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Europe > Iberia > Spain > Eastern Spain > Catalonia > Girona (province) > Costa Brava > Blanes

Blanes

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Sa Forcanera cove

Blanes on the Costa Brava and the province of Girona is an old fishing town that has become an important beach destination.

Understand[edit]

It's mainly known because of its long city beach divided by the Sa Palomera rock. Other places of interest include botanical gardens, coves, such as the Cala Bona, and the Tordera river delta. It is also known for the international fireworks contest during the Santa Anna festival.

Its tourist attractions and good communications with Barcelona have transformed this old fishing and farming town into a small tourist-centered city that keeps its traditions on things like its vegetable and fish markets or the fish auction.

Climate[edit]

Blanes
Climate chart (explanation)
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
 
55
 
 
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48
 
 
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21
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69
 
 
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Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation+Snow totals in mm
See Blanes's 7 day forecast
Imperial conversion
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
 
2.2
 
 
55
37
 
 
 
1.9
 
 
57
39
 
 
 
2.3
 
 
61
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2.2
 
 
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64
 
 
 
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61
 
 
 
3.7
 
 
70
52
 
 
 
2.7
 
 
61
45
 
 
 
2.3
 
 
57
39
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation+Snow totals in inches

The climate in Blanes and the rest of Costa Brava is typically Mediterranean, mild and temperate, characterized by hot, dry summers, and moderately cold winters. The annual average temperature ranges from 7 to 28 °C.

From May to October the hot weather makes it suitable for sunbathing. Occasional rains can occur on May and October. As water warms up more slow than air, the best months for swimming and diving are July, August and September. August can be too hot and crowded.

History[edit]

Iberian activity has been attested in the area. Romanization of Blanes and its surroundings began around the 3rd century BC. During the Roman rule it was named Blanda or Blandae. Roman remains of the Blandae site lie nearby. After the rule of the Romans the area shared the fate of much of the Peninsula, being conquered successively by the Goths, the Moors and the Christians shortly after. In the 13th century, after the Christians regained the power, important architectural developments took place in Blanes. Some examples are the Cabrera palace, the Santa Maria's Church and the city walls.

In the 17th century, during the Catalan Revolt (Guerra dels Segadors), Blanes was practically burned to ashes. The Cabrera Palace was completely destroyed.

Another event that affected Blanes was the Spanish War of Succession (1701–1714). Afterwards, the reconstruction of the town and the expansion of agriculture started.

Tourist information[edit]

  • 1 Biblioteca information Office, Passeig Catalunya,2 (at the biblioteque building), +34 972 33 03 48, e-mail: . Tourist office run by the Patronat de Turisme.
  • 2 Els Pins Tourist information Office, Plaça dels Cámpings, e-mail: . Summer: M-Su 10AM-2PM 4PM-8PM. Tourist office run by the Blanes authorities.
  • 3 Main Tourist information Office, Plaça Catalunya (in the roundabout near the Sa Palomera Rock), +34 972 330 348, e-mail: . M-T 10AM-3PM, F-Sa 10AM-2PM 4PM-6PM, Su Closed. Summer: M-Su 10AM-2PM 4PM-8PM. Main tourist office run by the Blanes authorities.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

The C32 toll highway brings you from Barcelona to Blanes from 1 hour depending on the traffic. The AP7 toll highway brings you from France, and Girona taking a minimum of 2 and 1 hours respectively.

AS free parking is difficult to find at the old town, consider once you drop-off your luggage at your accommodation to park outside the city or far from the beach and return by walking.

By bus[edit]

The local company Sagales runs from Girona and the Girona's airport to Blanes. The trip between Blanes and Aeroport de Girona at Vilobí d'onyar takes a little more than 1 hour. It also runs from Barcelona and the Barcelona / El Prat airport to Blanes several times a day for about €8 for the 2 hour ride.

By train[edit]

Blanes train station

You can go from everywhere in Spain (including most airports) to Blanes by train.

Trains stop at Blanes station 2 times per hour from and to Barcelona and 1 per hour to Maçanet Massanes where you can change train to/from Girona / France. Much of R1 is single track operation, and it can be quicker to use R2 to Maçanet Massanes and change there.

