Once a coastline of sleepy fishing villages, it was inevitable that the beauty and sunshine warmth of the Costa Brava would be discovered by the world, and in the 1950s development began to turn the area into the renowned holiday destination it is today.
Located north-east of Barcelona, the Costa Brava begins at the town of Blanes and stretches all the way to the French border. The main city is Girona, a historic town dating from around 76 BC and these days is used as an international airport by low-cost carriers who refer to it as Barcelona though it is 60 miles (100km) north.
Blanes, Tossa de Mar, and Lloret de Mar became well-developed resort towns, but other towns like Calella de Palafrugell have remained quieter with their old fishing village charm.
A popular town is Cadaques on the bay of Cap de Creus near the French border; it has long been a magnet for artists including Dalí and Picasso.