Friday, December 12, 2014

INDEX

THAILAND

Post-sunset shot at Ko Adang National Park headquarters beach.

INTRODUCTION - WHICH ISLAND OR BEACH?

ADANG

BULON LAE

CHANG (big Chang eastern Gulf)
Little Ko CHANG, Andaman side
CORAL ISLAND

JUM

KANCHANABURI
KRADAN
KRABI, RAILAY, TON SAI
KHAO LAK
KHAO SOK NATIONAL PARK
KHO KHAO
KUT (KOOD, KUD)

LANTA
LAO LIANG
LIBONG, HAT YAO
LIPE

MAK (MAC, MAAK)
MUK (MOOK)

NANGYUAN
NGAI (HAI)

PANYEE/PANYI
PATTAYA
PHANGAN
PHANGAN PART 2
PHANG NGA BAY
PHAYAM
PHRA THONG
PHUKET
PHI PHI
PHI PHI NEWSPAPER ARTICLE BY TEZZA

RAILAY, TON SAI AND KRABI TOWN
RAYA/RACHA

SAMET
SAMUI
SIBOYA
SIMILAN ISLANDS
SIMILAN ISLANDS LIVE-ABOARD
SUKORN
SURINS ISLANDS

TAO
TARUTAO

WAI (WHAI)

YAO NOI
YAO YAI



General Thailand Information

SOME TIPS ON NOT DROWNING

WET WEATHER INFORMATION

SNORKELLING IN THAILAND

THAILAND'S BEST BEACHES



INDONESIA
Spoiling visitor on Seraya Island - West Flores

BALI
BALI'S BEST BEACHES - incl THE BUKIT PENINSULA
BALI - AMED
BALI - BEDUGUL AND LAKE BRATAN
BALI - CANGGU
BALI - JIMBARAN
BALI - NUSA LEMBONGAN
BALI - NUSA DUA, TANJUNG BENOA AND GEGER BEACH
BALI - MEDEWI
BALI - MUNDUK
BALI - LOVINA
EAST BALI - PADANGBAI AND CANDIDASA
BALI- PEMUTERAN AND MANJANGAN ISLAND
BALI RICE TERRACES EAST - SIDEMAN
BALI RICE TERRACES WEST - KEBUN VILLAS
BALI RICE TERRACES TIRTA GANGGA + WATER PALACE


BINTAN

LOMBOK - THE GILI ISLANDS
LOMBOK - THE KUTA LOMBOK AREA

PERAMA SLOW BOAT - FLORES/KOMODO/LOMBOK

SERAYA & KANAWA ISLANDS + LABUANBJO - FLORES



MALAYSIA
Salang beach on Tioman

GORGEOUS TIOMAN ISLAND

CHERATING BEACH

KAPAS ISLAND

LANGKAWI

LANG TENGAH

PERHENTIAN ISLANDS

REDANG ISLAND

SIBU ISLAND



AUSTRALIA
Bound for Hook Island on Oetella

CRUISING TROPICAL ISLANDS ON A BUDGET

BUDGET RESORTING ON THE WHITSUNDAY ISLANDS

SPENDING TIME AT AIRLIE BEACH

BYRON BAY - BEACH PARADISE

NOOSA HEADS - MY ALL TIME FAVOURITE



GREECE
Paradise Beach - Kos

GREEK ISLAND HOPPING



TURKEY
Paragliding Mount Babadag to Oludeniz Beach

BUDGET CRUISING AND PARAGLIDING THE TURQUOISE COAST
THE NORTH AEGEAN COAST
THE SOUTH AEGEAN COAST




SPAIN
Bay just south of Portas Vells, south east Mallorca

NTRODUCTION
BARCELONA
IBIZA
L'HOSPITALET DE L'INFANT
MALLORCA/MAJORCA
MONTSERRAT
PYRENEES
SAN SEBASTIAN
SITGES
TOSSA DE MAR


READERS' TRIP REPORTS
Trip reporter Cocodrilo at Similan's viewpoint
Read the trip reports or submit your own


THE FORUM
Yon Cassia has a lean and hungry look (image Deco Dermots)

Questions, comments, shoot the bull.



GENERAL
Kwak joins the Worry Collective - image BEDARD

JUST FOR LARFS - PART 1
JUST FOR LARFS - PART 2: STONES FROM THE JOKER IN THE GLASS HOUSE (1 thru 11)

JUST FOR LARFS - PART 3: THE WORRY COLLECTIVE

ABOUT THIS SITE


LADY TEZZA'S TRAVELLING JAPAN
Fashions for sale in Takeshita dori - Tokyo

The basics - Osaka - Kyoto - Hiroshima&Himeji - Takayama - Tokyo - Kyushu - Daytrip to Mt Fuji National Park - Accessing your money - Other helpul stuff

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If you have questions, please don't post them below - I seldom get to scroll down this far. Put them in THE FORUM which I try to check most days when not travelling.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

L'HOSPITALET DE L'INFANT

visited August 2014


L'Hospitalet de l'Infant is a laid back seaside resort town about 140km south west of Barcelona. Because the trains don't usually waste time I visited as a day trip but if I come back to the general Barcelona area I aim to stay a few days here. It is a pretty nice place and there is no shortage of holiday accommodation.

Hospitalet is on a section of the coast is known as the Costa Dorada. This starts roughly above the 0 on the distance scale - Hospitalet is pretty much central on the Costa Dorada. Tarragona is the biggest city in the area - tends to have a fair bit of industry particularly chemical in nature and a busy port but nevertheless some nice beaches. Fact is the whole coastline is made up of a string of nice beaches and resorts - the train line from tends to stick immediately behind the beaches for a large part of the journey.

