Saturday, 18 April 2009

Barcelona Costa Brava

Helping a friend out for a couple of weeks I found myself flying into Barcelona and taking a quick tour of this beautiful city before catching the onward bus to Platja D'aro. Sailing a Beneteau 473 is always a great experience for me as she is a little bigger than what I normally sail. The forecast was for everything from rain and thunderstorms, to strong winds and total calm. Thankfully the total calm never arrived and we managed to sail everyday bar one, even if we were heavily reefed at times. Living further south you get used to the sun and its easy to forget that it like England, the Costa Brava is green for a reason! Despite a few thunder and hail storms which passed quickly, the sun did make several appearances, sailing this time of year is always tricky as you need everything from full foul weather gear to shorts and t-shirts, the only thing you can be certain of, is that you will need to wrap up at night. Cruising the Costa Brava is a must, the area is peppered with quaint villages and coves begging to be explored. In my opinion this is a fantastic sailing area which gets better the further north you go, although it does experience a lot of strong winds and swell. Keeping an eye on the Barometer and getting regular weather updates is crucial, but thats the same anywhere you sail.

I found the harbours of Saint Felieux, Port D'aro and Palamos to be expensive even during the low season, but L'Estartit, L'Escala and Rosas all offered a warm welcome and were very reasonably priced. Like any coastal region of Spain, the towns are quiet at this time of year, but start preparing for the tourist from now onwards. Most businesses are open, even if they run a shorter timetable.

Access is easy with budget airlines operating into Barcelona and Girona airports, there are also good train and bus links with the rest of Spain.
Have you sailed this area, let me have your comments

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