Is there life in Costa Brava in winter?
Spoiler: Fear not, life goes on! This post is aimed at making your worries about this go away!
Part 1. Weather.
Costa Brava enjoys mild weather all year round. July is the hottest month with an average temperature of 28 °C. January is the coldest one of the year, with an average nighttime temperature of 4 °C and a daytime average of 13 °C. However, this average doesn’t mean that even on some January days you cannot actually lazy on the beach or bask in the sun in a café on the seafront. The cold season in general lasts for 4.4 months, from November 18 to March 30, with an average daily high temperature around 17 °C. Really rainy days are below 60 per year! That’s more than manageable, right?
While 4 °C at night still sounds daunting, keep in mind that all modern homes usually have heating (which can be gas, gas oil, electric or reverse cycle conditioning). And if you want to buy an old house to renovate, you can put any heating system of your choice!
Part 2. Social life and activities.
Whether you already have a property in Costa Brava, Spain, or plan to buy or rent one, you may wonder what activities this region offers, once the tourists have left.
All kinds of fairs, festivals and markets take place all winter, all over Catalonia, so much so that you’ll be spoilt for choice! Vintage markets are also a popular pastime on weekends, and there is a number of them in various villages of Costa Brava. Weekly village markets are also not to be forgotten! The Calonge market happens every Thursday along the main street.
You can consult this site for village feasts, markets and fairs.
Calonge is also a village of bookshops, there are 7 of them, and they also carry out various activities according to their theme.
For culture events, you may subscribe on Whatsapp to a news channel by the culture department, just call them or drop by the tourist office to ask how. To name but a few, concerts, lectures, guided tours…
On top of that, the local council organises courses throughout the year. You can also join languages classes, be it Catalan, Spanish, or perhaps another language. Consult the offer here.
The international community in Costa Brava, and particularly Calonge, is also quite large, and you are sure to find fellow countrymen.
There is an excellent gym in Calonge too, and all kinds of sports activities organised. If you like hiking, you are not alone: so do many locals, and you will often find announcements of hikes organised by local activists.
The walking route of Camino de Ronda stretching all the way to France is another excellent option to keep fit and enjoy the good weather. Cycling and running are very popular here too. The Gavarres mountains have many routes for these activities. You will find springs and make many interesting discoveries on your trips! On the coast, sailing and all kinds of water sports can also be practiced all year round.
Keeping fit is not the only way to care for oneself. Good food also is. Calonge has a number of restaurants, bars and cafés, all renowned for something of their own! Palamos nearby also has a gastronomic space at the fish market which offers cooking courses and other curious experiences. Pals 20 minutes drive away is famous for its rice. Winter is a good time to take walks or bike rides through rice fields and enjoy the local fauna that lives there too, especially if you are fond of birds. Finish off with a Pals rice dish offered by many restaurants.
Calonge also has its own wines! Visit one of the local wineries and expand your knowledge of wines by studying the many vineyards of Empordà!
Once the Carnival time approaches, you will see that there are various local formations that participate in it! Just ask around and join one of them to have a good time for much longer than the Carnival season.
At Christmas time, you will find various “living cribs” organised in villages in the area.
In Easter, Calonge usually holds a Medieval market that every year offers more activities and attracts more people.
For all of these feasts and more, local “giants” (“gegants”) come out and dance. These traditional characters are much loved and have a habit of inviting their giant friends from all over Catalonia to join them in their dance.
On a really wet day (which are, overall, less than 60 a year, remember?), why not go to one of the many museums in the region? While Calonge may not boast of any, you do not need to go any further than Palamós.
Barcelona and Girona with a huge cultural offer are also only a short drive away!
On this note, we think we should stop and perhaps get more into the subject of Calonge in one of our future posts! However, we hope that your mind is at rest now that now only does life goes on here in winter, but it is also quite an active one!