The Costa Brava, meaning Wild Coast, stretches 65km NE of Barcelona to the French border. The pine-clad and rocky coast gives it that wild look, but there are many wide beaches and small sandy coves to enjoy in this stunning region.
Barcelona is not only the Catalonian region's capital but also Spain's second city. The port city has a long history and thus many interesting sights to explore. As well as an aerial tramway up a local mountain for panoramic views of the city, there are also the quirky spires of Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia church. The old city comprises of historic, baroque-style buildings and the long promenade, the Ramblas, has cafes, restaurants and bird and flower markets. The historic waterfront boasts not only the biggest monument in the world to Christopher Columbus, but also a maritime museum.
Gerona city is the main populated area at the heart of the province that shares its name with many historical buildings - one being the cathedral in the main square and a Jewish Quarter of narrow streets and interesting shops. The Quart District is the place for buying local crafts, particularly the traditional and locally created black and green ceramics. The city has an art museum and history seekers can find the Roman baths and the ancient Sant Pere de Galligants church.
When in this northern part of Spain, families can pop inland to the Pyrenees mountain range that separates France and Spain, and even in the summer months they can go skiing. Facilities and ski systems around the main mountain town of Lleida are the best in Spain, and just a few miles away is the mini-state of Andorra. Perched high in the Pyrenees it has a number of attractions, tax-free shopping and skiing among them.
Figueres, only 8km from Camping Les Pedres, Figueres is a small city in Catalonia, Spain with a population of 40,000. It is the seat of the Alt Empordà county in the Girona Province and has a wealth of history spanning many centuries that has been preserved and shown in several museums in the area as well as in the compact Old Town. Being the last major town before the Spanish/French border, it serves as a fantastic base to explore the upper Empordá region that is awash in great food, wines, and beaches that represent the Catalan culture.
The city's main attraction is the world famous museum of native son, Salvador Dalí. After the Prado in Madrid, it is the most visited museum in all of Spain.
But beyond the museum, Figueres can be a pleasant place to spend a night or two. The town, much like Girona, is a relaxed alternative to Barcelona with relaxing cafés on side streets, and a compact Old Town core. The Empordà region in general will appeal to those interested in the history and/or burgeoning viticulture and gastronomy of Northern Catalonia. Figueres works well as a base for day trips to these destinations. It is also happens to be the case that Figueres is 15 minutes by car or 25 minutes by train from the beaches of the Costa Brava.
The name of the town means 'fig trees' as historically they grew with great abundance around the area. Local youth often colloquially refer to the town as 'Figui' for short.