Which zone Blanes is in depends on your ticket! For standard rail journeys, it is in zone 6 and Barcelona-Blanes is about €6.30 one way. For 'integrated' multitrip tickets, it is in zone 5.

Station is 30 minutes away from the center by walking. The local bus company Transports Pujol can bring you to the city for less than €2.

  • 5 Blanes train station (Estació de Blanes) (in the industrial area). Opened in 1859 to connect Blanes to Mataró and Barcelona. Nowadays, it also connects to Girona.

By plane[edit]

Girona/Gerona/Costa Brava airport is about 30 minutes away by car, see Get in > By car/train/bus for information on your preferred option from the airport to Blanes.

Barcelona El Prat airport is about 1 hour away by car, see Get in > By car/train/bus for information on your preferred option from the airport to Blanes.

Get around[edit]

Map of Blanes

Blanes can be divided on this zones for orientation purposes:

  • The port area next to the Port de Blanes.
  • Coves area or cales on the north of the port.
  • The Old Town or City Center near the sea from the port to the Sa Palomera, the rock which divides the bay.
  • The Sa Palomera area near the Sa Palomera rock.
  • The S'Abanell area south of the Sa Palomera. Full of hotels and next to the discos zone
  • Industrial area near the river, away from the beach where the train station.

As most of the interesting places are near the sea, orientation is easy and the most important route is the formed by the avenues near the beach.

The street names of these sea front avenues (or Passeig) from north to south are: Passeig de la Mestrança and Passeig de Pau Casals on the port are good for walking and buying traditional products on summer weekends. Passeig Cortils i Vieta on the old town is good for walking around and cheap clothes shopping on Mondays. Passeig de la Marina in the Sa Palomera area. Passeig de S'Abanell in the S'Abanell area.

The old town have two perpendicular main streets: Passeig de Dintre parallel to Cortils i Vieta on the old town. Only pedestrians. Ample street. The old town main street. Perpendicular from the sea, next to Plaza España half the way from Sa Palomera to the Blanes Port. Only pedestrians on weekends.

On foot[edit]

The central part of the city is very easy to walk around with lots of pedestrian areas. Most streets are one-way and with pavements just a yard wide on either side with traffic going by at speed.

Most hotels are in a 1 km, 15min walking, radius from the old town's historical center. Camp sites are up to 2 km, 30min walking, from the center.

By bike / Scooter[edit]

Blanes is fairly bikeable except for the northern caves as being flat and having bike lanes on the main avenues. The only cave easily accessible by bike is Santa Ana.

It is possible to rent a bike or motorbike to move around.

  • 6 Mopts to Rent, Olivers, 12 (S'Abanell area), +34 972 336 333. Scooter rental

By car[edit]

Private car is a good option to move to the northern coves, Sant Joan Castle, the Botanical gardens, the Tordera Delta and the industrial area ( supermarkets and fast food ). The rest of the city, although can be driven by car, can be easily visited by foot.

Free parking is difficult to find at the old town, especially in summer. Payment parking lots are available close to city's beaches and coves on high season.

By bus[edit]

Local buses, operated by Transports Pujol, are a good option to visit places away from the city center like the botanical gardens and Cala Bona.

A tour bus takes tourists to the botanical gardens from the port near the Can Flores restaurant.

There is a touristic train-shaped bus, or Carrilet, that runs promenade long for the people who do not want to walk the 2 km long city's waterfront. It's possible to take it on the Plaça Catalunya circus near the Sa Palomera rock.

By boat[edit]

Dofijet boat

From the beach in Blanes, near the harbor, you can hop on a boat operated by Dofijet that takes you to the near coves.

See[edit]

Natural attractions[edit]

Sa Palomera rock from Blanes beach.
S'Aguia cove from the Pinya de Rosa botanical garden.

The main natural attraction in Blanes is the coastline. Visitor will find 2 very different coastlines as Blanes is located on the border between two different coasts (the Costa Brava and the Costa del Maresme ). North of the port, the Costa Brava's typical small pebbled caves surrounded by mountains. And long granulated-sand beaches on the south.

