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Photo Essay from around Costa Brava

There is more delicious food and stunning scenery in Costa Brava than you can shake a Pimientos de Padrón at. We present a photo essay of Costa Brava.

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Sant Feliu de Guíxols lookout

We love to capture our travel adventures in words. We like to put you in the moment with us as we tear around the Tuscan countryside on our scooter. Or we want you to live vicariously through us as we face our own fears when we are deep underground caving in Budapest.

However, sometimes it is just easier to paint a picture in your head with photos rather than words…

Costa Brava in Photos

Girona Cathedral Costa Brava

If you want a place to base yourself in Costa Brava, then start in Girona. Colourful houses, cute bridges criss-cross the winding river, and enough scrumptious food to keep any foodie in heaven. Or a food coma.

Pimientos de padron Green Peppers Spain

Apparently 1 in 10 of these delicious salty Pimientos de Padrón (tiny green peppers an inch or two long) are a hiding a secret spiciness waiting to unleash on the unsuspecting pinxtos eater. Luckily, even though I ate a tonne, I never hit a spicy one.

Costa Brava Rail Trail Biking

When we were not eating, we were on a cycling tour along endless tracks with not a soul in sight.

Costa Brava secret waterfall

And being shown incredible secret spots like this secluded waterfall by our local cycling guides. I just wish I had my swimming togs.

Palamos Beach Costa Brava

Costa Brava runs along the northeast coastline of Spain, so there are empty stretches of beaches like this one near the town of Palamos just waiting to be explored. Wouldn’t be a bad place to live and launch your rowing boat through your castle wall.

Sant Feliu de Guíxols Monastery Costa Brava

Sant Feliu de Guíxols Monastery.

Sant Feliu de Guíxols Sunset Costa Brava

One of just the many gorgeous sunsets we watched to finish off our incredible days during our biking adventures.

Sant Feliu de Guíxols lookout

I personally couldn’t think of a better view in Costa Brava.

Disclaimer: Cole was a guest of the Costa Brava tourism board for 3 days. And although I can’t claim that I made the Spanish food and countryside look even more beautiful, my opinions and my photos are always my own.

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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70 Comments

70 Comments

  1. Laurence

    October 4, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    Some spectacular photos here! Love what you did with the shot of the church at the end – really funky stuff 😀

    • Cole Burmester

      October 4, 2012 at 5:07 PM

      Cheers mate. Someone showed me a trick or two recently 😉

      • Laurence

        October 4, 2012 at 5:08 PM

        Well, when you’re world famous and touring the world with your camera.. just remember us 😉

        • Cole Burmester

          October 4, 2012 at 5:10 PM

          I will probably need someone to carry my tripod for me. Will ask Vera next time haha.

  2. Andrea

    October 4, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    Stunning photos Cole! Glad we got to hang out in Costa Brava for a couple of days. See you (and Adela?) at WTM. 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      October 4, 2012 at 5:07 PM

      Haha she does exist and will be at WTM! Always fun catching up with you and looking forward to it again.

  3. Bret@ Green Global Travel

    October 4, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    WHOA! Those Lightroom tips from Laurence are clearly paying off! The first and last shots are especially cool. Keep up the good work…

    • Cole Burmester

      October 4, 2012 at 5:08 PM

      Thanks Bret. Can’t take all the credit, considering how beautiful Costa Brava is 😉

  4. BackPackerSteve

    October 4, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    Awesome pictures, Cole – especially the HDR!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 4, 2012 at 5:08 PM

      Cheers Steve. Now if only I could find the time to put together all our video footage from that bike trip…

  5. Pingback: It’s a Wrap: TBEX Europe in Girona, Spain

  6. Vegemitevix

    October 4, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    Awesome photos Cole, shame I missed TBEX but hopefully will catch up with you and Adela at WTM! Vix x

    • Cole Burmester

      October 5, 2012 at 9:02 AM

      Yup we will be at WTM so see you there! Looking forward to it.

  7. Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey

    October 4, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    Lovely!

