Y Magazine

Postcard: Tamariu, Costa Brava, Spain

Postcard this week comes from Tamariu, a small fishing village on the Spanish Costa Brava. A favourite spot for Adam Hurrell…

Tamariu is a delightful spot, wedged between high hills on each side, with the village squeezed into the valley below. Characterised by low-rise buildings along the seafront and luxury villas on the high headlands, Tamariu and its surrounding villages are famed for their seclusion, peace, quiet and outstanding natural beauty. Unlike some of the more famous resorts on the Mediterranean, Tamariu has a wonderful sense of community and hospitality. Returning and new guests alike are warmly welcomed and thoroughly looked after.


Tamariu is part of the municipality of Palafrugell, roughly 50 minutes drive from Girona-Costa Brava Airport. The name Tamariu is said to have come from the many tamarisk trees that line the promenade. A relative of mine has been holidaying in this charming little village that nestles on the coast of the Spanish Costa Brava for the past 50 years and my first visit was in 2001. I have been going back with family and friends almost every year since.

My favourite place:  
This has to be the promenade and the beach, both of which are perfect for relaxing in the sun over long lunches that extend late into the evening. The beach is Blue Flag certified, meaning it meets the stringent standards set by the Foundation for Environmental Education and offers crystal-clear waters and beautiful soft sand. When I’m there, I usually wander down the hill in the mid-afternoon, buy a newspaper and spend the afternoon on the beach filling out the crossword. It is the perfect tonic to an otherwise hectic life.

In addition to the trusty newsagents, a vast array of cafes and restaurants line the seafront and are well stocked with local dishes, seafood and sumptuous paella. These restaurants are the perfect spots to spend lazy afternoons to just watch the world go by. For those who love people watching, there are few better places to do it. Just behind the beach is a boules pitch and many a long summer afternoon has been spent watching the local men play game after game. At the far end of the beach is the local scuba diving company, Stollis, which offers a wide range of dives in the local bay. I dived there in June this year and had a wonderful time. The waters were clean and clear and the dive crew couldn’t be faulted.

About an hour’s drive from Tamariu is the ancient city of Empúries. Founded by the Greeks in 575BC and then occupied by the Romans in the first century BC, the city remained in Roman hands up until the sixth century AD. Now a major tourist attraction, Empúries is famed for vast stretches of ruins and mosaics that visitors can explore. There is also an outstanding museum that explains the full story of the city and surrounding areas. An excellent beach is also within the grounds of Empúries and there is a walkway that takes you up to the quaint village of Sant Martí d’Empúries, which is well worth a visit.

Parking is exceptionally limited in Tamariu. As such, it is best to walk to the village if possible, although it’s best to pack your shoes as it can be a steep climb back up the hill.

Tamariu has all the usual tourist offerings, but for a really unique item, take the 20-minute drive to La Bisbal d’Empordà. Ceramics is the mainstay of the local economy and all sorts of colourful clay creations can be purchased. Everything from pots to animals and crockery, if it can be made out of clay, the chances are La Bisbal d’Empordà will stock it in a variety of colours.

Where to stay:
There are a number of companies offering holidays in the villas in the village and surrounding areas. Alternatively, if it’s a hotel you would prefer, you can’t go wrong with Hotel Tamariu, located on the seafront.

Picture credit: Featured image and diving picture – Shutterstock Photos. All other images Adam Hurrell