Tossa de Mar is one cozy and family-friendly seaside resort, north of it always bustling Lloret de Mar. The picturesque town is situated on a beautiful bay where the azure blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea flow into a breathtakingly wide, golden sandy beach. At the far end of the beach, a beautiful medieval castle, surrounded by towers and battlements, which take you back to past times. It mountainous landscape filled with green pine trees complete the picture of Tossa! Thanks to its beautiful nature, pearly white beaches and fairytale history Tossa de Mar is also called the pearl of the Costa Brava mentioned.
Have you become curious about this beautiful historic seaside town and do you want to know why you should definitely visit Tossa de Mar? Then read on quickly because you will find below the 12 most beautiful sights in Tossa de Mar!
Don't forget the market in Tossa de Mar to visit!
The Wonderful History of Tossa de Mar
As far back as the Neolithic, some 5000 years BC, according to excavations and exposure of dolmen, caves, menhirs, stone tools and ceramics, settlements already existed in Tossa de Mar. This one remains from prehistoric times have been hugely important for establishing the history of Tossa, but also the many rich art treasures from the Iberian Period have contributed to this. However, the real mark was left by the Romans 100 years after Christ. After the arrival of the Arabs in the 8th century, it followed feudalism and the Green Revolution and since the end of the 9th century, real significant changes have taken place in Tossa de Mar.
Thus, the 12th century is known as the century of defenses against overseas attacks, were in the 16e century the Moors in power until the conquest of King Philip II and the 18e century known for the prosperity of Tossa. In the 20th century the city was overrun by artists. From all these centuries there are still many remains to be seen in Tossa de Mar. It most spectacular and best known historical building of Tossa is of course the beautiful castle, which is central to many photos and postcards.
The 12 Most Beautiful Sights in Tossa!
Thanks to the rich history of Tossa de Mar, which dates back to prehistoric times, as noted earlier, many beautiful pieces of history have been preserved that you can admire today. That's how Tossa knows the Mar. a beautiful historic center, a breathtaking castle, a beautiful lighthouse, a Roman settlement, several museums and churches, and much more. To make sure you don't have to miss any of the highlights during your holiday in Tossa de Mar, I have the 12 sights in Tossa de Mar Listed for you below!
1. The old city center - Vila Vella
Vila Vella, the old medieval town of Tossa de Mar, is built behind an imposing city wall with large cylindrical towers topped with graceful battlements. In its heyday, the Vila Vella also had one castle with watchtower. However, little or nothing of this has remained over the centuries, after which it was decided to use the location for the current lighthouse. The Vila Vella is one of the most beautiful sights in Tossa de Mar. It is not without reason that it was declared a national historical and artistic monument in 1931.
If you walk through the Vila Vella you will see all these beautiful historical sights, but mainly the picturesque interior of the Villa Villa, within the imposing city walls. The charming narrow streets paved with pebbles, the ruins of the church of Sant Vicenç built in late Gothic style, not to mention the Mediterranean medieval houses. Vila Vella is also the ideal place for it buying nice souvenirs and gadgets or to enjoy a delicious authentic Spanish meal in one of the restaurants.
2. Castillo de Tossa de Mar
The Vila Vella is a good example of a classic medieval village. And of course such a classic medieval village also has a city wall: the big one Castillo de Tossa de Mar. Castillo de Tossa de Mar consists of one 300 meter long wall decorated with 7 round towers with battlements, each 20 meters high. This imposing wall was built in the 12e century to protect Vila Vella from Piracy. The most famous towers are the tower of Joanàs which served as a viewpoint over the bay, the tidal tower, located at the entrance to the courtyard where a public clock stood, and the tower of es Codolar, which offers a view over the beach of Es Codolar.
If you visit Castillo de Tossa de Mar and climb the beautiful towers, you will be amazed at the breathtaking view that you can enjoy the town of Tossa and the azure blue sea from here. It is also a wonderful place to enjoy a nice walk. At the top of the hill you can of course also enjoy a snack and a drink, however the prices are higher here than in Tossa de Mar itself. If you really want to go back to bygone years, a visit to Castillo de Tossa de Mar should certainly not be on your to-do list of places of interest in Tossa de Mar lack!
3. Far de Tossa
At the highest point within the city wall Castillo de Tossa de Mar you will find the lighthouse built in 1917, the Far de Tossa. It was built on the site of the former medieval castle and served to replace the rudimentary light signals used for both signage and warning. The presence of the tower was even more necessary due to the fact that the Costa Brava a rocky and sometimes treacherous coast is often interspersed with dangerous reefs. You will find it right next to the lighthouse Centro de Interpretació dels Fars de la Mediterrània, a museum about the history of Tossa.