  8. Christina

    October 4, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    Ah wow, that picture of the waterfall – it looks so un-Spanish, at least in my vision of Spain. Makes me think I really haven’t seen much of Spain yet! Love that scene. Great to hear you had such a fab time!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 5, 2012 at 9:03 AM

      On our bike tour there are all these little secret spots hidden away that they guide you to. Well worth the uphill effort 😉

  9. Just One Boomer (Suzanne)

    October 5, 2012 at 3:49 AM

    You earned your “show and tell” by the Costa Brava Tourism Board. One photo is indeed worth a thousand words (well, some photos, like these, anyway). I now have a good excuse for returning to Spain since we never made it to the Costa Brava.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 5, 2012 at 9:05 AM

      Thanks Suzanne! Costa Brava is definitely one of the best spots in Spain, although to be fair we haven’t been right down South yet. Get in touch with the Tourism Board if you ever get to go. They will tell you all the best places to visit.

      (P.S. Glad to have you back again) 🙂

  10. Samantha Bangayan

    October 5, 2012 at 8:22 AM

    Wow! These are absolutely gorgeous photos! My favorite is the one of the secluded waterfall, which looks like an HDR image. Somehow, those very places that not all tourists see are the most special.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 5, 2012 at 9:06 AM

      It was edited a little to look HDR but really was more beautiful in person 🙂 These “secret” spots you can really only access if they tell you where they are personally. That’s why I loved it so much.

  11. Shamis @ Gawaya Travel Blog

    October 5, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    Beautiful photos, Cole! Love the waterfall. I wouldn’t miss to take a dip there. It just so amazing.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 5, 2012 at 9:11 AM

      I only had my underwear unfortunately and didn’t want to strip off in front of the group of strangers haha. No need to terrorise them 😉

  12. sasha the traveller

    October 5, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    You certainly have the photographer’s eye…absolutely stunning pictures. I hope you have printed some out and framed them on your wall as they need to be shown!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 5, 2012 at 6:04 PM

      We will once we settle down and have somewhere to hang them 😉

  13. Jeremy Branham

    October 5, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    What a beautiful area! I’ve been to Barcelona but not the Costa Brava area. Jealous that you got to go to TBEX. Hope you had a great time but I know you enjoyed the views!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 5, 2012 at 6:07 PM

      Was a great event and would like to get to the North American TBEX sometime in the future. Bit far for us though.

  14. laini

    October 5, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    Wow, beautiful shots! Your colors are exquisite!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 5, 2012 at 6:07 PM

      Thanks Laini 🙂 Not hard to take good photos with a landscape like that!

  15. Jenna

    October 5, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    I am really looking forward to taking a long trip to Spain one of these days, and these photos inspire me to visit Costa Brava. Looks like such a great mix of history, natural beauty, and culture.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 5, 2012 at 6:08 PM

      We have spent 4 weeks there now and cannot get enough. Need to head further south on our next visit I think! See ya there 😉

  16. Jeff Titelius

    October 5, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    Such a vibrant tour through Costa Brava my friend. Gorgeous pics! I would have loved to visit the Sant Feliu de Guíxols Monastery pictured above. And relieved to hear that you never hit a spicy Pimientos de Padrón! Great post!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 5, 2012 at 6:09 PM

      I kind of wanted to eat a spicy one to see what all the fuss is about… But glad I didn’t haha. You definitely would have loved the architecture around some of the Spanish villages we visited.

  17. Sharon Glanville at BeBetsy

    October 5, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    I love reading travel blogs-fun places to visit. Photos are wonderful!

  18. Marlys

    October 5, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    Great shots! Are those deep fried chilis? Were they hot! Yum!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 5, 2012 at 6:10 PM

      Definitely fried in something and quite salty. Luckily they are sweet, apart from 1 in 10 apparently.

  19. Debbie

    October 5, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    Stunning, stunning photos. It looks gorgeous! The waterfall looks so inviting!

  20. Andy

    October 5, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    Really awesome pictures. They make me miss Spain a lot! Although I am a sucker for beaches, I’d have to go with picture 1 or 4 for creativity and perspective.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 6, 2012 at 9:04 AM

      I prefer the last photo but just because the ocean looks inviting and the clouds just pop!