  • 1 Blanes Beach (Platja de Blanes), Pau Casals Ave (In the center of the town between the port and the Sa Palomera rock.). The main beach of Blanes is the nearest to the city center, this is a 2000 feet long granule sand beach. Facilities include toilets,showers, SOS, kids area, volley-ball fields, ferry station and wheelchair access. Restaurants, bars, shops... are in the city next to the beach. Over the years the beach has been shortened by consecutive port expansions. In 2011 in the last port expansion the beach was lengthened in a 90 degree turn along the dock to the harbor's entrance. Free.
  • 2 S'Abanell Beach (Platja de S'Abanell), S'Abanell Ave (South of Sa Palomera rock.). With a length of 1.5 miles this is Blanes longest beach. It's sand is grain sized except from some fine sand areas because of land fillings. Facilities include toilets, showers, SOS, sun-loungers, parking, wheelchair access and ferry station. Restaurants, bars, shops... are in the city next to the beach. Free.
  • 3 Sa Forcanera cove (Cala Sa Forcanera) (Not accessible by land.). A gorgeous forgotten cave with no facilities 1km away from the city center. Can be seen from the Marimurtra botanical garden. Consists of leucogranitic cliffs and a small beach with big pebbles. Ancient remains of a dock, some facilities and the stairs of the inaccessible path to Blanes are next to the beach. Get there by kayaking or by a long swim and rock walking from Santa Anna. Free.
  • 4 S'Aguia cove (Cala S'Aguia) (By a 20 min. trail at the left of the pinya de Rosa botanical garden entrance.). Small cave with no facilities in the border between Blanes and Lloret del Mar. From the south of the beach, sanded by 1 meter diameter rocks you can see the S'Aguia rock, the last rock you will see north of the beach. On the beginning of the trail is a green gate. Pass through the side of the gate only by foot. People visiting the beach usually park in the garden's parking lot. According to a sign, payment may be required, but it usually is not. Free.
  • 5 Santa Anna Rock (Punta Santa Anna) (Behind the Blanes port. Is 15 minutes by walking from the center.). A cove with no facilities and a small beach between the granitic cliffs of El Convent and the dock of the port. The beach's consists on pebbles near the water and grain sand next to the walls. Some basaltic columns with olivine and augite bombs are present. Perfect for rock-hunting, snorkeling and scuba diving. Bars and restaurants are in the port area near the cove. Free.
  • 6 Sant Francesc cove (Cala Bona/Cala Sant Francesc). A scenic and ideal for families cove surrounded by pines. Accessible by a 1 hour walk from the city and by bus. The parking near the beach is subject to payment at high season. Facilities include toilets, showers, SOS, parking and ferry station. There is only a restaurant near the beach. Take the stairs from the beach to the viewpoint and Sant Francesc chapel or rent a paddle boat to explore around the cliffs. Free.
  • 7 Sa Palomera. This is a big rock which divides the city bay by the half. This considered is the beginning of the Costa Brava. There are stairs from the beach to the viewpoint at the top of the rock. Free.
  • 8 Tordera Delta (Situated at the end of the beach opposite to the port. Walk to the end of the promenade and continue to the river through the beach or use the road 100 meters away from the beach.). Sea fauna and bird watching where the Tordera river meets the sea. There is a grained sand beach which is the only where nudism is accepted in Blanes. Free.

Botanical gardens[edit]

Blanes have two world recognized botanical gardens both with scenic views of the Costa Brava's coves.

  • 9 Marimurtra (In the mountain between Castell de Sant Joan and Punta de Santa Anna.). 16 hectares, considered the best Mediterranean botanical garden in Europe. €6, discounts for students.
  • 10 Pinya de Rosa (On the way from Cala Sant Francesc and LLoret de Mar's Cala Santa Anna.). 500 hectares garden containing the considered best collections of aloe, agave and cactus in the world. €4, €3 for students.

Historical buildings[edit]

Blanes also has good examples of architecture from the Gothic, Modernist and Noucentisme periods.