BEACHES
L'Hospitalet de L'Infant has two long main beaches separated by small headlands encasing a smaller beach, the name of which I can't find.

PLATJA ARENAL
I shot this from adjacent the harbour break-wall looking south-west. Arenal at 2200m long takes some time to walk. The promenade at right runs the first kilometer. Even though I'm not a fan of looong beaches (except for mind-blowers like Queensland's Whitehaven) this is a pretty nice strip of sand. The silica itself was the typical Catalonia fairly coast coarse grained* yellow brown stuff and seemed reasonably clean. I'm not sure about water quality up here near the harbour but down the beach it seemed okay without being the crystal clear stuff I saw on the Costa Brava or at Ibiza and Mallorca. I visited on a nice Sunday in July and the beach was more crowded than this, but not overcrowded. The opening shot top of page also shows Platja Arenal.
*I've said elsewhere that this is no bad thing - it doesn't tend to stick to feet as much and is less subject to wind blow.

PLATJA DEL TORN
I was just reading on a camping review website that del Torn is arguably the best nudist beach in Spain. I can't judge it on a national level on account I haven't traveled widely in Spain, but I do rate it my second favourite naturist beach in Catalonia (after the Costa Brava's Cala Boadella - yep, a more compact beach).
Del Torn isn't exactly short either at 1500m. I thought the water clearer here than at Arenal. The sand was similar but there tended to be a fair few pebble rocks close to the tide line, particularly further south. These got really hot around mid-day.
It doesn't look all that crowded in the shot but I reckon there was close to one thousand people scattered along here. As typical in Spain, quite a few were "textiles" and the naturists didn't give a damn. Families and couples seemed to be the go, maybe boosted by the very big El Temple del Sol naturist camping area which is hidden by the first 400m or so of dunes in this shot.


I cropped the previous pic to show the above chiringuito (beach bar/cafe) about one third of the way along the beach. This place was so crowded around 1400 that I had to prop myself  at an outside drink stand - no problem, it was nice out there. One of the reasons for the crowd was maybe the two sisters looking after the bar - clad only in sarongs, they had the most stunning figures and brownest skin I've seen for some time. The other girl serving the tables was not exactly a drunk-scarer either. I reckon the girls are a smart ploy by the owner to keep male patrons hanging around/buying more drinks. I hung around/bought more drinks. 
I've been a naturist for many years but for me it was kinda novel to see naked people entering a restaurant. The idea is to wrap a towel/sarong around or put on a pair of shorts before you sit down. Tezza staggered in after a 20 minute walk back down the hot beach clad in his usual sun-avoiding long sleeved business shirt under Aussie bushman's hat and over $3 knock-off Billabong board shorts from the Bali bazaar (years of 10 hour surfing days in a period when I couldn't afford sun screen or rash vests has blitzed my skin - don't mind limited sunbathing these days but unnecessary sun exposure I avoid) and no-one gave a damn.
There is a second chiringuito on the fore-dune abut 2/3 up the beach.


I found this small sub section of del Torn, way up the far southern end most pleasant mainly on account it was sheltered by the high rocks at right from the onshore breeze. About 100 other people thought the same. This is a compact area only 70m across (image Google Earth as are all the modified "maps" on this page). Lots of pebbly rocks between the two beach areas were quite hard on bare feet, particularly when the sun heated them.


I've explained previously that I'm not keen about waving my camera around nude beaches unless I can get distant shots like the above. However I was too lazy to climb up here so I had to pinch this one from HERALDO.es

Here's a nice one of the main beach from the same rock featured on Tripadvisor.

GETTING BETWEEN ARENAL AND DEL TORN
I stuck to the shore line going south. At first the going was easy, over a section of rocks/sand and across a short beach. But the next 200m or so was not so simple with the rock shelf very rough underfoot - you need sensible footwear here. Fortunately there were no big vertical changes or wide sea gutters as is usually the case when I go rock-hopping in unknown places.
On the way back I cut up through the camping area which is much easier - see below.


White track going south - as said I don't know the local name of beach x (maybe it is Cala d'Oques as in the first camping area: then again the southern-most area of long Platjay Arenal may be called this). Beach x is only abt 180m long. Proximity to the camping areas saw it fairly crowded with a 50/50 spit of nudists and textiles (El Templo de Sol is a naturist camping area - it's pretty big with less than half showing on this modified Google Earth image).
Yellow track going back - up a good set of stairs and then a path thru a small section of El Templo - nobody seemed to mind passers-by along here.

GETTING TO HOSPITALET
I'll leave you to google options (you may find it better to google "Tarragona" - stuff on Hopitalet's access seems a bit limited) - I'll simply outline my experience as a day-tripper.
I caught a train on the RENFE line from Barcelona's Estacio de Franca railway station. The train starts there and also picks up at Paaseig de Gracia and Barcelona Sants, but by the time this early Sunday train had left Sants it was standing room only. Lots of people got off at the big Port Adventura adventure park just south of Tarragona but that is 90 minutes into the trip - a long time to stand. If the train has no problems the total time to Hospitalet should be around 1 3/4 hours.

The return trip was a bit of a circus. The train was having problems and was over 30 minutes late into Hopitalet. Click-expand and check the digital temperature readout upper left - 38C. Just after I shot this we were told the train was going no further. We transferred to a later train which was even more packed once we got aboard. Unfortunately I had to stand the 60 minutes into Barcelona. I'm am older dude and spent the time glaring at some little fat kid sitting in the geezers'/disadvantageds' seats with his family. Didn't have any impact but I do love to try on a good stir, even when unsuccessful. Not that I cared - my fitness routine has me in better shape than 90% of 13 year olds let alone circumfentialy-enhanced ones (I am so fit I got muscles on my boogers) so standing for extended periods is no problem. Plus my head was up near the aircon vents: such was the crowd the readout showed 30C. 
In all I got back to Barcelona over 2 hours later than I thought. Maybe Spain's economic woes are having some impact on railway maintenance.

