Sea and modernisme just a stone's throw from Barcelona
Just a stone's throw away from the city, in Costa Barcelona, there's a whole world of possibilities waiting to be discovered: 100 kilometres of coast with countless options for enjoying the sea, culture, leisure and nature.
The coast is one of the main attractions in the province of Barcelona. You'll find more than 100 magnificent beaches, like those in the Garraf, to the south, and the Maresme, to the north. There are beaches to suit all tastes: long golden sands, tiny hidden coves, areas for naturists... In addition to sunbathing and having a swim, you can enjoy a wide choice of water sports and take time to explore the heritage, culture and food of the towns and villages that have preserved their beauty and Mediterranean essence.
Here are two suggestions for a one-day get away that offers the perfect combination of sea and culture, just a stone's throw away from Barcelona.
MODERNISTA SITGES, WINE TOURISM AND THE SEA
Just 40 kilometres south of Barcelona lies a destination full of surprises Sitges a former fishing village whose beaches and streets are still steeped in the maritime tradition and bewitching charm that inspired a whole generation of Catalan artists at the end of the 19th century. If you want to gain an in-depth insight into its maritime spirit and bohemian atmosphere, we suggest you go on the guided tour of Sitges and the Sumarroca winery.
The train will take you to Sitges in just under 30 minutes. You'll begin your tour with a stroll through the old town, where you'll be able to soak up the charm of genuine architectural gems, such as the noucentista-style Palau de Maricel, the Museu de Maricel or the Museu del Cau Ferrat, and the church of Sant Bartomeu i Santa Tecla, which commands magnificent, sweeping views of the sea. At the end of the tour, you'll sample the typical sweet wine of the region, Malvasia de Sitges.
From Sitges, your guide will take you to the wine-producing region of the Penedès and the Sumarroca winery, where you'll tour the estate in a jeep followed by a tour of the winery where you'll gain a first-hand insight into all the secrets of wine- and cava-making. The tour ends with a wine tasting and snack.
You can't leave the Garraf without taking a dip at one of its beaches. The seaside town of Vilanova i la Geltrú, is just a ten-minute train ride from Sitges and the perfect place to spend the afternoon. You can go on an open kayaking and snorkelling trip. from the beach with the lighthouse, the Platja del Far. During the trip you'll discover a whole host of hidden coves and caves. You'll stop off at one of these stunning coves to have a drink and snack and go snorkelling to discover the amazing undersea flora and fauna.
DIVING IN THE MODERNISTA CAPITAL OF THE MARESME
One of the most distinctly Mediterranean destinations is just under 45 minutes away from the centre of Barcelona by train. Mataró lies to the north of Barcelona and is the capital of the Maresme. It is the perfect place for water sports and also bears the strong imprint of Catalonia's home-grown art nouveau, modernisme. If you want to start your day with a different visitor experience, embark on a thrilling adventure that will take you to the underwater world of the Maresme. The introduction to scuba diving in Mataró will give you a taster of the sport led by a professional instructor who will provide you with the necessary training and equipment.
Come along and immerse yourself in the world of scuba diving for the first time! You'll set off in a boat from Mataró harbour and, when you're out at sea, explore the rich biodiversity of the area: fish, starfish, coral, seaweed… A beautiful sight that you'll be able to observe while you enjoy the feeling of floating and breathing under water, immersed in almost total silence. On this three-hour adventure you'll learn the basics of diving and receive a diploma accrediting your knowledge, which will be a wonderful memento of an unforgettable experience.
After this first encounter with underwater life, you can recharge your batteries and sample some superb Mediterranean Slow Food a Lasal del Varador, a sustainable, eco-friendly restaurant on Mataró's seafront promenade.
In the afternoon you can enjoy a more cultural pursuit and visit the town's modernista highlights. Mataró was the hometown of architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch, who designed the city's main modernista buildings, including the Casa Coll i Regàs. The Barcelona Pass Modernista gives you admission to this true Mataró landmark dating from 1896.
The pass also provides free admission to the Casa Museu Domènech i Montaner. in the neighbouring town of Canet de Mar. The building reveals the multifaceted career of the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, one of the leading lights of modernisme.
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