Tossa de Mar- Holiday Perfection in Three Days

by farrah on August 12, 2013 · 11 comments

I’m overwhelmed. Our trip was so exceptional I don’t even know where to start. Later this week I’ll talk about the hotel, food and restaurants of the area- which easily deserve attention in their own right. Additionally I have a lot to say about topless sunbathing/body image for us moms out there. Today, I just have to get down my first impressions, thoughts and feelings of what we experienced in the magical place of Tossa de Mar, Spain.

tossa1Me & The Mr.

Solo, Couple, Family. Tossa de Mar Is For All of You.

I had never heard of the Costa Brava region before this trip. When my husband and I were looking for a place to have a long weekend getaway once the grandparents arrived- we checked out our RyanAir discount airline destination airports and shot blind from there. A medieval city dating back to 966 surrounded by a 12th century castle? Hm. Sounded interesting….

to3The castle that looms over the beach. It’s like you’re living Game of Thrones.

The traveling gods smiled upon us when it came down to it and we ended up in the most perfect place I can possibly imagine. I am so thankful we discovered Tossa- for couples and families alike- if  you can swing it YOU MUST GO HERE. Period. I’ve been to Kauai, Napa and beyond, but this- my friends topped them all.

to4Atop the castle, behind the beach looking out to sea.

Thursday- First Impressions

Our flight landed around 11am and we found a taxi no problem outside of the airport. A half an hour later we were in Tossa and giddy. We stopped in front of our Hotel Delfin and asked when we might be able to check in since we were so early. They said about 1pm and gladly held our bags for us while we stepped across the street to gather our bearings and have some lunch. First impression thus far: hotel seemed nice, reception was friendly and very helpful, and perfectly central location.

So there we are, two mid/late thirtysomethings on our own for the first time really since our honeymoon and we didn’t even know where to start. I purposely didn’t do a ton of research so that we could explore and be surprised with what we saw. After checking in and investigating the room (clean, airy, comfortable) we set out to do some exploration. The hotel gave us a map and we first went up to Old Town at the top of the castle. You really have to read the history of this magnificent historical structure.

col3Old Town atop the castle

After my first caipirinha (think mojito without the mint) of the trip- we felt like we officially had arrived and continued to explore the castle walls. It was at this moment, sitting on a stone bench overlooking the cliffs that I noticed the kids. There were kids everywhere. In my heart I felt a quick pang of guilt that our own boys weren’t here with us- but that passed. We needed this alone time too!

After the climb back down we threw our towels on the sand and started to feel more at ease. We had already been to a beach in the Netherlands so were fully prepared for the topless sunbathing here, so that was no big deal. We made our way down to the water and jumped into the aquamarine sea thinking ‘What lucky lives we have.’ It was heavenly cool and with the beautiful rocks the scenery was something out of a magazine.

tos6

Some clouds rolled in an hour or so later so we walked up the boardwalk and had a drink. Here I discovered the local favorite Crianza (rioja) chilled red wine- and we watched the people go by. So many strollers, so many families. There were probably as many with kids as without (if not more) and rather than be annoyed,  I was thrilled. I was already planning a trip back with the boys for a summer down the road. Another time. Another trip we’ll bring them here and they will love it.

PicMonkey CollageCrianza Rioja & Sangria de Cava

We decided to forego napping on our holiday. Sounds silly- but I didn’t want to waste our time away sleeping. We pushed through and got ready for dinner as the the town came alive- the shops reopened from their siestas and the lights came on. What a vibrant and lively place! Kids were easily out with their families until 11pm or later. The Spanish culture starts later than we’re used to- so this was no big deal. There were brightly lit carousels, festive local touring train-tram, playgounds and an overall feeling of ‘FAMILIES WELCOME’ wherever you went. Quite a turnaround from the observations I’ve made as of late with airlines.

tos5Sweetest little boy- nap time

The couples out for simple romance didn’t mind. With the distraction of beauty surrounding them- if they were bothered by kids it certainly didn’t show. No one gave anyone else dirty looks at dinner or irritation at the play on the beach. I felt like I was in family vacation paradise.

Friday- Figuring it out

After our brief few hours on the beach the day prior- we knew that we could also look into exploring a nearby beach. We talked about snorkeling or looking into some scuba diving, but happily ended up just buying a water taxi ticket and headed over to another beach (cove) for the day. In the morning you can go up to one of the beach huts and look at the schedule- choose your destination and go. We chose to ride over to Saint Catalina beach since it was a little smaller and had finer sand.

tos8Water taxi to the other beaches

We rented a parasol and two chairs, drank in the mediterranean sun and surf- and swam all day. We napped in the shade of our umbrella and I loved the sight of napping toddlers on beach towels. Lunch was had at one of the beach side cafes, and after another dip or two it was time to jump on the last water taxi back to Tossa. We had a fantastic tapas dinner, and afterward planned on meeting the lovely photographer @Imvito who I chatted with on Instagram. Of all things, her husband was Dutch and he owned a bar in the area. We finished our evening with good conversation and fantastic caipirinhas.

tosnightThe castle at night. Is this real?!

Saturday- We know the drill

We knew the drill by this point. We knew that the town itself was adorable and there was so much shopping to be had. Being our last day we wanted to drink in every second- so chose to arrive early at the beach in Tossa, rent our chairs and umbrella- and not move all day which is exactly what we did. As every other day- the weather was perfect, the breeze cool and the waves musical. We dozed, sunned, swam and repeat. By 5pm I knew it was over and we had to leave. One more dinner and 5am was going to arrive all too soon to return to reality. I missed the boys- but this? This was beyond words. I can’t wait to come back and watch the kids frolic on the beach and nap in the sand.

To be continued in Part 2: Where to stay, what & where to eat.

I thought this video was perfectly done and 100% accurate. Look like a brochure? Well this is the real deal. I walked by so many of the scenes in this video I wanted to share it with you:

Video credit: Spain-holiday.com © All rights Spain-holiday.com (no sponsored material in this post)

All photos are mine, shot with my iPhone.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ann August 12, 2013 at 11:43 am

That water looks beautiful and it sounds heavenly. I can’t wait to hear more. Which airport did you fly into?

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2 farrah August 12, 2013 at 3:16 pm

You GOTTA go! Girona. Easy peasy. I can’t wait to go back with the boys, the lobster alone plucked from the tank will be a memory for years to come 🙂

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3 Leighann August 12, 2013 at 1:10 pm

incredible, your photo’s look like a magazine!

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4 farrah August 12, 2013 at 3:16 pm

Thank you! I forced myself to stop using filters- I think that has really helped. I had to use some lighting effect on that one of us, but it was so dark. Man, that place is gorgeous!

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5 KerryB August 13, 2013 at 1:36 am

FARRAH!!!!! You’re killing me smalls! I’m trying to make room in this house and your summing and being beautiful!! I love it!!! If I decide to stop popping out babies 2 at a time I will hit you up to be my personal travel planner!

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6 farrah August 13, 2013 at 6:43 am

🙂 If you don’t stop popping out babies two at a time I’m going to think something is seriously wrong with you! Or maybe you’re just THAT lucky lol!!! xoxoxo

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7 Amy August 13, 2013 at 4:42 am

Yay for you! My husband and I went to southern Spain before we had kids and stayed a couple nights in Nerja – your pics reminded me of it a bit. I loved it! Good to know Tossa is kid friendly – I would love to go back to Spain someday.

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8 farrah August 13, 2013 at 6:44 am

I hope you make it there- I was so impressed with the kid friendly nature. It really gives me hope that there are places we can take them while they’re little that we might not have expected. And I’ve never heard of Nejra. Looking into that now!

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