Roses Costa Brava Holidays, Travel Guide – Top Things to Do, See

Roses is one of the most visited towns on the Costa Brava, in the municipality of L’Alt Emporda, on the north eastern coast of Spain, on the northern tip of the Roses gulf and to the south of the rugged peninsula formed by Cape Creus, about 166 km. from Barcelona Airport and 64 km. from Girona Airport.

What to Expect?

Roses is a popular destination in Costa Brava among tourists for its sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, historical landmarks, and vibrant nightlife. The picturesque town offers visitors an authentic Catalan experience.


The town’s picturesque harbor is the perfect spot for strolling, enjoying a cup of coffee, or watching the colorful fishing boats come and go. The town also features a charming old town with narrow streets and stone houses that exude a medieval vibe.

One of the town’s most famous landmarks is the Citadel, which dates back to the 16th century. The Citadel is a well-preserved fortress that has served many purposes throughout history, from defending the town against pirate attacks to housing military barracks. Today, visitors can explore the Citadel’s impressive walls and enjoy panoramic views of the sea and the town.

Roses boasts a stunning coastline that stretches over 16 kilometers, with a range of beaches and coves to suit every taste along Costa Brava. From long stretches of golden sand to hidden coves with crystal clear waters, Roses has it all. Some of the most popular beaches include Santa Margarida, Almadrava, and Canyelles Petites.

In addition to its natural beauty, Roses is also known for its rich culinary scene, offering a wide range of traditional Catalan dishes as well as international cuisine. Fresh seafood is a highlight, with many restaurants sourcing their ingredients directly from the local fishing boats.


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Roses also offers a variety of outdoor activities, including water sports such as sailing, windsurfing, and kayaking, as well as hiking and cycling. The area’s rugged landscape makes for excellent hiking trails, with breathtaking views of the sea and surrounding countryside.

Finally, the town has a bustling nightlife scene, with a range of bars and clubs that cater to all tastes. Whether you’re looking for a relaxed evening sipping cocktails by the sea or a night of dancing until dawn, Roses has something to offer.

Top Things to Do & See in Roses…

Roses is a charming coastal town known for its rugged coastline, crystal-clear waters, and idyllic beaches. Things to do and see in Roses are endless. Popular attractions and sights in Roses include;

  • The spectacular bay and the long sandy beach of Roses,
  • a visit to Cape Creus (constitutes a landsea Nature Reserve of special scenic beauty),
  • the megalithic monument of Creu de Cobertella dolmen,
  • tasting the famous fish suquet (stew) or an excellent rice dish,
  • water sports, sailing, mountain biking, hiking and diving.

Top Attractions & Sights for you…

Roses beach

Stretching over 1.5 kilometers, Roses beach offers plenty of space to relax and unwind through Costa Brava. The beach is well-equipped with all the necessary amenities, including showers, toilets, sun loungers, and parasols. There are also plenty of restaurants, cafes, and bars located along the promenade, so you can grab a bite to eat or a refreshing drink after a day in the sun.

Roses beach is also a great destination for water sports enthusiasts. The clear waters make it an ideal spot for swimming, while the beach’s strong winds make it a great place for windsurfing and kitesurfing. Visitors can also rent kayaks, paddleboards, and jet skis, or take a boat tour to explore the stunning coastline.


In addition to the beach itself, the town of Roses offers plenty of attractions for visitors. The town is home to a number of historic sites, including the Citadel of Roses, a 16th-century fortress, and the Castell de la Trinitat, a 16th-century watchtower. There are also plenty of opportunities for hiking and cycling in the surrounding hills, as well as a range of cultural events and festivals throughout the year.

Platja Canyelles beach

Platja Canyelles is one of the most beautiful beaches in the charming town of Roses. The beach is situated in a sheltered bay surrounded by lush green hills and offers visitors a picturesque setting to relax and soak up the Mediterranean sun.

Platja Canyelles is a wide sandy beach with crystal-clear turquoise waters, making it an ideal spot for swimming and other water activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, and paddleboarding. The beach is also perfect for families with children as the waters are calm and shallow.

There are plenty of amenities available at Platja Canyelles, including showers, toilets, sun loungers, and parasols. There are also several beach bars and restaurants serving delicious Mediterranean cuisine and refreshing drinks. Visitors can enjoy a relaxing lunch or dinner overlooking the stunning bay.

For those who prefer to stay active, there are several hiking trails nearby that offer breathtaking views of the coast and the surrounding hills. One popular trail leads to the nearby Cap de Creus Natural Park, where visitors can explore stunning rocky landscapes, hidden coves, and ancient ruins.

Cape Creus

Cape Creus, located on the easternmost point of Spain’s mainland, is a natural wonder that offers stunning views and unique landscapes. The cape is part of the Cap de Creus Natural Park, which covers an area of over 13,000 hectares, including both land and sea.

The rugged and rocky coastline of Cape Creus is dotted with hidden coves and bays, as well as steep cliffs that drop off into the deep blue Mediterranean sea. The landscape is characterized by a unique mixture of vegetation, including juniper, rosemary, and thyme, as well as rocky outcroppings that have been shaped by the forces of wind and water over time.

