The Costa Brava Girona area of Catalonia is one of the world’s best-known gastronomy regions. However, memorable food and hospitality experiences do not have to be beyond reach. Hostal Sa Rascassa, a boutique hotel/restaurant in Cala d’ Aiguafreda on the Costa Brava presented a perfect opportunity for our #CocoCouple to experience the best of Catalan cuisine and a base for exploring the region.
The Mediterranean coastline known as Costa Brava is one of Spain’s most important cultural and gastronomic regions.
Located in Catalonia, northeast of Barcelona and stretching all the way to the border with France, Costa Brava (roughly translated as ‘rugged coast’) is full of outstanding natural beauty.
Costa Brava has been popular with an older generation of British beach holiday goer who was content to stick to all-inclusive resorts along the coast.
However, in recent times, the Costa Brava is attracting a new generation of traveller, the curious type who loves the coast but yet is willing to venture further inland. This new generation of traveller is open to cultural immersion, open to gaining new perspectives and keen to explore beyond the conventional.
It helps that Catalonia has a great reputation for world-class gastronomy. This region is after all the home of the Roca brothers, the trio behind one of the world’s best restaurants – El Celler de Can Roca in Girona.
The good news is that you don’t have to spend your life savings to have a world-class gastronomy experience in Costa Brava. Boutique hotels like Hostal Sa Rascassa provide the perfect base from which you can explore a beautiful stretch of coastline, experience authentic (and affordable) local cuisine and learn about Catalan culture in the region.
Hostal Sa Rascassa
The term ‘off-the-beaten-path’ never felt so perfect as when used to describe Hostal Sa Rascassa a boutique hotel/restaurant in Cala d’ Aiguafreda on the Costa Brava.
Just over one hour’s drive from Barcelona, you’re soon in what feels like a hidden treasure in Costa Brava surrounded by hills, forests and of course the Mediterranean.
Hostal Sa Rascassa, a quaint 5-bedroom property is located next to a quiet cove. Only a few steps from our room, sitting on a perfectly positioned bench on a clifftop terrace, we enjoyed looking out through the trees to the sea. Steps lead down to the cove where you can also watch the waves wash over the quay.
Alternatively, if you’re more adventurous and want to explore the area, you can follow the path along the coast to Begur where there are a medieval castle and neoclassical Spanish and Moorish architecture to be seen. This is the perfect location for people who want to clear their heads and simply reconnect with mother nature.
Hostal Sa Rascassa owners, Merche and Oscar Gorriz, had exactly this on their minds when, with no prior hotel management experience, they founded this place in 2002.
Rooms are small but comfortable and include an ensuite bathroom with amenities, air conditioning (heating is also available) and thoughtful additions like umbrellas and space for walking shoes.
The overall design emphasis is on tranquillity, functionality and simplicity.
Dining by the Mediterranean
Beyond the spectacular views, the highlight by far of Hostal Sa Rascassa is its highly regarded restaurant.
Located close to Begur – recently named one of The Culture Trip’s most beautiful Costa Brava towns -Hostal Sa Rascassa boasts a small but very highly regarded restaurant, also listed in Culture Trip as one of the top 10 in the region. Their restaurant demonstrates the simplicity and magnificence of Catalan cuisine rolled into one.
Fresh ingredients and flavourful dishes are highlights. With some prior notice, the chef can accommodate specific dietary preferences. From our experience, the staff are friendly, efficient and happy to answer any questions.
What to eat? Fish (we tried their John Dory) and seafood are the highlights on their menu (changes based on seasonality). The salads are flavourful and a perfect side dish. Be sure to sample their range of wines from D.O. Empordà, one of Spain’s oldest wine-making regions.
Getting there: Driving is the best way to get here. The drive from Girona takes just over an hour (63km) and double that from Barcelona. See here for directions.
For restaurant bookings (by phone only), call Hotel Sa Rascassa at +34 972 622 845
To book hotel stays, go to hostalsarascassa.com