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16 Best Beach Towns Near Barcelona For Your Perfect Escape

Looking for a quick escape? These charming beach towns near Barcelona are exactly what you need.

Barcelona is a gem on the Spanish coast, known for its lively city life and rich culture. But just beyond its urban heartbeat, a string of charming beach towns waiting for you to discover.

Each provides a different flavor of Catalonia’s alluring Mediterranean lifestyle, promising an array of seaside experiences that are just a short trip from the city buzz- especially if you’re staying in Barcelona for 5 days or longer.

Whether you’re looking to indulge in water sports, explore historical treasures, or find a quiet spot on the beach, there’s a nearshore escape with your name on it.

Exploring the Charm of Beach Towns Near Barcelona

These coastal towns in Catalonia (“Catalunya” in Catalan) are not just about their stunning beaches. They’re cultural hubs where you can immerse in the local way of life, indulge in Catalan cuisine, and observe the laid-back lifestyle that is characteristic of Mediterranean beach towns.

If you’re looking for a chill stroll by the beach or an exciting day of sun-soaking, these beach towns near Barcelona got you covered. And the best part? They offer breathtaking views that will make your seaside adventure unforgettable!

Best Beach Towns Near Barcelona to Visit

Barcelona’s proximity to picturesque beach towns offers you a delightful escape from city life. These charming destinations provide a unique blend of sandy shores, cultural landmarks, and delectable cuisines along the captivating Catalan coast.

From the lively beaches of Sitges to the serene coves of Cadaqués, our guide showcases the diverse coastal havens just a stone's throw from Barcelona

1. Sitges

Sitges is not just a lively cultural hub; it’s also a beach lover’s paradise. With around 17 beaches (including several Blue Flag Beaches) dotting its coastline, this town is perfect for anyone who loves the sun, sea, and sand.

Sitges is a charming blend of old-world elegance and contemporary flair on the Catalan coast. Sitges’ beaches have it all if you’re looking for a family-friendly spot or a place to join the local party scene.

Distance: About 35 kilometers southwest of Barcelona.

Highlights:

  • Gorgeous beaches, including family-friendly and LGBTQ+-friendly options.
  • A charming old town with narrow, winding streets and historic buildings.
  • Renowned for its cultural and artistic scene, including the Sitges Film Festival and Carnival.
  • A lively nightlife scene

Who Would Love It: Beach lovers, cultural enthusiasts, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and those seeking a fun nightlife.

We Suggest: Explore the historic center, visit the various stunning beaches, and take part in the town’s famous festivals and events.

Local Foods to Try: Sitges has great seafood, Catalan food, wine, and cava.

Cultural Events/Festivals: The Sitges Film Festival, one of the most recognizable film festivals focused on horror and fantasy films, and the Sitges Carnival are must-experience events.

How to Get There:

  • Catch a direct train from Barcelona-Sants station.
  • Drive via C-32 highway for around 40 minutes.

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Sitges is a fantastic location to visit and has one of the best beaches near Barcelona and definitely worth a visit.

Our guide to the coastal towns near Barcelona reveals stunning beaches, historic sites, and unique local cultures, just waiting to be explored

2. El Masnou

El Masnou, known for its maritime tradition and wine production, is a delightful town with an authentic Catalan feel. The town offers a blend of beach relaxation and cultural exploration, with its marina and proximity to vineyards providing a unique experience.

Distance: About 17 kilometers northeast of Barcelona.

Highlights:

  • Sandy beaches and a charming marina.
  • Rich maritime history and local wine production.
  • Less crowded and more authentic Catalan atmosphere.

Who Would Love It: Wine enthusiasts, beachgoers looking for a quieter experience, cultural explorers.

We Suggest: Enjoy a day at the beach followed by a visit to a local vineyard to sample regional wines.

