With the arrival of the sailing season, the Octopus is getting excited thinking about the warm water he will soon be able to bask in. To find his next destination, he racked his nine brains but was having a hard time deciding between relaxing moments in the sun and the discovery of a region with rich cultural heritage. In the end, he opted for both and is now heading for La Costa Brava best anchorages.
La Costa Brava is very appreciated by sailors for its heavenly coasts and its charming hinterland. It has a lot of natural and cultural assets that contribute to its attractiveness. Its beautiful beaches full of life, its world-renowned gastronomy and its impressive architecture don’t leave anyone indifferent.
Today, the Octopus is taking you with him on his new adventure and introduces you to La Costa Brava best anchorages!
La Costa Brava best anchorages
Weather and climate: Mild and clement all year long
The Costa Brava benefits from the Mediterranean climate, which makes it an ideal destination all year long. Winters are mild, and the summers are hot. Costa Brava is located in the northeast of Spain, so during the summer heat waves, you will enjoy cool winds and a little bit more humidity than in the surrounding regions.
Badia de Portbou
Badia de Portbou is the most northern anchorage of Costa Brava, right at the border between France and Spain. Protected from the west winds, it offers good holding in a seabed made mainly of sand (and some rocks you should avoid), resting at about 8 meters deep.
Surrounded by two famous beaches, Portbou and Très Platgetes, Badia de Portbou offers a splendid view in a charming setting, at the feet of a steep cliff. For the most adventurous, caves and cliffs can be visited and are only accessible by swimming. Take a mask and a scuba with you to observe the numerous endemic fish species living in an impressive underwater world. Located near the marina and the city, Badia de Portbou is an anchorage where it is easy to get supplies. You will enjoy the restaurants, bars, and small shops of the sunny city.
Our next stopover in our tour of La Costa Brava best anchorages, is located a few miles to the south of Badia de Portbou. Cala Garbet is an anchorage you absolutely have to visit, right after passing the border, as it is filled with natural treasures.
Many small rocky and sandy beaches, such as Platja de Garvet and Platja del Borro, surround the creek. The colors of the water, the rocks and the sand create a relaxing atmosphere. In addition, Cala Garbet is quite spacious and can comfortably accommodate many boats while remaining a calm and peaceful place to anchor, even in the high season. In this paradise between land and sea, cute marine mammals such as dolphins can be observed. Friendly, they are not in rest of interactions, but remember the rules to follow before engaging with them.
Jean Baptiste and many boaters were visited by dolphins during their stay at the anchorage:
“Excellent anchorage on sand, but what marked us the most was the visit of a pair of bottlenose dolphins who came to spend a few hours with us. They come to say hello to the boats a few inches away.”
Well protected from southerlies to north-westerlies, you will anchor comfortably in the bay sandbanks, 6 meters deep. Nevertheless, when the Tramontane blows, the anchorage can be very rolly, but it won’t stop you from enjoying this magical place!
We are now heading a little further to the south of Costa Brava for our next stopover: Cala Jugadora. Located just a few steps from the Cap de Creus lighthouse, in the Cap de Creus national park, this heavenly rocky creek with crystal clear waters is really appreciated by sailors.
The “route du Creus”, visible from the anchorage, offers a superb panorama that you can enjoy right from the deck of your ship! Indeed, with its breathtaking beauty and its uniqueness, the “Cap de Creus” is a real jewel of the Catalan Pyrenees. It represents the perfect union between land and sea creating a mesmerizing landscape.
Cala Jugadora is also known for snorkeling. You will be able to explore the seabed, swimming between reef, sand and seagrass, the playground of a rich and diverse aquatic fauna.
Finally, Cala Jugadora offers excellent protection from south-western to eastern wind. You will anchor easily in a sandy seabed, but you will have to be careful and avoid the few rocks reported by boaters on Navily.
Badia de Guillola
Our next destination is Badia de Guillola. Although very crowded during the day in summer, the evenings are calm and peaceful, perfect to enjoy the typical setting that lies before you. Shared between sea, mountain, sand and maritime pines, this anchorage remains quite wild. The small beaches surrounding the bay (platja guillola, platja des jonquet and platja de sant lluis) and the sheer cliffs plunging into the sea, are the main reasons why many sailors appreciate this anchorage.
