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You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

A true taste of #CreativeTravel #inCostaBrava : Herbs, Horses, History, and more.

The world gets bigger as you travel.

Have you ever heard of, or thought about, this sentence? It has become so true for me, whenever I think of travelling these days. And especially true, when it comes to visiting a certain destination repeatedly. Like Costa Brava. Having learned the local language Catalan, spent lots and lots of time with the locals, and foolishly been led to believe that “I might have seen it all”, my world view of this particularly creative travel destination has just shifted. Again.

From beautiful, luxurious, and utterly charming countryside accommodation (do check them out!), to these wonderful gourmet travel tips #inCostaBrava, and our fun ideas for a “Girls Getaway”, I would now like to lead you deep into the countryside. Immerse yourself in the history of a place, take you right past the traces of old, and all the way to the smiles of the present: Come and meet the beautiful Catalan people of Costa Brava, whether on horseback, among herbs, between ruins, inside a kitchen, or out gathering olives, ideas, and friends. Catalunya, and Costa Brava: I love you. Who wouldn’t, after enjoying a trip like this.

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She’s a beauty, the first among many: Josefina Sala, hard-working olive fairy at “Oli Ventalló” …

 

... where just half an hour's drive from Girona ...

… where just half an hour’s drive from Girona …

 

... you are able to visit Josefina's olive grove ...

… you are able to visit Josefina’s olive grove, complete with more than 600 year old olive trees …

 

... enjoy a tasting right then and there ...

… a well-prepared tasting right then and there …

 

... and even be led to make your own, perfect little "Allioli" sauce (careful : hot!).

… and the possibility to even make your own, perfect little “Allioli” garlic & olive oil dip : Hot !!

 

If you prefer something even more active, why not consider getting on horseback?

“This is Amy, Elena. She’ll be your pony for the day …” 😀

Follow your dream of touching the land ...

Follow your dream of visiting Costa Brava …

 

with your own pony for the afternoon ...

… becoming friends with a pony named Amy …

 

... moments like these are simply unforgettable !!

… moments like these are simply unforgettable !!

 

Anna Wintle, who runs Les Feixes Horse Riding Estate, is not the only creative entrepreneur #inCostaBrava from abroad (her parents are English, she was born in Barcelona and speaks both perfect English and Catalan).

Just as much, you should go and visit the “crazy Dutch family” Can Solivera, who as expats falling in love with Costa Brava, and olive oil, have helped raise the profile of an otherwise less and less popular olive variety, called Arbequina. What it tastes like, and where to find this charming, one of a kind olive oil farm, is what I’ll show you here.

Welcome #inCostaBrava : Anna and her mother have been making olive oil for decades ...

Welcome #inCostaBrava : Sandra and her mother, originally from the Netherlands, have bought an olive farm near La Bisbal d’Empordà and have been making olive oil for decades so successfully, that the whole family had to come, live, and work here …

 

... love the sweet little Dutch details around the otherwise Catalan farm ...

… love the sweet little Dutch details around the otherwise Catalan farm …

 

... and even more, the taste of this delicious olive oil, a rarity even to my knowledge ...

… and even more, the taste of this delicious olive oil, a rarity even to my knowledge (“but if Harrods says so” ..) …

 

... thanks for a beautiful tasting experience, dear Anna !!

… thank you for a beautiful tasting experience, dear Sandra & family !!

 

I am pretty sure that by now, you must be wondering where all these quirky little places around Costa Brava are? My map will show you, highlighting all of the above & below creative businesses around the area welcoming visitors from all over the world:

 

How about olive oil AND wine, though? Successful young wine maker Adriana grows both: Excellent vines, and olive trees, at a place called “Bodega Mas Vida”.

More Life! The translation of the farm’s name, is exactly the impression you get when you meet Adriana, and her sweet canine companion. Full of life, she offers to take me around the farm, about a fifteen minutes’ drive from Figueres, and proudly shows me what her life is all about: Organic wine growing. Taking care of dozens of olive trees, also grown organically without the use of any pesticides. I take to her immediately, and recommend you to visit her not only for the quality of her wines, but also the complete Costa Brava landscape experience you get from around her estate ..