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IF YOU SEE MISTAKES OR HAVE EXTRA INFO PLEASE POST BELOW. BUT IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS PLEASE POST THEM IN THE FORUM WHICH I CHECK MOST DAYS - I RARELY RETURN TO THESE INDIVIDUAL LOCATION PAGES.

Friday, August 29, 2014

SITGES

Visited July 2014



Sitges is an attractive seaside resort near Barcelona. It has long had the reputation as a top location for gay and lesbian holiday makers but these days can be best regarded as an all round destination.
Sitges is located about 35km south west of Barcelona - close enough for a day-trip which is how I did it. Hence this page has not as much detail as most others.


The town area has 11 beaches, 10 of them west of the harbour, flanked by a nice walking promenade. In the photograph I have place-marked the beaches which have photographs on this page plus famous Basso Rodona - the gay beach. I pinched the map off Gay Sitges Guide.

I took this on the approach road to the marina looking south west - all 10 beaches in the map above are in the area down to that white building far background left (Hotel Terramar) which will be clearer if you click-expand. So will the "cathedral" (actually a church - the Church of Sant Bartomeu i Santa Teclas aka La Punta) on the headland which is conspicuous from all these town beaches.
It's over 3km in a straight line from camera to the Hotel Terramar.

Image Wikitravel Sitges
I include a lot of 3rd party pix on this page because I originally intended to include Sitges and some other day-trips out of Barcelona as part of the Barcelona page - and so only took a few shots when visiting. But later I realised the other places had too much info and needed their own page - so all day trip locations ended up stand-alone.

BALMINS
The very first of the 10 beaches west of the marina is Balmins - a gay/mixed nude beach. The far half tended to be almost exclusively gay when I visited - the near half a mix of gays, lesbians and other nudists. I was underwhelmed by this beach - it has a very flat profile which meant 80% of the sand was wet despite the fact that this coast has a tiny tidal range. Consequently people tended to be jammed together. A small stream runs across the beach - consequently the sea water was not particularly clear. My shot doesn't show about half the mixed nude area - as said on other pages, I try to limit where I point my camera on/near nude beaches.


TERRAMAR
This is shot from the other end of the series of 10 beaches. The camera is between Les Anguines and Terramar beaches - that is Terramar behind the paddle boats. I thought this area was pretty nice - by the time I got down here the wind had come up and the more exposed beaches were a bit unpleasant but the curve of the beach plus the breakwall/groynes of the final 3 beaches gave them good protection. Note not crowded - and this was Saturday in July.

THE MIDDLE TOWN BEACHES
Town beaches are not my thing but the first 3 beaches south-west of the church are not bad. They seemed to have plenty of sand, beach bars, showers and lifeguards and were fairly crowded. The backing esplanade reminded me of Barcelona with an entertaining parade of passers-by of all types.

AIGUADOC
The 11th town beach is way up the other end again, on the FAR side of the marina. 
Refreences claimed this beach is also popular with nudists but my visit saw none and a decidedly family/couples atmosphere. There was even a big elementary school excursion. Nevertheless the Spanish are so relaxed about beach nudism that you are likely to find them anywhere - and no one seems to give a damn. 
I liked this beach - it had okay sand and water and a nice atmosphere and the walk thru the marina from Balmins was good value for pleasure-boat nerds like me (image Panoromio - Josep Maria Alegre)

BEACHES OUT OF TOWN
There are 17 beaches in total in the Sitges area.
I checked the area immediately north-east of Aguadoc by trekking the steep cliff-side track for 20 minutes or so. There was one tiny boulder beach at the foot of a steep climb down, plus some very nice villas along there, but the train line comes very close to the sea - eventually forcing the track to end. I saw some lovely beaches from the train which runs along the shore in the 20km north-east of Sitges - with several railway stations for visitors who do their location homework - otherwise you would need a car or moto along the parallel C31 coast road to access these places.

South-west of town are the rather well known twin beaches of Platja del Muerto -about 2km past the Mirrimar Hotel. A  big confession: I didn't make it there: I got about half-way when I realised the very blustery weather was deteriorating further - it looked about to storm. This, plus the fact that I'd seen no-one since the golf course, made me think continuing might not be the best use of my time. Nevertheless I'll add what I have learnt about these beaches.

I made it as far as the Atlantida night club. Note there is a small creek to cross on the eastern side of the golf course - not too hard if in dry season (summer). That big snaky resort next to the Terramar Hotel is the Sunway Playa Golf and Spa. 
For people wishing to minimise walking it is possible to catch a taxi to the Atlantida (a side road comes in across the golf course and under the train tracks), There is limited parking if you have your own car or moto.
Note the walking track across to the beaches from Atlantida is rocky and has some steep slopes - some people chose to walk along the rail lines. The websites urge caution - the trains rock thru here at 130kph.

PLATJA DEL MUERTO 1
This is the first beach - a mixed nudist/gay beach apparently, in a small cove. The beach is pebbles. Note the beach bar/restaurant this end (images above and below GaySitges.com)

PLATJA DEL MUERTO 2
Just over the hill is the second beach, more exclusively gay. Also pebble surfaced. Apparently pretty popular, not so much for beach quality but for the extensive gay cruising area in the woods across the railway tracks. The outline of what you can expect in this area on the gay websites is pretty hilarious.
BTW - I think this second beach is the original Platja del Muerto. The first beach probably has a local name but I couldn't find it.

