The medieval walled town in Tossa de Mar, Catalonia, Spain
Blue paradise on the Costa Brava
On Spain's Costa Brava, about 65 miles north of Barcelona, lies a perfectly preserved medieval town just beyond the enceinte (stone wall) you see curving up the hillside. While La Vila Vella (The Old Town) traces its origins to the 12th century, it still melds beautifully with the more modern, larger city of Tossa de Mar.
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, this has long been a haven for artists. Actress Ava Gardner loved Tossa de Mar so much while making two movies here in the '50s that the town has erected a statue in her memory.