Best destination for 2016: Costa Brava

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Introducing one of 2016’s hottest destinations

Leaving 2015 in our dust, we’re looking full speed ahead at the top destinations to visit in 2016. We’ve scoured the globe in order to bring you our recommended travel hot spot for the new year. After careful consideration, we’ve finally chosen the Costa Brava region of Catalonia for our pick of 2016. 

Dine at the top restaurant in the world

Recently reclaiming the “Best Restaurant Award” from the Diners Club®, El Celler de Can Roca in Girona is now the hottest (and most delicious) spot to grab dinner in Costa Brava—nay, the world. The three Roca brothers have combined their powers to cook up one of the best restaurants on the planet, boasting three Michelin stars. Head chef Joan is consistently wooing his guests with innovative dishes that will please their eyes and impress their taste buds. Sommelier Josep ensures that each Catalan-inspired dish is perfectly paired with a fine wine while the dessert course is left in the capable hands of pastry chef Jordi.  

Viewfinder Tip: To taste a Roca brothers’ creation without waiting for months, head to Rocambolesc for a cool treat. This gelateria serves up some of the sweetest creations in town.  

Be warned that if you want to dine at the best restaurant in the world, you’ll need a reservation months (if not years) in advance.

Jump into Game of Thrones 

Game of Thrones fans will be able to walk through some of their favorite locations in Costa Brava. In 2015, Girona welcomed Cersei, Arya, and other popular characters from the show. While producers have been tight-lipped about filming locations for season six, we know that the popular show will feature scenes shot around Girona’s Old Town.

Our advice is to visit before the city is overrun with floods of other Game of Thrones fans. With winter coming, you may want to visit sooner rather than later. 

Visit any time of the year

Girona’s colorful flower festival

The truth is, there isn’t a bad time to visit Costa Brava. This region is known for its temperate Mediterranean weather. Pair that with the knowledge that the region celebrates nearly 100 festivals each year, and rest assured there’s sure to be something happening during your stay. 

Every Catalonian city has its own patron saint that will be celebrated one week throughout the year. Most of these celebrations will include human towers (locally referred to as castells) and fire-running ceremonies (correfocs). 

Top festivals in Costa Brava include Girona’s Temps de Flors (flower festival), where the streets of Old Town are quite literally covered in intricate arrangements featuring thousands of gorgeous flowers. Saint John’s Eve is another event to experience while in Costa Brava. This event signifies the welcoming of summer with a citywide fiesta that rages well until the next morning. Partake in the ceremony by joining a local bonfire and eating coca, a deliciously sweet pastry with candied fruit and custard. 

Now that we’ve unveiled one of our favorite destinations for 2016, be sure to check what events will be happening during your visit to Costa Brava. It’s a beautiful region with incredible food, friendly locals, and some of the best scenery we’ve ever come across. 

Where do you plan to travel in 2016?

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Captain And Clark

Chris Staudinger and Tawny Clark (also known as "Captain and Clark") have spent the majority of their relationship exploring this great big world. After meeting on Kilimanjaro, courting in South Korea, getting engaged at the Taj Mahal, and sealing the deal in the Cascade Mountains, the two decided it was time to add another explorer to the mix. Traveling the world with kiddo-in-tow might alter the way they navigate the globe, but they welcome the challenge with open suitcases.

Chris and Tawny have had articles and videos published on USA TODAY TRAVEL, BBC Travel, Matador Network, as well as appeared as guest stars on TLC Asia's Fun Taiwan television series. When not on the road, you can find Chris and Tawny nestled in their home in Tacoma, Washington fueling up on coffee and cat cuddles while planning their future adventures. You can follow their travels on their blog, Instagram, and YouTube

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