GETTING TO SITGES
The different Sitges websites cover this well so I'll just do my experience. I came down from Barcelona's Estacio de Franca in under an hour for about 4.30 euro. Fairly frequent trains, even more so from Passeig de Gracio and Sants. Take care at Sitges railway station ticket office for a  middle aged guy who may try to short change you - uses the "slow to hand out change" technique. Only dummies would fall for this. Don't ask how I went, I can't talk about it.

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IF YOU SEE MISTAKES OR HAVE EXTRA INFO PLEASE POST BELOW. BUT IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS PLEASE POST THEM IN THE FORUM WHICH I CHECK MOST DAYS - I RARELY RETURN TO THESE INDIVIDUAL LOCATION PAGES.

Friday, August 22, 2014

TOSSA DE MAR

last visited July/August 2014




LOCATION
Tossa de Mar is one of the Costa Brava's nicer locations, about 100km from both Barcelona and the French border. The nearest airport is at Girona although frequent buses connect Barcelon'a El Prat airport and the town.


BEACHES


TOSSA DE MAR TOWN BEACHES

                                          Platja Gran
This is Tossa De Mars' main town beach, a 400m long strip of pretty clean sand which gets busy in high season. Water quality for a town beach was quite good. The beach has lifeguards, showers, first aid facilities etc.
A different perspective of Platja Gran can be seen in the shot top of page - it is of course the first beach. 


Dozens of bars/cafes/restaurants line the beach road which runs right along the back of the sand. Bigger boat superstructure in background (best seen if you click-expand) belongs to one of the coastal ferries which nose into a designated zone at the southern end of the beach. Regular smaller glass bottom boats which head into the coves to the north leave from here too.

Platja de la Mar Menuda
The beachfront esplanade continues over a low rise to this northern beach section. The cafe/bar/restaurants continue . Beach conditions are similar to the main beach - there may be better close to the beach snorkeling opportunities at the far end. Mar Menuda is the far beach in the opening shot.

Platja Es Codolar
This lovely little spot is only abt 3 minutes walk south of the end of Pl Gran - take the street past the restaurants in the lee of the castle wall. This is a late in the day shot - my memory of earlier hours in a peak season August previous visit was that the beach was so packed that I repaired to the big rock on which this pix was shot for some sun. Time can change beaches - back then it was exclusively a stone beach. But beach sand can rebuild after storm erosion in a matter of weeks.
This is definitely the best town beach for snorkelers.

Sweet.


BEACHES NORTH OF TOSSA DE MAR 
Cala Futadera

BEACHES WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE
I walked up from Tossa lower left to Cala Futadera - I've marked in the walking track: gaps mean walking the road or beaches. It's 6km from Tossa to C Futadera by  road - the trekking track short cuts so I'm guessing the walk is maybe 4km. But there is a hell of a lot of verticality in in.
I forgot to do a distance scale - the straight line distance from the start of the track to C Futadera is only 2.3km

Cala Bona
This deep narrow inlet is the first you reach heading north from Tossa de Mar. The beach is that tiny bit of sand against the bar/restaurant far left. I shot this fairly early in the day on my trek north (see details down page) - on my return about 1500 the cove had a lot of moored  leisure craft and the water seemed to suffer in clarity from this. 
I know dozens of coves like this in Australia - but you would never be able to support a bar/restaurant at them unless they were in a city like Sydney (and yes, Sydney does have coves like this).

Cala Bona is about 3km by road north of Tossa by road. A steep track leads down from the car park. I came in on the hiking track from the south - it drops steeply into the bay. Trekkers can take the car park track to continue north or a more easterly track, the start of which is the set of steps immediately right of the restaurant/bar in my photo. 
The glass bottom boats venture into the cove to stick their noses into the caves on the northern side.
I didn't put a distance scale on this image - it is only 140m in a straight line from the car park place marker to that of the hiking track, but the drop and rise is such that if you had to walk it via the restaurant it would be at least 300m, maybe more. 

Naturally, at such a sweet location I just had to stop for a beer or three on the return leg of my trek.

Cala Pola
Not much more than a km past Cala Bona the main road drops steeply behind a bigger inlet which contains Cala Pola's neat little beach. Sand and water quality is pretty good. Fairly crowded because there is a surprisingly big camping area in back - pool and all. 

Cala Pola at center. I've added the trekking track from Cala Bona bottom left. To continue north becomes less clear because the official trekking track with its excellent signs heads west from this beach on an inland circuit back to Tossa  - northwards, the best bet is to take the path I've marked along the side of the camping area - this climbs to near the main road which is not that street around the headland at right. 
The development at top right corner is the leisure area behind the next beach north, Cala Giverola (see below).
Adding a distance scale is difficult on these mulit-height images - it is 450m straight line from the pin of the main road place-marker to water's edge at the beach.

Cala Giverola
The coast road climbs/twists/drops another km to Cala Giverola. This is a pretty nice beach. 
Sand and water quality pretty good. If you click/expand you may be able to see a smaller beach in background - not as nice, but fewer people and the offshore snorkeling looked more promising.

The smaller second beach is accessed via the tunnel in shot. To continue trekking north, take those steps to the right of the tunnel entrance.

Cala Giverola is the northern terminus for the glass bottom boat runs - they will drop you here for some beach time and you can jump on a later boat back to Tossa. Sweet.

I'm not sure what the best deal is for drivers - I would use the beach assess road from top left but with a guy collecting parking fees at abt the place marker, cheapskates like me would maybe park somewhere short of this.
If walking from the south as I did I suggest you also come in on this road. The shorter route from the high on the ridge Giverola Resort apartments lower-center of image (I used it on the return trip exiting the beach) is kinda tricky up near the main road - the obvious entrance (exit for me) had a locked gate, forcing me to use the higher entrance thru the resort lobby. Tip: act like you own the joint. btw if you stay here, there is a funicular type thing which makes beach access/exit easy - that track is pretty steep.
Straight line distance from the main road place-marker to track north marker is 320m.