  21. Jeff Dobbins

    October 5, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    Wow. Absolutely stunning. I just got home from the region Tuesday, and you make me want to turn around and head back. Sorry I didn’t meet you at TBEX, but hopefully soon.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 6, 2012 at 9:05 AM

      Unfortunately I probably only met about 25% of the people I was trying to meet up with! Would definitely be keen to catch up though Jeff if you make it to Scotland or somewhere else on our travels.

  22. Audrey

    October 6, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    The cornfields look like a blast! I’d love to cycle through there. 😀

    • Cole Burmester

      October 7, 2012 at 2:44 PM

      Very relaxing cycle and such a beautiful spot to do it.

  23. Tim @ Marginal Boundaries

    October 8, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    Beautiful stuff 🙂

    Spain is high on my list of places to head to after I finish up in South America, and these photos only reinforce the desire. Good times, good times 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      October 8, 2012 at 4:41 PM

      Maybe we can swap places then Tim! We want to get to South America sometime soon 🙂

  24. Caanan @ No Vacation Required

    October 8, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    We completely fell in love with the Spanish coast earlier in the year. Discovering the area on a bicycle sounds especially nice.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 8, 2012 at 4:41 PM

      It is great because you can escape all the crowds you usually get in these beautiful coastal spots.

  25. D.J. - The World of Deej

    October 8, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    Great pics…I definitely missed out at TBEX it seems!:)

    • Cole Burmester

      October 8, 2012 at 4:42 PM

      Try and get to the one in Toronto. Even if you buy a ticket now and have to sell it because you can’t go. Totally worth it.

  26. Pete

    October 8, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    Some really nice shots Cole, I especially like the road through the corn fields. It is composed really well.

    I’m really bummed we didn’t make it over for TBEX, but we’ll get to this region eventually.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 9, 2012 at 9:23 AM

      Would have been great to finally meet you guys Pete. Oh well, next time for sure!

  27. Angela

    October 8, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    Beautiful pictures, it’s a stunning region!

  28. Mariana Calleja / TravelThirst

    October 8, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    Great pics guys! Definitely this place is a little treasure in the whole region. I’ve been able to explore it slowly since living in Barcelona. Totally worth it! Glad you enjoyed. Cheers!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 9, 2012 at 9:24 AM

      Cheers Mariana 🙂 You are super lucky to be living in Spain!

  29. Amanda

    October 8, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    It looks so gorgeous! I especially love that last photo.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 9, 2012 at 9:25 AM

      Not hard to take good photos of beautiful spots 😛

  30. Cathy Sweeney

    October 9, 2012 at 3:39 AM

    Girona is so photogenic, isn’t it? Of course, so is most of Costa Brava. I loved it there. I wish I could have taken a cycling tour like you did. Looks like a great area to do that.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 9, 2012 at 9:28 AM

      Peaceful, relaxing and easy cycling. Couldn’t ask for much more than that 🙂

  31. Mike@frenchtravelguide.co.uk

    October 10, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    I like your pictures of the tourist sports of Costa Brava. It is really inviting me or making me go there very soon! I appreciate the waterfalls! By the way, I must commend you for taking great captures!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 11, 2012 at 9:49 AM

      Thanks Mike. Costa Brava is one very beautiful place to visit.

  32. crazy sexy fun traveler

    October 11, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    Aww, I want to go to that waterfall!

  33. Mellisa Turner

    October 23, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    Absolutely stunning pictures there! Going through these
    images leaves a lingering image of Costa Brava. It is just so fabulous. It is
    amusing that not one of those green peppers turned hot and spicy 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:24 AM

      I finally got a hot pepper! But it wasn’t in Costa Brava, was down in Vigo 🙂

  34. PurpleTravelKate

    October 26, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    Love it, your pics really show a lot of the gorgeous sides of the Costa Brava. It’s like a whole bunch of reasons to go all in photos. 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:43 AM

      Thanks Kate! It is easy to take photos of beautiful places though so I can’t take much credit 😉

  35. PurpleTravelKate

    October 31, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    Yeah, but a good eye always helps! 🙂

  36. Alex

    April 18, 2016 at 8:25 PM

    Hello, I spent my summers in the costa brava and these are some of the best pictures I have seen so far of it. I just wonder where the waterfall is? I wanna know since I have already been in the other places.

