Tasting Spain’s Incredible Paella! Here’s The Recipe For A Culinary Masterpiece From The Costa Brava!

Who’s Up For A Food Adventure? These Guys Are!

This plate of colorful Langoustines are waiting for me to turn them into an amazing Spanish Paella – and it reminded me that I had some work to do in order to match the incredible version my wife and I got on the Costa Brava in Spain!

Costa Brava Spain tourism

Welcome To Spain’s “Wild Coast!”

You are looking at Spain’s Costa Brava, their “wild coast”, located just northwest of Barcelona…it is gorgeous, isolated, and pristine…even when Alex had to take a few work calls, what better place to do so…

Of course, as incredible as the scenery is, the memorable meal we had while overlooking this rugged coast was even better!

Costa Brava scenery

Say Yes To “The Mas”!

When we were lucky enough to visit Spain’s Costa Brava, we stayed at the amazing Mas de Torrent hotel two hours outside of Barcelona…

Mas de Torrent Spain

Mas de Torrent is perfectly situated for exploring Spain’s Costa Brava, since there is a major highway nearby, as well as a LOT of small roads that take you on a visual journey into the past…

Costa Brava small town roads

Many of our trips took us through small towns and villages, and one day we ended up at Mas de Torrent’s sister hotel, Hotel El Far de Sant Sebastia, located nearby in Palafrugell, which overlooks the Mediterranean Sea…

Costa Brava restaurant guide

The hotel’s restaurant is perched on a cliff that overlooks the Mediterranean, and as you arrive, you park your car near a lighthouse. Before you head in to eat you can spend a few more minutes checking out the amazing view…..

Costa Brava lighthouse

Spain lighthouse

Costa Brava hotel

The restaurant was located inside the hotel, with an outside terrace overlooking the sea. Once we were seated, we noticed that the restaurant’s “specials” for the day were posted on a chalkboard…

classic spanish food

Even with limited ability to read spanish, we realized that seafood was the way to go…and of course, we started immediately with some spanish wine!

Alex Duda Costa Brava wine

Spanish wine

One thing we loved about spanish cuisine: you always began with a spanish tradition: peasant bread and ham…this bread is rubbed with fresh tomato and garlic, and topped with a touch of olive oit….the ham is of course, Iberico….

iberico ham and peasant bread

Alex Duda Spainish food

We were also told to order the restaurant’s specialty, which is also noted on the chalkboard as well:

classic spanish menu board

Bring On The Paella!

The restaurant was known for their paella, which is cooked in a classic paella pan – we got their seafood version, as you can see from the shrimp and mussels that were baked in a very hearty spanish rice…

best spanish food

Spain's best food

And of course, they give you more bread to make your own “peasant” style version as needed…

Spanish peasant bread recipe

Afterwards, you can head back outside to take a walk along the cliffs – and everywhere you turn you see another beautiful and pristine piece of the “Costa Brava”…

Costa Brava tourist attraction

Costa Brava tourist destinations

Spain Costa Brava coastline

As you can imagine, this is a popular tourist destination, but I never felt that the Costa Brava was crowded…there was plenty of room for everyone…with the exception of Cadaques…so let’s depart this quiet, beautiful lunch and search out one of Spain’s most legendary Artists…

Spain tourist destinations

Costa Brave tourism

Salvador Dali Statue Spain

Hello Dali!

That never gets old.

Here is a beautiful life-size statue honoring Salvadore Dali. As successful as our paella adventure was, our attempt to see the legendary Artists home and museum was the opposite!

Salvadore Dali museum

The small town of Cadaques is serene – when you are down by the water…but in the center of town it was crowded, windy and a bit rainy – and there are virtually no directions to find the place!

Cadaques rock skippers

It seemed that that favorite pastime was to chuck rocks into the water in defeat. You can read all about our “Salvadore Dali misadventure” by clicking on my story here:


So we never saw Dali’s house, but we did see some amazing medieval villages…

Costa Brava medieval villages

A Bike Tour Into The Past!

Another fascinating aspect of the region are the medieval spanish villages that populate the area, and you can bike between several of them!

Alex Duda biking medieval villages

You can see that adventure by clicking on my link here:


Of course, we also visited some of Barcelona’s legendary food halls!

“La Boqueira” is the city’s famous food hall….massive, filled with incredible places to sit down and eat, and of course, those incredible, hanging Iberico Hams…

Click here for the full tour and to find out what we gorged on!


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Thanks so much for reading, and if you enjoy it, feel free to share on social media!

Categories: Art, cookbooks, Exotic Travel, Food, food blog, Food Review, Memoirs, Recipes, Restaurants, Spain, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir

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25 replies

  1. We ate a beautiful Paella in Mijas on the Costa Del Sol quite a few times every year when we visited… I think I have perfected it now having eaten so many and we love it 🙂 some amazing images John 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent! Barcelona was already on the Springer Bucket List.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I thought I recognized that market! Beautiful Barcelona! I can’t wait to travel to Europe again. Gorgeous photos and great story, John!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A lovely trip! Cadaques looks like my type of town. I loved Barcelona and next time I will venture to the NW. Thanks for sharing John.


  5. The paella looks amazing, John. I am very keen to visit Spain.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I love paella and have mastered making it! Before we moved here, we spent a week in Denia on the Costa Blanca, where we had some amazing paella. We went back to the restaurant three times so I could try three different paellas, all so good. Denia is not far from Valencia, the paella capital of Spain. Too bad you couldn’t find Salvador Dalo’s house. Signage is often a problem here. It took us 3 hours to find our hotel in Granada once.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Looks like a wonderful trip to Spain! Hopefully our traveling days will return soon. And I have never seen such long claws on shrimp before, so I had to look up ‘langoustines!’


  8. As someone with a fish phobia, including any kind of food from the sea, I had to skip a couple of the seafood photos 😂 Spain has some incredible scenery and the architecture of some of the buildings is amazing. Shame about the weather in Cadaques and the lack of directions. This is where mobile internet & Google maps with GPS comes in handy! x

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have only ever met one other person with a fish phobia. I included a character in my latest book, Amanda in Malta, who has a fish phobia. I have a phobia too, but not of fish. I can’t look at pictures of that animal either. I agree, the scenery and history in Spain is amazing.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Oh no! I grew up in Seattle, where fish are an everyday part of our life! Yes, Cadaques was disastrous…but all part of the adventure of life1. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, always great to hear from you!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. You found a great place to try that dish, John.
    I have eaten a lot of Paella, both in Barcelona, and in London. But it was mostly ‘tourist paella’, and just ‘okay’. Your paella looks first rate!
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person


  1. Did My Seafood Paella Recipe Break Spanish Culinary Law? Valencia’s Controversial Ingredients Debate Is Here! – Bite! Eat! Repeat!

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