Sitges - the hotspot on Catalunya's Coast
Sitges is a world known town merely 35 minutes away by train from the vibrant city Barcelona. This seaside town is a utopia for those seeking fun in the sun, great tapas and a serene Mediterranean feel. Known for holiday goers from all parts of Europe, mainly from France, the UK and Germany, this town is action packed with a long list of things to enjoy.
Since the late 19th century when renowned Spanish painter Santiago Rusiñol spent his summers in Sitges, he brought a trend of arts and crafts with him that can still be notable to this day. Since the 60´s this coastal town has been known as the 'miniature Ibiza' (in addition to being the Saint-Tropez of Spain), as the first Pacha club was inaugurated there. The nightlife is very buzzing, which can be reflected on the locals as their lively energy and active lifestyle is quite intense.
The illustrated tiled street signs really caught our attention. Some of the most beautiful streets are situated around the 17th-century seaside church of Sant Bartomeu i Santa Tecla. La Davallada street is graced with very colourful plants and flowers cherishing the atmosphere and traditional local bearings. On the morning of arrival, we stopped at the bar-cafeteria Granja de Sitges for a full-bodied breakfast. Located on the C/Major nº35, it is easily reachable from the pedestrianised walkway near the church of Sant Bartomeu i Santa Tecla. There is a little backdoor exit that leads to a small patio, perfect for catching the first rays of sunlight.
When we took an early afternoon stroll through the seaside strip we could see the fascinating Modernist houses that were built by rich Spaniards returning from the colonies in Mexico, Cuba, Philippines etc. with fortunes to spend on the houses at that time. The overseas influence greatly stands out and caught our attention with beautiful contrasts of colours on building rooftops and remarkable stone columns. The "Americanos" or "Indianos" houses (as they were called back then) still stand proudly on the beach promenade making a statement alongside more modern houses and apartment blocks.
In Sitges we like to stay at the Casa Esmeralda in Destino Sitges, a holiday apartment rental in a quiet area of the town. This bohemian apartment with both Moroccan and Andalusian influences is the only property with a swimming pool. Indoor living space is neatly juxtaposed with that of the outdoor, meaning that you'll likely keep your sliding door open and unwind in comfort outside during your stay. It's for that reason, that this apartment has an outdoor shower - making it the perfect summer retreat. The 7 holiday apartments are a result of sheer hard work from the French owners Laetita Hochard and Laurent Vernet Vitali, who both relocated from Marseille to embark on a new journey in Spain.
For lunch at a hotel, we recommend you eat at the charming Casa Vilella Hotel. The kitchen staff combines its high professional level with the deepest tradition and the creativity of the Mediterranean cuisine. This is a place to enjoy and try dishes elaborated with seasonal products of the highest quality, such as the likes of monkfish with sizzled garlic and clams, or the delicious roasted octopus with chickpeas cream, caramelised onion, crunchy crumbs of “Vera” smoked pepper, green curry & coconut sauce. The menu changes every season and offers you the possibility to enjoy a special soirée with the best personalised attention.
Within close proximity to the hotel is Restaurante La Zorra, perhaps one of our favourite paella dishes on the coast of Catalunya. Another good restaurant and highly recommended by locals is 33 Sitges. For a set menu, you get a three-course meal and can enjoy live music in a friendly ambience. Afterwards, we recommend getting your shot of caffeine at Vita Brevis and topping it with a visit to Sitges' first Italian ice cream shop of Italian Master's artisans Giovanni in Spain on street Calle Parellades nº49. If you are craving an American diner, Big Al's American Kitchen has those big delicious onion rings, crispy southern fried chickens, pulled pork quesadilla and dozens of other max sized dishes. They are a reference in Sitges for having some of the best craft beers on tap.
A tourist resort since the 1800s, Sitges offers much more than just a beach resort. We had a memorable time in this little coastal town surrounded by the hills of the Garraf National Park. View our pictures to get an insight as what to do and see in Sitges.