French painter Marc Chagall named Tossa de Mar – the blue paradise. He spent here the summers of 1933 and 1934, when he created The light-blue violonist, painting which is on display at Tossa’s art museum.
This blue paradise, surrounded by rugged cliffs alternating with cozy sandy beaches, is also the only fully preserved medieval town on the coast of Catalunya, and the silhouette of the stone towers can be seen from far away.
Medieval Tossa dates back to the year 966. In 1187 the castle was built to defend the town. The original perimetral walls from the 12th and 14th centuries have been fully preserved, and have become the emblem of the place.
The towers are known as the Joanàs Tower, overlooking the bay, the Clock Tower – at the entrance to the parade ground (above photo), or the Codolar Tower (or Keep), overlooking Codolar beach.
The medieval enclosure is a delightful maze of alleys sprinkled with green accents and reminders of various notable people who fell in love with Tossa, like actress Ava Gardner, who has a statue in one of the squares of this old quarter. She came here in 1950 to shot the Pandora and the Flying Dutchman movie.
Also in the old quarter, the remains of the late-Gothic 15th-century church of Sant Vicenç, built on top of an earlier Romanesque church, are on a platform which offers wide views to the town beach of Tossa.
The town centre is a bustling little area with market stalls and bars while the coast offers some of the most spectacular views of the Mediterranean.
There are walking trails, north and south of Tossa, leading to coves such as Cala Bona or Cala Llorell, which are worth to take, as there’s nothing like walking through the pine forrest while having the sea and the boats just below.
There’s a virtual tour of Tossa de Mar created by the tourist office – see it here.