The region behind the beach seems to be the leisure area for Giverola Resort. Apart from this pool there were tennis courts, a water slide, a huge grassed sun-lounge area, mini-golf and a nice restaurant/bar. There were a few life guard types hanging around the pool, but no security goons hassled me which suggests that people who pay the parking fee or boat ticket are free to use it. Not too many people would walk in to this beach like I did.

Cala Futadera
This lovely little beach is just around the headland nth of Cala Giverola - abt 6km from Tossa. The road is way up the top but access is easier than first appears - there is a set of steps to left of shot. The hardest part is having to wade about 15m thru thigh deep uneven-bottomed water past that rocky area at left of image (note tidal range is small on this coast so that wading would remain thigh deep most times).

Cala Futadera from the main road. Beach has clean fairly coarse sand, very clear water. It is a nudist beach but most of the people there when I visited were textiles, a lot of them from those boats. As can be seen the area is very popular with boaties......

....and hanging around on water craft in a sheltered cove seems to be a fine way to spend a lazy summer afternoon.

If you come by car or moto, park in the area marked on the main road. Take the smaller road which drops down the headland - it is sign-posted private which everyone ignores. When you come to the garage of a villa you will see the concrete steps starting at the left. These go steeply down the hillside to just short of the beach. A path continues to the end of the headland far right.
I came up from Cala Giverola on the "track nth" so marked. This hits the private road a short distance from the down stairway.
Straight line distance from the parking place-marker to the garage marker is 250m.


NORTHERN BEACHES WHICH ARE A BIT FAR TO WALK TO.
Pl de St Pol at St Feliu de Guixols

Unless you are a super keen trekker, the 4 marked beaches north of Cala Futadera need a car, moto or in my case bicycle to reach from Tossa. Straight line distance from Cala Futadera lower left to Playa Sant Pol is 10km but Google maps tells me it's over 20 on that twisting coastal road.

Cala Vallpressona/Vallpregona
At 10km from Tossa, this is some distance from Cala Futadera which is as far as I trecked. I called in on my epic bicycle ride to Sant Feliu de Guixols - 65km return on that awesomely scenic twisting/climbing/dropping coast road. There are half a dozen beach areas between my trek's end and Sant Feliu but I decided I only had time for two - Vallpressona is mentioned on naturist websites so I thought I'd drop down from the main road high above. As you can see it is a stone beach - it's about 300m long and has very clear water. There was no one on the beach when I called in. A few tents were set up in the bush behind the beach - some seemed to be long term in nature. This looks an excellent free camping area. 
There is a small beach just around the far headland called Cala Concagats, which appears on Google Earth's embedded photos to be sandy, like nearby Cala Senor Ramon.

Cars should park up on the main road. The dirt access track is well signposted. I found I could ride my bicycle most of the way down to the beach and back - there were only a few parts too steep or rough for this inexperienced mountain biker. I'm not sure how a moto would go - might be a bit narrow and rough in places. Certainly inexperienced riders should walk the one km or so. Straight line distance from parking place marker to Vallperssona marker is 700m.

Cala Senor Raymon
The turn off to Senor Raymon is only a km or so past the track into Vallpresson and again is well signposted. As you can see, this one is good enough for vehicles. Those boats past the far headland are moored off Canyet De Mar - a resort area way down in a tighter bay than this.

Senor Raymon is a pretty nice beach - sand is clean although hardly white, not crowded and the water is clear. There are some big underwater rocks just offshore in the northern quarter - I took my face mask out and saw some okay fish but the scene was hardly mind-blowing.
This beach too gets mentioned on naturists websites - about half the people here were nude. 

Interesting sign, but the earth didn't move for me the whole time I was on the Costa Brava. I don't think the dudes owning those clifftop villas were too put off in the planning stages.

Some people left their cars up on the main road and walked the 800m or so to the beach. A
 few nosed vehicles into rare clearings alongside the track. Others drove down to the restaurant 150m short of the beach which has quite big parking areas - charges 7/4 euors cars/motos. A short not too steep path/steps leads down to the beach from behind the restaurant - marked in yellow. The track is not too rough and I found only a few short very steep sections on the way out on my bike. The first 20m from the road was paved. Note the zig-zag section closest the N symbol is not being used.
Straight line distance from c Congats place marker to Senor Raymon marker is 350m.


Platja de Sant Feliu (de Guixols)
I finally made it to Sant Feliu de Guixols which starts about 30km north of Tossa de Mar. It is bigger than I expected and considerably larger than Tossa, maybe because it has a marina which can take a lot of boats, some quite big. The marina is located at the far end of this beach. 
The town beach above is pretty nice without being mind blowing. It has the full range of facilities. A nice pedestrianised street runs along in back with the usual cafes/restaurants/bars/shops. 
For some reason sea water in the whole St Feiu area was not as clear as at other places - I'd just come down from a high headland road behind camera; the adjacent sea looked interesting for snorkeling with big underwater rocks etc but the water wasn't the crystal clear stuff I'd seen in similar areas; eg immediately south of very busy Llorett de Mar to Tossa's south - neither was it at the beach above or further north at Pl de St Pol

Platja de Sant Pol
I pedalled over a steepish headland to this slightly longer/busier but otherwise similar beach. The area is known as St Agara and I'm not sure if it is officially part of St Feliu or a separate part of the urban ribbon which goes several km further up the coast. Certainly the hotels/resorts here claim they are in St Feliu on the booking sites.

