Spain’s glorious eastern coast has long been a holiday hotspot – especially culture-packed Barcelona. From its iconic mishmash of architecture to its mouth-watering cuisine, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy in the charming Catalan capital – but what about beyond it?
Whether you’re staying in the city and want a few ideas for day trips or you’re hoping to camp out along the sunny Costa Brava or Costa Dorada, take a look at the following beach resorts near Barcelona.
Lloret de Mar
This resort town is one of the most popular beach destinations in Catalonia for families thanks to its numerous blue flag beaches, bustling town centre and range of exciting attractions. Enjoy a day out at Water World or spend a peaceful afternoon admiring the romantic Santa Clotilde Gardens. Beach bums will find several sandy strips in Lloret de Mar, including the 1.5km long Lloret beach and the idyllic Sa Caleta cove in the shadow of the town’s castle.
Where to stay: Check out Camping Santa Elena Ciutat for spacious mobile homes and a sun-drenched pool complex.
For a beach resort near Barcelona that will take you less than an hour to reach, you can’t beat Sitges. The coastal town has been drawing in visitors – particularly gay holidaymakers – for decades with its spacious golden beaches, array of great restaurants and calendar of lively events and festivals. Culture vultures will also find plenty of fascinating museums and galleries in Sitges, while its palm tree lined promenade is wonderful for sunset strolls.
Where to stay: Check out the modern mobile homes at Camping Garrofer, a kid-friendly campsite 900m from the heart of Sitges.
If you don’t mind a couple of hours of driving, Pals is worth a visit. It’s a medieval walled seaside village that’s full of old-world charm, from its cobbled streets and crumbling fortress to its local traditions and delectable rustic cuisine. Plus, it’s only a short hop north to the stunning beaches of the Bay of Roses.
Tossa de Mar
Nestled within the Cadiretes Massif nature reserve, Tossa de Mar couldn’t be more picturesque. The beach resort near Barcelona (approximately 75 minutes away by car) is an historic gem whose well-preserved castle with sweeping sea views dates back to the 12th century. Wander around Tossa de Mar’s attractive Villa Vella (old quarter) before taking your pick of 14km of beaches, from those with great amenities to secluded coves a short drive away.
Where to stay: Camping Cala Llevado is down the road from Tossa de Mar and a stone’s throw from four fabulous beaches.
Known as the ‘Gateway to the Costa Brava’, Blanes sits just south of Lloret de Mar and around an hour from Barcelona. It gives you the best of both worlds when it comes to beautiful beaches and exciting attractions like street markets and great festivals, ranging from food and drink to folk dancing and fireworks. One of Blanes’ highlights has to be its botanical gardens that are perched on the mountainside with panoramic views of the ocean.
Where to stay: Pitch a tent at Camping la Masia, a relaxed campsite only 15 minutes from Blanes with multiple pools and a kids’ clubs.