Here you can explore the many hiking trails that wind through the park, taking in breathtaking views of the coastline and the surrounding mountains. Along the way, they can discover ancient ruins, including dolmens and megaliths that date back to prehistoric times.

One of the most popular hiking trails in the area is the GR-11, which runs through the Cap de Creus Natural Park and connects with other long-distance hiking routes in the region. The trail passes through picturesque fishing villages and remote mountainous areas, offering a variety of landscapes and challenges for hikers of all levels.

For those who prefer to explore the coast by sea, there are many options for kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and boat tours. These activities provide an opportunity to see the park’s unique rock formations and hidden beaches from a different perspective, as well as the chance to spot some of the region’s abundant marine life.

Creu de Cobertella Dolmen

The Creu de Cobertella Dolmen is an ancient megalithic structure located in the Alt Empordà region of Catalonia. It is one of the many prehistoric monuments found in the area and is believed to date back to the Bronze Age, around 2000 BCE.

The dolmen consists of several large standing stones, with a massive capstone resting on top. It was likely used as a tomb or burial chamber, as human remains and artifacts have been found inside. The dolmen is also notable for its location, situated on a hilltop with stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Today, the Creu de Cobertella Dolmen is a popular destination for tourists and history enthusiasts. Visitors can explore the site and learn about the ancient cultures that once inhabited the area. The dolmen is easily accessible by car, with parking available nearby, and is a must-see attraction for anyone interested in the rich history of Catalonia.

Water Sports

Roses is a haven for water sports enthusiasts. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced athlete, there are activities to suit everyone’s interests. You can enjoy activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, paddleboarding, and windsurfing. The town has a number of reputable schools and rental companies that can provide you with the equipment and guidance you need to participate in these activities. The best time to indulge in water sports is during the summer months when the waters are warm and calm.

Mountain Biking

The hills surrounding Roses provide an ideal terrain for mountain biking. The rugged landscape is perfect for adventure seekers who want to explore the area’s natural beauty. The hills also offer a challenge to experienced riders looking for a tough workout. There are many guided tours and trails available for visitors of all skill levels. The trails are well-marked, and you can explore the beautiful countryside on your own or with a guide.

Hiking

Roses is home to a range of hiking trails that cater to all levels of fitness. Whether you want to take a leisurely stroll along the coastline or trek through the rugged hills, there is a trail that suits your needs. The most popular trail is the GR-92, which stretches for over 550 kilometers along the Catalan coast. The trail offers stunning views of the sea, rugged coastline, and beautiful countryside. Other popular hiking trails include Cap de Creus, Puig de l’Àliga, and the Albera Massif.

Daily Tours & Excursions

Food & Drink

Roses is famous for its fresh seafood, and you’ll find many restaurants serving up dishes like grilled octopus, paella, and grilled sardines. You can also sample local wines from the Empordà region, which is renowned for its vineyards and wineries.

For a quick bite, head to one of the town’s many tapas bars, where you can try a variety of small plates, including cured meats, cheeses, and olives. If you have a sweet tooth, don’t miss out on the traditional Catalan dessert, crema catalana.

Shopping

Roses has a bustling town center with many shops and boutiques. You’ll find everything from artisanal crafts and souvenirs to high-end fashion and accessories. The town also has a weekly market, held every Sunday, where you can find fresh produce, local honey, and handmade goods.

Nightlife

Roses is known for its lively nightlife, especially during the summer months. There are many bars and clubs around the town center, where you can enjoy a drink and dance the night away. If you’re looking for a more relaxed atmosphere, head to one of the beachfront bars and enjoy a cocktail with a view of the sea.

Lodging

Roses has a variety of accommodations to suit every budget, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly hostels through Costa Brava. If you want to be close to the beach, look for hotels or apartments with sea views. For a more traditional experience, consider staying in a local bed and breakfast or guesthouse.

Getting There

By Plane

The nearest airport to Roses is Girona-Costa Brava Airport, which is about 70 km away. The airport has flights to many European cities, and there are regular shuttle buses and taxis that connect the airport to Roses. Alternatively, you can fly into Barcelona-El Prat Airport, which is about 160 km away, and then take a train or bus to Roses.

By Train

The nearest train station to Roses is in Figueres, which is about 20 km away. Figueres is on the high-speed train line from Barcelona to Paris, and there are also local trains that run from Girona to Figueres. From Figueres, you can take a taxi or a bus to Roses.

By Bus

There are regular bus services from Barcelona, Girona, and Figueres to Roses. The journey time from Barcelona is about 2.5 hours, while from Girona it takes around 1.5 hours. Buses in the region are reliable, and tickets can be purchased online or at the station.

By Car

If you’re driving from Barcelona, take the AP-7 motorway towards Girona, and then follow the signs to Roses. The journey takes about 2 hours. If you’re driving from France, take the AP-7 motorway towards Girona and then follow the signs to Roses.


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