rom the very moment people step out of one of the airports in or near Barcelona, the impression they will take home from their trip starts to form. While they’re taking a transfer from the airport they booked on www.atlastransfers.com, the impression is almost set. And when they see the lovely coastline making way into the coastal region of Costa Brava, they are completely assured they are heading for one of the loveliest places in Europe. Costa Brava, which starts some 40 miles north of Barcelona and stretches north until it reaches the border of Spain and France, is renowned for its natural beauties above the sea level – and especially underneath it.
A typical scuba diving excursion to Costa Brava would start by landing at one of the airports near Barcelona. The Barcelona-El Prat Airport, Girona-Costa Brava Airport, and Reus Airport, are either in the city of near it, but those who would like to explore the marine life off the coast of Costa Brava would be better served by landing and Barcelona-El Prat or Girona-Costa Brava, as those two are closer to the coastal region. From the airport, a transfer service like Atlas Transfers is the best way to get to the next stop – the accommodation.
Choices for accommodation in the region vary. There is the standard offer of hotels, from the very exclusive and luxurious, to the budget hotels for those who don’t need much pampering. Another option would be to stay in private apartments, and for those who are really nature-oriented, there are rural houses and campsites. So from budget friendly or reclusive options, to the luxury hotels which cater to world celebrities, Costa Brava has it. The hotel rates start at around €60 per night, and go up to €250 or more. Needless to say, prices drop during off-season.
A way to get accommodation in Costa Brava without actually booking it would be to have some of the diving centers arrange it. While this service might not be readily available in all diving centers in the region – and there’s around 40 of them – the ones that offer it usually advertise it. The diving centers themselves offer the standard array of services – PEDI diving courses, gear rental, group and single dives, as well as try-dives, which are especially helpful to those new to diving. Try-dives cost around €50, while a full open-water diving course costs around €400. Single dives, with complete gear rental, can cost from €50 upwards.
But the thing that draws the divers to the region aren’t the hotels or the diving centers, no matter how good they are – it’s the sea, and what it hides beneath the surface. And arguably the best place to dive in Costa Brava, and arguably one of the best places for diving in Europe, are the Medes Islands. The small archipelago is a protected area of special natural interest just off the coast near town and resort of L’Estartit, and it’s home to little less than 20 separate diving sites, most of which are breathtaking. Another great diving area is the Cap de Creus National Park, or the part of it that’s located under the water. Divers interested in shipwrecks can check out the Reggio Messina shipwreck, the Avenire shipwreck, and the Constantine shipwreck, among others.