All the way overlooking the Pyrenees, as well as the sea ...

… all the way overlooking the Pyrenees, as well as the sea …

 

... Adriana's dog is the caretaker of both the winelands as well as the olive grove here ...

… Adriana’s dog is the caretaker of both the winelands as well as the olive grove here …

 

... and joins us as we explore the vineyards sites ...

… and joins us as we explore the vineyards sites …

 

... famous for growing Chardonnay and Merlot varieties, among several more local ones.

… famous for growing Chardonnay and Merlot varieties, among several more local ones.

 

Check out my travel video, too ...

Cheers, my dear Adriana! Thank you so much for taking me around. Check out my travel video, too …

 

… where I share more about my wine tasting & olive oil farm visit at Bodegas Mas Vida, among others:

 

Last but not least, #CreativeTravel #inCostaBrava is home to magic. In just half a day, we have made the old ruins of Empúries in l’Escala, or Ullastret, come alive by …

… joining an aromatic herb workshop, or learning more about the way fresh (goat) cheese is produced nearby – probably for as long as mankind existed and cultivated these fertile lands. And this brings me back to what I shared with you in the beginning, of how tracing history all the way to the smiles of the present can become such a delightful travel experience here: Essentially, by meeting the dedicated, fun, and utterly charming people #inCostaBrava.

Check this out.

Recuits Nuri ...

Recuits Nuri, a happy family business run by Nuria Mercader Valls …

 

... producing fresh cottage cheese from goat's milk every day ...

… producing fresh cottage cheese from goat’s milk every day …

 

... packaged and sold exclusively to local shops and restaurants, for it has to be consumed fresh ...

… packaged and sold exclusively to local shops and restaurants, for it has to be consumed fresh …

 

... is a sweet introduction to the land ...

… is a sweet introduction to the land …

 

... surrounding Ullastret, home to one of the first pre-Roman ( "Iberian" ) city states, and reconstructed in this wonderful 3D-animation ...

… surrounding Ullastret, home to one of the first pre-Roman ( “Iberian” ) city states, and reconstructed in this wonderful 3D-animation …

 

... at the local archaeological museum.

… at the local archaeological museum.

 

My creative travel video, highlighting both Nuria, the charming cheesemaker, as well as sections of the 3D historic video we saw here in Ullastret, will make you want to dive right in (if but for the sweet sound of the local Catalan music, “Manel – Al Mar”!):

 

A little further north, l'Escala, located at the picturesque Golf de Roses, in northern Costa Brava ...

A little further north, l’Escala, located at the picturesque Golf de Roses, in northern Costa Brava …

 

... well-known all over Costa Brava for its impressive Greek & Roman ruins, dated to be at least 2.000 years old ...

… well-known all over Costa Brava for its impressive Greek & Roman ruins, dated to be well over 2.000 years old …

 

... has recently developed its own herbal garden, called "Parc de les Olors" and one of many such publicly accessible gardens around Costa Brava ...

… has recently developed its own herbal garden, called “Parc de les Olors”, one of many such publicly accessible gardens around Costa Brava …

 

... where growing and harvesting your own herbs ...

… where growing and harvesting your own aromatic herbs, following millennia of tradition …

 

... can lead to fun modern twists, and creative experiences, such as making your own Mojito drink ...

… can lead to fun modern twists, and creative experiences, such as making your own Mojito drink …

 

( was it before or after having our Mojitos that we took this photograph, dear Pol ..?) ...!

… (was it before or after having our Mojitos that we took this photograph, dear Pol ..?) …!

 

It must have been after, if you ask me, checking our video from the trip again:

 

... thank you, dear team @Turismon, for organising such a beautiful, informative, and creative day out in l'Escala, and Costa Brava!

Thank you, dear team @Turismon, for organising such a beautiful, informative, and creative day out in l’Escala, and Costa Brava!

 

And you, when will we see you #inCostaBrava?

 

Disclaimer: I have been supported on this trip by Costa Brava Tourism Board. All opinions are my own.

Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
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