Old world charm along Spain's Costa Brava

Just a small step off of Catalonia's beaten track you'll find the Baix Empordà. The area is replete with glittering beaches, lush rolling hills, sumptuous gastronomy and a mild Mediterranean climate. 

It makes for a peaceful day trip from bustling Barcelona and is just a short hop over the French border but it has plenty to keep you occupied for a longer stay too. 

A favourite with the stylish Barelona crowd, the town of Begur beguiles all those who make the trip. Its narrow Spanish and Moorish streets lead to crystal clear waters and wind up to the town's medieval hilltop castle.

Beautiful beaches aren't all that's on offer - head inland and you will swiftly succumb to the charm of the region's ancient towns. The town of Pubol is another medieval masterpiece whose main attraction is the castle bought by Dali as a present to his wife, Gala. Head inside the crumbling building and you'll find a gallery of Gala's Sixties couture collection.  

Elsewhere in the region, pretty medieval villages and towns that are mere dots on the map become quaint terracotta coloured settlements the closer you get. Peratallada and Pals are worth prising yourself away from the beach for. Lesser known Monells, Cruilles, La Bisbal Drift are magnificent medieval stop offs on your tour of the region too. Drift from town to town, stopping off for a glass of the region's wine and flavoursome tapas in the tiny local bars.