It is hardly any surprise that the town of Sitges is such a popular place in Catalonia among both native and foreign visitors alike. Within easy reach of Barcelona, next to the Mediterranean Sea, boasting great beaches and picturesque coves, a quaint old quarter, a lively nightlife – not least due to it being a centre of the gay community– it is also fashionable, but with no shortage of art and heritage either. Sitges has it all, and below are just a few of its many attractions.

1: Seventeen beaches

Sitges may only be a small seaside town but it has a total of 17 beaches, each one with its own unique characteristics, and they are all clean and well-maintained. Sant Sebastià and Fragata beaches, for example, are central, overlooked by the town’s imposing church, next to the main promenade, and popular with families. In contrast, there is Bassa Rodona beach, which is popular with the gay community, or Cala Morisca, a small cove nestled amid the nearby cliffs and home to one of the town’s nudist beaches. Then there is Les Botigues beach, which is over a kilometre long, boasts six beach bars and is right next to a train station. Sitges is ideal for beach lovers!

2: Celler Güell

Just up the coast from Sitges town centre is Celler Güell, an architectural complex made up of a winery and associated buildings designed by the famous Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudí. Featuring Gaudí’s signature whimsical and fantastical style, the buildings have triangular facades with steep, almost vertical, roofs. One of Gaudí’s lesser known works, the winery stopped producing wine in 1936, but it does have a restaurant.

3: International Vintage Rally

Since 1959, the Barcelona-Sitges International Vintage Car Rally has taken place every spring. The rally features a caravan of historic vehicles – cars produced before 1928 and motorcycles made until 1938 – and goes from the centre of Barcelona to La Fragata in Sitges. The vintage car rally takes place against the backdrop of the Garraf natural park on one side and the Mediterranean Sea on the other, with the next rally due from March 16-18, 2019.

4: Maricel Museum


he Maricel palace, in the centre of Sitges, was built between 1910 and 1918 by engineer and artist Miquel Utrillo, at the behest of US magnate and art collector, Charles Deering, who used the building to house his unique collection of Hispanic art. One of the first major examples of Catalonia’s “Noucentisme” style, the building has served a number of different purposes over the decades, until it eventually became the Maricel Museum in the 1970s. Totally refurbished in 2015, the Musem houses the Sitges Art Collection, with pieces from the 10th century right up to the first half of the 20th century. A highlight of the museum is the Sert Room, with its large murals from 1915, painted to commemorate the First World War. Another museum of interest in Sitges is the Cau Ferrat Museum, which was founded in 1893 by local artist Santiago Rusiñol.

5: Sakya Tashi Ling

The first buddhist monastery in Catalonia, the Sakya Tashi Ling is in fact just outside Sitges, in the hills of the impressive Garraf natural park. If you have access to transport, it is well worth making the short trip into the hills to visit the monastery, which opened in 1996 in a former modernist palace dating back to the end of the 19th century. Set in beautiful natural surroundings and still a functioning monastery, the religious site oozes peace and tranquility, while also offering visitors guided tours in different languages.

five places to discover

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