15 Must-Visit Beach Towns near Barcelona


The province of Catalunya has so much more to offer than just the city of Barcelona, which is already well worth the visit. Spain’s eastern coast is filled with beautiful and unique beach towns that make for a fab beach getaway. Check out at least one of these if you plan to visit Barcelona in the warmer months. 

This article will take you through 15 must-see beach towns near Barcelona. We’ll look at what’s there, how to get there from Barcelona, and the best activities each offers. 

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We travel across Spain in our motorhome, Speedy, and update TravelSpain24 with fresh content, practical tips, and personal stories from the road. Our goal is to help you experience Spain beyond the typical tourist trails.

1. Sitges

Sitges is a town near Barcelona in Catalunya, Spain. It is famous for its beaches and nightlife

Sitges is located southwest of Barcelona along the Costa del Garraf. It’s known for its picturesque Mediterranean beaches, vibrant nightlife, and cultural events. Some of the most beautiful beaches to explore include Playa Sant Sebastià, Playa de la Fragata, and Playa de la Ribera. These are typical Mediterranean beaches with golden sand and blue waters. 

However, Sitges has way more to offer than just beaches. It’s also full of rich cultural events, and you can discover plenty of art galleries and museums. 

Sitges is particularly famous for its Carnaval in February of each year. Expect lots of good music, colorful costumes, and fun parades. Carnaval is Spain’s Halloween, and attending the week-long events in Sitges is a great way to immerse yourself in this tradition. 

How to get to Sitges from Barcelona

One of the easiest ways to reach Sitges from Barcelona is by train. You can catch the overground train, known as the Renfe, from Barcelona Sants or Passeig de Gràcia.

The journey takes around 30-40, and ticket prices vary depending on age. You could also drive with a rented car or take an Uber along the C-32 highway. This will take around 40 minutes, depending on traffic. 

2. Tarragona

Tarragona Amphitheatre aerial panoramic view

Our next beach town takes us 60 miles south of Barcelona to the Costa Dorada, Tarragona. This town is the perfect blend of Catalonian and Roman architecture. It was founded during the Roman Empire and was a vital colony called Tarraco. 

You’ll find plenty of Roman ruins and even an Amphitheater and Archaeological museum. If you’re keen to find out more about the Roman history of Tarragona, there are plenty of walking tours to choose from. 

Now, of course, this town has made it onto our list due to its beautiful beaches. Tarragona is the home to beaches such as Playa del Miracle and Playa de l’Arrabassada. These are typical Mediterranean beaches, but beware, they can get pretty packed during the summer. 

Deciding between Spain and Greece? Discover which one is better suited to you. 

How to get to Tarragona from Barcelona

The Renfe train takes between 1 and 1.5 hours, depending on your chosen train. Multiple trains depart from stations, such as Barcelona Sants, Passeig de Gràcia, and Estació de França. There’s also the option to take a bus from Barcelona Nord Bus Station, which takes around 2 hours. 

3. Castelldefels


Next on our list is Castelldefels, which is famous for its long and spacious beaches. Grab a Spanish coffee and watch the waves at one of the many chiringuitos.

Castelldefels is a popular destination because of the variety of water sports across its beaches. You’ll find volleyball nets and groups playing almost daily in the warmer months. Or, if you prefer something slightly more extreme, there are plenty of windsurfing, kiteboarding, and sailing opportunities. 

Castelldefels also has plenty more to offer other than just beaches. If you’re a lover of culture and history, discover the Castle of Fels, which stands on a hill overlooking the town. Or, if you’re more of a nature-lover, the town is surrounded by great hiking trails in the Garraf Natural Park. 

How to get to Castelldefels from Barcelona

The train departs from stations like Barcelona Sants, Passeig de Gràcia, and Estació de França. It takes around 20 to 30 minutes to reach Castelldefels. The bus takes around 45 minutes from Estació de Sants.