How to Get There:

  • The best and cheapest way to get there is via bus, but train and driving are also great options.
Journey along the coastline near Barcelona to uncover serene beaches and quaint towns, each with its own story and sunlit charm

3. Calella

Calella (often called Calella de la Costa) is bustling with energy and tourist activity and offers a lively beach experience combined with many shopping and dining options. It’s a town that easily blends the charm of its historic center with the energy of its modern tourist amenities.

Distance: About 50 kilometers northeast of Barcelona.

Highlights:

  • Beautiful beaches with ample tourist facilities.
  • A bustling shopping street and lively nightlife.
  • Historic lighthouse offering panoramic views.

Who Would Love It: Shoppers, beach enthusiasts, nightlife seekers.

We Suggest: Visit the iconic Calella Lighthouse for stunning coastal views, and explore the local markets for unique souvenirs.

How to Get There:

  • Regular trains from Barcelona take about an hour.
  • Take the N-II or C-32 road for a scenic drive.
Explore beyond Barcelona to find enchanting beach towns brimming with historic allure, sun-soaked shores, and vibrant local life

4. Mataro

Mataró, the capital of the Maresme region, offers a blend of beach relaxation and cultural exploration. Rich in Roman history and modernist architecture, the town stands out for its historical depth and architectural beauty against the Mediterranean Sea.

Distance: About 30 kilometers northeast of Barcelona.

Highlights:

  • Beaches combined with cultural experiences.
  • Significant Roman heritage, including the Roman Villa of Can Llauder.
  • Architectural sites like Nau Gaudí.

Who Would Love It: Cultural enthusiasts, architecture and history buffs.

We Suggest: Visit the Roman Villa of Can Llauder and Nau Gaudí to delve into history and architecture.

Escape to the idyllic beaches near Barcelona, where each coastal town offers a unique blend of sun, sand, and Catalan culture

5. Calella de Palafrugell

Calella de Palafrugell is your ideal Mediterranean retreat, nestled on the Costa Brava. This charming fishing village captivates with its classic whitewashed houses, inviting coves, and crystal-clear waters.

It’s the perfect spot for unwinding, soaking up some sun, and immersing yourself in a peaceful coastal atmosphere.

Distance: About 120 kilometers northeast from Barcelona.

Highlights:

  • Peaceful beaches and picturesque coves, perfect for a relaxing day by the sea.
  • Charming architecture featuring those iconic whitewashed houses.
  • Excellent restaurants offering delicious local cuisine, especially fresh seafood.

Who Would Love It: Perfect for anyone seeking a serene beach experience and those who appreciate a touch of luxury in their travels.

We Suggest: Spend time lounging on the beaches or exploring the quaint village streets.

How to Get There:

  • Drive via the AP-7 and GI-654, a journey of around two hours (most convenient way).
  • Buses are available but may require connections.

Calella de Palafrugell offers an authentic and relaxing coastal experience, making it an excellent choice for travelers looking to enjoy the quieter side of the Mediterranean lifestyle.

Unveil the best-kept secrets of coastal towns near Barcelona: tranquil beaches, charming villages, and breathtaking Mediterranean views await your discovery

6. Vilanova i la Geltrú

Vilanova i la Geltrú offers a laid-back alternative to the bustling Barcelona coast, with expansive sandy beaches and a rich cultural tapestry. It’s a treasure trove of history and art, boasting museums and a charming old town near the Mediterranean waters.

Distance: Roughly 45 kilometers southwest of Barcelona.

Highlights:

  • Wide beaches and a charming marina.
  • Cultural heritage with museums and a historic old town.
  • Railway Museum and the Victor Balaguer Library and Museum.

Who Would Love It: Families, cultural tourists, train enthusiasts.

We Suggest: Explore the Railway Museum and take a stroll through the town’s historic quarter.

Discover the hidden gems and serene beaches near Barcelona with our guide to the most picturesque coastal towns in the region. From the vibrant streets of Sitges to the tranquil coves of Calella de Palafrugell, embark on a journey to the perfect seaside getaway.

