Costa Brava beach days-Platja d’Aro

Platja d’Aro ticks a lot of boxes. This large long established resort town remains a popular destination for many different kinds of visitors. True the handsome beachfront (platja Gran) is its prime attraction, long, wide, and sandy. High-rise apartment blocks dominate the skyline a bit too much, a victim of rampant earlier development.

Droves of second-home owners migrate here to wait out the summer. It also attracts hordes of young night-clubbers from afar, being the only real nightspot destination of choice for many locals and tourists. Clubs like Michigan, Papillon, Zsa Zsa and Blow crank out cocktails and music till 6am. 

Drive down its main street at 7am and it’s surprisingly busy, as hungover youths stumble into cars. Their poor parents begrudgingly scooping them up-I’ve done the same!

Just a few blocks from the sea Avinguda de S’Agaro is its lengthy commercial hub which comes alive at weekends and most evenings. Crowds of people jostle for pavement space, window shopping or looking for sustenance. Platja d’Aro has a good amount and a mix of shops. Even out of season Sunday shopping is alive and well here, while Girona’s shops stay ghostly closed.

As a day visitor the chances of parking close to the beach are slim, within its maze of one way streets. One tip is to avoid taking the first Platja d’Aro exit, continue to the next one signposted ‘north’ and enter the town from here. If you find a paid bay you’ll end up having to pop back to feed the meter. We usually end up finding a free space further out and face a short walk in.

Not entirely starved of culture it has a few notable events throughout the year. February is Carnaval time and this place has one of the best I’ve seen. During July and August, every Friday from 11pm it has free jazz music, (Noches de Jazz) at one end of the beach.