The appearance of the beaches, often in the shape of peaceful coves with coarse sand and calm waters, attracts visitors to the coastline of the Alt and Baix Empordà and La Selva regions. The rugged outline of the rocks and cliffs surrounding them, and the pine forests stretching almost down to the sea give the Costa Brava its unique character. The main tourist centres include the towns of Roses, L’Escala, L’Estartit, Blanes, Lloret de Mar, Platja d’Aro, Sant Feliu de Guíxols and Palamós, as well as the seaside towns of Cadaqués, El Port de la Selva and Palafrugell. The quality of the sand and the water is acknowledged by the many blue flag beaches along the Girona coast. Respect for the environment is also illustrated by the EMAS validation obtained by several beaches in the towns of Roses and Calonge. The beaches of Lloret de Mar and Fenals have also been awarded the Q Certificate for tourist quality. The Costa Brava has seventeen marinas and two water sports resorts, in L’Estartit and the Illes Medes and in the bay of Palamós and Sant Antoni de Calonge. The Cap de Creus Natural Park offers a view of the Pyrenean mountain range as it becomes submerged by the sea. The rugged coast is home to over 300 species of fish, with meadows and forests inland where you can watch migratory birds. The area´s second natural park, the Aiguamolls de l’Empordà Natural Park, is a wetland area covering practically 5,000 hectares between the Muga and Fluvià rivers, with a huge biodiversity of flowers and bird species. Other valuable nature areas are the Medes islands (a wonderful place for scuba diving), the Banyoles and Sils lakes or the mountain ranges of Cadiretes (Tossa de Mar), Montgrí (Torroella de Montgrí) and Les Gavarres (La Bisbal d’Empordà). The flowers put on a spectacular show in the botanical gardens at Marimurtra and Pinya de Rosa, in Blanes, and at Cap Roig and Santa Clotilde, in Calella de Palafrugell and Lloret de Mar, respectively. Culture also plays a major role on the Costa Brava. Specifically, L’Empordà is internationally known for being the birthplace of Salvador Dalí. The Dalí Triangle comprises the museum and the houses where the surrealist artist lived. Figueres, home to the Teatre-Museu Dalí, one of the most visited museums in Catalonia and where a large part of his work is preserved; the castles of Púbol, and the house at Portlligat, in Cadaqués.
Other key cultural events on the music festivals in Torroella de Montgrí and Peralada, which every year draw a fine selection of composers and performers of all types of music.