Barcelona, with its vibrant city life and cultural treasures, is a destination that never ceases to captivate visitors. But sometimes, we all need an escape from the hustle and bustle, and luckily, you don’t need to travel far to do this.
Whether you desire pristine beaches, wine-tasting adventures, or nature retreats, these enchanting destinations offer a diverse range of experiences that will leave you refreshed and rejuvenated. Join us as we explore the beauty, culture, and activities that await you, all conveniently located just outside Barcelona.
Sitges, between the sea and the mountains
If you are looking to escape the city without dedicating hours to a bus or train journey, the idyllic coastal town of Sitges is the perfect destination for you. This former fishing town is conveniently located on the Garraf coast, just a 30-minute train ride away from Barcelona and offers a harmonious blend of relaxation and adventure. At this destination, you will discover various restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, as well as many breathtaking, secluded beaches. This combination makes it the preferred choice for those seeking an escape without the sense of complete isolation.
Things to do
- Les Botigues Beach: This beach is ideal for friends and family, as it offers excellent facilities and provides easy access for individuals who struggle with mobility.
- Garraf Beach: Garraf beach is another beloved destination for families as it is equipped with all of the necessary facilities, such as toilets, showers, bars and kayak rentals.
- Les Anquines Beach: This 400-metre long beach is an ideal choice for everyone. It features beautiful golden sands and offers various water sports equipment for hire, such as pedal boats, kayaks, and surfboards.
Explore the Old Town Centre
As previously mentioned, Sitges used to be a fishing town, and although the Old Town is not massive, it is undoubtedly worth a visit! It has some incredible architecture and invites visitors to explore its charming streets.
Walk in Garraf Natural Park
Sitges offers numerous walking routes, thanks to its proximity to the Garraf Natural Park. So for those wanting to truly escape from the hustle and bustle of Barcelona, this is certainly a must-do activity!
Visit a Museum
Despite its modest size, Sitges has a rich history. To delve deeper into this history, you can explore various museums, such as The Cau Ferrat Museum, which showcases some of Picasso’s remarkable works, as well as the interesting Maricel Museum, which features decades of art.
Costa Brava, in the idyllic Mediterranean
Nestled along Catalonia’s northeastern coastline, you will find the enchanting Costa Brava. This extraordinary destination, often referred to as the “Wild Coast”, is located just a short journey from Barcelona, and is reachable in just 1 hour and 22 minutes by bus or slightly over an hour and a half by train.
Whether you are wanting a solo escape from the hustle of Barcelona, some quality family time together, or a romantic weekend getaway, Costa Brava has something for everyone. Here are some of our favourite things to do in Costa Brava to ensure you make the most of your time in this coastal paradise.
Things to do
With its 200 km coastline, Costa Brava has many stunning beaches for you to choose from, here are a few that we recommend:
- Calella de Palafrugell: This picturesque beach is surrounded by white-washed houses and has crystal-clear, shallow waters, making it a perfect haven for those escaping the city with young ones.
- Platja de Treumal: This small yet beautiful beach is located just five minutes away from Blanes, and is argued to be one of the most easily accessible gems in Costa Brava. It is also surrounded by a scenic pine forest and is close to the incredible Botanical Gardens.
- Lloret de Mar: Lloret de Mar is the perfect setting for sunbathing, swimming and water sports, and it also has easy access to a variety of restaurants, bars, and amenities due to its close proximity to the town centre.
Hike around the Murallas de Tossa de Mar
For history and adventure enthusiasts, a hike around the Murallas de Tossa de Mar should definitely be on your list! Not only will you discover incredible walls, towers and courtyards, but also have some incredible views of the Mediterranean.
Explore Film Locations in Girona
If you are a fan of the popular television series Game of Thrones, then you will most likely know that many scenes were filmed in Girona, so why not visit some of the iconic filming locations, such as the Monestir de Sant Pere de Galligants, the Banys Àrabs and Girona Cathedral, to name a few.
Penedès, sparkling wine route
Just an hour south of Barcelona, you will find Penedès, one of Spain’s most renowned wine regions. This charming Catalan region is surrounded by wineries and vineyards, providing numerous opportunities for wine tasting and gastronomic experiences. It is the perfect escape for those who want to completely immerse themselves in the countryside, whilst also learning more about Catalonia’s wine culture!
Things to do
Visit a Wine Museum
Wine has profoundly shaped the culture, history, and traditions of Penedès. To gain a deeper understanding of this influence, we recommend visiting a wine museum, such as Vinseum.
Rent a Bike
Penedès is surrounded by breathtaking beautiful countryside landscapes, and one of the finest ways to appreciate its natural beauty is to rent a bike and explore the area. Local companies, such as El Molí Tours, provide bike rentals as well as organised bike tours, which will help maximise your countryside exploration.
Admire the local Basilica de Santa Maria
One of the most historic monuments in Penedès is the Basilica de Santa Maria. This 13th century church can be found in Vilafranca del Penedès and is remarkable, both in terms of its architectural manner and also with regards to its history, so it is certainly worth visiting.
So there you have it! Three exceptional destinations for a perfect weekend escape in Barcelona, each offering a wealth of activities and catering to a diverse range of interests.