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Marine Districts and Villages of Catalonia

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La mar, la platja i la brisa marinera conformen l'essència d'aquests barris i viles. The Catalan coast is full of hubs of inhabitants, but not all of them can be considered marine districts and villages in Catalonia. What characterises the chosen ones? They are coastal towns that keep sea-related culture and activities alive, and that have also been able to find the most enticing proposals to allow visitors to experience their marine character for themselves.

Marine DNA
Seafaring heritage lives on in these villages and towns of less than 20,000 inhabitants, as well as in specific fishermen's districts of more populated towns. Through architectural elements such as lighthouses, ports or defence towers, cultural proposals such as ecomuseums, visits to boats or fishermen's guilds, and intangible heritage linked to life at sea such as festivals and legends, the marine villages invite visitors to imagine what a life linked to the sea was like (and still is).

From the sea to the table
As municipalities inhabited by seafarers where fishing has been at the core of their economic activity, these districts and villages have developed their own cuisine shaped by this. Can you guess their star product? As you can imagine, this is the local fish and seafood that is often combined with homegrown vegetables and grains in delicious traditional recipes that are promoted through activities such as gastronomy days, competitions or tastings. Have you booked your table yet?

Enjoy the views
Without a doubt, the common denominator of all these districts and villages is a beautiful landscape to enjoy all year round. The 'camins de ronda' (coast paths) or botanical gardens that border the sea are some of the year-round options, but when the summer heat arrives, there's nothing better than looking back at the coast from the water whilst enjoying one of the many activities on offer.

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Cities, towns and villages
Cities, towns and villages
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The sea, the beach and the sea breeze make up the essence of these districts and villages. Would you like to discover Catalonia’s unique Marine Districts and Villages?

Discover the Marine Districts and Villages with Indian origins
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Diver with underwater photography equipment making a decompression stop at Furió Fitó: (© Andreu Llamas. Editorial Anthias, S.L.)
Begur

The municipality of Begur is located at 200 metres above sea level, on the massif of the same name, located between Gavarres and the coast. Here, on the coast, are some of the most admired coves and beaches of the Costa Brava. There are still some fishermen's huts, which are a reminder of the importance that fishing had in towns such as Sa Riera or Sa Tuna and which give them a charming atmosphere.

The town extends around the impressive Medieval castle, dating back to the 11th century, surrounded by narrow, winding streets that lead up to the fortresses ruins, through a rough and capricious orography. The town's defence towers are its referential historic elements.

Sobre el campanar.  (© Ajuntament de Sant Pol de Mar High Fidelity Collective)
Sant Pol de Mar

In Sant Pol de Mar, you'll discover a fishermen's town, with white houses and narrow, quiets streets, rocky bays and heavy-grained sand beaches bathed with crystal-clear waters. Strolling along the stepped streets of the Old Town will allow you to marvel at the rich architectural heritage of Catalan Art Nouveau buildings, such as the old escoles, or schools, where you can appreciate the great beauty of the handcrafted ironwork. A walk along the seafront following the coastline to La Punta or a route to Calella along the coastal path allow visitors to discover the breath-taking beauty of its exceptional surroundings.

Mother and daughter on a sailboat in front of the beaches of Vilanova i la Geltrú (© Ajuntament de Vilanova i la Geltrú)
Vilanova i la Geltrú

Known as Havana xica (Little Havana) in the 19th century, Vilanova i la Geltrú is today one of the country's leading capitals of popular and traditional culture. Els Tres Tombs and the town's carnival, declared a Heritage Festival of National Interest, are just some of the events that have made the capital of El Garraf a point of reference. The splendid seafront promenade, where colonial style buildings live in harmony with fishermen's houses, its Rambla, the city's social and retail hub, its wide range of fish and seafood culinary offerings and the famous xató dish make Vilanova a place to visit and return to.

Get closer to the fishing tradition
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Port and old quarter at dusk  (© Miguel Angel Alvarez)
Palamós

Palamós, a fishing town par excellence, is one of the most appreciated tourist destinations of the Costa Brava.

To the renowned attraction of the beaches, we should add the leisure and sports possibilities that the municipality has to offer, a very wide range of night-time leisure, renowned local gastronomy with the Palamós prawn as the main ingredient and a firm commitment to preserving its historic heritage, much of its kept at the Fishing Museum.

Nor should we forget the old quarter and the possibilities of having contact with nature provided by the proximity of the massif of Gavarres.

Coastal view  (© Miguel Angel Alvarez)
Tossa de Mar
Tossa is located within the natural space of the massif of Cadiretes, valuable due to the coexistence of Mediterranean and Atlantic flora and ideal for taking walks or following mountain bike routes, passing by the megalithic remains.

The beaches that surround the town to the north and south are excellent, some due to the quality of the services on offer and others due to the almost virgin environment. The municipality's heritage includes Roman remains, Modernista buildings and airs of avant-garde artistic bohemia.

Hollywood diva Ava Gardner walked on the granular sand of Gran beach in 1950 to film Pandora and the Flying Dutchman. That might be reason enough for film fans to come and explore the municipality.