In this museum you will learn everything about the lighthouses of the Mediterranean Sea, mainly through old photos and high-quality images. Thanks to the education center of Tossa de Mar you will the history of the Mediterranean lighthouses from the Greek era to the present day, but you will also learn more about the role of the people, the lives of the lighthouse keepers and the importance and consequences of the technological evolutions. End your visit to the lighthouse with a drink in the lighthouse café and enjoy one of the most beautiful views imaginable!
4. Musée municipal de Tossa de Mar
Located in the former home of the mayor, within the medieval city walls of Tossa de Mar and dating back to the 14e century, The first contemporary art museum in Spain was opened here on 1 September 1935. Tossa was one for years place of pilgrimage for artists from far and wide, who use the beauty of the landscape as inspiration Not to mention the artists, such as Rafael Benet, Pere Creixams, Marc Chagall, André Masson and Georges Kars, who lived in Tossa. This continued until the Spanish Civil War broke out and a fruitful artistic period came to an end.
However, before this unfortunate historical moment arrived, a group of art-sensitive intellectuals addressed the Stedelijk Museum with the intention of leaving a report of the created art collection but also of the archaeological legacy of Tossa, the settlement Els Ametllers, De museum collection is therefore divided into two separate categories. The first area focuses on the first inhabitants of the city. Here you see mosaics on display of this ancient Roman city plus a variety of prehistoric objects, ceramics and coins. Much of the collection comes from excavations carried out at the site of the in the early 1900s Roman villa Els Ametllers.
The second area focuses on a sophisticated collection of contemporary paintings and discovering a collection of regional modern artworks such as works by Georges-André Klein, Georges Kars and even Olga Sacharoff. In the summer there are regular temporary exhibitions. To find out more about the exhibitions and dates of Tossa's Municipal Museum can you get them website attend.
5. Església Vella de Sant Vicenç
The ruin of the Església Vella de Sant Vicenç, built in the 15ecentury in gothic style can be found in the Villa Vella. Unfortunately not much is left of the building today, except for the choir, bell tower and side chapel, but the ruin is certainly worth a visit. During the French occupation, the church was used to store ammunition; the lion's share of the church was subsequently destroyed after the explosion of various gas bottles stored there. The little that remained was then used by the residents of Tossa de Mar to build houses. Stroll through the picturesque streets of the villa Vella, admire the charm of this ruin overlooking the sea!
6. The parish church of Sant Vicenç
The Parish Church of Sant Vicenç was built in 1755 in neoclassical style. This somewhat simplistic built church served as a replacement for the then intact old church of Sant Vicenç, located in Vila Vella. This had become too small to accommodate parishioners, but also the population had grown significantly during this time and had established itself further and further outside the walls of the Vila Vella. The distance to the old church had become too uncomfortable for the inhabitants.
Despite the simple construction, however, the volume of the nave is striking. The church was originally decorated with altarpieces and images in the popular Baroque style, many of which come from Cas Fuster's local workshop. However, these were, with the exception of the altar of the Immaculate Conception, all burned during the Spanish Civil War. The polychromy of the interior has recently been restored and the church has recovered its former beauty. You can find this church at the plaça de l'Esglesia and admission is free. Every Sunday at 12:00, there are also services, given in various languages.
7. The Tower of Can Magi
This beautiful 16e-century Moorish tower, Can Magi, is located on the outskirts of Tossa de Mar on a hill. The Can Magi is one of the watchtowers that King Philip II in the 16th century along the Spanish Mediterranean coast built to protect the population from raids and attacks by North African pirates. The towers were strategically located along the coast and connected to each other signal by means of smoke signals during the day and light signals at night if a threat was imminent. Guardians were permanently stationed here to warn townspeople of an imminent one Moorish attack, allowing them to seek protection within the city walls.
The Can Magi, Pólvora Tower, the Agulla de Pola Lookout Tower and probably also the tower of the former Vila Vela Castle were all connected! Can Magi Tower is a classic two-storey building with a wooden floor, loopholes and a barb. To visit this tower you have to take a walk uphill, but the beautiful view makes the trip upwards worthwhile. However, it is not recommended to take this hike at the hottest time of the day.
8. The Former Sant Miquel Hospital
Sant Miquel Hospital was founded in the eighteenth century (1773) by Tomás Vidal i Rey, one of the early “Indianos” from Tossa de Mar. Indianos stands for the Spaniards who left their country to make a fortune in America and upon their return invested their accumulated wealth in beautiful homes and charities in their hometown. This also applied to Thomas Vidal, who is in addition to renovating the medieval Can Leandro farm also invested in the construction of this hospital, intended for the poor residents of the city of Tossa.
