Cala de Sant Francesc (Cala Bona): Fantastic Beach in a Beautiful Cove
Cala de Sant Francesc, also known as Cala Bona, is a fantastic beach set in a beautiful cove.
You find this beach across the hill of St. Juan, at the foot of a neighborhood packed with expensive villas. It’s a bit of a hike to get here, which explains why this is pretty much a locals’ beach.
During the week the 220 meters long beach tends to remain relatively uncrowded — except, perhaps, during the height of the summer season.
You will find tourists here, but they tend to be of a different caliber than those found in Blanes’ hotel and camping district.
How to Get to Sant Francesc Beach
You can reach this beach by car, or on foot. You can either climb the hill of San Juan all the way from the foot, or spend a Euro or two on the bus that runs between the Placa de Catalunya and the Marimurtra Botanical Garden.
Once the bus drops you off at the entrance of the garden you may first want to double back a few feet for a fantastic panoramic view of Blanes.
Then, pass the entrance of the garden and walk via the Passeig de Carles Faust and Carrer de L’Ermita to a small chapel, next to which is an overlook from where you can admire Sant Francesc’s beautiful views.
You make your way down to the beach on a paved walk at the other side of the chapel.
San Franscesc has toilet facilities, showers, chair- and parasol rentals, and a restaurant.
Google reviews for Restaurant Cala Bona (the only eatery in the area) tend to be positive, although quite a few customers state the food does not necessarily match the price level. Service isn’t always up to par either. We ourselves have encountered friendly and helpful staff, but also the occasional rude person who couldn’t care less.
The kitchen does offer some snacks, ice cream, and take-out sandwiches.
Family-friendly Blanes Beach
Along most of Blanes’ beaches the sand level quickly drops off, giving way to water too deep for young children.
At Cala de Sant Francesc the slope is a more gentle. There are also some nice tide pools with calm, shallow water in between the rocks.
The absence of boisterous youth also contributes to making this a family-friendly beach. That said, at times during the summer a class or two of primary school children can show up. However, the children — supervised by teachers — are well-behaved.
As anywhere in Spain topless sunbathing is allowed. During the quiet morning hours one may happen upon more-or-less elderly locals taking a quick dip in the sea — all or not wearing bathing suits — but one seldom encounters fully nude sunbathers here.
Beautiful Panoramic Costa Brava Views
At the far northern end of the beach a set of steps leads to a gateway set in a rock. Behind it is a narrow path hewn out in the rocky cliffs.
This path is known as Camí de Ronda (Spanish: Camina de Ronda): a series of footpaths built along the entire Costa Brava coast, originally meants to help the Guardia Civil control the coast and stop smuggling.
This path does not lead anywhere in particular — and indeed stops abruptly some 15 minutes into a calm walk. The views from the path are breathtaking.
Years ago, after a fatal accident in which someone slipped and fell on the sharp rocks below, the path was closed off.
It remained closed to the public for three years, until — in 2017 — the path was completely renovated and, with new safety guards in place, was reopened. And now the path actually leads somewhere. Walk far enough and you arrive in Lloret de Mar!
At the far southern end of the beach lies another narrow path that still leads nowhere, but from which you can take in some stunning panoramic views.
Diving off Sant Francesc, Blanes
With its clear, clean water, diving is a popular sport all along the Costa Brava.
Here’s what the sea at Blanes’ Sant Francesc beach looks like to a diver:
Tip: Take a Taxi Back to Blanes
If you are not staying in the neighborhood, but trekked to Cala Bona from the village instead, you may not want to face the hike back. At times we have simply called a taxi.
Hotels, Villa, Apartments near Cala Sant Francesc, Blanes
There are a number of fantastic hotels, apartments, and villas available near Cala Sant Francesc.