Spain Guide

 

Blanes Tourist Attractions Things to Do

Besides the wealth of activities which you'll find down at the beachfront in the summer months, there's plenty to see and do in and around Blanes all year round. The resort has a good range of shops, traditional markets and fairs, a wide variety of sports and bars and restaurants to suit all tastes.

Blanes a Garden Paradise

If you're a nature lover, a visit to the resort's botanical gardens is a must. The Mar i Mirtra Gardens were founded in 1924 and are now home to 4,000 plant species including important collections of cacti from the arid regions of Central and South America. There's a freshwater pond with a variety of aquatic plants and special sections devoted to poisonous, aromatic and medicinal plants.

Colourful sub tropical flowers, trees and shrubs flourish alongside the collection of regional flora and ferns from the Catalonian mountains. The gardens are a magnet for tourists but are also an important centre for botanical research and investigation.

The resort's Pinya Rosa Gardens have also built up an impressive collection of plants since their creation in 1945. More than 7,000 species have been gathered from botanic gardens, private collections and nurseries around the world and some of the collections especially the aloes, agaves and yucca palms are regarded as being among the most important in Europe.

Best Markets in Costa Brava

Blanes is the most important commercial centre along this stretch of coastline with more than 650 shops, from modern boutiques and supermarkets to small back street stores selling traditional crafts and locally produced food and wines.

The weekly market on Monday mornings is held down at the Passeig de Mar seafront promenade which is transformed into a bustling outdoor shopping mall with stalls selling everything from clothes and leather goods to cheap watches and souvenirs; a good place to pick up a bargain as long as you don't expect all the designer labels to be genuine!

Every morning from Monday to Saturday, local farmers sell their produce in the fruit and vegetable market in The Passeig de Dintre. And every afternoon from Monday to Friday you'll find the Blanes fishermen auctioning off the day's catch at the local fish market.

The local Municipal Market in Mas Enlaire street has more than 100 stalls with groceries and household good. It's open from 8am 2pm from Monday to Saturday and from 5 pm 8.30 pm on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Other Day Trip Attractions

If you're interested in the area's history and culture there are several historic buildings and monuments to visit including the ancient palace of the Viscounts of Cabrera (Vescomtes de Cabrera), the medieval castle of Sant Joan, the ornate 15th century gothic fountain (an elaborate hexagonal structure with six gargoyles and water spouts) and the Santa Barbara Chapel and watch tower, built on a hilltop behind the town in the 12th century. The bell of the chapel, named after the town's patron saint and guardian, was traditionally rung to warn the local townsfolk of the approach of pirates and other sea borne invaders.

For sports lovers, Blanes has a sports pavilion and several private clubs and centres offering all kinds of sports including squash, go karting parasailing, tennis, hockey on roller skates (not for the faint hearted!), martial arts and indoor and outdoor football.

Various fiestas take place throughout the year, the biggest of which is the "Festa Major" local fair from July 24 28th. The fiesta involves round the clock music, dancing and general merrymaking in the streets with the highlight being the nationally acclaimed fireworks contest which attracts participants from around the world.

There are some great family days out to be enjoyed near Blanes. Europe's biggest water park is just up the road on the outskirts of Lloret de Mar. Just south of Blanes is Marineland with dolphin, sea lion and parrot shows, a reptile house, children's zoo and boating lake.

The Universal Studios Port Aventura theme park is about 145 kilometres south of Blanes near Tarragona you'll need to set off early to fit everything in because this Disney style adventure park is packed with thrill rides, activities and live entertainment.

The fascinating city of Barcelona, 100 kilometres south, is well worth a visit with its fabulous Gaudi architecture, famous fountains (the real stars of the 1992 Olympic Games) and Las Ramblas walkway packed with street stalls and outdoor cafes.

Also topping the "must see" list is the Benedictine Monastery in the awe inspiring mountains of Montserrat, north west of Barcelona. This extraordinary mountain sanctuary has attracted pilgrims and visitors since the year 1075 but the amazing rock formations in this area have inspired various forms of religious worship for many thousands of years.

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