The seabed is made up of rocks, seagrass and some sandbanks. Thus, you will have to be careful and make sure to drop your anchor in the sand. You will benefit from a really good protection from all the winds (except the easterly ones), which makes this anchorage a true haven of peace, even when the tramontane blows.
Antoine, who came to Badia de Guillola in 2021 on his sailboat, has very good memories of it:
“It is one of the most beautiful bays of Cap Creus. Well protected: stable anchorage in less than 10 meters of depth. People in summer during the day but at 8 p.m. calm returns. Good starting point for a hike to Dali (Salvador Dali’s house museum)”.
Antoine, Manoa, Voilier, 6.2m
Further to the south of Costa Brava is our next anchorage: Cala Rustella. Here, you will admire a beautiful natural coastline, covered with pines, surrounding a creek bathed in translucent waters. This landscape, at the crossroads between sea, greenery and rocks, make the creek look like heaven on earth.
According to the sailors, you will enjoy this anchorage better in the evening, as it is very crowded in the day. At night, unlike during the day, there won’t be any jet skis or water cabs to disturb the calm of Cala Rustella. Platja Rostella, an intimate beach at the back of the creek, reflects the wild charm of Costa Brava.
In addition, diving enthusiasts will find their happiness at the anchorage. In fact, Punta Melchucha is well known for snorkeling. At the bottom of Punta Melchucha you will find the famous wreck of merchant ship Melchucha, well-preserved and home to many fishes and other marine species!
Cala Rustella offers good protection from the southern to the northeastern wind. You can drop anchor or use the mooring buoys. Take Navily user’s advice and cast your anchor in a sandy seabed that is about 9 meters deep, in the middle of the creek. This way, you will avoid the seagrass.
For his next stopover, the Octopus keeps heading south to Sa Riera. The crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean, the view of the Medes islands and the thick vegetation borders the bay and makes it an idyllic place. Platja de Sa Riera, a wide sandy beach, is located at the bottom of the creek, right at the foot of Begur, a picturesque village in the middle of the hills flowing into a turquoise sea.
A landscape of bewitching charm, typical of the Costa Brava indeed! Furthermore, at Sa Riera, you can have a pleasant walk along the coast and enjoy the local traditional cuisine in the various restaurants and tapas bars.
Finally, the bay is wide enough to accommodate many boats comfortably.
At Sa Riera, you will be able to drop anchor easily in the sandy seabed which lies at about 6 meters deep. The anchorage is well sheltered and offers protection from the southeastern to northwestern winds by the East. In case of strong winds, sailors recommend anchoring at the east of the bay, as there is a “hall of wind?” in the middle.
If you are looking for a wild anchorage that is naturally charming, look no further, head down the coast to Cala Futadera. This creek offers a blend of delicate and cool colors, with the turquoise of the sea, the pale pink of the cliffs and the deep green of the pines. During the day, this true natural beauty is sublimated by the sun rays. The cliffs, plunging directly into the sea, surround a small sandy beach and seem to form a natural amphitheater.
Pretty crowded during the day in the high season, in the evening Cala Futadera is truly a haven of peace and tranquility.
In Cala Futadera, you can anchor in a seabed made up of sand lying at about 10 meters deep. You will be protected from the southern to northwestern winds by the west.
Last, but not least, the Octopus is going to introduce you to one of the most beautiful anchorages of Costa Brava. Tossa is an ideal place if you want to relax in an idyllic scenery or if you want to discover a charming medieval village with a rich historic heritage.
Sailors who went to this anchorage recommend visiting the fortified village during your time ashore. Made up of stone houses, narrow and steep streets and medieval walls around it – on which you can have a pleasant walk -, the village will take you back to the Middle Ages. Restaurants and bars, such as Da Giovani or Tapes del Mar, will allow you to enjoy the local food.
In Tossa, as Louis explains it, you can use the mooring buoys or drop anchor, but be sure to follow his advice:
“Full of buoys, but you can anchor on the south side just under the fortress in 7-8 m over sand…so beautiful views to the village.”
Louis – Blackjack III – sailboat ~ 10.23m
Our tour of La Costa Brava best anchorages is now coming to an end, and it is with a heavy heart that the Octopus leaves the Spanish coast. If you have also been seduced by Costa Brava, don’t hesitate to share your experience on Navily! To find out more about the Spanish coasts and islands, read our previous blog posts about the Balearics and discover the best anchorages of Mallorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera.
Fair winds Captains !
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