Blanes Travel Guide
Blanes © Spanish Tourist Board
The most southerly holiday resort on the Costa Brava, Blanes not only attracts international tourists but is also frequented by large numbers of Spanish holidaymakers. Like most coastal towns Blanes has grown from a picturesque fishing village to tourist boomtown. The resort has a two-mile (3km) long stretch of coastline offering sandy bays and rocky coves, the main beachfront is lined with high-rise hotels and apartment blocks.
Behind the seafront the town still retains some reminders of its past, like the medieval castle of St Joan, several churches and other ancient buildings, which attract hundreds of holidaymakers each year. Pride of the town are two renowned botanical gardens, which boast thousands of plant species. Along with all the trappings of modern tourism, Blanes also prides itself in giving visitors a taste of the real Spain, offering traditional street markets, several fiestas and folk dancing fairs.
There are over 700 shops in Blanes, from boutiques and supermarkets to small, traditional retailers. The Monday morning market at Passeig de Mar is the best place to buy souvenirs and various cheap clothing. Every afternoon, local fishermen sell off the day's catch here. The daily Municipal Market in Mas Enlaire is also worth a look for groceries and fresh goods.
There are over 150 restaurants in Blanes, many located along the promenade. Locals tend to frequent the smaller eateries behind the promenade. Try the tapas at Café Terrassan near the corner of Passeig de Dintre - widely considered the best in town. In general, fresh seafood is the best bet to order, as are local Catalan dishes.
Although Blanes is not known for its nightlife, there are several British-themed pubs and some decent bars that stay open till late, but for quality nightlife visitors should head up the coast to Lloret. That being said, at the end of July each year Blanes hosts the Costa Brava International Fireworks Contest, the seaside town comes alive with fiestas lasting late into the night.
Visit the renowned Marimirtra Botanical Gardens. Take the kids to the Waterworld (Europe's biggest waterpark) near Lloret del Mar, or to Marineland, a short drive south of Blanes. Barcelona, 60miles (100km) south, is close enough for a day trip.
On peak summer days the beach and promenade gets very full.