6 best beaches near Barcelona for a coastal getaway

MMost visitors to Barcelona are familiar with its urban beaches, but outside of the capital you will truly experience all that the Catalan coast has to offer. Overflowing with charming seaside towns and spectacular Blue Flag beaches, this part of the Mediterranean stretches some 360 ​​miles, from the French border to the Ebro Delta to the south. Fortunately, much of the coast is easily accessible by train from the town, which means you can sunbathe on the golden sands of the Costa Dorada or Maresme in under an hour. And while the Costa Brava takes a bit more effort – and a car – to reach, it’s well worth it for miles of pristine shoreline and all of its rugged cliffs and dreamy hidden coves. Here, we’ve rounded up the best beaches near Barcelona to visit on your next trip to Spain.

Altafulla Beach

How many beaches have you visited that are home to a full-fledged medieval castle? Tamarit Castle, an impressive 12th-century walled fortress, dominates this ¾ mile long stretch of sand on the Costa Dorada. Altafulla Beach also has a charming promenade, Botigues de Mar, where a jumble of 18th century warehouses have been transformed into holiday apartments and charming cafes and restaurants with seafront terraces. Book a table at Voramar Cal Vitali, serving top-notch paella and fideuá (similar to paella but made with noodles instead of rice), paired with wonderful Mediterranean views.

How to get there

Trains to Altafulla / Tamarit station leave from several stations in Barcelona (including Sants and Estacio De França) on Renfe. The journey takes approximately 75 minutes.

Sa Tuna, Sa Riera and Aiguablava

A labyrinth of narrow, steep streets lined with grand colonial mansions and crowned by a ruined medieval castle offering spectacular views over the Mediterranean, Begur is one of the most beautiful towns on the Costa Brava. It’s a long walk from the town center to the sea, so you will have to drive, or from Plaça Forgas, near the main tourist office, get on the shuttle bus that goes to the three main beaches in Begur (Sa Tuna, Sa Riera, and Aiguablava). Aiguablava to the south is the best of the bunch, with wonderfully soft white sands and turquoise waters framed by steep hills topped with pine trees. If the beaches are too crowded, take a walk Camí de Ronda, a path along the coast, and descend to the many idyllic coves nestled along the rocky shore.

How to get there

The drive from Barcelona to Begur takes around one hour and 45 minutes, depending on traffic.

The century-old colonnades of Port Bo beach

Port Bo, El Golfet
Calella de Palafrugell

Filled with upscale restaurants, bars, and hotels geared towards well-off Catalan tourists, the former fishing village turned into a seaside playground of Calella de Palafrugell is one of the Costa Brava’s chicest destinations. (Not to be confused with Calella, a large, bustling seaside resort in the Maresme.) Stroll through its charming stone lanes flanked by rustic whitewashed houses, then head to Port Bo beach and stroll under the hundred-year-old colonnades, with vaults, beamed ceilings. A trio of pretty beaches facing the town, but for a wilder experience, drive five minutes to El Golfet, a sublime expanse of golden sand and shallow blue waters surrounded by rocky cliffs, accessible only by a steep staircase from the surrounding streets.

How to get there

The journey to Calella de Palafrugell from Barcelona takes around an hour and 40 minutes, depending on traffic.

Playa de Ocata is just 10 miles northeast of Barcelona, ​​but feels like different worlds.

Ocata Beach

Despite being just 10 miles northeast of Barcelona, ​​Ocata is worlds apart from the city’s perpetually crowded urban beaches. Although much of the Maresme shore can be narrow, this wonderfully wide 1.5 mile long strip of sand allows you to always find a place for your towel and maintain a good distance from other sun worshipers. Pop by one of Ocata’s many chiringuitos (beach bars) for a drink and tapas with your feet in the sand, or walk 15 minutes to the El Masnou marina, which has dozens of restaurants.

How to get there

Trains to Ocata station leave from several stations in Barcelona (including Sants and Plaça de Catalunya) on the Renfe Rodalies R1 line. The journey takes about 30 minutes.

Overlooking a coveted stretch of sand near Sant Pol de Mar

Playa de les Barques, Playa El Morer
Sant Pol de Mar

Every nook and cranny of the fishing village of Sant Pol de Mar, on the Maresme coast, is tailor-made for Instagram: winding stone streets dotted with centuries-old olive trees, whitewashed houses with flowered windows, modernist buildings richly detailed. But it’s the beaches here that really shine: stretches of fine, golden sand framed by dramatic rock outcrops and stunningly blue Mediterranean waters. Playa de les Barques, so named because of the many fishing boats along its shore, is a short walk from the train station and therefore tends to get very busy. Instead, head slightly north and stake your sandy patch on the quieter Playa El Morer.

How to get there

Trains to Sant Pol de Mar station leave from several stations in Barcelona (including Sants and Plaça de Catalunya) on the Renfe Rodalies R1. The journey takes about an hour.

Due to its proximity to Barcelona, ​​Sitges can get crowded on weekends and public holidays.


First, there’s the sheer beauty of Sitges, with its maze of rolling cobblestone streets lined with whitewashed villas and whimsical Art Nouveau buildings. Then there are its chic boutiques and galleries, stylish restaurants, classic taverns and lively gay bars. Add in several great beaches, as well as a nearly two-mile-long promenade, perfect for seaside walks and biking, and you’ll see why this coastal town is so popular. Just half an hour by train from Barcelona, ​​it can get very crowded on summer weekends and public holidays, so opt for a weekday or off-season visit for a quieter vibe.

How to get there

Trains to Sitges leave from several stations in Barcelona (including Sants and Plaça de Catalunya) on the Renfe Rodalies R2 line. The journey takes about 30 minutes.

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