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A day away on a beach

If you are looking for some time under the sun, skip the popular urban beach of Barceloneta, it can get really crowded on hot days. Try to skip Costa Brava as well, it is further away (officially from Blanes to the French border) but at the peak of summer can get equally packed with lines of cars and hordes of tourists. Go the Barcelonan way and head to the mostly overlooked Costa Maresme, which is very close and yet not as famous, and provides a relaxing “families & friends” style by the sea. You can travel by train from Catalunya Square, the track runs along the coast and has picturesque views, or rent a car. We prefer driving ourselves, so we can go at our own pace and stop at our convenience, but the train ride along the coast is quite fun as well. There are lovely beach stretches from Caldes d’Estrac to Sant Pol de Mar, ideal for relaxing in the sunshine and sampling excellent locally sourced seafood. And if you want to make a day of it, there is plenty more to see. Enjoy charming Arenys de Mar flea market (check schedule, usually on Saturdays), have a sophisticated (and pricey) tasting menu at Sant Pau in Sant Pol de Mar, or a relaxed and delicious meal at La Tasqueta in Caldes, and check out the modernist buildings in Canet de Mar. Maresme may not be as trendy as Ibiza, or have the typically fancy beach clubs of other parts of the Mediterranean, yet it is a perfect relaxing option for some sunbathing, eating and shopping


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