Casa Saladrigas (front) and Esperanza's Chapel (background).
Cabrera's Palace and Santa Maria's Church
  • 11 Cabrera's Palace (Palau vescomtal de Blanes), Església Sq (The door at the right of the Santa Maria's Church main door). 19th-century gothic architecture palace placed on the top of the old village. It was partially destroyed under the Catalan Revolt and the following wars against France.
  • 12 Saladrigas House (Casa Saladrigas), 48, Esperança St (Near the port next to Telepizza at the main avenue.). Catalan Noucentsime house built between 1918 and 1920 by the architect Isidre Puig i Boada. Notice the wrought iron works in the balcony.
  • 13 Can Tordera, Passeig de Dintre street, 26 (near the city hall and the Plaza España). Catalan Modernist house
  • 14 Esperanza's Chapel (Behind the Casa Saladrigas at the port area.). This small chapel was built outside the city walls. It's first referenced in 1650. Take a look at the scale model ships inside the chapel.
  • 15 Gothic Fountain (Font gòtica), Ample Street (150 m away from the Passeig Cortils i Vieta). This 15th-century Gothic water fountain was 1438 to supply drinking water to Blanes city in response to pandemics. Since the 2006 conservation works there is no water supply. Free.
  • 16 Hospital Asil de Sant Jaume, Jaume Arcelos Street, 1. Catalan Modernist hospital
  • 17 Santa Maria's Church, Església Sq (on a hill in the old town at the center of the city). Gothic church that was built from 1350 to 1410. It was burnt down ( except for the wall ) in 1936, loosing one of the best preserved gothic church of the area and two Antoni Gaudi thrones. It was reconstructed on 1944.
  • 18 Sant Joan Castle (at the top of the mountain with the same name, just beside the port). This 18th-century castle offers the best views of the city. It was built to defend the city against pirates and the used to defend Barcelona from attacks from the north. Accessible by car or by foot by a long stairs. Take a photo of the city and beach through the cannonball-made hole on the wall. Free.

Do[edit]

Diving the Costa Brava[edit]

It is possible to dive at the coves of Santa Anna and Cala Sant Francesc or from a boat. Find sea anemones (Actinia equina), sea horses (Hippocampus guttulatus), sponges (Petrosia ficiformis, Myxilla incrustans), spirographs (Spirographis spaññanzanii), octopus (Octopus vulgaris), starfish (Ophidiaster ophidianus), sea cucumbers (Holothuria forskali) and many sea urchins (Spaerechinus granularis, Paracentrotus lividus).

  • 1 Blanes Sub (on the port 2 minutes walking from Santa Anna Bay), +34 646 96 20 56, e-mail: . They dive from the bays of Santa Anna and Cala Sant Francesc (the second via minibus) or from both slow and speed boat.

Festivals[edit]

Fireworks at Blanes.
  • The Festa Major or feast of Santa Anna and Sant Joaquim (on the 26th) are usually celebrated in the 3rd or 4th week of July, between the 21st and 27th annually. During the eight days, the major feasts are celebrated as well as the Fireworks Contest which attracts more than 500,000 visitors. This is an international competition in which various countries from around the world participate. Over 500,000 kg of fireworks are used at each event. Most people watch the fireworks from the beach.
  • The Festa Major Petita or the feast of the co-patrons (Sant Bonòs and Maximià). A family-oriented trek is celebrated where many people walk accompanied by their children, pets etc. It is approximately 8 km long. The reward is a memento and a slice of watermelon.

Navigate the Costa Brava[edit]

  • 2 Dofijet Ferry City Center (near the port at the end of the Passeig Cortils i Vieta). Navigate with the Dofijet ferry to the next caves and fishing towns.
  • 3 Dofijet Ferry S'Abanell (at S'Abanell beach). Navigate with the Dofijet ferry to the next caves and fishing towns.
  • 4 Sensation Catamaran, Passeig Mestrança, 116 (on the port), e-mail: . Sail the Costa Brava in a catamaran.
  • Renting a pedalo or paddle boat in the different available spots on the beach. One of them near the Sa Palomera rock.

