Photo of Blanes

Visit Blanes

Blanes is a seaside town in Catalonia famous for its gardens. It has a long sandy beach and a thirteenth century castle.

Explore Blanes

Spain This Way review: Blanes is not one of the most charming towns on the Costa Brava but it has a nice beach and lots of shops and restaurants. It also has the beautiful Marimurtra Gardens.

Blanes is a large seaside town with a long sandy beach. The crescent shaped Blanes beach stretches from the marina at one end to the rocky islet of Sa Palomera at the other. This beach is one of the longest on the Costa Brava.

Blanes

Sa Palomera is a small rocky island still attached to Blanes by a narrow stretch of rocky beach. A monument in the shape of a half arch has been built on the islet and indicates the start of the Costa Brava. It is called 'the gateway to the Costa Brava'.

Walk on to the islet for views back over the town and the Blanes beach to one side and the S'Abanell beach on the other.

Both the Blanes beach and the S'Abanell beach have showers, toilets and areas patrolled by life guards.

The sea front is a fairly uninspiring length of appartments, shops, bars and restaurants but there is everything you need and Blanes has one of the few train stations along this part of the coast and you can travel from here to Barcelona.

At the top of the town of Blanes is the 13th century Castle of San Juan and a 16th century watchtower. From here you get some excellent views over the town and the bay.

Blanes centre has lots of cafes, restaurants and shops. There are a number of classical mansions and a Gothic fountain as well as the Gothic Santa Maria church. Unfortunately a fire in the 1930s damaged the Gaudi pulpit.

The harbour and fishing port at the northern edge of the beach is pleasant for a stroll. If you are there at about 4 in the afternoon you can watch the daily fish auction.

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During the last week of July Blanes has an annual firework competition and you can watch the best free fireworks display in the whole of Spain. A particularly nice way to see the fireworks is to go out on one of the boat trips and watch the fireworks from the sea.

Marimurtra Gardens

Blanes is best known, however for its gardens. Above the harbour with great views over the sea there is the Mar i Murtra botanical gardens full of plants from around the world. The gardens were designed by Karl Faust in 1928.

The gardens are open all year round receive more than 100,000 visitors a year. It is one of the oldest botanical gardens in Europe and so as well as having over 4000 different species it has lots of very mature species too giving the garden a very special feel.

The gardens are split into three main areas: Mediterranean, Tropical and Temperate. Within these areas are lots of different landscapes each one beautifully set out to mimic the natural environment of the plants.

Key areas of the garden are the Pergola area, the very old Araucarias garden, the Linnaeus temple with its magnificent view over the sea, and the five Mediterraneans.

Also in Blanes is the Pinya de Rosa Tropical Gardens with a magnificent collection of cacti.

Blanes

Places to visit near to Blanes

Garden lovers will also enjoy a visit to the Cap Roig Gardens at nearby Calella de Palafrugell. This botanical garden is one of the most varied in Catalonia. In July and August the gardens host the Costa Brava Jazz Festival.

Marineland is a large marine zoo and waterpark at the nearby town of Palafolls. Each day there are dolphin shows, sealion shows and exotic bird shows.

The waterpark has lots of different water-slides including the 'Tornado' a 60m long slide that has you spinning down as if you were caught in a tornado. There are free buses from Blanes to Marineland in the summer.

Lloret de Mar is a popular seaside town with lots of nearby attractions as well as a castle and great beach. At Lloret de Mar there is also another waterpark called Water World.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Girona guide and the Catalonia guide.

See also: 

Photos of Blanes

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Map of Blanes and places to visit

 
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Blanes places to visit

Lloret de Mar

Lloret de Mar

Lloret de Mar is one of Spain's most popular tourist resorts. It is lively but has retained its charm.

Lloret de Mar guide
Water World

Water World

Water World at Lloret de Mar is one of Catalonia's biggest water parks. It is very popular with families.

Water World guide
Tossa-de-Mar

Tossa-de-Mar

Tossa de Mar is a very attractive mid-sized resort on the Costa Brava which has retained its character.

Tossa-de-Mar guide
Sant Feliu de Guixols

Sant Feliu de Guixols

Sant Feliu de Guixols is a relaxed resort with a Benedictine monastery. The town has an interesting mix of colonial and Moorish architecture.

Sant Feliu de Guixols guide
Platja d'Aro

Platja d'Aro

Platja d'Aro is a popular beach resort with a large sandy beach and lots of facilities.

Platja d'Aro guide
Palamos

Palamos

Palamos is an attractive port town on the Costa Brava.Its pleasant old town winds uphill from the beach.

Palamos guide

...or see all our recommended places to visit in Catalonia

 
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