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Europe

5 European Cities to Visit in the Dead of Winter

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As one of the most polarizing seasons, winter could be termed as both a blessing and a curse by those who like making the most out of nature.

After all, while it brings about the opportunity to build snowmen and to ski on magnificent ice slopes, it also brings a chill to the bone and a desire to never get away from the fireplace.

Don’t forget about the hot chocolate either.

That is why, when it comes to vacationing in winter, it gets quite difficult to choose from a location – especially when the destination is as diverse in climate as Europe. Do you select a place that’s sunny and warm? Or somewhere that lets you enjoy the ice and cold in the best ways possible?

To make that decision easier for you, here are 5 European cities that you could visit in the dead of winter, with the assurance that you would come out of the vacation phase with a smile on your face.

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is a city that is synonymous with sunshine, warmth, and some of the world’s most breathtaking architecture.

The temperature rarely drops below 45 degrees even in the coldest months of the year. While the sunshine remains present amidst the rainy days. This means that you can enjoy the best effects of winter without having to endure the worst of them.

If you happen to be a fan of football, then these effects can be increased by several times. This beautiful city is home to one of the greatest football clubs of all time and with Barcelona FC in contention for a championship virtually every year, odds are you’ll be walking out with a smile on your face after watching a win. Not a bad way to take a break from the beach!

Athens, Greece

While you wouldn’t be able to go to Mount Olympus’ mythical version in this day and age, you can still experience Greece’s magnificence through the beautiful city of Athens.

Like Barcelona, Athens also sees rare drops in temperature while being consistent around 45 degrees throughout the heaviest months in winter. With the architecture that you can experience under the sun, this weather can actually be ideal for an exploratory walk.

And if you are a fan of Greek food, then checking out local restaurants for authentic dishes would only add to the overall experience of your trip.

Venice, Italy

Since Italy is full of some of the most breathtaking architecture in the world, it would be quite debatable to say that Venice is the crown jewel of the country in terms of structural beauty.

But it is.

From the way that the city has been designed to the manner that the buildings have been developed, Venice remains a breathtaking sight for anyone who visits it.

That remains true even in the months of winter, where the does drop to around 30 degrees, but still provides the tourists and inhabitants with a way to enjoy the magnificent sights under the sun.

Zugspitze, Germany

Germany is considered to be one of the coldest countries in Europe, but it is a good thing for those who enjoy a bit of snow during their travels.

And for those who do, there are perhaps not many places that are as marvelous as Zugspitze in terms of a memorable winter experience.

With snow covered mountains and a temperature that dances around -14 degrees in winter, you can enjoy an array of winter sports such as skiing, sledding, and snowboarding to your heart’s desire. If you are one to enjoy snow and everything good there is about the season of winter, then Zugspitze is the place to go.

Marseilles, France

While Paris gets quite cold in winter without the weather enhancing any effects of life within the city, Marseille seems to be quite the opposite. The city is as lively in the winter as it is during its busiest days in summer, with plenty to do in adjacent areas.

You may visit the many architectural sites and tourist attractions in Marseilles itself, but you can add to that experience when you choose to visit the Christmas markets in Aix en Provence or Avignon.

With that, the many warm and steamy French soups and bouillon based dishes that you can enjoy in Marseilles only add to the trip. This means that by the time you are done with your visit to Marseilles, you are bound to be fed well, have some goods in your shopping bags, and some memorable pictures in your phone to boot.

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Europe

Even the Most Expensive Cities Have Cheaper Alternatives: Paris

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According to the results of The Economist Intelligence Unit’s “Worldwide Cost of Living” survey, Singapore, Paris, Zurich, Hong Kong, and Oslo are the most expensive places to live – and visit – this year. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit them, though – actually if your budget allows it, you should cross them off your bucket list as soon as you can. But this doesn’t mean you have to break all your piggy banks and sell your soul only to spend a weekend in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Unless you’re adamant that it’s “Paris or bust”, there are alternatives to this crowded and top-dollar destination you might want to consider – and start saving for your dream trip nonetheless.

Lyon

Lyon has a history of almost two millennia, and it shows: the remains of the Roman settlement Lugdunum, built at the confluence of the rivers Saône and Rhône, are showing to this day. Lyon might not be a capital city – it doesn’t have the size or the population – but its role in the everyday life of France was always important, both as a trade and a cultural hub.