Sunbathing[edit]

Sunbath at the 3 km long city beach or at coves such as the Cala Sant Francesc and Santa Anna beaches which are surrounded by mountains.

Topless is permitted in all Blanes' beaches, nudism is allowed only in Tordera Delta beach.

Tordera Delta fauna watching[edit]

There is good bird watching at the Tordera Delta

At the Tordera river's delta there have been located 40 exotic and 284 native bird spices like: Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius), Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus), Ruff (Philomachus pugnax), Redshank (Tringa totanus), Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) and Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis). There are bird observation decks at the south riverside.

The beach on this delta is the best known spot in Costa Brava to see blue sharks (Prionace glauca), ocean sunfishes (Mola mola) and dolphins (Delphinus delphis).

Buy[edit]

Supermarkets[edit]

There are many supermarkets outside the town where you can find the best prices.

  • 1 Aldi (Industrial area near the McDonald's.).
  • 2 LIDL (Industrial area near the train station).
  • 3 Mercadona (One on the industrial area near the train station and one in the way to Lloret the Mar.).

There are also other, most expensive, supermarkets nearest to the center and hotels.

  • 4 Caprabo (At the end of Passeig de Dins near Sa Palomera.).
  • 5 Condis, Antoni Gaudi Street (Behind the sports pavilion on the S'Abanell area.).

Local Markets[edit]

Les Pageses Fruits and vegetables market

Local markets are more expensive that the cheap supermarkets from the industrial area but cheaper than those near the center and the hotels.

  • 6 Fira d'artesania, Passeig Cortils i Vieta. High season weekends all day long. Artisan products street market
  • 7 Pageses, Passeig de Dins. Mon-Sat 8:00-13:00. Traditional Fruits and vegetables
  • 8 Mercadillo, Passeig Cortils i Vieta. Mon 8:00-13:00. Clothing street market Cheap. A little bargaining is allowed..
  • 9 Souvenirs Market, Passeig de s'Abanell (Near the Sa Palomera rock). High season weekends all day long. Artisan souvenir street market

Clothing stores[edit]

In Blanes old town there are plenty of clothing stores.

  • Springfield, Passeig de Dins (At the historical building La Casa del Poble).
  • Stradivarius, Passeig de Dins.

Eat[edit]

Look for "Cuina casolana" on the sea avenues to eat Catalan cuisine, which follows the general outlines of the "Mediterranean diet". There is a McDonald's and a Burger King in the industrial area.

A crema catalana

Budget[edit]

  • 1 Ardales (S'Abanell area, 50 metres from the beach.). This is a small fast-food restaurant where sausages and hamburgers are served. It opens till late. The 4 tables available are usually occupied. You can eat on a stool on the counter or better take the food to the promenade and enjoy the sea view while you take your fatty meal. You can find Blanes locals here, as opposed to the other sausage and hamburger restaurants in the S'Abanell area.
  • 2 Planells (Near the Carrer Ample, at the Passeig Cortils i Vieta.). This is the most locally renowned place to have a sausage or burger on the old town area.
  • 3 Telepizza (Near the port, on the end of Passeig Cortils i Vieta.), +34 972 33 01 33. A franchise of the Spanish restaurant chain Telepizza. Pizza cooking takes about 40 minutes. Home delivery is available. You can order by phone or via Internet. About €14 for a medium size pizza (about 30cm diameter).
  • 4 Viena (Away from the city in the industrial area). This Spanish restaurant chain serves French bread sandwiches.