7. Cadaqués

Cadaqués is a captivating seaside town on the Costa Brava, renowned for its whitewashed houses, winding cobblestone streets, and a stunning waterfront that has inspired artists like Salvador Dalí. Nestled in a bay, this picturesque town combines natural beauty with artistic heritage, making it a unique and enchanting destination.

Distance: About 170 kilometers northeast of Barcelona.

Highlights:

  • Charming old town with narrow streets and white houses, perfect for leisurely exploration.
  • The Salvador Dalí House-Museum in nearby Portlligat, a must-visit for art lovers.
  • Beautiful, pebbly beaches and clear waters, ideal for swimming and sunbathing.
  • Breathtaking views of the Cap de Creus Natural Park, a haven for nature enthusiasts.

Who Would Love It: Art aficionados, nature lovers, and anyone looking for a picturesque and tranquil coastal escape.

We Suggest: Strolling through the old town and along the scenic waterfront, visiting the Salvador Dalí House-Museum for a glimpse into the artist’s life, and enjoying the serene beaches. Don’t miss a trip to the Cap de Creus Natural Park for hiking and stunning landscapes.

How to Get There:

  • Drive over the winding roads of the Cap de Creus peninsula, around 2.5 hours from Barcelona.
  • No direct public transport; a combination of bus and taxi is required.

Cadaqués is more than just a beach town; it’s a peaceful retreat that has long attracted artists and dreamers. Its artistic history, stunning natural surroundings, and relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere make it an unforgettable destination.

Take a break from the city and venture to the beaches near Barcelona, where you'll find a blend of seaside tranquility and charming town life

8. Malgrat de Mar

Malgrat de Mar offers a blend of natural beauty with family-oriented activities, making it an ideal destination for a tranquil beach holiday. With picturesque landscapes, nature reserves, and attractions like Parc Francesc Macià, it’s perfect for those looking for a quieter setting.

Distance: Approximately 60 kilometers northeast of Barcelona.

Highlights:

  • Beautiful beaches and nature reserves.
  • Family-friendly attractions, including parks and promenades.
  • A relaxed, tranquil atmosphere.

Who Would Love It: Families, nature lovers, those seeking tranquility.

We Suggest: Spend a day at Parc Francesc Macià, enjoying its imaginative play areas and scenic picnic spots.

9. Tossa de Mar

Tossa de Mar, with its medieval charm and stunning natural landscapes, is a blend of history and beachside serenity. The town’s ancient castle and historic old town create a picturesque setting, perfect for those seeking both relaxation and a journey through time.

Distance: About 100 kilometers northeast of Barcelona.

Highlights:

  • Medieval castle and a charming old town.
  • Beautiful beaches, including the famous Platja Gran.
  • Scenic hiking trails and boat excursions.

Who Would Love It: History buffs, nature enthusiasts, couples.

We Suggest: Visit the medieval Tossa de Mar Castle and explore its historic old town. Boat trips around the coastline are also a great way to experience its beauty.

How to Get There:

  • Getting a rental and driving there is also a good idea. Hour and a half drive from Barcelona via the GI-682 road.
  • Regular buses are available from Barcelona’s Estació del Nord.
Step into a world of serene beaches and charming towns near Barcelona, where Mediterranean beauty is coupled with rich cultural heritage.

10. Lloret de Mar

Nestled along the scenic Costa Brava, Lloret de Mar is a dynamic fusion of sandy shores and rich cultural history. The town offers an immersive experience, from its stunning Mediterranean coastline to its urban energy, presenting a lively escape.

Distance: About 75 kilometers northeast of Barcelona.

Highlights:

  • Lively nightlife with numerous bars and clubs.
  • Beautiful beaches like Lloret Beach and Fenals Beach.
  • Historical landmarks, including the medieval Castle of Sant Joan.

Who Would Love It: Young travelers, party-goers, and history enthusiasts.

We Suggest: Parasailing and jet skiing or taking a boat tour to explore the nearby coves and the stunning Costa Brava coastline.

