lighthouse is a museum where you can learn more about the lighthouse’s history and about Tossa de Mar itself. If you like, you can also enjoy a refreshing drink and some tapas while admiring the fabulous view.
Museo Municipal de Tossa
Opening hours Museo Municipal: Tue – Fri + Sun: 10 am – 2 pm; Sat: 10 am – 2 pm + 4 pm – 6 pm; closed Monday
Entrance fee Museo Municipal: € 3
This interesting museum has been open to visitors since 1935. Inside you will find mainly contemporary art, making the Museo Municipal one of the oldest contemporary art museums in the country. Moreover, you will also have the chance to look at archaeological findings from the Roman period, which have been found at Villa dels Ametllers.
Although the information in the museum is presented only in Spanish and Catalan, it is well worth a visit. The building, Casa del Batlle de Sac, or Casa Falguera, which houses the museum, is also worth a look.
Villa Romana dels Ametllers
Opening hours Villa dels Ametllers: 10 am – 7 pm
Entrance fee Villa dels Amettlers: free of charge
Between the bus stop of Tossa and the old town, you can visit the Roman excavation site Villa dels Ametllers. These are former Roman villas that were discovered here during an excavation in 1914.
Even today, you can see the remains of the old villas here. If you want to discover more relics from that time, you can view them in the Museo Municipal de Tossa.
Església Vella de Sant Vicenç
If you are walking between the main beach, Platja Gran, and the lighthouse, you can also make a small stop at the old church of Sant Vicenç. These church ruins are the remains of the Gothic church that was built here during the 15th century. If you look at the church’s remains, you can guess how impressive the church must have been once.
Over the years, the church already suffered from the influence of the salty sea air. However, it was not until the 19th century that it was finally destroyed in an explosion caused by the black powder stored here by the French. As a replacement, however, a new church was built as early as the 18th century, opened in the town with the same name, and can still be visited today.
At the ruins here, you can experience a moment of peaceful silence while you let your gaze wander over the wide sea.
The Ava Gardener Statue
It is said that the beginnings of tourism in Tossa de Mar are due to the US actress Ava Gardener. This is because she starred in the film the Flying Dutchman, which was mostly filmed in Tossa de Mar and was released in the 1950s. Due to the landscape shots that were shown in the film, Tossa became more and more popular with national and international visitors.
Therefore, to honor the actress, a bronze statue of Ava Gardener was erected between the walls of Tossa in 1998.
Where to stay in Tossa de Mar
Only about 200 meters from the main beach, Platja Gran, is the 3-star Hotel Florida. Here you can expect cozy and clean rooms, good service, rooms with balconies, a bar, and even a jacuzzi.
What is your favorite place to visit in Tarragona? Or maybe you even have an insider tip for us? Let us know in the comments below!
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