I decided to grab a cold beer or three in one of the restaurants across the road from the southern end of the beach, and parked my hire-fanger alongside the boardwalk which runs the full length of the beach. Good bike - the least expensive I could find at Jimbo Bikes in Tossa but comfy and in good condition. Note the long seat post - I mainly hire bikes in Asia where this is never the case. The seat itself was more streamlined than my Ibiza bizza but I didn't end up saddle sore like there - maybe my nether regions were broken in. Stop that homophobic sniggering. 
Lower-end mountain bikes are pretty heavy and it was not ideal for some of the long steep up-slopes on the coastal road - lotsa lycra-louts training on very flash carbon fiber racing bikes shot past me there - but the weight made it a missile on the downslopes: however the beaded edges of the tyre treads (presumably for soft surface traction) made things pretty squirrelly in a warp-speed downhill corner, not a good place to attempt to overtake a lycra-lout on the outside.
I wasn't overwhelmed by the strip of restaurants. Prices were considerably higher than at Tossa in what I considered joints located with poor sight-lines of a beach with considerably less cachet than Tossa's. Not to mention a mediocre passing parade which is important for  a lone-traveller people/flash car/hot bike watcher like me. The waiters had a condescending air as if the pavement tables were too good for hoi-polloi bicyclists yet they spent a lot of their time running out to some spivvy looking dude in a beat up Renault parked in a side-lane and handing him money - probably the local SP bookie. Classy.

The size of the marina can be seen on this image. St Feliu  The place has an old town with narrow streets, a medieval monastery and of course a full range of services including many accommodation options. Straight line distance from the marker at Pl St Fel to Pl St Pol's is 1700m.



BEACHES SOUTH OF TOSSA DE MAR

Cala den Carlos
At the end of a scenic 3km walk from Tossa (see Trekking down page) you come to this view from the grounds of Apartamentos Cala Llevado. There are 5 beaches down there - you can see Cala den Carlos. Hidden just around the small headland is tiny Cala Figeures. The beach closer background is the southern extension of Cala Llevado known as Cala Llorell. Tucked against the headland far background is Cala Portopi aka Porto Pi. I never made it to the last two - thing is you have to head way up to about the height of this shot and then down again for access and as usual I was time-deficient. I kinda think Portopi can only be accessed by a funicular from whatever apartments are up top. Certainly looked that way from a passing ferry. Please post in if I'm wrong.
The above is the only pic I have of Cala den Carlos - I'm not sure why I didn't take more when down there. I visited the afternoon of my arrival from Barcelona and promised myself to return to this lovely area and explore it more fully but there are so many other good spots in the greater Tossa region I didn't make it. But I saw enough to assure you this 125m long and not narrow beach has clean sand and water and an okay kiosk in back. It seemed pretty popular.

I shot this with a bit of telephoto from the same spot - the bay seemed a popular rendezvous for daytrip party boats out of Tossa. Could hear the music from my location. Looks like fun.

Cala Figeures/Figeura.
This tiny strip of sand is the area's nudist beach. As usual there was no shortage of textiles. Lovely place - I really like these small beaches with high forested headlands and sparkling clear water. It was more crowded when I visited than in this shot which I had to pinch from Panoramio-Dani Gianani

Accessing these beaches from the high arrival point at the end of the track from Tossa (it meets a road near the rear of the apartments' supermarket) is a bit tricky. I found the best way was to walk down thru the apartment area (marked yellow) - the final descent is by a steep set of steps under the Ll of C Llevado  after which you follow the paved track above the rocks to Cala den Carlos. I also checked the road at far right but it had a zig-zag making it longer. There appeared to be limited parking opportunities along this road. 
The rocks between the two beaches had a paved path.
I exited by a set of steps behind Cala Figeures which lead up into Camping Llevado's huge camping/bungalow area. I think this extends way up to the main coastal road many hundreds meters out of frame. There is a bunch of other accommodation providers in the general area.

Lloret de Mar
Lloret is a largish package location place about 10km south of Tossa. Many people don't like such places but Lloret is much more attractive than even bigger Blanes further down the coast. Lloret has all the usual big place advantages of good shopping, many competitive bars/restaurants and bulk accommodation to choose from plus it also has an old town, two medieval castles on the headlands each end and the reasonably nice main beach in shot. Sure it gets crowded in high season, but it has okay sand and water and lots of services like life-guards and beach/water sports. Brits and Germans have always flocked here but in July 2014 there were lots of Russian visitors. As usual the girls were gorgeous and the big beefy blokes good value.

What really appealed to me about Lloret were the areas at the ends of the beach. Here in the south we have some rocky pools with deep clear water....
....which is continues behind the camera. This area is known as Cala Banys. Cala means "creek" so I guess you don't have to have sand, not that there is much of a creek in dry season. Click expand to see the walkway which goes across to the restaurant in background. From here you can take a path uphill thru those trees to a 12th century castle, the top of which can  also be seen on the click-expand. From there paths, then stairs descend to the next beach, Cala Fenals.

The north end of Lloret beach is likewise attractive. The sand is least crowded here, the castle doesn't look shabby and the rocky headland has a number of similar clear water pools and even a few sandy coves - the first Sa Caleta is probably the nicest and is hiidden from the camera - more are around the corner. You can hike around there on a path above the sea - if you click-expand you may be able to see people walking below the castle. This path goes for several km, often rising and falling precipitously, to Cala Canyels, except that a landslip halfway had blocked it when I walked. Which was bad luck because I was trying to catch the last ferry from Canyels back to Tossa.

The nicest way to access Lloret and nearby beaches is by the DofiJet fast ferry out of Tossa. It is more expensive than the bus but the views along the way are great, from unsettled cliffs to....

....fugitive Wall St bond traders' villas.