The city has many gorgeous sights to see, like the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, the Tour Métallique (a tall TV tower that replicates the top of the Eiffel Tower), among others, covering every age from the birth of the city to its modern times. Plus, it has museums, parks, gardens, and a street art group that has been designated the cultural ambassador for the city. Not to mention its cuisine, the unique and popular Lyonnaise cuisine that has become a worldwide sensation.

Lille

A relatively small city in the north of France, Lille is another charming alternative to a crowded and overpriced Paris. It features many distinct architectural styles, most of them with a clear Flemish influence. Among its landmarks, you find its Cathedral (Basilique-cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-la-Treille), its Citadel, its palaces, and gardens. Lille is also the place with the biggest flea market in Europe – Braderie de Lille takes place on the first Sunday of September, with millions of attendees and over 10,000 sellers gathering in the streets of the city. It’s a charming, agreeable, and colorful city that will offer its visitors a beautiful experience.

Strasbourg

Last but not least, let us mention a city with a double significance – on one hand, it’s the official seat of the European Parliament, on the other, it’s a wonderful place to visit and a great alternative to an overcrowded Paris.

Strasbourg is a place where French and German architecture mingle in a unique way, with an Old Town filled with timber-framed houses surrounding typical French landmarks and churches. It also has many notable parks, some with historic significance, and almost too many museums for its small size. Plus, it’s a distinctively multicultural city where visitors will find it easy to fit in.

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Europe

Let’s Do A Road Trip In Europe Fin

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Its that time of year again. It is the holidays and vacation, mirth and much merriment is upon us. Those of us who are lucky are able to take a few days to a few weeks off for vacation and can enjoy it abroad or do a staycation. A trip abroad is probably preferred, there’s so much to see and do, it would a pity to while the days away in your own hometown.

Get a move on, grab your bags, get a ticket and jump on a plane to Europe. When you get there, rest for a bit and begin your road trip. Nothing beats traveling on the road and taking all the sights that nature has to offer while stopping by at different locations.

Remember, a road trip can be very feasible and pleasant if it is done right. Make sure to have your car inspected, checked and ready to go for a long distance road trip.

You’ll want to make sure that you have your oil checked and your tires as well. Proper tires from suppliers such as Kwik Fit will get you squared away and ready to hit the road.

Oh, The Places You’ll Go

Grossglockner

One of the top places that you’ll want to go is in Austria. There’s this little spot called Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse, this spot is one that is talked about by road trip aficionados of all kinds.

The Grossglockner is the opposite of what it sounds like, it’s not gross at all, it’s quite pleasant actually.  The path will take you through different sights ranging from mountain tops to rivers, to rock formations and more. What’s fun about this place is that you will also be able to have different changes in the road itself, it is not just one straight path but one that is filled with turns and changes to keep you from getting bored.

Italy and the Amalfi Coast

Italy is a place that won’t disappoint, it has food, culture, and history to keep you company. Italy also has beautiful sights all over too. One of the best places to drive through would be the Amalfi Coast.

The Amalfi Coast has everything you could possibly want, beaches, cliffs, and beautiful fishing villages. The place is not only beautiful in nature but in culture as well. One can check out the Cathedrals, Villa Rufolo, engage in some boat tours for a quick respite from their road trip and also view the Sirenuse from afar.

Portugal – The Estoril Coast

Drive from Italy, pass by countries such as France, Spain and reach the destination of Portugal. You will find the climate and the overall setting over here to be appealing.  On your way to this beautiful place, make sure to check out popular spots such as Lisbon and other prominent locations such as Sintra. The Estoril Coast was home to the nobility of ages past and even to those that we see as nobility today, celebrities, wealthy people and tourists with a couple of euros or dollars to their name stop by this place and immerse themselves in the manmade and natural attractions that this place has to offer.

Don’t Hesitate, Time Stands Still For No One

Time is slipping, check out budget and look into which part of Europe you want to stick to. Make the decision and take the trip, it will be a great refreshment and you will be glad you were able to have the experience. Take a few snapshots and indulge in the experience of #RoadtripsofEurope

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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