One of our favourite things about Barcelona is the city’s 5km of beaches, stretching all the way from Barceloneta to Bogatell. But with the summer influx of tourists the city beaches get very crowded – and even if you manage to find a spot you’ll be harassed by vendors selling everything from beers to doughnuts to massages every ten minutes. But don’t worry – there are lots of other options! We’ve rounded up our five favourite beaches within an hour of Barcelona so this weekend you can escape the crowds and head out of the city to one of the following beaches!
If you like the convenience of an easily accessible beach but hate the crowds and cerveza-sellers of Barcelona, then Badalona is a good alternative. Only a 20 minute train ride from Plaça Catalunya, the beach at Badalona is a much quieter, more family friendly beach than the city beaches – and it’s even got a pier out over the water! There’s a little main street right off the beach where you can pick up water and snacks. Don’t miss the butifarra at the Frankfurter bar on Carrer del Mar – they’re delicious, cheap and make the perfect beach-eat!
How to get there: Get on the Blanes train from Plaça Catalunya – you can use a T-10 ticket. The beach is right next to the train station.
This is a charming little town on the Costa Brava, easily reachable from the city centre. The wide curving beach isn’t too busy and if you get bored of sunbathing, check out the historic centre – fishermen’s cottages clustered round the 11th century church of Sant Pau. It’s a good place to go for a seafood lunch, and if you fancy a more active beach day, there are two hour kayaking trips which tour the caves of the Costa Brava, for 25€ a head.
How to get there: Take the Blanes train from Plaça Catalunya to Sant Pol de Mar.
This little cove is a stone’s throw away from Casteldefells, and is perfect for people who prefer a smaller beach. There’s a sole chiringuito where you can buy cold beers, but apart from that the beach is backed by a rocky cliff on one side and the masts of the boats at the marina peeping over the sand on the other side. The train to Sitges goes through the tunnel at the top of the rocks. This is a good beach for kids as the water is shallow for a good way out, and it’s usually quite windy, so perfect for kite flying!
How to get there: Bus number L94 from Plaça Catalunya – you can use your T-10 ticket. Get off at the final stop and walk past the marina to the cove.
Garraf is an old fishing village about 25km south of Barcelona, on the old coast road. One of the nicest beaches on this part of the coast between Barcelona and Sitges, it’s still a little off the beaten track – not a tourist in sight! Only five minutes from the train station, this small beach has a row of vintage beach huts at its back. The town is worth exploring too – there’s a winery designed by Gaudí, Bodegas Güell, which is worth a look. There’s even a restaurant inside if you’re hungry after the beach!
How to get there: Train from Plaça Catalunya to Garraf – buy your ticket at the station.
If you love the ocean but get bored lying on a beach all day, the coastal walk from Villanova i Geltru to Sitges is ideal. The route goes up the coast, from Vilanova i Geltru all the way to Sitges, and is studded with little rocky coves, most of which you can clamber down to from the top of the cliff if you fancy a swim. Once you get to Sitges you can reward yourself with a menu del día at one of the restaurants along the front before getting the train home to Barcelona!
How to get there: Train from Passeig de Gracia to Vilanova i Geltru – buy your ticket at the station.