Some DofiJet services run half way to Barcelona. A few people choose to make the complete trip by catching the ferry to Blanes, the bus up to the rail station and then one of the frequent trains to Barcelona. These run along the coast directlybehind a dozen+ nice beaches.

The bus service out of Tossa to Lloret is fairly frequent and way less expensive than the ferry. Time taken is about the same except that in peak season Lloret itself can get some horrific traffic, making the last km or so very slow.

Cala Boadella
This secluded beach is the second south of Lloret, between the two ferry stop beaches of Pl Fenals and Pl St Cristina. This was my favourite beach in the Tossa region maybe because it is clothing optional on top of being so attractive. It also has a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. Nudists seemed to confine themselves past the big rock in the background - the beach there is just as big as this side. There is also a tiny patch of sand 20m around the rocks at the very far end where wading in waist deep water was needed, 
As usual as many textiles were in the "nude" area as naturists - it's great that there is no pressure to conform to the norm on Spanish beaches. 
C Boadella  sand was the usual slightly coarse-grained yellow brown stuff, quite clean as was the water. For a secluded place services are pretty good with lifegaurds/first aid/beach showers and a restaurant/bar.

Access to C Boadella is along a dirt path off Av Boedella. The closest ferry stop is Pl Fenals and you can access from the south end of that beach or the center (see map down page). The Pl St Cristina ferry stop is further south - don't try to rock-hop around the headland (see below). Make sure you take the Av Boadella exit from the roundabout at top - not the road into (I think) the Botanic Gardens.
If you type
 "Av Boedella Lloret" into Google Maps, street view will take you down the Avenue and show the entrance to the dirt track to the beach. Google Maps does this for all of the secluded beaches on this page.

Platja Sant Cristina
This 500m long beach is only a few km and two ferry stops south of Lloret. This would be a nice beach for people seeking a quieter location - it has a full range of services and there is no shortage of holiday accommodation in the area.
Warning - if you decide to head to Cala Boedella immediately north for some skinny dipping, don't try rock hopping around the far headland. The first 80% is fine but I then had to do some rather dodgy cliff climbing. A safer way to get to Boedella is via inland streets - see map down page. It is longer in distance but I doubt longer in time. Note - take the beach exit from near the camera - I found exits blocked near the far end.

Cala Treumal
I was going to call this Pl St Cristina South until I found this southern extension had its own name.

ACCESSING THE LLORET AREA BEACHES
If you come from Tossa, all the above beaches bar C Boedella are easily reached on the DofiJet ferry. If heading for Boadella the best bet is Fenals - the route from beach central is shortest, the one from beach south maybe easier to follow. On a second visit I caught a bus from Tossa into Lloret bus station top right (has a real good info office with lotsa maps etc), walked down the main drag to the southern end of the beach, took the headland walkway to the castle, went down to Fenals and across to Boedella. 
There are also local buses which can take you from Lloret to Fenals and St Cristina, but trust me, the walk along here is good value if you are not pushed for time.


TOSSA DE MAR THE TOWN
Tossa is a compact little town but big enough to have a full range of services. Its 3 good beaches, castle/walled town, old quarter, good accommodation and very scenic nearby coastline make it my favourite destination in Spain.

Tossa de Mar is pretty compact - it is only 1400m in a straight line from the "to motorway" marker top left to "castle/wt marker lower right. I should have made the former "to motorway/Girona". All 3 major routes out of town meet at a central roundabout near the "supermart" symbol. The bus station is a few blocks west and there is a very good tourist information office adjacent. 
Pensio Codolar was my accommodation, at the southern end of the old town (which is not as old as the walled town within the castle walls).
I haven't labelled the beaches to keep things simple - Platja Gran is obvious as is the northern Platja Mar Menuda. Tiny Platja Es Codolar is in that narrow inlet at the bottom of image.

One of the less energetic ways of seeing the town highlights is to jump on the "tourist train" here seen on the beachfront promenade. I later saw it winding its way up to the lighthouse at the very top of the castle area.

Tossa had the best old town** I encountered on this visit to Spain - only Ibiza came close. Lotsa narrow streets with bulk restaurants and bars plus shops of all types and a few funky clubs. Above is a wider than normal concourse alongside the castle walls - the restaurants here were super-competitive with their daily set specials (a choice within) which I thought good value for such an attractive place. The whole old town dining scene was similar.
** the old town is not the very very old walled town up within the castle area. This aint exactly shabby either - see below.

THE CASTLE/WALLED TOWN (VILA VELLA).
From the beach.

From the viewpoint on the Tossa to Cala Llevado trek. 
The fort and walled town are mainly in the left half of this image - the higher  area at right is within the castle walls, was once part of the fortifications, and now contains the lighthouse and adjacent restaurant (killer views to the south) and museum. The deep gorge containing lovely little Platja Es Codolar is between these places and the camera.

Fortifications


The really old walled town


No shortage of restaurants in the walled town. Also galleries, museums, a chapel and quite a few touristy and arty shops. Plus of course old houses - plenty of people still live here.

Dining on Platja es Codolar - shot from the castle walls.

PENSIO CODOLAR
Pensio Fonda Codolar has a sweet roof terrace - nice place to relax late afternoon. 
It's located on one of the narrow pedestrian lanes in the old part of town (look for the "Fonda" nameplate) only a stone throw from 2 beaches and the castle. Lots of bar/restaurants and shops nearby. The owner and staff are lovely people and perform their job very well. The English owner has lived in Tossa 40 years and is fluent in about a half dozen languages - she was very good at  engendering a homely, welcome atmosphere. My room was comfortable and the outside bathroom fine. Breakfast was simple but filling. 
 Criticisms: although in a quiet area with little restaurant/bar noise and no traffic, someone should have a word to the street cleaner who starts banging bins around 0430. The wifi was good in the lobby but didn't extend to my room.