Local Foods to Try: The area is known for its fresh seafood and traditional Catalan dishes. Don’t miss trying the local “suquet de peix”, a delicious Catalan fish stew.

Cultural Events/Festivals: Look out for the Lloret de Mar Carnival and the Lloret Formula Weekend, which are popular local events attracting visitors for their lively celebrations.

How to Get There:

  • A direct bus from Barcelona takes about an hour and a half.
  • A car ride through the C-32 or AP-7 takes around an hour.
From bustling beachfronts to hidden coves, our guide to the coastal towns near Barcelona uncovers the best spots for your next sun-kissed escape

11. Altafulla

Altafulla is a hidden gem on the Costa Daurada, a perfect fusion of historical charm and seaside tranquility. This small town, not far from Tarragona, is a delightful escape from the hustle and bustle, boasting a rich tapestry of history and picturesque natural beauty.

This is one of the beach towns in Barcelona, as it provides a peaceful backdrop for a truly relaxing getaway.

Distance: About 80 kilometers southwest of Barcelona.

Highlights:

  • The tranquil Altafulla Beach is a golden haven ideal for serene days by the Mediterranean.
  • A well-preserved historic old town, where winding cobblestone streets tell tales of the past.
  • The impressive Tamarit Castle, perched majestically overlooking the sea.
  • The UNESCO-listed Roman Villa of Els Munts, a testament to the town’s ancient roots.

Who Would Love It: History enthusiasts, those seeking a quiet beach retreat, and families looking for a peaceful holiday destination.

We Suggest: Explore the historic old town, relax on Altafulla Beach, and visit the Roman Villa of Els Munts.

How to Get There:

  • A short train ride from Barcelona takes approximately one hour.
  • Driving on the AP-7, the trip lasts around an hour.

Blue Flag Beach: Altafulla Beach proudly boasts the Blue Flag status, ensuring clean, well-maintained, and environmentally-friendly beach conditions.

Altafulla seamlessly blends its historical heritage with the relaxed vibe of a coastal town near Barcelona, making it a perfect spot for those who want to experience both the rich culture and the laid-back lifestyle of the Mediterranean coast.

12. Blanes

Blanes marks the beginning of the Costa Brava and is renowned for its botanical gardens and spectacular fireworks competition. This town is a blend of natural beauty and cultural events, offering a more relaxed pace with a touch of excitement.

Distance: About 60 kilometers northeast of Barcelona.

Highlights:

  • Beautiful beaches and the renowned Marimurtra Botanical Garden.
  • Historical landmarks like the Castle of San Juan.
  • Famous annual fireworks competition.

Who Would Love It: Nature lovers, families, cultural event enthusiasts.

We Suggest: Explore the Marimurtra Botanical Garden for its plants and visit during the fireworks competition for a spectacular show.

Transportation: Accessible by train or bus from Barcelona.

Cultural Events/Festivals: The famous Blanes Fireworks Competition.

How to Get There:

  • Hourly trains from Barcelona can get you there in about 1.5 hours.
  • Driving on the C-32 northbound takes roughly the same amount of time.
Uncover the serene beauty and rich culture of the beach towns near Barcelona, where each destination promises a unique and memorable coastal experience

13. Sant Pol de Mar

Sant Pol de Mar offers a picturesque escape with its stunning coves and traditional Catalan charm. Renowned for its cuisine, the town blends scenic beauty with gastronomic excellence, making it a hidden gem along the Mediterranean coast.

Distance: Around 50 kilometers northeast of Barcelona.

Highlights:

  • Beautiful coves and traditional houses.
  • Renowned for its cuisine, with several high-quality restaurants.
  • Quaint and scenic town environment.

Who Would Love It: Foodies, couples, scenic beauty admirers.

We Suggest: Splurge in a culinary experience at a Michelin-rated restaurant or join a cooking class to explore local flavors.

How to Get There:

  • Direct train from Barcelona’s Plaça de Catalunya.
  • Approximately an hour’s drive on the C-32.
Explore the lesser-known beaches near Barcelona and discover quaint coastal towns that offer a peaceful retreat from city life.

