Sitges – an enchanting seaside town

Sitges is an enchanting seaside town full of charm and character. Whenever I visit, it always seems to be drenched in sunshine. Even in January it was sunny enough for a few sunbathers to be spotted on the beach! Although I don’t know whether that’s down to pure luck rather than the climate.

Sitges lies 35km southwest of Barcelona between the Garraf National Park and the town of Vilanova i la Geltrú. An estimated 1million people visit Sitges each year. So what is it that attracts them? Well, it boasts 17 beaches and plays host to more than a hundred different local, national and international events and holidays including Carnival and Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival.

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Things to do:

To be honest, the best thing to do in Sitges is walk and soak up the atmosphere. Walk through the old part of town and its narrow streets or along the promenade following it to the different beaches. Then find a nice restaurant, preferably by the beach and admire the view. I must admit that I seem to crave fish and chips whilst on the beach, but all the restaurants do offer various fish dishes and the lunchtime ‘menu del dia’ for around €15 or less. One of the most popular places to go is El Rincon del Pepe.

If walking around doesn’t quite do it for you, then there are the museums Cau Ferrat and Museu de Maricel. Both offer a view of the sea as they are located right on the seafront. Maricel Palace showcases the Noucentisme movement built between 1913 and 1918. You can take a guided tour of the palace and explore its rooms, terrace and unique views.

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For the sporty ones among you, in Spring it can get pretty windy with good conditions for surfing and paddle surfing:

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Events:

Carnival!

Sitges is well-known for its incredible carnival celebrations. I asked one of my colleagues about Sitges and they said it was a really pretty town, a large international community and then whispered to me ‘it has a lot of gay people’, as though it was all hush-hush or a taboo subject, which in reality is the complete opposite. It is very well-known for being a welcoming, gay tourist destination.

Carnival takes place from what is known as Fat Thursday until Ash Wednesday. On the Sunday and Tuesday nights great parades are held with approximately forty floats and more than 2000 people participating.

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International Film Festival

If you happen to be in Sitges or Barcelona in October, do not miss the Sitges Film Festival (unless you absolutely hate watching films). The festival’s focus is on the very best of horror and fantasy films from across the globe. This little town gets suddenly overwhelmed with people, as cinemas all over Sitges showcase an eclectic mix of captivating films. You may even have the chance of seeing a film star or award winning director, as past visitors include Ralph Fiennes, Sir Anthony Hopkins and Guillermo del Toro.

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How to get there

It is very easy to reach Sitges from Barcelona. By train it takes just over half an hour and by car around forty minutes. Sitges is a great day trip and break away from the bustle of Barcelona and a definite must if you’re visiting the area.

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