Mid-range[edit]

  • 5 Can Bruno, Camí vell de Vilar, 100 (As it's away from the center, it's mostly for visitors with cars), +34 972 33 05 86. Catalan cuisine.
  • 6 Celler Sant Antoni, Pg. Pau Casals, 61 (At the seafront promenade in the port area), +34 972 35 14 38. Catalan cuisine.
  • 7 La Gondola, Passeig Mestranca, 80-81 (port area). Mediterranean cuisine. Prix fixe menu from Monday to Friday. €10 to €30.
  • 8 Laia, Passeig de la Marina, 16 (Near La Palomera rock), +34 972 33 32 24. Catalan cuisine.
  • 9 Damajuana, Carrer Camadasa (At the Sardana statue cross the street, turn right, walk 50 meters), +34 972 33 01 41. 1pm-4pm, 8pm-12pm. This Italian restaurant serves a variety of grilled meats, a wide selection of pastas that are made daily from scratch, and artisan desserts. €10-20.
  • 10 Can Ton, Carrer Sant Andreu de la Palomera, 4 (Across from Sa Palomera (the rock)), +34 972 33 49 38. 1pm-4pm, 8pm-11pm. Loved by locals and tourists alike, recommended by local fisherman. Fresh seafood. Note that this restaurant is also known as Sa Malica which, though next door, is run by the same family, using the same kitchen. €20-55.

Splurge[edit]

  • 11 Can Flores (At the port behind Blanes Sub and Can Flores). Seafood restaurant. €25 to €50.
  • 12 El Ventall, Ctra. Accés C. Brava (Away from the city, accessible by private car or taxi), +34 972 33 29 81. Catalan cuisine.
  • 13 La Gaviota (At the port near L'Hibernacle bar.). Seafood restaurant.

Drink[edit]

Historically Blanes was a wine producer. Nowadays, the only one cava (sparkling wine) producer remaining in Blanes is Mont-Ferrant, available in some restaurants and bakeries.

Blanes has some small-scale artisan breweries such as Marina and Popaire. Birrasana, an artisan beer festival, is organized yearly in April. Local beer can be found at Birrasana festival and in the "Escenari Birrasana" during the Festa Major festival.

Sangría is also served in most restaurants made from cava or wine.

Cocktails[edit]

The Port with L'Hibernacle in the background
  • 1 Can Tirol, Calle San Andreu de la Palomera 8 (Right across from the rock, Sa Palomera). Often 5pm-2am. Located right across from the rock, Sa Palomera. No nearby traffic: just panoramic views of the beaches, the rock and the sea. Range of prices.
  • Es Blanc (in Sa Palomera area).
  • L'Hibernacle (in the port area near the small beach inside the port).

Nightclubs[edit]

  • Discoteca Arena, Eivissa Street, 2 (S'Abanell area). Mainly for foreigners. Minimum age 16.
  • Discoteca Cyan, Passeig de S'abanell. Techno music, mainly for Spanish people. Minimum age 18.
  • Discoteca Esencia, Mediterrani Av., 3 (Passeig de S'abanell area). Mainly for Spanish people. Minimum age 18.

Sleep[edit]

At present, Blanes (Costa Brava) has 24 hotels and 9 guesthouses, with 3,231 and 500 places respectively. Many of them in the area around the Passeig de S'Abanell starting from €30 per night.

There are camp sites (caravans also) at the Passeig de S'abanell southern end near the Tordera river.

There are approximately 40,000 apartments and bungalows available in the area.

Budget[edit]

Mid-range[edit]

  • 9 Hotel Costa Brava, Anselm Clavé 48. From €40 person/night.
  • 10 Hotel Horitzó, Passeig de S'abanell,11. From €81 person/night.
  • 11 Hotel Mar Ski, Passeig de S'abanell,4. From €43 person/night.
  • 12 Hotel Pimar & Spa, Passeig de S'abanell,8. From €58 person/night.
  • 13 Hotel Stella Maris, Avinguda Vila de Madrid, 18 (100 metres from S'Abanell), +34 972 33 00 92. Family hotel. 3 Star.

Splurge[edit]

Connect[edit]

Wifi[edit]

Several free hot-spots can be found, and some bars, restaurants and hotels offer free internet as well.

Internet is available at a number of internet shops for about €1 an hour. Normally most charge 25 cents to print a page, notably a Ryanair ticket home though one such place charges €3. These places usually have phones also where you can phone home or locally, fairly cheaply.

Post office[edit]

A Correos (Spanish post company) office on Plaça de la Solidaritat at the city center, 5 min. walking from the beach.

Go next[edit]

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