The medieval walled town in Tossa de Mar, Catalonia, Spain
Blue paradise on the Costa Brava
On Spain’s Costa Brava, about 45 miles (72 kilometres) north of Barcelona, lies a perfectly preserved medieval town just beyond the enceinte (stone wall) you see curving up the hillside. La Vila Vella (The Old Town) blends with the more modern, larger city of Tossa de Mar. Here, the 21st century melds beautifully with the 14th.
Modern hotels are just out of the camera’s viewfinder. Visitors can spend their days sunbathing on the beach, diving in the sea or strolling La Vila Vella’s narrow, winding streets past centuries-old architecture. Just beyond the defensive walls is the deep blue sea. It was this view that inspired French painter Marc Chagall to nickname Tossa de Mar ‘blue paradise.’ In fact, Tossa de Mar has long been a haven for artists. Actress Ava Gardner loved the town so much while making two movies there in the '50s that the town has erected a statue in her memory.