The Costa Barcelona-Maresme is a Catalan county that lies to the north of Barcelona, between Montgat and the river Tordera. It is located along the Mediterranean coastline, and also includes municipalities and territories located inland, at the foot of green and hilly landscapes. As a result, there are different natural environments, from the beautiful beaches along the Mediterranean coast to the hinterland, an environment that is ideal for numerous hikes and outdoor activities. The Maresme is also 30 municipalities where it is good to stop to discover the heritage, history, gastronomy and cultural offer, from the old fishing villages to the cities surrounded by a resourcing countryside. It's a sunny region to visit all year round, where you can enjoy a variety of experiences with your partner, family or friends. When holidays mean discovering an eclectic territory, the Costa Barcelona-Maresme is the place to be, just a stone's throw from the French border across the Pyrenees.
A combination of natural environments for maximum outdoor enjoyment
With plenty of sunshine and mild temperatures in all seasons, the Costa Barcelona-Maresme is a great place to come if you want to relax in winter or when the sun comes out. The beauty of the area lies in its coastline. We are in the south of the Costa Brava, and we find superb beaches of fine sand as well as small coves with translucent waters. To enjoy more beautiful sea views and beach fun, you can go to the Paseo de los Ingleses in the town of Caldes d'Estrac, the Playa de las Rocas Blancas between Canet de Mar and Sant Pol de Mar, as well as the beautiful coves called Rocapins, La Vinyeta, Cala d'en Pere and Roca Grossa, near Calella. Many of the beaches offer fun facilities for young and old alike on sunny days. In fact, the Costa Barcelona-Marasme is an excellent destination for families. Four municipalities, Santa Susanna, Pineda de Mar, Malgrat de Mar and Calella, have been awarded the "Family Beach" label by the Catalan Tourism Agency. This guarantees that they will find suitable facilities, services and activities.
When you leave the coast and go inland, you will be pleased to find an environment that is also conducive to a wide range of experiences. The territory is made up of mountains, forests, valleys and the charming little plains of the eastern side of the Catalan coastal mountain range. The Montnegre and Corridor Natural Park is a good place to start, as its geographical location close to the sea gives it a great diversity of environments and a unique character. On foot or by mountain bike, you can enjoy magnificent views of the mountain ranges and the lush vegetation, including pines and holm oaks. The dense forest is also home to many animal species. On a trip to the nature park, you will come across squirrels, grey dormice, genets, foxes, northern red-backed voles and birds such as the jay and the green woodpecker. The Serralada de Marina Park also has paths that lead to the heart of a hilly nature rich in biodiversity, which, when you reach certain heights, also reveal the sea in the distance. And you can't miss a walk or bike ride in the Serralada Litoral Natural Park. Connecting the coast to the inland valleys, you can enjoy its gentle relief and Mediterranean forest. At the La Cornisa lookout point, there is an orientation table with the names of the peaks that can be seen. Along the way, you will come across squirrels, field mice, foxes, not to mention the birds of prey that take over the skies on sunny days. There are also many architectural treasures: Neolithic treasures, castles, Romanesque churches and other remains of ancient Iberian villages. This park never ceases to enchant walkers.
All these moments in the open air in the Maresme are spent observing the landscape of course, but also taking part in a multitude of activities. There is hiking, which is practiced in all its forms, on foot, by bike, on horseback, on a donkey or in a Segway. But you can also create happy memories together during a game of golf, a moment in a water park, a boat trip or a dive. For nautical activities, it is best to go to ports such as Masnou, Arenys de Mar, Premià de Mar, Mataró and Balís in Llavaneres, which have quality facilities. For information, Santa Susanna and Calella are two municipalities that have been awarded the "Sports Tourism Destination" label, a distinction for municipalities that make suitable spaces available to visitors for sports.
It is important to know that when practising outdoor activities in a territory, Maresme is committed to the development of sustainable tourism. Several tourist organisations have been awarded the Biosphere label, guaranteeing practices that respect the environment and local culture.
Stopovers in the cities, heritage and culture
If the Costa Barcelona-Maresme is a delight for nature, sea and mountain lovers, you should not forget to visit the towns and villages where it is good to stroll to discover their atmosphere and rich heritage. For example, you can start by going to Canet de Mar to visit the superb Santa Florentina castle, which, for those who recognize it, appeared in the Game of Thrones series. Built on the foundations of an ancient Roman villa, it is a superb medieval building dating from the 11th century and restored by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner in the late 19th century. The Costa Barcelona-Maresme is also a temple of modernism. This is particularly evident when you visit the family home and studio of the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, a veritable modernist museum in Canet de Mar, as well as the Coll i Regàs house, by Josep Puig i Cadafalch, and the Nau Gaudí, Antoni Gaudí's first work, in Mataró. And it is hard to resist a visit to the Calella lighthouse, whose summit offers a beautiful view of the Mediterranean.
As far as museums are concerned, there is a lot to do in the Maresme, with places that are not to be missed, presenting diverse and varied collections. There is the Science Museum in Arenys de Munt with its collection of mineralised birds, the Textile Printing Museum in Premià de Mar, Can Marfà de Mataró, where you can learn about the knitting process, and the Palau de Caldes d'Estrac Foundation, with its Catalan paintings, including those by such great names as Picasso and Miró.
The cultural calendar is also worth a visit during a stay in the Maresme. Each season has its own festivals and fairs. The Jug Fair in Argentona, the Santa Florentina Classical Music Festival, the Catalan National Amateur Theatre Meeting in Pineda de Mar... there is always an event to attend and a place to have fun.
The Costa Barcelona-Maresme, land of gastronomy
A holiday is only perfect when you have the opportunity to discover the local gastronomy, emblematic dishes, flagship products of the region and great wines. In fact, the Maresme offers no less than 50 gastronomic events throughout the year! Peas and strawberries are celebrated. In the restaurants, you can order an estofat, the equivalent of our stews, as well as a suquet de peix, a dish in sauce made from fish and seafood. As the coastline is a necessity, seafood is often given pride of place, with prawns, langoustines and other squids. Among the many restaurants to choose from, let's mention Tresmacarrons in El Masnou, which has been awarded a Michelin star.
For sweet breaks, you can indulge in a boixet d'Arenys de Munt, a chocolate, and a coca de Llavaneres, a puff pastry filled with marzipan, custard and decorated with pine nuts.
Wine tourism is also a feature of the Maresme, with the discovery of the DO d'Alella. This vineyard benefits from considerable assets (sea and mountain) to produce a white grape. The white wines made with the local variety called "Pansa Blanca" are a must try when visiting the area. Wine is the subject of various activities and events in the region, with guided tours of wineries, tastings, dramatised tours, tastings with music and other gourmet aperitifs.
To visit the Costa Barcelona-Maresme, don't hesitate to consult the itineraries proposed by the Grandmother of the Maresme guide! An illustrated and entertaining guide for the whole family.