Costa Brava L’Estartit and the Pirates Festival

Costa Brava L'Estartit

Dad has been very busy on the computer of an evening recently, he’s been scouring the northern Spanish coast for 5 star campsites dreaming up our next summer holiday on the Costa Brava. You see we recently spent a weekend on the Costa Brava thanks to Catalan Tourist Board who invited us over for a taster weekend and we all loved it so much we want to return as soon as possible.

L’Estartit – Costa Brava

When we awoke on Saturday morning the sun was shining brightly in a spotless blue sky and held many promises of fun, warmth and beauty, we weren’t let down. Our home for the weekend was Hotel Medes, a lovely family run hotel very close to the sea which takes its name from the Islands of Medes which sit opposite L’Estartit. It was central enough to allow us to walk along the coast to the port passing a lovely market as we made our way.

Costa Brava L'Estartit market

Our morning activity was to sail across the calm seas on board El Corsari Negre to celebrate the Pirates and Corsairs in Medes Festival.

Costa Brava Iles des Medes

You see many many years ago L’Estartit was attacked from the sea by pirates from Africa, the locals had to hide in the towers of their homes and the stories are re told over and over in the town.

Costa Brava Iles des Medes


In fact the weekend of 27th September is the only time of the year anyone is allowed to land on the Iles des Medes and walk to the top or explore. It is a natural Park and source of much pride for the locals.

Costa Brava Iles des Medes

It is stunningly beautiful. Here you can see L”Estartit in the background.

Costa Brava Pirates

It is a hugely popular area for scuba diving too and has recently been featured in a UK Scuba Diving magazine. These shots make me want to have a go at scuba diving again

Costa Brava Scuba Diving

It was fun to see the town decked out for the festivities, there were signs of pirates everywhere, perfect for firing up the imagination of the little people. The L’Estartit tourist board had many activities planned, pirate shows in the town square, music, fireworks and craft and it was lovely to see everyone dressing up in the finest pirate gear to take part in this family festival.

Costa Brava L'Estartit pirates

We had a delicious lunch in La Gaviota restaurant, also on the promenade. I went for Octopus Galician style followed by Colin à la donostiarra (Hake) but it did make me laugh as I tucked into Colin. Pudding was the delicious Crema Catalana.

Costa Brava L'Estartit La Gaviota

Our afternoon was spent partly in the hotel swimming pool and a short walk back into town to see the pirate festivities.

Costa Brava Hotel Medes L'Estartit

That evening we were taken to a very special place about an hour and a half away close to the Pyrenees, Lavinyetta. We got off the coach surrounded by vines as the sun started to set. It was magical and what was even more interesting was to find out we were going to be cooking our own meal with Jordi and Anna from I Cook It.

Costa Brava La Vinyetta

But rather than cram a whole weekend into one post I’m going to tell you all about our La Vinyetta experience and our Sunday in Roses plus the most amazing bike rides (on electrical bikes that dad was very impressed with) in a different post.

If you like seeing holiday photos, here’s a few more I took and shared recently in The Gallery: Creative

L'Estartit promenade Costa Brava

L'Estartit Costa Brava

Fish Crates Costa Brava

La Vinyeta Costa Brava

La Vinyeta Costa Brava sunset


Do you need to find out more? Helen has written a post that makes me want to pack my bags and run back on Actually Mummy, take a look.

Disclosure: We were invited, as a family, to spend a weekend on the Costa Brava by the Catalan Tourist Board, all expenses were paid and we’d like to thank them for a wonderful experience.


  1. October 11, 2014 / 8:20 AM

    Ooh Mari, I love those foodie photos!! Looks like you all had an awesome time. I love reading travel posts – especially at this time of year when it is getting cold in the UK. I feel inspired to start planning our next adventure when I see sunny places!

    • October 22, 2014 / 7:05 PM

      Oh me too Nadine and since we came back the weather has got worse and our thoughts just return to the Costa Brava. It was lovely, we hope to go back in the summer.

  2. October 11, 2014 / 5:59 PM

    Looks like you had a fab week-end! I drooled over the photos you posted on Instagram!

    • October 22, 2014 / 7:13 PM

      Gosh it seems a lifetime ago now but yes it was fabulous and I’d do anything to return right now. Thanks for popping by.

  3. October 12, 2014 / 9:54 PM

    Gorgeous Mari!
    What a great weekend! I love the girls’ pirate head gear and your IG pics of Paella had me drooling. I hope you find a campsite!
    Karin xx

    • November 6, 2014 / 10:03 PM

      Still looking Karin! It will be an ongoing ‘job’ until the new year when he’ll get serious :)

  4. becky
    October 13, 2014 / 10:54 AM

    Lovely photos Mari and it looks great fun

  5. October 13, 2014 / 11:44 AM

    I’ve never been to Spain; I must confess, I’ve always been put off my the ‘Brits abroad, binge drinking on the Costa Del Sol’ image that it gained in the 80’s and 90’s, but your experience couldn’t have been more different and has really made me want to experience Spain for myself. Sausage is the same age as the twins and I think she’d really enjoy herself there!

    • November 6, 2014 / 10:06 PM

      I am totally with you on that one Jayne, I had the same thoughts myself but please trust me when I say there was none of that. Beautiful resorts, completely Spanish and just lots of fun.
      I guess some ‘Brits Abroad’ places are still there but I think Spain has grabbed back a lot and changed their image.
      Try it!

  6. October 13, 2014 / 1:22 PM

    What a fab weekend! Love those festivities and the pride in the town! I enjoyed watching your instagram feed from the trip, so lovely to see it all written up x

    • November 6, 2014 / 10:07 PM

      Thank you Katy, I often wonder what the reaction is of an IG feed whilst you’re away, this is my answer so thank you xx

  7. October 13, 2014 / 7:00 PM

    Oh that looks so beautiful – and warm. I think scuba diving is something I’d like the boys to try next.

    • November 6, 2014 / 10:08 PM

      Before I left Italy I treated my two older kids to scuba diving lessons in Sardegna as it’s something they will take with them forever. they had immense fun and I would completely advise you to do it.

  8. October 13, 2014 / 8:22 PM

    oh wow what breathtaking images.

  9. October 14, 2014 / 9:22 AM

    This looks like the perfect day. I love exploring foreign markets and Amy would have an absolute blast playing pirate and going on a boat. Looks like you had an amazing time x

    • November 6, 2014 / 10:09 PM

      We did Carolin, it was amazing and I am so serious when I say I want to go back and see more as we literally scratched the surface

  10. October 14, 2014 / 5:42 PM

    Costa Brava is indeed gorgeous. You’ve really captured that golden sunshine and the beauty of the area. x

    • November 6, 2014 / 10:10 PM

      Thanks Jen, we had such fun it was difficult not to capture it being surrounded by such beauty.

  11. October 15, 2014 / 10:22 AM

    Gorgeous photos Mari, looks like you all had a fab weekend. xx

  12. October 15, 2014 / 11:15 AM

    Oh I’m wanting to go right now Mari! It looks and sounds like a fab holiday for the family.

    • November 6, 2014 / 10:11 PM

      It is.
      There is something for everyone and Spain is so child/teen friendly. Kids play such an important role in their life that everyone feels so comfortable and of course the downside – you don’t want to come home!

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