A trip to one of Barcelona’s nearby beach towns doesn’t need to wait until summer rolls around again. While the sandy shores and gentle lapping of the Mediterranean is most often the crowd-puller to these heritage towns located just outside of the city, there’s also much more on offer particularly if you’re interested in intriguing history, local culture and delectable cuisine. One such place that’s an easy day trip during your stay in Barcelona is Altafulla, a little dot on the map around an hour away from Barcelona by train. There you’ll find historical buildings such as El castell dels Montserrat d’Altafulla, a charming old town with its tiny square La Placeta as well as some great places to eat tucked away in the town’s stone walls. Altafulla can be considered one of Catalonia’s hidden gems.
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What’s there to see
Altafulla boasts a combination of culture and beauty, with historical remains within the old city walls as well as a spectacular seafront promenade. The distance between the old town and the sea is just a short stroll, making it possible to take in both experiences as part of a day trip. Some of the sights not to miss include the Church of Sant Martí as well as El castell dels Montserrat d’Altafulla, both located in the same vicinity. You should also check out the Roman villa of Els Munts, which has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The sea end of the town features wonderful seafront promenade that stretches out for several hundred metres, making for a nice afternoon walk while admiring the sea vistas as well as the old Botigues de Mar of town’s former traders and fishermen. These 18th-century buildings have now been transformed into summer homes but the rustic feel still exists. Altafulla’s tourism office offers some useful information about many of these sites, including details of tours as well as upcoming events.
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Where to eat
There are many great places to grab a bite to eat in Altafulla but a top pick within the old town is El Racó del Pozo, a quaint little restaurant tucked away in a small lane. With its efficient service and reasonably priced food and wine menu, El Racó del Pozo is a good option if you’re looking for a charming and cosy spot to wile away the afternoon. The restaurant is located at Carrer Lleó, 14. If you’re looking for seafront eating, then Polini Too is the place to be. Set right on the sand, Polini Too features a good offering of tapas and a great wine selection. It’s a little pricier than some of the other bistros a few streets back from the beach, but well worth it for the premium views. You can find Polini Too at Carrer Botigues de Mar, 91.
How to get there
Altafulla is easily accessible from Barcelona by train. The trip takes an hour and you can expect to pay around 16 Euros for a return trip. The train station is located centrally between the sea and the old town, with no more than ten minutes walk to either location