Collection of the fish in the port  (© Miguel Raurich)
Alcanar

With the constant presence of the beaches as a reference point, Alcanar offers visitors a wide range of attractions:

beaches for all tastes, archaeological sites (such as that of la Moleta del Remei) and countless places where you can enjoy the Mediterranean spirit and traditional constructions, such as the old cistern or the big wheel. In addition, visitors can savour the seafood cuisine where the star dish is the fish suquet.

Where?Ex. Barcelona, Gelida
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Arenys de MarArenys de Mar
Arenys de Mar
Arenys de Mar /
   
The inspiration for Salvador Espriu's mythical Sinera still retains the charm of a traditional seafaring town, and boasts a rich architectural and festival-related heritage. Strolling along the watercourse, the social and commercial hub, or the sandy streams and tasting the seafood dishes at its harbour restaurants after visiting the fish market are just some of the activities that can be enjoyed by visitors, in addition to discovering other treasures of this town, including the Baroque altarpiece of the Church of Santa Maria, a cemetery full of monuments, the old Calisay liqueur distillery and the Frederic Marès Lace Museum.
BegurBegur
Begur
Begur / Costa Brava
   

The municipality of Begur is located at 200 metres above sea level, on the massif of the same name, located between Gavarres and the coast. Here, on the coast, are some of the most admired coves and beaches of the Costa Brava. There are still some fishermen's huts, which are a reminder of the importance that fishing had in towns such as Sa Riera or Sa Tuna and which give them a charming atmosphere.

The town extends around the impressive Medieval castle, dating back to the 11th century, surrounded by narrow, winding streets that lead up to the fortresses ruins, through a rough and capricious orography. The town's defence towers are its referential historic elements.

CambrilsCambrils
Cambrils
Cambrils / Costa Daurada
   
Cambrils is one of the most emblematic destinations of the Costa Daurada, with offerings that have incentives for all tastes.

True attractions of the municipality are the beaches (both the busy ones and the calm ones), the water sports, the cuisine (which is the star feature of the Costa Daurada) and the festive and traditional vitality.

Must-sees include Parque Samà, a real botanical gem, and the different parts of the Cambrils History museum.

This municipality has been awarded the specialised DTF (Destino de Turismo Familiar/Family Tourism Destination) seal, given by the Catalan Tourist Board. During the holidays, family-friendly accommodation and hospitality is available alongside appropriate entertainment and leisure.

L'Ametlla de MarL'Ametlla de Mar
L'Ametlla de Mar
Ametlla de Mar, l' /
   

The coast of L’Ametlla de Mar, sixteen kilometres in length, is a charming and virgin landscape. This niche of Baix Ebre was no more than a strategic location for defence towers against pirates, until in the 19th century it became the residence of a few families of fishermen from Valencia. It rapidly became an important hub for commercial exchanges with Cambrils, Tarragona and Reus.

Since the first agrarian and fishermen’s cooperatives were created (the harbour was built in 1920), its growth has been significant and the town still preserves, despite the emerging commerce and unavoidable modernisation, the appearance of fishing village it had when it was created. Today, fishing and tourism are the municipality’s two main sources of income.

L'EscalaL'Escala
L'Escala
Escala, l' / Costa Brava
   

L’Escala is located to the south of the gulf of Roses, bordering the Baix Empordà region, at just two kilometres of the famous ruins of Empúries. Like other coastal towns, since ancient times its main activity has been fishing: the local anchovy is one of the most appreciated products of Catalan seafood gastronomy.

The municipality still preserves all the charm of the old quarter, contoured by a singular seafront path and beaches with personality such as Montgó, where the famous defence tower of the same name is located.

Caterina Albert i Paradís (1869-1966), the author of Solitude and more well-known by the man’s pen name Víctor Català, is the town’s most distinguished daughter.

Les Cases d'AlcanarLes Cases d'Alcanar
Les Cases d'Alcanar
/ Costa Daurada
   

Les Cases d'Alcanar, también conocido como Les Cases, es una población que pertenece al municipio de Alcanar, aunque sus habitantes se sienten muy arraigados a sus propias tradiciones. Los orígenes de Les Cases d'Alcanar se remontan al pequeño núcleo de pescadores construido alrededor de una antigua torre de vigilancia contra las incursiones piratas en la costa del Ebro. Derribada por los británicos en la invasión napoleónica, en el mismo lugar se levantó la iglesia de San Pedro Pescador, corazón del barrio marinero.

Hoy, Les Cases d'Alcanar disfruta de un tranquilo espíritu marinero y destaca por sus playas vírgenes, poco masificadas, que, junto con el clima plácido todo el año y la deliciosa gastronomía tradicional marinera basada en pescado y mariscos frescos con arroz D. O. Delta de l'Ebre, son atractivos que no dejarán indiferente a ningún viajero.