14. Begur

One of our favorite beach towns near Barcelona, Begur, is a charming gem located on the Costa Brava. It is known for its medieval castle, stunning beaches, and hidden coves. Nestled amid hills, this picturesque town offers breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea, making it a perfect blend of historical intrigue and coastal beauty.

Distance: About 130 kilometers northeast of Barcelona.

Highlights:

  • The imposing Begur Castle offers panoramic views of the surrounding area.
  • Beaches and coves such as Sa Riera, Aiguablava, and Platja Fonda, known for their crystal-clear waters.
  • The town’s historic center, with narrow streets and colonial-style houses reflecting its rich history.
  • A fun nightlife with various bars and restaurants that come alive in the summer months.

Who Would Love It: History buffs, beach enthusiasts, and those seeking a lively yet picturesque vacation spot.

We Suggest: Explore the medieval Begur Castle, relaxing on the town’s beautiful beaches, and enjoying the lively atmosphere of the town center, especially during the evening. Don’t miss experiencing the local cuisine at one of the many restaurants in town.

How to Get There:

  • Driving from Barcelona via the AP-7 and GI-650 takes about 1 hour 45 minutes.
  • Public transport options involve buses with connections and take about 3 hours.

Begur offers a unique experience that combines the allure of ancient ruins, the serenity of secluded beaches, and the charm of a traditional Catalan town. It’s a destination that caters to a variety of tastes, making it a great choice for a memorable holiday on the Costa Brava.

Discover the coastal treasures near Barcelona, where each beach town offers a distinctive escape into Mediterranean bliss and local charm.

15. Roses

Roses, situated at the northern edge of the Gulf of Roses, is a town with a rich history and splendid natural beauty. Known for its sprawling bay and as a gateway to the Cap de Creus Natural Park, it offers a perfect mix of beach leisure and outdoor adventure.

Distance: About 150 kilometers northeast of Barcelona.

Highlights:

  • Expansive bay with clear waters and sandy beaches.
  • Proximity to Cap de Creus Natural Park.
  • Historical sites, including the Roses Citadel.

Who Would Love It: Adventure seekers, nature lovers, history enthusiasts.

We Suggest: Explore the Cap de Creus Natural Park for hiking and nature trips, and visit the Roses Citadel for a historical outing.

How to Get There:

  • It takes around 2 hours to get there via bus, but slightly longer via train.
  • Driving is another option.
Explore the scenic coastline near Barcelona, where charming beach towns offer a tranquil escape and a taste of authentic Catalan life

16. Arenys de Mar

Arenys de Mar is a delightful mix of maritime heritage and beachside leisure in the charming beach towns in Barcelona. This historic fishing town is not only known for its beautiful beaches and marina but also for its arts and crafts scene.

Distance: Just over 40 kilometers northeast of Barcelona.

Highlights:

  • Lovely beaches and a charming marina.
  • Rich in arts and crafts, including pottery and textiles.
  • Significant maritime heritage.

Who Would Love It: Travelers interested in Catalan culture, arts enthusiasts.

We Suggest: Visit the Arenys de Mar Sea Museum and pottery workshops.

How to Get There:

  • Train or bus are the best public transport options. Both take around 45 minutes.
  • Getting a rental and driving there is also a good idea.
Join us on a tour of the most picturesque beach towns near Barcelona, where golden sands and historical charm create the ultimate seaside getaway.

BEST TIME TO VISIT BEACH TOWNS NEAR BARCELONA

Finding the time to visit beach towns near Barcelona depends on your vacation preferences, whether it’s lounging on sunny beaches, engaging in local festivities, or peacefully exploring the towns.

Peak Season: Summer (June to August)

  • Weather: Expect hot and sunny conditions, ideal for beach activities and swimming.
  • Atmosphere: Beaches and towns are bustling with tourists, and there’s an energetic nightlife.
  • Considerations: Be prepared for crowded spaces and higher accommodation prices.

