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For my final night in Costa Brava, Spain, I arrived in the inland town of Caldes de Malavella. This beautiful town ended up being an unexpected highlight of the region.
I’d never heard of Caldes de Malavella before my arrival. The small town is an hour from either Barcelona or the French border and 15 minutes from my beloved Girona. The town’s claim to fame is its healing waters. Thermal baths and hot springs are common, which turned Caldes de Malavella into a major spa destination.
I got to experience this water firsthand at Balneari Prats, a spa resort that takes its location seriously.
I immediately loved the design and decor and the giant healing water pool outside. There really is no luxury like cushy spa luxury. (And, amusingly, my blogger friends and I seemed to be the only guests under the age of 80.)
The best part? My room had its own enormous jacuzzi tub.
As the beloved Golden Hour arrived for us photographers, we went out to explore the town.
Caldes de Malavella has a population of just 4,000 and the town is easily walkable. We explored Roman ruins and stopped at one of the ancient fountains to have a taste of the healing waters for ourselves. The water heals you from the inside out!
But as I sipped my cup of warm water, eternal youth was the last thing on my mind — because at that point, I looked up at the sky and realized that we were on the brink of a truly exceptional sunset.
I’ve seen lots of beautiful sunsets — the sunsets of Koh Lanta, Thailand and Angkor and Phnom Penh in Cambodia in particular were incredibly memorable.
But this Catalan sunset was OFF THE CHARTS. I’ve never seen so many colors in the sky at one time.
Yes, these pictures are edited, as all of my photos are. But this isn’t much of an exaggeration. I hardly touched the colors.
Soon, most of the yellows and blues faded away and we were left with a melange of hot pink and bright purple.
I can’t tell you how frustrating it was to be experiencing a life-changing sunset while in the middle of a time-crunched tour, with no access to viewpoints to enjoy it to the fullest. I think my fellow bloggers and I were all losing our minds a bit as we scampered all over the place, desperately trying to capture it as best we could.
Good thing central Caldes de Malavella is home to some beautiful Catalan architecture, like this building, the Casa Masi Ros.
Soon, that majestic sunset faded, and we returned to Balneari Prats to indulge in a spa treatment: a 15-minute hot and cool shower massage. My bikini-clad attendant grabbed one of my feet in each hand and swung my legs around until they cracked. Not your usual massage!
After a sumptuous meal, our night drew to a close. Before heading up to bed, I got behind the hotel’s piano and my Catalan friend Francesc took the best portrait of me I’ve ever seen. Francesc is an amazing iPhoneographer and Instagrammer — follow him here.
It was the perfect ending to 10 magical days in Costa Brava.
Many thanks to Visit Costa Brava and TBEX for hosting me in Caldes de Malavella. All opinions, as always, are my own.