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Travel:Tossa el Mar, Costa Brava- Spain, 3/24-25/2023

3/2/2023 - Amsterdam (part 1) 3/12-16/2023 - Barcelona (part 4)

3/4-5/2023 - Amsterdam (part 2) 3/17-18/2023 -Catalan Villages (part 5)

3/6-12/2023 - London (part 3) 3/18-24/2023 -Tarragona (part6)

On the way from Tarragona (which we sadly departed, after 5 fantastic days),

driving up Northeast to Girona, which we also visited in 2017 (here) along the Costa Brava Coast was fantastic.

it was decided to stay for 2 days at the enchanting coast town named Tossa de Mar

"Tossa de Mar" - Medieval Sea -Shore Town

We briefly passed through it in 2017 and now fulfilled a promise to better explore it, as is mentioned in my post from 2017 (here)

Situated on the southernmost part of the Costa Brava Tossa’s attractions include sandy beaches, spectacular cost line views, picturesque old town whose narrow streets are lined with restaurants and bars. and impressive 12th c medieval walled town -

Vila Vella. to which a a winding path leads up the hill to it

Tossa de Mar offers 16 sandy beaches and coves scattered along a total of 13km of coastline. There are 3 beaches in the town itself:

Platja GranThe main beach which starts in front of the medieval walls of the Vila Vella and continues for 400m around the bay,

Mar Menuda – A smaller beach at the other end of the bay facing the castle,

Platja d’es Codolar – A small cove which can be reached from the Vila Vella.

Traditionally Tossa has been a fishing town, and agricultural community (grapes and cork.) before, and in medieval times, and until the arrival of tourism in modern times.

The small local Fish stand Monument

Settlements dating back to the Neolithic period, and it is believed that the area has been continuously populated since that time. Between the 4th-1st century BC the first Iberian settlements appeared, followed shortly after by the Romans in the 1st -C.

in the 12th C- the medieval town was walled off and a castle was built on the highest point of Mt. Guardí, which was subsequently replaced by a windmill, and this in turn by a lighthouse which is still operational.

On Top of the Fortified Hill

Ruins of the Gothic styled Church of Sant Vicenç

Canons from the 17thC with a much younger husband

Tossa Lighthouse which was built in 1917.

The 10m high lighthouse contains a small museum and affords excellent views of the Mediterranean coast

By the year 1500, the first houses were built extra-muros to accommodate population growth., and it has continuously expended to 17th and 18th C, shaping an urban configuration that was to remain practically unchanged, until the arrival of mass tourism in the 1950s.

Eva Gardner -The town's Icon

Once an enclave of artists and intellectuals, Tossa became a popular holiday destination during the 1950s when it appeared in the film Pandora and the Flying Dutchman starring Eva Gardner and James Mason.

With the statue of Eva Gardner at the square dedicated to her on the hill

Nowadays the town is popular with both Spanish and foreign tourists but has largely escaped the excesses associated with other resorts.

The town below by the main Beach

The 3 beaches, cobbled streets, narrow allies, a firtified hill, mountainous hinterland with lush green valleys, gorges and natural springs creates a stunning backdrop and make it very attractive to visit (more)

La Toss de Marc Chagall

Marc Chagall, the French painter, loved so much the quality of his life there that he actually nicknamed Tossa de Mar Blue Paradise and dedicated many paintings to it.

Hotel Diana

A quint hotel named Hotel Diana , situated right on the sandy horse-shoe beach-front , across from the impressive - Castillo de Tossa de Mar - Castle hill,, captured our attention, and that is were we stayed for the next 2 nights.

Hotel Diana - Tossa de Mar

Modernist-style boutique beachfront hotel located at in historic center of the town.

Bronze Statue of Greek goddess Diana.

Once called Casa Sans, the name of its original owner Joan Sans, or Casa Falguera, the name of architect who designed it in 1906- by the seafront on the site of an old fisherman’s house which was in ruins.

,Antoni de Falguera i Sivilla, was a Modernist architect who was a protégé of the famous Josep Puig i Cadafalch.

Falguera designed emblematic buildings in Barcelona such as Casa de la Lactància (1908-1913) and the stained glass and wrought iron of the Boqueria Market on the Ramblas, among other monuments in the Catalan capital.

He used to spend his summers in Tossa and he received an assignment from a local member of the bourgeoisie,

Joan Sans, who had amassed a fortune in the cork industry in Colombia according to some.,had Falguera do a fabulous art work on the house, like the photoed painted glass

The building has a unique maritime façade, with Modernist gargoyles representing the four seasons, mosaics of glazed ceramic, stained glass and wrought iron, similar to those of Casa Vicens in Barcelona. The gargoyles were made by the sculptor Alfons Juyol, but it was Falguera himself who designed them (more)

The house changed owners in 1930, when Fernando Vilallonga i Balam bought the house , from Sans when after World War I his business ran out of luck.

Vilallonga did some renovations in the house such as the Carrara marble staircase on the ground floor or the beautiful bronze sculpture commissioned to artist Frederic Marès, which represents the Greek goddess Diana.

Ending up with no wife or kids Vilallonga left the house to Mercedes Gotarra Blanqué, daughter of his niece, Rosa Blanqué.

The house has not changed owners since and it became Hotel Diana in 1958.

Statues around the town

A Hike up the other Hill

The hill across from the fortified one offers a wonderful hiking trail up the mountainous area above the coast.

A steep long row of stairs lead up to the trail , from the restaurant alley down by the beach.

The views of the sea coves, beeach and town houses below are spectacular

Restaurant Bahia - Sea Food

Passeig del Mar, 19, 972 34 03 22

A f amily business, founded in 1954.

and located on the main beachfront street, known for its authentic fresh products and a close quality service.

Driving along Costa Brava

A scenic serpentine road along the high mountainous Costa Brava shore line connects

Tossa el Mar with 2 other quaint sandy beach resorts' towns we pass through named

Tossa is by far, my favorite from all these 3 vacationing options, but especially off season. In season it is mobbed and much more expensive..

The views along the coast roast of the steep drops blue sea water sandy beaches and coves along the way are spectacular coves

Ambitious bikers and suicidal motorcyclists, are seen madly speeding especially the deep curves all along the way.

To be Continued...


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