Shoulder Seasons: Spring (April to May) and Autumn (September to October)

  • Weather: The climate is warm, offering comfortable conditions for outdoor activities.
  • Atmosphere: These periods see fewer tourists, allowing for a more tranquil exploration of the areas.
  • Events: The shoulder seasons might host local cultural festivals, offering an authentic experience with fewer crowds.

Off-Peak Season: Winter (November to March)

  • Weather: Cooler, with potential closures of beach facilities, but still generally mild.
  • Atmosphere: The towns are much quieter, ideal for visitors seeking calm and a focus on cultural exploration.
  • Considerations: Some businesses, such as restaurants and attractions, may reduce their hours or close, especially in smaller towns.

Additional Considerations:

  • Festivals and Events: Research the local event schedule if you’re interested in regional cultural experiences.
  • Sea Temperature: Summer offers the warmest conditions for swimming, but the Mediterranean is mild enough for late spring and early autumn beach visits.
  • Personal Preferences: Your choice should align with whether you prefer a busier atmosphere with more entertainment options (summer) or a more subdued and relaxing visit (spring and autumn).

Each season brings its unique appeal to these Mediterranean locales. Your decision on when to visit should align with what you hope to get from your vacation, whether it bustling beach life or a quieter, more reflective experience.

Beach Towns Near Barcelona: Activities and Adventures

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker looking for an adrenaline rush or a history buff craving a deep dive into cultural wonders, the beach towns near Barcelona offer a ton of different activities.

Water Sports Enthusiasts

Kayaking & Paddleboarding: Glide across the serene waters of Cadaqués, where the clear sea provides perfect conditions for kayaking and paddleboarding. Beginners and avid paddlers alike can enjoy the coastal scenery and even venture into hidden coves.

Jet Ski & Windsurfing: If you crave speed, renting a jet ski or windsurfing might be your highlight in towns like Sitges.

Snorkeling & Scuba Diving: The underwater ecosystems near towns like Tarragona are a marvel. Don your snorkel or scuba gear to explore aquatic life in thriving habitats.

Outdoor Excursions

Hiking & Biking: Embrace the region’s natural beauty through the myriad of hiking and biking trails that surround towns like Begur, offering breathtaking views and a chance to connect with nature.

Horseback Riding: Experience the rustic charm of the Catalan countryside with a unique perspective atop a horse, available in many coastal towns for an unforgettable adventure.

Remember, your adventure in the beach towns near Barcelona can be as laid-back or as exhilarating as you choose, with activities that cater to every level of enthusiasm and interest.

Find your perfect beach escape near Barcelona: our guide introduces you to the quaint towns and pristine shores along the Catalan coast.

Frequently Asked Questions

Looking to soak up the sun in the beach towns near Barcelona? Check out these common queries about the best beach escapes!

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What’s the closest seaside town to Barcelona where I can chill?

Castelldefels is your go-to spot for a chill vibe, just a stone’s throw from Barcelona. It’s near enough to pop over for a spontaneous beach day.

Which beach near Barcelona is a total must-see for its beauty?

You should definitely visit Sitges. This town boasts beautiful beaches and an inviting atmosphere, and it’s only a short train ride from the city.

Any recommendations for a laid-back beach town easily accessible by train from Barcelona?

Calella de Palafrugell offers a serene escape with its quaint beaches and laid-back charm, easily reachable by train.

What are some budget-friendly beachside spots near Barcelona?

Check out Mataró or Blanes for some budget-friendly beach options where the vibe is casual and the seaside views don’t break the bank.

Could you suggest some upscale beach towns for a luxe getaway close to Barcelona?

For a luxurious retreat, head to Sitges or Tossa de Mar. These towns offer an upscale experience with stylish amenities and pristine beaches.

What coastal towns around Barcelona are top picks for a day trip?

Tarragona is perfect for a mix of beach time and historical sightseeing, while Gavà offers a more laid-back feel, both ideal for day trips.

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