The spacious building consists of a rectangular framework consisting of two floors and a central courtyard. Next to the building you will find a chapel with baroque altar dedicated to patron saint Sant Miquel. Today the hospital is no longer in use and is working serves as the cultural center of Tossa de Mar. Cultural activities and events are regularly organized here. Given the beautiful history and beautiful remains to behold, this is certainly one of the sights in Tossa de Mar to visit!
9. The chapel of Mare de Deu dels Socors
The chapel of Mare de Deu dels Socors was built in the sixteenth century by a sailing merchant, Antoni Caixa. Legend has it that he did this to show his gratitude to Our Lady of Hearing for saving his life in a shipwreck. Since then the chapel has been one important religious center for the sailors and merchants of Tossa de Mar. Following Antoni Caixa, they placed themselves under the protection of Our Lady of Hearing, the savior from the drowning.
The current appearance of the chapel dates back to the eighteenth century, when the chapel was completely renovated with the help of donations from the faithful. The simplicity of its decoration, pastel colors alternating with white, contributes to the peace and serenity of the chapel. The chapel is located in the center of Tossa, on the Carrer del Socors, near the parish church of Sant Vicenç. A visit to the picturesque Chapel of Deu dels Socors is also one of those sights in Tossa de Mar that you should not miss!
10. The Roman Villa Els Ametllers
The Els Ametllers villa, located on a mountain next to the sea, was discovered in 1914 after archaeological excavations and is one of the oldest sights in Tossa de Mar. Built in the first century BC. is the part of one group of Roman villas found in Tossa. The Els Ametllers villa is architecturally composed of two well-differentiated areas: the higher one urban part ("Pars urbana") and the lower one rural part (“Pars fructuaria”). In the rural part, grapes were grown for export within the empire, but oil was also made, fish were preserved and grain was stored.
The urban part offers a glimpse into the lost villas and the facilities. So you will find at the entrance a garden that extends to the thermal baths, a patio with a nymph fountain and also several living areas and a dining room. To enrich your visit, you can combine a visit with the Municipal Museum (Musée municipal de Tossa de Mar). Here you can observing objects like an imposing sculptural set of Carrara marble, the styles of bone and ivory, the ceramics, the coins or the fibulas, discovered during the archaeological excavations. It is well worth a visit as it is one of the most important villas is in the ancient Roman province of Hispania Tarraconensis.
11. Casa Sans
This house was built in 1906 on behalf of Joan Sans by the architect Antoni de Falguera. It reflects its growing popularity of the city as a holiday destination, but at the same time recalls the fact that Tossa de Mar has been a source of inspiration was for artists from all over the world. It is a unique building thanks to its aesthetic eclecticism. For example, it has modernist gargoyles representing the four seasons, beautiful stained glass windows and wrought iron finishes. In many ways the design resembles the Casa Vicens in Barcelona, designed by Gaudi.
The house was originally decorated with paintings of plants and two women, but these have not been preserved over the years. Inside, however, much of Antoni de Falguera's decorative repertoire has been preserved. The beautiful stained glass windows with plant elements and the spectacular fireplace are absolutely modernist in style. In 1930 Casa Sans became the property of the Vilallonga family. The family added special decoration elements to the house. The beautiful marble staircase and the fountain with the statue of Diana the hunter belong to this period.
12. Can Leandro or Can Ganga
In the sixteenth century, when the village of Tossa de Mar was bursting at the seams, the then owner decided to build the farm and settle outside the boundaries of the city walls. Two families lived here, the Leandro family and the Ganga family, after whom the place is named. During the Renaissance the farms came under attack by pirate attacks who roamed the Mediterranean to plunder coastal villages. The remoteness and proximity to the sea made these two farms easy targets. Fortifications, which can still be seen today, were essential to protect them from looting.
Bought in the second half of the eighteenth century Tomas Vidal i Rei, one “Indiano” and founder of the Sant Miquel hospital, the farm and decided to completely restore it. Since 2002, the estate has been owned by it town hall of Tossa de Mar and you can at Can Leandro admire the beauty of the round doorway topped by a machicoulis (tit cage), the beautiful gothic windows decorated with stone angels and to see a very well preserved pantry. Here you really discover the way of life of the inhabitants of the Iberian Peninsula during the Renaissance.
If you are looking for a beautiful holiday destination, which in addition to sun, sea and beach is also full of history and sights, then Tossa de Mar is the ultimate place for you! If you want to know more about Tossa de Mar, read: Things to do in Tossa de Mar, Top 20 best activities!
It is not for nothing that Tossa de Mar is in the Top 10 Places on the Costa Brava!
Do you also want to know how you can experience the ultimate holiday in Tossa de Mar or elsewhere on the Costa Brava? Then follow the tips from our step-by-step plan: 21 Tips for the ultimate holiday on the Costa Brava