LlançàLlançà
Llançà
Llançà / Costa Brava
   
Llançà has the privilege of being located in the middle of the Costa Brava and has a large portfolio of beaches for all tastes, in addition to a wide range of sports and solid tourist infrastructures.
The municipality is surrounded by the nature parks of Cap de Creus and l'Albera, where the Pyrenees meet the Mediterranean.
PalamósPalamós
Palamós
Palamós / Costa Brava
   

Palamós, a fishing town par excellence, is one of the most appreciated tourist destinations of the Costa Brava.

To the renowned attraction of the beaches, we should add the leisure and sports possibilities that the municipality has to offer, a very wide range of night-time leisure, renowned local gastronomy with the Palamós prawn as the main ingredient and a firm commitment to preserving its historic heritage, much of its kept at the Fishing Museum.

Nor should we forget the old quarter and the possibilities of having contact with nature provided by the proximity of the massif of Gavarres.

Sant Carles de la RàpitaSant Carles de la Ràpita
Sant Carles de la Ràpita
Sant Carles de la Ràpita /
   

A coastal profile with first-class beaches, a number of good routes that allow you to discover the variety of landscapes of the area, emblematic buildings (such as the Neoclassical Glorieta, which offers magnificent views) and a seafood cuisine that grants deserved prominence to king prawns and mantis shrimp, are some of the attractions of Sant Carles de la Ràpita.

Sant Pol de MarSant Pol de Mar
Sant Pol de Mar
Sant Pol de Mar / Costa Barcelona
   

In Sant Pol de Mar, you'll discover a fishermen's town, with white houses and narrow, quiets streets, rocky bays and heavy-grained sand beaches bathed with crystal-clear waters. Strolling along the stepped streets of the Old Town will allow you to marvel at the rich architectural heritage of Catalan Art Nouveau buildings, such as the old escoles, or schools, where you can appreciate the great beauty of the handcrafted ironwork. A walk along the seafront following the coastline to La Punta or a route to Calella along the coastal path allow visitors to discover the breath-taking beauty of its exceptional surroundings.

SitgesSitges
Sitges
Sitges /
   
From the old fishermen's village called 'Blanca Subur' rises the town of Sitges, a byword for culture, a cradle of Catalan Art Nouveau and a city of film. Boasting unmatched beaches and sun 320 days a year, its traditions and artistic sensitivity come together in museums and manors, true architectural jewels. A place for discovering unforgettable corners, for strolling and relaxing alongside the sea and for savouring rich cuisine with a seafaring heritage.
TarragonaTarragona
Tarragona
Tarragona / Costa Daurada
   
Strolling through the most Roman of all Catalan cities, visitors might feel nostalgic for times when Tarraco was capital and home to half Hispania. But this sensation does not last long when you discover the rich medieval and modern heritage, the magnificent beaches and the wide range of recreational, cultural, festive and gastro activities in Tarragona city.

The main architectural attractions in the World Heritage Site city are Roman: the walls, the amphitheatre, the theatre, the hippodrome, the Pretorio tower, the pre-Christian necropolis and local and provincial forums, all in the historic town centre. What's more, on the outskirts, it is possible to see the Mèdol quarry, the aqueduct on the Devil's bridge and the Escipiones mausoleum.

On the other hand, don't miss the chance to visit the cathedral of Santa María and the Canals and Castellarnau houses.

The municipality's nineteen kilometres of coastline boast fabulous beaches such as la Llarga, la Rabassada or la Fonda, as well as natural spaces such as the mouth of the Gaià and Tamarit-Punta de la Mora, location of Tamarit castle and the Mora tower.

Tossa de MarTossa de Mar
Tossa de Mar
Tossa de Mar /
   
Tossa is located within the natural space of the massif of Cadiretes, valuable due to the coexistence of Mediterranean and Atlantic flora and ideal for taking walks or following mountain bike routes, passing by the megalithic remains.

The beaches that surround the town to the north and south are excellent, some due to the quality of the services on offer and others due to the almost virgin environment. The municipality's heritage includes Roman remains, Modernista buildings and airs of avant-garde artistic bohemia.

Hollywood diva Ava Gardner walked on the granular sand of Gran beach in 1950 to film Pandora and the Flying Dutchman. That might be reason enough for film fans to come and explore the municipality.

Vilanova i la GeltrúVilanova i la Geltrú
Vilanova i la Geltrú
Vilanova i la Geltrú / Costa Barcelona
   

Known as Havana xica (Little Havana) in the 19th century, Vilanova i la Geltrú is today one of the country's leading capitals of popular and traditional culture. Els Tres Tombs and the town's carnival, declared a Heritage Festival of National Interest, are just some of the events that have made the capital of El Garraf a point of reference. The splendid seafront promenade, where colonial style buildings live in harmony with fishermen's houses, its Rambla, the city's social and retail hub, its wide range of fish and seafood culinary offerings and the famous xató dish make Vilanova a place to visit and return to.

L'AmpollaL'Ampolla
L'Ampolla
Ampolla, l' / Terres de l'Ebre
   
L'Ampolla is known as the door of the Delta, because it is located at the back of the Sant Jordi gulf and at the start of the Ebro delta. In fact, the name comes from the shape the river had when is used to flow into this area.