4. Calella de Palafrugell

Calella de Palafrugell was once a fishing village, and today, this beach town still possesses all of that same charm. It’s famous for its coastal beauty and offers plenty of rocky coves and beaches to explore. Some of the most popular beaches include those in Canadell, Llafranc, and El Golfet, which all feature golden sand.

Something else Calella de Palafrugell is famous for is its seafood. You’ll find plenty of typical Spanish dishes like paella and seafood stews. These dishes are special because they’re made using freshly caught seafood. 

I highly recommend the restaurant Restaurant Sa Jambina if you visit the town. They offer many mouthwatering local caught seafood options to complete your day in this fishing town. 

If you’d like to learn more about typical Spanish food, check out our article. 

How to get to Calella de Palafrugell from Barcelona

Unfortunately, there’s no direct train from Barcelona to Calella de Palafrugell. However, there’s a bus which takes around 3 hours. Due to the length of the journey, it’s much easier to rent a car and take the AP-7 highway (toll road) north towards Girona. 

5. L’Escala

Aerial photo of L'Escala, Costa Brava, Spain

Next, our list takes us to the Costa Brava and the beach town of L’Escala. This town was originally founded as a Greek colony in the 6th century BC and was initially called Emporion. It later became a Roman town during the Roman Empire, and its fascinating ruins resemble all of this ancient history. 

One of L’Escala’s main attractions is the Empúries Archaeological Site, which includes both Greek and Roman ruins. There are many guided tours to discover these ruins, and some even offer exciting combinations with boat tours

And, of course, the reason you’re here: beaches. L’Escala also offers several beaches and coves with yellow sand and crystal-clear waters. Some of the most popular beaches include Riells Beach, Montgó Beach, and Cala del Bol Roig. 

How to get to L’Escala from Barcelona

Unfortunately, there’s no direct train from Barcelona to L’Escala. However, there’s a bus which takes around 3 hours. Due to the length of the journey, it’s much easier to hire a car and take the AP-7 highway (toll road) north towards Girona. 

6. Cadaqués

Top view in Cadaques, Catalonia, Spain near of Barcelona. Scenic old town with nice beach and clear blue water in bay. Famous tourist destination in Costa Brava with Salvador Dali landmark

Next on our list is Cadaqués, located in Girona on the Costa Brava. This beach town was the home of one of Spain`s most famous artists, Salvador Dali. The surrealist artist spent many years in Cadaqués and lived and worked later in the nearby town of Portlligat. 

You can find his paintings in the Dalí House Museum in Portlligat, just a short distance from Cadaqués. Discover all about Dali and his art with a guided group tour

Aside from the town’s huge cultural significance, it’s also home to some of Spain’s most beautiful beaches. Playa Gran is the town’s most famous beach and offers a chill and relaxing environment – perfect for sunbathing.

If you fancy something more adventurous, there are plenty of cliffs and cloves to discover along the coast. This beach town truly has a little bit for everyone. 

How to get to Cadaqués from Barcelona

The only way to get to Cadaqés is by passing through Figueres first. You can take the train or bus from Barcelona, which takes between 1.5 to 2 hours. Then, once you’re at Figures, take the bus, which is another 1.5-hour journey. 

7. Lloret de Mar

Beaches in Lloret de Mar in a beautiful summer day, Costa Brava, Catalonia, Spain

Number seven on our list also takes us to Costa Brava, the popular beach town of Lloret de Mar. This destination is a coastal town resort that is hugely popular for both Spanish and foreign tourists. The main reason for this is its lively nightlife, which offers bars, clubs, and restaurants for all. 

If you’re looking for some good tapas food, I highly recommend Bodega Sa Xarxa, where you’ll find traditional Catalan dishes. If you’re a vegetarian, never fear. They offer plenty of vegetarian options as well. 

Alongside the excellent nightlife and cuisine, Lloret de Mar is also home to beautiful beaches. Playa de Lloret is the largest. You’ll even find fun activities there, such as snorkeling, scuba diving, jet skiing, and boat excursions. 

