There’s easy access to ski resorts in the Pyrenees, while Catalonia’s culture-soaked capital, Barcelona, is only 60 miles south.
British visitors first discovered the Costa Brava in the Sixties, holidaying around Lloret de Mar before many abandoned it for the steamier temperatures of southern Spain. That, combined with the steep natural geography, means that building on much of the coast is substantially less dense than along some other Spanish Costas.
“The Costa Brava has long since shed its image as a low-cost holiday destination and is now widely regarded as one of Spain’s most stylish and exclusive coastlines,” says Tom Maidment of estate agents Lucas Fox.
“It has a rich cultural history and is very family-friendly.”
Inland, the main city is historic Girona, a foodie hotspot loaded with Michelin-starred restaurants and the gateway to the rural Empordà region. The average price of a home in Girona province is £270,000 - some 155 per cent above the national average, according to Kyero House Price Index - and peaks in Begur town.
Gabby and Nick Band, from Englefield Green, Surrey, bought a house outside Begur in 2009.
“We lived in Primrose Hill and found the Costa Brava beautiful and quick to reach,” says Gabby.
“Our house was on the coast heading towards Sa Tuna and we holidayed there at least four times a year as well as renting it for up to £2,500 a week.”
Two years ago Nick set up his own business and, wanting to free up some money, they reluctantly sold the house.
But they soon discovered that frequent holidays and weekends away with their two children, Milo and Ella, now eight and six, were costly.
“We decided the best solution was to buy a small, sensible holiday home,” recalls Gabby. “We looked in France and Italy, but they were too quiet.
When we went back for a weekend to Begur, we realised the area had it all — beaches, countryside, Barcelona and Girona nearby and easy access.”
Nick and Gabby found a wooded halfacre plot in the next bay to Aigua Blava and are building a three-bedroom 2,100sq ft house. On completion this summer, their total spend will be £430,000.
“We have always wanted to build our own home, but never thought we could afford the Costa Brava,” says Gabby.
“With the pound so strong against the euro, our money has gonemuch further than we predicted.”
Lucas Fox: www.lucasfox.com
Domus Begur: www.domusbegur.com