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.
Hi, I’m Timon!
I’ve experienced the heartbeat of Spain firsthand. Over the last five years, I’ve immersed myself in the dynamic cities of Spain, truly living the Spanish way. My insights into this beautiful country are rooted in genuine experience.
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
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.
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.
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.
How to get to Tarragona from Barcelona
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
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. What makes these dishes extra special is that 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.
How to get to Calella de Palafrugell from Barcelona
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.
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
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.
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.
How to get to Cadaqués from Barcelona
7. Lloret de Mar
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.
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
8. Vilanova I La Geltrú
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.
How to get to Vilanova I La Geltrú from Barcelona
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.
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
10. Sant Pol de Mar
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.
How to get to Sant Pol de Mar from Barcelona
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
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 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
13. Arenys de Mar
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.
How to get to Arenys de Mar from Barcelona
14. Gavá 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
15. Pineda De Mar
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
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