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Best Beach(es) Within 2-4 hours of Barcelona

Hello! My sisters and I are treating my mom to 10 days in Europe for her 60th in August. Our original plans were Paris, Mallorca, Barcelona. We booked flights and accommodations only to realize that the itinerary was too much, specifically for my mom. We can easily cancel accommodations but not tickets. So despite hearing from others that we should stick to one country, we have to keep tickets NY to Paris, Barcelona to NY.
With that said, we will be in Paris for 3 days and head to Barcelona on the 4th day. We would also like to spend 3-4 days in a beachy, less noisy, resort like place. We fell in love with the beaches in Mallorca, is there anything comparable on the mainland and within 3-4 hours of Barcelona? Thank you!

Posted by
2177 posts

Hello! Here are a few of my top picks near Barcelona:

Garraf - just a short 20 min train ride south of Barcelona. You will find only locals at this small and secluded, but quaint, beach community. There are also many good chiringuitos to eat nearby and even a beach house designed by Antoni Gaudí. A very authentic place.

Sitges - the quintessential posh beach town, 30 min train ride south from Barcelona. Has multiple small sandy beaches. Known for its LGBT scene, Sitges also has nice historic centre lined with boutique restaurants and shops.

Tossa de Mar - a very atmospheric coastal town on the Costa Brava, north of Barcelona. Tossa has an idyllic medieval setting as it is dominated by a clifftop castle and a small cobblestone old town. Many restaurants and hotels around here, can get quite packed during the high summer months. I used to spend my summers here growing up, so it is very near and dear to my heart.

Calella de Palafrugell - a smaller beach town also on the Costa Brava. More laid back then Tossa de Mar. The town has twisting narrow whitewashed streets the lead up to the small craggy beaches, that are lined with the typical wooden fisherman boats of the Costa Brava. Probably most similar to Mallorca.

Peñíscola - Halfway between Barcelona and Valencia, about a 3 hr drive. With its cobbled streets and whitewashed houses, the old town of Peñíscola sits on a big rock that juts out into the sea. The town is dominated by a large Knights Templar castle that looks like something out of the Crusades, that is sounded by a sandy beach. Recently, Peñíscola was used as a filming location in the T.V. series Game of Thrones.

Posted by
2177 posts

Yes! All of these beaches are good for swimming and sunbathing 😀

Posted by
27 posts

Costa Brava is beautiful. Lots of little coves m such as Sa Tuna or Aigua Blava ..they are tiny but worth it. And close to Barcelona by rental car (~ 1 hour)

Posted by
360 posts

Carlos certainly does know his stuff—have stayed at them all — and second every suggestion he makes—and add Sant Pol de Mar (an hour and ¼ by train) and Vilanova i la Geltrú (about half an hour) with some of the best value seafood restauarants in Catalunya, plus Coma-Ruga (train station: Sant Vicenç de Calders— just over an hour from Barcelona) with the Pau Casals Museum. Enjoy your trip.