Tossa de Mar curves around a boat-speckled bay, guarded by a headland crowned with impressive defensive medieval walls and towers. Tourism has bolted a larger, modern extension onto this picturesque village of crooked, narrow streets, though its old town and clifftop views retain their beauty.
Tossa was one of the first places on the Costa Brava to attract foreign visitors: a small colony of artists and writers gravitated towards what Russian-French painter Marc Chagall dubbed ‘Blue Paradise’ in the 1930s. It was made famous by Ava Gardner in the 1951 film Pandora and the Flying Dutchman; you'll find a statue of the silver-screen queen along the path towards the lighthouse.
In July and August it’s hard to reach the water’s edge without tripping over oily limbs. Outside high season, Tossa is still an enchanting place to visit, though many attractions and amenities limit hours or close entirely.