How to get to Lloret de Mar from Barcelona

The easiest way to get to Lloret de Mar is by car, which takes around one hour. Take the C-32 or Ap-7 highways in the direction of Girona. Or, if you want to catch a bus, they leave from Estació del Nord and take around 2 hours. 

8. Vilanova I La Geltrú

Pavilion close to beach at sunset, Vilanova i la Geltru,Catalonia,Spain

Next up is Vilanova I la Geltrú. This beach town is less than 30 miles from Barcelona, making it the perfect day trip. It’s located along the Costa Dorada, a.k.a. the Golden Coast. Vilanova I la Geltrú has a rich maritime history; to this day, fishing is still very important. 

You can visit the town’s fishing port, showcasing traditional-style fishing boats along the shore. And, if you’re interested in discovering more, there’s also a maritime museum to explore. 

Like all fishing towns, Vilanova I la Geltrú has incredible beaches, such as Playa de Ribes Roges and Playa de Vilanova. And, of course, no visit would be complete without trialing some fresh seafood.

I highly recommend Restaurant Marejol, where you’ll find paella fit for a local. 

How to get to Vilanova I La Geltrú from Barcelona

As Vilanova I la Geltrú is so close to Barcelona, getting there doesn’t take long. It’s around 45 minutes on the Renfe, and you catch it from Barcelona Sants. Or, if you’re hiring a car, take the C-31 highway towards Sitges. Depending on the traffic, this can take as little as half an hour. 

9. Altafulla

A view of Sant Marti Church and Altafulla Castle in Altafulla, Catalonia Spain

Yet again, along the Costa Dorada, we now find ourselves at Altafulla. This charming beach town is renowned for its well-preserved prehistoric center. You’ll find landmarks such as the Castle of Altafulla and the Church of Sant Martí. 

If you’re keen for some more history, just a short journey away is The Roman Villa of Els Munts. This UNESCO World Heritage Site provides insights into Roman rural life. Tickets cost €4 at the door, and there are also some options for group tours. 

Of course, Altafulla wouldn’t be on our list if it wasn’t for its beautiful beaches. Some of the most famous ones include Platja dels Capellans and Platja d’Ametlla. Bring plenty of snacks from the Spanish supermarkets to enjoy some well-deserved R&R. 

How to get to Altafulla from Barcelona

The easiest way to get to Altafulla is by car. Depending on the traffic, this can take up to 1.5 hours. Take the AP-7 or C-32 highways in the direction of Tarragona. Or, you can also take the train from Barcelona Sants to Altafulla-Tamarit. 

10. Sant Pol de Mar

Aerial view of Sant Pol de Mar village

Number 10 on our list is Sant Pol de Mar in Costa del Maresme. You’ll find plenty of sandy beaches and clear waters here – especially in the hotter months. 

Platja de Sant Pol is one of the most famous beaches, which makes for a great day of relaxation and fun. When wandering through the town, you’ll find some fascinating historical sites like the Church of Sant Jaume.

One of the reasons Sant Pol de Mar is so popular is due to its gastronomy. The town has a strong culinary tradition, where you can try lots of delicious seafood and Catalan cuisine.

How to get to Sant Pol de Mar from Barcelona

Sant Pol de Mar is well-connected by train from Barcelona Stans. The journey takes approximately one point five hours. If you prefer to drive, you can get to Sant Pol de Mar by car. Depending on traffic, this can take as little as 45 minutes. Just take the C-32 highway in the direction of Mataró.

11. Blanes

Blanes Costa Brava bay and beach with turquoise waters

We’re returning to the Costa Brava, to the coastal town of Blanes. Its most famous beach is Platja de Blanes, where you can spend the day relaxing. Or, if you fancy something a bit more adventurous, Blanes has plenty of coves to explore through kayaking excursions.

Aside from its beautiful beaches, one of the major attractions is the Marimurtra Botanical Gardens. Explore a diverse collection of plants from all over the world whilst looking out to the sea. And, if you’re keen on cultural action, Blanes is also the home to a fireworks competition in July. It’s one of the largest fireworks competitions in Europe, attracting participants from around the world.