TREKKING
There are some fine treks out of Tossa and in the general area. Go to the tourist info office adjacent the bus stop (there is another down near the beach) and grab one of their hiking guides in a number of languages. I didn't try to cover everything there, ignoring some and short-cutting others. Below are some of the walks I did.

TOSSA TO CALA D'EN CARLOS/FIGUERS/LLEVADO
Look for the trekking signs facing uphill 30m in from Es Codolar Beach. This heads up through town and in a short time you will find yourself climbing a fairly steep cliffside path where you can get views like the 7th image on this page (way up top) of Es Codolar Bay/the castle-walled town and beyound.
Another few minutes climbing gets you to a series of viewpoints (I only had room to label one) for even more panoramic views like this page's opening shot ....and the one below.
Once past the viewpoints look for a dirt road nearby on the right (I have small blue markers showing start and finish of road) and cross to it immediately - the smaller track had me blundering about in the bush way south of where I should have been. The dirt road tends to stick fairly closely to the power lines. I saw a couple of camper vans up here - you can access the dirt road from town via another route I've only partially shown.
There are a lot of side tracks along the way - mostly the correct rout is sign-posted but if in doubt stick to the track which looks most used. Some fairly wide paths dive southwards towards the ocean - but keep heading west until near the end. There is no ambiguity there.
The track ends at a road behind the supermarket of one of the accommodation places at the beaches - refer to the map in the Cala Figueres/Figuera section about 60% down this page for details of how to get down to the sand.
Total distance beach to beach is a little over 3km (straight line distance from power line marker to viewpoint marker is 550m). It took me about 70 minutes not hurrying. Surfaces reasonably good but I would not wear flip flops. Mountain bikers may find each end tricky but there are other accesses and exits to the dirt road. Walking gradients a bit steep each end but if less fit people take rest stops only circumference-enhanced dudes will find it tough.
I URGE EVERYONE TO DO THE FIRST 10 TO 15 MINUTES TO THE VIEWPOINTS FOR FABULOUS TOWN/CASTLE/COASTAL VIEWS.

TOSSA TO CALA BONA/POLA/GIVROLA/FUTADERA
I've repeated this image to save you scrolling up page too often. Once again gaps represent highway or beach sections. 
The walk is about 4km and took me about 2 hours each way. You could one-way it by using the glass bottom boat Tossa-Giverola. Surfaces are reasonably good but once again leave the flip-flops at home. The track is not suitable for mountain bikes - narrow/rough/stairs. For walkers there are some pretty good slopes making big changes in elevation but but none I'd class as heartbreakers for fit dudes.
Straight line distance from Cala Bona to Cala Futadera is only 1.2km.

Finding the start of the track out of Tossa is pretty easy - take Av Mar Menuda from the beach of the same name - this heads uphill. At the hairpin......
....take the paved path which looks like someone's driveway. This soon turns to a dirt track which heads uphill and in less than 10 minutes hits the road a short distance below the viewpoint back over the town.
Sweet outlook.

ONCE AGAIN I URGE ALL VISITORS TO TOSSA TO MAKE THE EFFORT TO GET UP HERE EVEN IF THEY GO NO FURTHER. THE CLIMB SHOULD TROUBLE NO ONE BUT THE VERY UNFIT IF PEOPLE ARE PREPARED TO TAKE A FEW REST STOPS.
Of course you can also drive or ride a moto up here - the viewpoint seemed very popular with passing motorists. The walk along the road from central roundabout near the bus station and supermarket is longer but less steep.

Only a short distance past the viewpoint is the driveway to a cliff top villa. Just past this look for the sign posted track leading off to the right.
This track runs along the ridge high above the sea until you come to the fabulous outlook below.
Click-expand to see the glass bottom boat heading out of Cala Bona's inlet. It has just nosed into that cave for a look see. The inlet close by it is heading for is Cala Pola. That high headland with the construction crane is between Pola and Cala Giverola. Lots of flash resort and other holiday apartments up there.
Thing is you are going to drop down into the first inlet, trek up to road level on the other side, drop down into Cala Pola and then trek up over the slightly lower inland side of the far headland. As I said up page, some pretty good verticality on this trek.
I'll also repeat that sign-posting is good as far as Cala Pola where the official trekking track turns inland. For details of the track past there and for getting into and out of all these bays, check my individual maps up-page (starting about 15% from the top of the page).

OTHER TREKS
I found the walk from Lloret de Mar bus station (alternatively you could start at the ferry stop on the beach) south to Cala Fenals/Boedella/St Cristina a nice one. If you don't want to backtrack you could catch the ferry from Cristina back to Tossa.
11th century Sant Joan's castle between Platjas Lloret and Fenals. Check the map up page - the route I took went right by the castle.

Another nice one in the Lloret area is northward along the cliff path towards Cala Canyels. Even if it is still blocked you have covered a nice section - it sure was busy when I strolled along.
Cliff walkway under Castell d'en Platja, south Lloret.

 If you are tempted to take the detour at the landslip up the stairs into the hopelessly winding streets above, make sure you take a photo of the route shown on the detour sign - I found no signs up the top and spent 90 minutes weaving along streets, bush bashing across scrubby gullies and jumping 2m high fences. In the end, knowing I'd missed the last ferry from Cala Canyels,  I gave up, walked out to the main coast road and hitch-hiked back to Tossa.
LOST!


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IF YOU SEE MISTAKES OR HAVE EXTRA INFO PLEASE POST BELOW. BUT IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS PLEASE POST THEM IN THE FORUM WHICH I CHECK MOST DAYS - I RARELY RETURN TO THESE INDIVIDUAL LOCATION PAGES.