THE warm weather seems to be well and truly gone in Ireland as temperatures continue to drop.
But autumn and winter seasons don’t have to mean grey skier and cold temperatures.
You can book a beach holiday and swap the puffer jacket for a swimsuit and sunnies.
The Costa Brava is one of the best destinations to enjoy the beach in summer, but the autumn and winters in this corner of the Catalan coast are from another world.
The region enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate, characterised by hot, dry summers and moderately cold winters.
However, the average high on the Costa Brava is 22C in October, so it’s still perfectly warm for relaxing on the beach – with mercury rising to 28C this week.
And if you prefer a holiday with plenty of exploring, this time of year is the best – when the beaches and towns are empty of tourists.
The sea in Costa Brava provides some of the best diving and snorkelling in Spain whilst hidden coves stash golden shores.
If you take a walk along the beach in the north of the Catalan coast there are some paths, called Camins de Ronda, which run along the coast.
They were previously used by the Civil Guard to control the Spanish maritime border and prevent smuggling.
You can opt to go snorkelling, with the best time to dive in Costa Brava being from May to October – with all centres working in full swing during those months.
You can still opt for scuba diving in the winter months – but you will need a full-body wetsuit.
It costs usually between €30 – €50 for a guided dive. If you need to rent the equipment, the price can be higher.
You can enhance the holiday even further by choosing to take a sailing trip.
The unique boat trips, which are suitable for all ages, start from €27.50.
BEAUTIFUL MEDIEVAL TOWNS
There are stone-cut medieval towns cresting every hill in the area and you can venture out to villages with Roman and ancient Greek towns.
And you can explore one of the many towns in the area.
Tossa de Mar will allow you to simultaneously watch the Mediterranean waves and get a charming view of medieval history — without even turning your head.
It is the last fortified medieval town on the Costa Brava and boasts charming cobblestone streets and thriving restaurants behind its tall walls.
It also boasts breathtaking views of the Costa Brava.
Its main beach, Platja Gran, is dotted with colorful boats and sun seekers, especially in the summer.
It is presided by the medieval fortress of the old town, a truly unique and picturesque sight.
Calella de Palafrugell is a small village in the region of Bajo Ampurdián on the Costa Brava.
It features white houses, narrow streets, wooden boats on the beach and lovely little coves.
There are some real must-sees too in the surroundings, such as the botanical garden and castle of Cap Roig.
Another beautiful Mediterranean town is Roses. It has a rich historical heritage and a unique location.
The town is an attractive holiday destination, surrounded by the most amazing beaches and natural parks.
For those who want to explore outside of the area, Costa Brava is located just two hours by train from Barcelona.
Barcelona, the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, is known for its art and architecture.
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The fantastical Sagrada Família church and other modernist landmarks designed by Antoni Gaudí dot the city.
And there’s plenty of shops, amazing restaurants and a selection of beaches to enjoy if you want to skip the sights.