Unlike many of the neighboring towns along Spain's Costa Brava, the fishing village of Tossa de Mar has managed to retain its simple, distinctly laidback charm. The narrow, cobbled streets of the old town still house funky paella dens and outdoor patios perfect for enjoying a leisurely coffee in the sun. Old women sweep doorsteps with aging straw brooms as the laundry dries on the third-story rooftop, their old-style pensiones available for inquisitive travelers not afraid of venturing off the beaten tourist path.
Home to only 6,000 permanent residents, Tossa de Mar also houses the last remaining Romanesque fortress found anywhere along the Spanish coastline. Having towered over this coastal hamlet since the 12th century, it's still possible to find quiet moments while strolling the restored walls on a cool, Mediterranean evening in the springtime.