When spending a few days in a city sometimes a little day trip isn’t a bad thing. It’s good to go and get a little change of scenery whilst on your holiday to mix things up a little. Sitges is a great day trip and many people go to get out of Barcelona for a day. In doing this they pass straight through Castelldefels which in itself a beautiful stop off point.
It is located about 20 km southwest of Barcelona just to the north of the massis del Garraf and is the last town on the coast before the comarca of. The town is most famous for its long beach which is a huge stretch of over 5km of beautiful white sand. Many of the locals who are bored of the Barcelona beaches head there for their days off to get out of the city.
It’s always good to have a little explore when in a new area so if you start in the town then head up to the castle to get a great view point. The castle itself is free but it does accept donations for the restoration which is you will are very much need.
The Castle itself is situated on the highest point around, in a dominating position over the coastal stretch of land between the Garraf Massif and Barcelona. It dates back to the 16th century, although the church inside existed as early as the 10th century and was built on Iberian and Roman remains. It was used for centuries to control the territory and as a defensive stronghold against Arabian invasions. Between the 16th and 17th centuries, it defended against the Barbary pirates.
In 1897, Manuel Girona bought the castle and renovated it. It was finally acquired in 1988 by the Castelldefels Town Hall, at which point it began its process of recovery which continues today. If you are heading up there around sunset it is a beautiful time seeing the town go from daylight to dusk to nighttime.
Another really interesting day trip is the Gavà mines. Regarded as one of our country’s most relevant and unique heritage sites, mining began 6,000 years ago and carried on for roughly one thousand years. Aside from their remote age, it is important to mention that these coetaneous mines are immensely complex structures and the only ones used to extract variscite, a decorative mineral held in great esteem.
The archaeological park, created to help preserve and enhance awareness of this exceptional mining site, provides a unique experience in which the mining structures coexist with a modern museum display. Here, visitors can capture the site’s immensity and come to comprehend the life system and beliefs of our ancestors via advanced audiovisual and multimedia technology. A sizeable portion of the original artefacts are on display in the Gavà Museum. It is a very unique experience and well worth the 7.50 entrance price.
If you are more of an outdoor sporty type then there is also plenty on offer here. The Canal de Olimpic was built for the Olympic Games and passes through Castelldefels. A wide range of water sports are available such as canoeing, kayaking, jet skiing and boat tours. If you are into cycling you can hire your own bike or take one of the bike tours that will take you out into the countryside surrounding the town so you can see the beauty of the landscape encompassing it.
As with many coastal towns there are also a fantastic selection of restaurants here.
Calle 5, 08860, Castelldefels, Barcelona, Spain
This a fantastic restaurant serving up beautifully done Mediterranean seafood.
Enjoy the likes of Catalan tomato bread, lightly toasted, and excellent jamon Iberico to start. You can follow this with by a truly superb sea bass baked in salt, filleted at the table. Wonderful taste and very succulent. To finish up there is a lovely lemon sorbet and complimentary cantucci and vin santo. The staff are very kind and attentive and are very knowledgeable about the menu and local cuisine.
Passeig Maritim 44, 08860, Castelldefels, Barcelona, Spain
As much as we try and sample as much local cuisine as we can when we are away from home sometimes it is nice to get a good pizza. Everything about the experience of dining here was very pleasant, from the greeting at the door to the food, the service and the goodbyes as we left. The interior is interesting with the tree inside the restaurant. The food itself is Italian so if pizza isn’t your thing you can grab a perfectly cooked pasta dish. There is a great menu mid day at 14 euros with starters, main course, dessert, coffee and a drink.
Paseo Maritimo 280, 08860, Castelldefels, Barcelona, Spain
This is another fantastic restaurant offering some of the best food in the town. The staff were friendly and helpful and are known to serve some outstanding seafood and a very well cooked steak. There is a nice mix of regulars, tourists and locals who are all served with similar cheeriness. There is nothing worse than waiting staff making you feel like you are second to the local people and you will not find that here! Do try the steak tartare as it is a particular favourite of many; I can say for sure the squid wrapped bacon, fried fish, steak and seafood paella are excellent!
So while you are in Barcelona do take your time to explore a different town. Castelldefels does have so much to offer whether you want to head out and explore the countryside by bike, have a look around the old town and castle, check out a 6000 year old mine or if you want to lie on the huge street up beach and soak up the sun before heading back to a cooler climate escape the hustle and bustle of Barcelona because in 15 minutes by train you will find yourself in beautiful Castelldefels