How to get to Blanes from Barcelona

Driving to Blanes takes around 1 hour, depending on the traffic. Just follow the C-32 highway towards Girona. Or, for a more scenic route of the Catalan coastline, catch the train. This takes up to 2 hours and departs from Barcelona Sants. 

12. Mataró

Continuing our journey along the Catalan coast, our next stop is Mataró. The beach town offers a fantastic blend of Roman and Gothic architecture throughout its medieval streets and the Basilica of Santa Maria.

For a further dive into the town’s history, check out the various exhibitions at the Mataró Museum. Be sure not to miss a beat by booking your guided tour tickets for the city in advance. 

For a bit of R&R, Mataró also offers sandy beaches like Playa del Callao and Playa del Varador. Such urban beaches are popular for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. You’ll also find plenty of great eateries nearby. What more could you ask for? 

How to get to Mataró from Barcelona

Mataró is well-connected to Barcelona by train and can take as little as 1 hour, depending on the route. Or if you prefer, you can also drive. Take the C-32 highway in the direction of Mataró. This should take between 30 and 40 minutes. 

13. Arenys de Mar

Aerial panoramic view of Arenys de Mar city at dawn

Number 13 on our list is Arenys de Mar, located along the Costa del Maresme. Playa de la Musclera and Playa de la Picòrdia are the town’s most famous beaches. These are great for both sun-seekers and swimmers alike. Then, when roaming the streets, discover absolute treasures like the Church of Santa Maria and Plaça de l’Església.

One of the most important aspects of the town is its maritime legacy. Today, you can still find plenty of life at its bustling fishing port. To discover more about Arenys de Mar’s rich maritime history, check out the Maritime Museum.

No day out in a fishing village is complete without some top-notch seafood. Treat yourself to my personal recommendation, La Marina. 

How to get to Arenys de Mar from Barcelona

The easiest way to get to Arenys de Mar is by train. Trains depart from Barcelona’s Sants station, and the journey takes between 45 minutes and 1 hour.

14. Gavá Mar

Path to the beach of Gava Mar

For number 14, we’re heading back to the Costa Dorada to Gavà Mar. This coastal heaven is less than 15 miles from Barcelona, making it the ideal day trip. Apart from being super close to the capital, this beach town is famous for its sandy beaches and picturesque dune landscapes.

The most beautiful beaches include Platja de Gavà and Platja de les Botigues de Sitges. Both offer golden sand and that typical Mediterranean landscape we all love. 

What’s so magical about Gavà Mar is how it blends city life with the tranquillity of long beaches and unique coastal landscapes. For this reason, it’s popular for both locals and tourists. Towns like this make Barcelona one of Spain’s best places to live by the sea

How to get to Gavá Mar from Barcelona

The easiest way to get to Gavà Mar is by train. Take the R2 Sud (Rodalies de Catalunya) train from Barcelona Sants to Gavà. The journey takes around 20 to 30 minutes. Then, from the Gavà train station, the town is easily accessible by bus, taxi, or a short walk. 

15. Pineda De Mar

La Pineda de Mar, Spain

Last but certainly not least on our list is Pineda de Mar, on the Costa del Maresme. Less than 40 miles from Barcelona, it’s another ideal day trip or a short getaway.

Pineda de Mar offers a charmingly long promenade, perfect for leisurely strolls against the backdrop of sandy beaches. What’s more, this beach town certainly isn’t short of green spaces. Here, you’ll find plenty of ideal spots for a picnic. 

Pineda de Mar has a welcoming, family-friendly atmosphere with a range of entertainment options, including parks and recreational areas. Whether enjoying some beach time R&R or exploring lush green spaces, Pineda de Mar offers a delightful coastal escape.

How to get to Pineda De Mar from Barcelona

The easiest way to get to Pineda de Mar is by train. Take the R1 (Rodalies de Catalunya) train from Barcelona’s Sants station. The journey takes around 1 hour. 

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