Tossa De Mar is quickly becoming somewhere that we love going back to time and time again. We first discovered it about 8 years ago and have been back several times because its so easy to get to (just 2 hours from London). As soon as we arrived for our latest trip in May 2017, I wondered why we’d left it so long to return!
You could easily spend a week or so there if you’re looking for a slow, laid back beach break, but this pretty little town has plenty to offer travelers who want to make the most of a short 2 or 3 day trip there too.
Here are a few ideas to ensure you get the most from Tossa De Mar, even if you’re only stopping for a few days.
Day 1: Breakfast to Lunchtime
There are loads of little cafes and larger place targeted more at tourists in Tossa De Mar – and most will give you a delicious breakfast. I would recommend staying in a B&B in the old town though, which is exactly what we did the last time we stayed. Pension Can Tort (translated The Twisted House), is a large old home that has been converted into several en-suite rooms,. It’s run by an lovely mother and daughter duo, who provide breakfast each morning for their guests. You’ll be seated in their little dining room and brough a sharing platter of cold breakfast treats to share. There’s coffee, fresh orange juice, fruit and tomatoes that have just been picked, croissants, rolls, hams and cheeses as well as plenty of jam and Nutella – a really delicious breakfast and the perfect start to the day.
After breakfast, take a walk to the smaller of Tossa’s two beaches – Platja Mar Menuda – and settle down for a few hours. You can rent sunbeds and umbrellas, but Pension Can Tort actually provides beach umbrellas and deck chairs for guests to use – saving you a good 20 Euros per two people. Platja Mar Menuda beach has a laid back beach bar that serves snacks and light meals, and because the beach is so small, you’re never too far away from a nice cold beer. The water is crystal clear and refreshingly cold on a hot day. Watch people climb the rocky cliffs, hire a snorkel, read a book or just admire the boats moored in the shallow waters for a few hours – the perfect way to spend a lazy morning!
Lunchtime to Afternoon
After a few hours soaking up the sun, stroll back in to the old town and grab a pizza from Pizzeria La Grotta. There are so many great restaurants to choose from though – including more snack based eateries if you fancy something lighter.
After lunch head up to the cliffs and explore the castle walls. The views from the top are spectacular and you can get lost in the windy cobbled streets, admire the little houses and have a browse around the few shops still operating within the old walls. At the top of the cliffs, once you’ve stopped for some photos, take a look around the Municipal Museum of Tossa De Mar.
The Museum right in the heart of Vila Vella, the 12th century walled old town and the Codolar tower (or Keep) that you can see from the beach is fully integrated within the museum.
The museum contains modern works of art done by artists who frequented the area in the 1930s, as well as an important archaeological section that places man in Tossa from the Paleolithic era. Best of all, it only costs a few Euros, so is an interesting way to spend a couple of hours, and maybe take a break from the sun.
Before you head back down to the beach, grab a drink in one of the bars within the castle walls and look out over the ocean in the cooler afternoon air and admire the beautiful views.
Afternoon to Evening
After exploring the castle and museum, take a walk back through the old town, keeping an eye out for places you might like to eat later – there is plenty of choice! Stop for a beer or two and enjoy the last few hours of sun.
Evening to ….
Tossa De Mar comes alive at night with restaurants around every corner. Walk to the edge of the old town along Carrer del Portal and choose one of the three or four restaurants just before you hit the sea. The seafood is amazing – we tried stingray when we last ate there!
There are plenty of bars too in Tossa, but our favourite is Sant Antoni Disco Bar, a tiny bar run by an Italian brother and sister that provides great music – they take requests – and delicious cocktails starting at about 4 Euros! Get there early as this place gets busy and is open late. Stay there for the whole evening (we have a few times), or head to some of the other cool bars Tossa has to offer – Bar Don Juan, Bottles Bar or Tipic which are all great.
Day 2: Breakfast to Lunchtime
After a another great breakfast at Pension Can Tort, a energetic way to spend the morning would be a hike up into the cliffs. You can access the cliff paths by walking to Platja d’es Codolar – Tossa’s smallest beach – and head up the steps cut into the cliffs.
Hiking in the cliffs of Tossa is a great way to appreciate the scenery. It’s not an easy walk, with steep climbs and tree roots to navigate, but you don’t need any special hiking equipment – a sturdy pair of trainers will do. For a bit of effort through, you are rewarded with panoramic views of the ocean, with plenty of stopping places were you can sit for a few minutes to admire the views.
The paths are well signposted and you can’t go far wrong. An easy route is to loop back into Tossa through a forest path, which offers equally beautiful views a little further inland.
Whether your a seasoned hiker, or just fancy a lighter morning stroll for a couple of hours, there are trails to suit varying abilities and interests. Whichever route you take, it’s worth taking time out from the beach to get a view of the coastline from high above – and its a great way to build up an appetite for lunch!
Lunchtime to afternoon
Depending on the length of your hike, you might have some time for a couple of hours on the beach before lunch. Head back to Platja d’es Codolar or Platja Mar Menuda for some beach time. Grab some fresh fruit, bread and cheeses from one of the little grocery shops and have a picnic on the beach, or if you want something more substantial, walk into the old town, or one of the cafe’s overlooking the beach and enjoy a bigger meal.
After lunch, hit the shops. Tossa has some beautiful independent shops that have unique jewelry, trinkets, homeware and clothes – perfect for browsing through in the afternoon. The clothes are quite laid back, with a consistent beach style, but a refreshing change from shops in the UK. The trinket and jewelry shops too are like Aladdin caves, and it will be hard to resist treating yourself to something that catches your eye.
Afternoon to early evening
If you haven’t already, take a walk further in land and explore Capella de la Mare de Deu dels Socors, a pretty chapel in the centre of the windy street network and the larger, impressive church dedicated to the patron of Tossa, San Vicente just off Carrer del Tarull. Have a wander round the Tossa, stop for a beer or two and admire the architecture!
Early evening to….
Eat some delicious seafood, drink some cocktails and maybe take a walk along the beach as the sun goes down. Make sure you stop to take some photos of Villa Vella all lit up at night, it’s just as impressive as it is during the day.
If your up for a late night, head back to Sant Antoni or Bar Europa to drink and dance the night away.
If you’re lucky enough to have a third day in Tossa, head to Lloret De Mar for a few hours, just up the coast (30 minutes) for a busier beach town vibe, or, if you’re feeling more adventurous – Barcelona (about 2 hours) and Girona (about 1 hour) are just a bus ride away. Tossa has a large bus station with buses running throughout the day to these locations and many more. Make sure you buy your tickets in advance – preferably the day before though – as these day trips are popular and once the tickets for each bus are sold out, that’s it!
I hope this posts inspires you to visit Tossa de Mar some time soon, and gives you a few ideas of how to spend your time whilst you’re there. When can we go back?!