The variety of Costa Brava exceeds Tuscany by far. Not only do you have rolling hills and simple farm land, but you have the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean. I situated myself in between the coast and the mountains at my Can Grau villa – only an hour drive to the coast and 2 hours to the mountains.
A road trip to Vall de Nuria is a great day outing if you want to experience the mountains. Getting there is half the fun if you have your own car! The drive there from my villa was a twisty corkscrew of 2 lane roads with spectacular views. Vall de Nuria is a hidden valley that you can only get to via an old rack railway. The railway cost is around 20 Euro roundtrip – so slightly expensive – or if you have about 3 or 4 hours you can hike it one way – which I would have loved to do! Once in the valley – you are treated to spectacular views and cool air. It’s a ski resort in the winter and in the summer months they have boat rides, horse riding, hiking and there’s a really nice hotel as well as a hostelling international there in the main part of the valley.