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Best Beaches In Catalonia;  Sitges, Costa Brava, And Tarragona

Seaside neighbourhood of La Barceloneta popular for tourists in Barcelona after beach famously appeared in Don Quixote

Many visitors to Barcelona from abroad will head to the seaside neighbourhood of La Barceloneta, whose beach famously appeared in Don Quixote. As the city’s historic fishermen’s quarter, Barceloneta has several beaches, almost all of which have beach bars and restaurants along with many other amenities. However, the beaches of La Barceloneta are also famously busy, flocked with tourists and merchants, especially in summer. Even the spot described in Don Quixote is, in reality, high and dry, thanks to land reclamation. For those seeking a more unique and genuine experience, some of Catalonia’s best beaches can be found outside Barcelona. 

“3 of Catalonia’s best beach destinations are Sitges, Costa Brava and Calella de Palafrugell,” said El Nacional En.

“Explore the stunning coastal wonders of Catalonia, where beautiful beaches beckon with their turquoise waters and golden sands. From the vibrant shores of Tarragona to the picturesque coves of Costa Brava and the tranquil beauty of Sitges, these beach destinations offer a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure for every traveler,” said El Nacional.


Perhaps the most famous of these is la Platja de Sant Sebastià, which sits directly adjacent to some of the city’s central cultural attractions. Visitors can tour the studio-turned-museum of Catalan artist Santiago Rusiñol and the centuries-old church Sant Bartomeu i Santa Tecla de Sitges, and then relax on the sand.

For a quieter experience, one can head instead to a beach like la Platja de les Anquines, on the western side of the city. For queer couples on vacation, Sitges is also a famously LGBT-friendly city, and la Platja de la Bassa Rodona has long been known as a gay beach. Sitges has more than a dozen other beaches to choose from, and even has three nude beaches, so there will be something for everyone.

Costa Brava

Calella de Palafrugell is one of the three coastal towns in Costa Brava.  The Costa Brava (literally ‘wild coast’) is a stretch of the northern Catalonian coast generally regarded as reaching from the town of Blanes to the French border. JORGE FRANGANILLO/FLICKR

Almost two hundred beaches fall within the Coast Brava. 

One of the most famous of these is the beach of Lloret de Mar, which is very popular in the summer. On one end of the beach is a bronze statue known as the Dona Marinera, or the Fisherman’s Wife, which is said to grant wishes to those who touch its foot and look out at the horizon.

Many smaller seaside towns along the Costa Brava have lovely beaches while avoiding the busyness of some of the largest tourist destinations. One such town is Calella de Palafrugell in the region of Girona, which has several small beaches with beautiful sea views. And the town of Palamós, also in Girona, is known for its La Fosca beach, which is just adjacent to the ruined hilltop castle of el Castell de Sant Esteve de Mar.


The city of Tarragona, southwest of Barcelona and Sitges, may be less well known for its beaches than the former two cities, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less impressive. Cala Fonda, which is somewhat isolated from the city and best reached by car and then a short walk, stands out to many visitors as a picturesque paradise.

El Castell de Tamarit in the city of Tarragona.The nearby town of Tamarit has the beautiful Platja de Tamarit and Cala Jovena, located on either side of el Castell de Tamarit, a still-standing twelfth-century castle.ALBERT TORELLO/FLICKR 

 Platja de Tamarit is much longer, while Cala Jovena is smaller but usually uncrowded.

“Also in the province of Tarragona is Salou, likewise famous for its long string of beaches broken up by rocky capes. Its largest beach is the Platja de Llevant, which runs along the city’s main promenade, though it also has more than 30 smaller beaches to visit,” said El Nacional En.

Produced in association with El Nacional En

Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Newsdesk Manager

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