Avoid the Crowds on the Coasts of Costa Maresme

Costa Maresme…..It´s possible to get away from it all

While some people head to Spain for the excitement and bustle of its vibrant big cities, others go to experience the more secluded, serene areas of which there are many in the beautiful county of Costa Maresme. Stretching approximately 30 miles from north of Barcelona up to Blanes, Costa Maresme truly is a hidden gem and, while it may not be as well known as some of the other coastal towns on this part of the country, it has just as much to offer. For those of you who see their vacation as a time to reconnect with nature, explore some historical landmarks and recharge their batteries, here are some suggestions when visiting Costa Maresme.

Ride the Rails

One of the most unique features of Costa Maresme is the rail track that follows the coast line allowing passengers to sit back, relax and drink in the amazing coastal views. Built in 1848, the ‘rodalie’ has been transporting Barcelonians and tourists alike through the towns and villages along the coast of Costa Maresme and it’s the perfect way to discover some of its quaintest, picturesque areas.

Find a Hidden Beach

There are many beautiful beaches along the coast of Costa Maresme and, while some attract crowds of sun-seekers, it is still possible to find those that are a little off the beaten track. Located in El Masnou, Ocata beach is a wide expanse of white sand which, being just 30 minutes from Barcelona, is the perfect place for an easily accessible day trip. Sant Pol de Mar, also a relatively short jaunt from Barcelona, offers several beaches, some of which contain secluded rocky areas where it’s possible to hide from the crowds and just enjoy the clean, crystal-clear waters, a favourite among snorkelers.

Explore the Villages

Picture perfect villages of Costa Maresme

The area of Costa Maresme boasts some of the best examples of perfect Catalonian villages, one of which is Alella. With an ancient Roman road winding its way through the centre of the village, Alella is best known for its many vineyards, most of which are open to, and warmly welcome, visitors. While harvesting time brings a number of tourists to the region, the vineyards are open for tastings year-round, making them the ideal place to visit in the off-season. Premiá de Dalt is another often-overlooked village, typical in its understated Mediterranean charm and dotted with stone buildings and parks. Set back slightly in the hills, Premiá de Dalt offers visitors the chance to see a slice of authentic Spanish life complete with the best the region has to offer in tasty local delicacies and, of course, fine wine.

Get Back to Nature

Although it can be hard to tear yourself away from the stunning Costa Maresme beaches, it’s worth taking the time to visit one of the many nature parks surrounding the area, in particular Montnegre and Serralada Litoral. The Montnegre Nature Reserve, which runs parallel to the coast line, features luscious vegetation among cork oaks and pines. The reserve features both densely forested areas and higher grounds overlooking the ocean and, for those who enjoy history, is also home to a number of ancient buildings and ruins including medieval churches, monasteries and hermitages. Visitors can either roam the reserve by foot, take one of the many tours offered or, if they prefer, explore the area by bicycle. Connecting the coast with the inland valleys, Serralada Litoral Nature Park consists of three main areas and, in addition to also featuring a number of historical buildings, has several environmentally-focused educational walks and an array of cultural activities including art and music festivals. If communing with nature is on the agenda, it doesn’t get much better than this park which is rife with wildlife – from amphibians, reptiles and birds of prey to badgers, foxes and squirrels.

There’s a reason why Costa Maresme is a favourite destination for Barcelonians – the wealth of tiny villages, expanses of natural parks and wide open, secluded beaches makes it the ideal place to truly experience this Spanish coast without fighting the crowds to do so!

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