We plan to explore the Costa Brava for 3-4 days in late August (4 days in Barcelona before, 5 days in San Sebastian & Basque Country after). Does Girona make sense as a base, or is it more convenient to be based in a coastal town? We would like to see Girona, do a little relaxing at the beach (thinking Tossa de Mar or Begar) as well as explore perhaps Besalu. I realize it is quite a crowded time of year... will it be difficult to have a relaxing day at the beach if we are not based in a coastal town? Is beach parking OK if we manage to get there early enough (what time)? What about parking at the other towns/villages?
Finally, any recommendations on specific towns/villages that might be a little more off the beaten track/away from the crowds? We are looking for scenic towns/interesting local flavor and/or activities kids (9&11) might enjoy.