Planning a trip to Spain? You may want to add Blanes to your list of places to visit. Blanes is a town in Girona, Catalonia, Spain. It is a modern seaside town with an old quarter. Surrounding the area is plenty of spectacular nature.
During the period when this area was ruled by the Romans, Blanes was called Blanda, known as the “Gateway to the Costa Brava.” The Costa Brava (Wild Coast) stretches from Blanes all the way up to the French border with Spain. This is a popular tourist town with many visitors from all over the world.
Blanes is a family-friendly seaside town, and is also the first resort town on the Costa Brava to be awarded the Family Tourism Destination Certificate. If you are looking for a bustling seaside town with character and not too much noise, Blanes will be a great option for you.
The nearest airport to Blanes is the Girona-Costa Brava Airport. It is about 35km away and there are various shuttle services and taxis that you can take. If you are coming from Barcelona a good option is the train. The journey by train takes about ninety minutes.
Where to Stay in Blanes
If you are looking for a hotel then the most likely place you will stay is in a part of Blanes called El Pins. El Pins got its name to many palm trees you will see there. If you like to go self catering then your best bet is to head into the old town. There is a much better choice of this type of accomadation there.
Jardí Botanic Marimurtra
You will find many interesting things to do and places to visit such as a botanical garden, beaches, and a popular festival with a fireworks show. The Jardí Botanic Marimurtra – (Marimurtra Botanical Gardens) is perfect for nature lovers, photography buffs, or just those looking for some beautiful scenery. The Gardens are considered to be one of the finest city parks and botanical centers in all of Europe. Founded more than 80 years ago, by a German man named Carl Faust. These botanical gardens are truly incredible and were actually declared an area of National Interest by the government of Spain. The beautiful panoramic views alone make these botanical gardens worth the trip. The views here are spectacular and stunning. Full of rocky cliffs and bluffs overlooking the sea.
The gardens are divided into three different zones. You have the Mediterranean, subtropical, and temperate zones. With over 3000 exotic plant species originating from five different continents, there is sure to be something for everyone. The gardens are open all year round. They can be reached easily by car or even by bus, which runs from the Blanes city center directly to the gardens about every 20 minutes or so. During the off-season, you won’t have to worry too much about crowds. In the high-season, the gardens get a little busier due to the beauty, shade, and coolness that the plants provide.
The Castle of San Juan
If you are more into the castles than flowers then you are in luck. The Castle of San Juan is located at the top of San Juan hill in Blanes. At about 180 meters tall, the castle offers spectacular views. On a clear day you can even see the outline of Mount Montjuic in Barcelona. Of course, beautiful panoramic views of Blanes and the entire region of La Selva can also be seen from atop the castle.
The castle of San Juan was constructed in the mid 13th century. A watchtower was added later in the 16th century in order to prevent pirate attacks from the Mediterranean. If you’re looking for incredible views of the Mediterranean with an interesting historical flare, the Castillo de San Juan will be perfect for you. Although it is possible to drive to the castle, most visitors prefer to climb up to the castle on foot for the fantastic views. Get ready to climb!
Anyone for Fireworks?
Are you a fan of fireworks and gorgeous explosions in the sky? Look no further than the Blanes Fireworks Competition or as the locals call it, Els Focs de Blanes. The festival takes place every year during the Festival of Santa Anna. The fireworks competition is internationally renowned and attended by hundreds of thousands of people from all over Europe.
Happening every year at the end of July for over 45 years, this is an internationally renowned fireworks competition and celebration. The event usually takes place the third or last full week of July. It starts on a Thursday evening and runs up until Sunday.
This competition is known as one of the absolute best in all of Europe. It is attended by more than 200,000 spectators each night. The show is an incredible performance full of color, light, and laughter.
The rules for the show call for the fireworks displays to be both in the air and on the water. The goal of the show is that it highlights and draws attention to the the natural beauty and setting of Sa Palomera. This means each show must include fireworks that shoot upwards and outwards, as well as fireworks and explosions that make use of the water.
The Best Beaches in Blanes
If you’re not much of a nature person or prefer to relax beach side, Blanes is perfect for you as well. Blanes’ beautiful, sandy beaches are a popular place for locals and tourists alike. It is a joy to relax in the water during the hot summer months.
The main beach is Blanes Beach, which is a beautiful place to relax and soak up the sun with family and friends. If you’re traveling with family, you’ll enjoy that this beach boasts a popular Kids Club. The golden sands of Blanes beach actually physically mark the beginning of Spain’s Costa Brava or Wild Coast.
If you’re looking for something more secluded, try the Sant Francesc Beach, or as its more commonly known, Cala Bona. This golden beach stretches more than 200 meters long. It is located about 2km from the town center. This beach is a little off the beaten path and can actually be reached from the Botanical Gardens. The beach is a cove surrounded by beautiful pine trees and will be sure to leave you in awe.
If you are looking for a third option you should check out S’Abanell. It is the largest of all the beaches in Blanes and still has beautiful golden sand. It is not as good as the other beaches in my opinion but not a bad choice.
Where to Eat in Blanes
Like most popular resorts there is a huge choice of places to eat. Amongst the favourites is a place called Restaurant Sa Malica it is located on the beach front opposite a big rock called Sa Palomera. The rock itself is the marking point for where Blanes actually starts. The restaurant is famous for serving up delicious food. In particular some amazing fish dishes. Next door to Sa Malica is the Can Ton another excellent restaurant, which happens to be owned by somebody in the same family.
If you are looking for other options of great places to eat you can head in to the old village. Here you will find a plethora of fantastic restaurants.
With Blanes being focused towards families and couples there is a nightlife that matches it. If you are a younger person looking to party all night then you will be disappointed, The nights here are late but they are not the party you will enjoy. There are a lot of Spanish tourists here in the summer so a lot of bars will play Spanish music with traditional Fiestas.
If you are OK with a late night drinking in a relaxed environment then you will have a fantastic time. Apart from the Spanish there are a lot of Dutch holiday makers. This has led to several Dutch bars popping up to keep the clientele happy.
When to Visit Blanes
Blanes is lucky to have a fantastic climate. The summers are long and get hot but not too hot that you are looking for shade all the time. The winters are cool but certainly not like you get in other European countries. July and August are the hottest months but naturally they are also the busiest. If you can come June and September you can still experience great weather with a lot less people. There is quite a lot of rain in these parts but they are usually just brief showers.
Not to Miss
- Fireworks! This has to be top of your list if you are anywhere near Blanes during the time they are on.
- If you like beer and in particular brewing beer then pop along to Popaire Brewery
- Take a stroll to the fish market that is down by the quayside. The area is still famous for fishing and you can see the days catch coming in.