Sometimes known as the “gateway to the Costa Brava”, Blanes is the most southerly town on the Costa Brava.
As the first resort on the Costa Brava you get to from Barcelona Blanes has long been popular with Catalans from the city who have second homes there. The town has a wide promenade with restaurants and bars but some of the buildings are a little too tall, with six or seven stories. Not all the seafront is spoilt though and it is nothing like Lloret. Get away from the seafront and you’ll still find the heart of the fishing village Blanes once was. A bit of old world charm with all the convenience of modern amenities close by.
As well as the beach, Blanes is also famous for its botanical gardens which attract thousands of visitors every year and the harbour has been refurbished after massive storm damage sustained in 2008 after years of neglect. Every year Blanes hosts a firework competition (Els Focs de Blanes), which coincides with its festa major. The competition lasts four around four days, ending on 26th July to celebrate Santa Anna.
With a long sandy beach it is little wonder tourists Blanes is a popular destination for both domestic and foreign tourists. There are several kilometres of beach at Blanes that are maintained by the town council. The sand is fairly coarse and cleaned every day during the high season. The main beaches have all the facilities you’d expect. There are also a number of more secluded cloves if you’re feeling more adventurous. Read more about the beaches at Blanes here.
Things to do
Blanes has a fair selection of things to see and do while you’re visiting. As well as the long sandy beaches and smaller coves there’s a mediaevil castle, a gothic church and the ruins of a palace. There are also some examples of houses built for the indianos who, after returning from the American colonies, wanted to flaunt their newfound wealth. There are also a number of other activities such as boat tours that run from Blanes. Read about it all here.
Blanes is famed for its seafood and prawns in particular. It is also well known for the Suquet de Peix de Sa Palomera that takes place every June, just when the season is getting into full swing. For €25 to €50 per head you can try the typical of Costa Brava seafood stew called suquet de peix in a number of participating restaurants in Blanes. Don’t worry of that’s not your thing though as you’ll also find more standard tourist restaurants in Blanes too. Click here for more.
Blanes is a town steeped in history with an economy was traditionally based on fishing and agriculture. Dating back to before the Romans settled in Catalonia, you’ll find buildings dating back to the middle ages. It also has more modern buildings in the Noucentisme and Catalan modernist styles. Read more about the history of Blanes here.
How to get to Blanes
Reached from Lloret by road, Blanes is also near the N-II and the C-32, which runs all the way down to Barcelona. The town is popular with locals due to its proximity to the Catalan capital, which can also be reached in less than 90 minutes by train.
But while it can take a little over an hour to drive to Blanes from Barcelona airport, that time can increase dramatically in the summer. Friday afternoon’s and evenings are particularly bad, as is the road into Barcelona on Sundays. Girona-Costa Brava airport is 35 minutes away by car, but again, your journey time can vary dramatically if you get the timings wrong.