Blanes is the gateway to the coarse-sanded coast stretch of Costa Brava that continues all the way to the French border. The town itself has a strong local population, which is why Blanes is not just a beach resort, but a mixture of vivid local town and a summer escape by the sea, with nice shopping possibilities and a good selection of restaurants.
The festival, Festa Major de Santa Anna, takes place in Blanes every July. In the festival, huge fireworks are rocketed up in the sky as teams gather to compete in an impressive fireworks competition.
Where to stay in Blanes
Sa Palomera is a visible massive rock in the sea just in front of the town. The beach Platja de Blanes is situated to the north from the rock. The old town, with the town’s best shopping possibilities and restaurant services, is situated right behind the beach.
The area south of Sa Palomera is a bit more modern, but lacks the charm of an old Spanish town. It has a wider range of choices for accommodation, though.
Things to do in Blanes
The activities and attractions in Blanes are associated with its nature and history. For more family activities, check our tips in Lloret de Mar, located only five kilometers away.
Marimurtra Botanical Gardens
The botanical gardens of Marimurtra are considered as one of the most interesting botanical gardens in Europe. In this very beautiful setting, you can admire over 3000 types of plants.
The gardens are divided into three different areas; Subtropical, Temperate and Mediterranean. They contain plants from five continents.
Marimurtra is less than one kilometer away from the center, but there’s a steep uphill road to tackle.
How to get there: Walking, taxi or tourist bus/train from Catalonia Square that costs about 5 euros one way and 10 euros with return.
More information: marimurtra.cat
Castell de Sant Joan
For the best views over Blanes, go to the hill with Sant Joan castle. On a clear day, from the top of the wall at 173 meters, you can see all the way to Montjuic hill in Barcelona city. The first references of the fortification, which was built against the pirate attacks, date back to the year 1002. Nowadays, the “castle” is basically a watchtower, and the main attraction there is the magnificent 360° panorama view.
The image on the top of this page was taken from Castell de Sant Joan.
How to get there: On foot or by taxi.
Beaches in Blanes
The village of Blanes is surrounded by a 2,5-kilometer-long sandy beach stretch. The stretch is divided into two beaches: Blanes (Platja de Blanes) and S'Abanell (Platja de S'Abanell). In addition to these beaches, there are a few idyllic sandy coves.
All of Costa Brava, including the beaches of Blanes, tend to have coarse sand, which has both advantages and disadvantages. While it is easy to wash off, it may feel uncomfortable and tingly on a sensitive skin. There’s a quick drop off at Blanes beaches, and therefore they’re not ideal for wading in the water.
The beach is situated in between the Blanes marina and the Sa Palomera stone formation, right in front of the old town. There are nice restaurant services near the beach. The beach also has a lifeguard.
The 2-kilometer-long beach stretch, S'Abanell, unfolding southwards from Sa Palomera, is very similar to the Blanes beach. S'Abanell is situated in front of the more contemporary areas of Blanes, which is where you’ll also find most of the hotels of the town. The beach promenade has good restaurant services.
Cala Sant Francesc / Cala Bona
The bay of Sant Francesc (Cala Sant Francesc) is situated next to the Botanical Gardens of Marimurtra, some two kilometers from the Old Town of Blanes.
The 200-meter long bay is surrounded by rocks and pine trees adding to the charm of the bay. In addition, there are small Mediterranean fish to be found by the rocks, making the beach nice for snorkeling. The beach contains basic services, such as deck chair rental, lifeguards and a beach bar.
Shopping in Blanes
Blanes has a reasonable selection of shops by international brands like Mango, Benetton or Stradivarius. Most shops are situated in the old town.
Prices in Blanes
Blanes is one of the most affordable holiday destinations on Costa Brava. The gap in accommodation prices between the low and the high seasons isn't as significant as in the smaller beach destinations, like Lloret de Mar or Tossa de Mar, either. The accommodation prices are the highest in July and August, which is the peak high season.
Below, there are examples of restaurant and hotel prices in Blanes. The hotel room prices are median prices at Booking.com.
Pizza in restaurant
Steak in restaurant
33 cl beer in restaurant
Hotel room, 3-4* (April)
Hotel room, 3-4* (July)
How to get to Blanes
- From Girona airport by bus: It takes about an hour and costs about 10 euros. Schedules: sagales.com.
- From Barcelona airport (terminal 2) by train: It takes a little more than 2 hours, but you have to change trains in Barcelona-Sants station. . Schedules: renfe.com
- From Barcelona airport (Aeroport del Prat de Llobregat) by bus: The journey takes approximately 2 hours and costs 11 euros. You don't have to change bus lines, so taking a bus is an easier option than by train to get to Blanes, if you’re flying to Barcelona airport. Schedules: sagales.com
Weather in Blanes
Winter: The winter months from December to February are often rainy, and the average daily high temperatures vary between 5-15 °C.
Spring: It stops raining in March and the sun is out often. The average daily highs climb to about 15°C in March, but in May, they’re closing in on 20 °C. May is often the first month with occasional hot days, and that’s when the locals hit the beach.
Summer: From June to August, sunshine is pretty much guaranteed, and it gets hot. Temperatures exceed 30 °C, especially in July and August. June tends to be less hot.
Autumn: September is still warm, and it’s often beach weather until the end of the month. Temperatures in September stay clearly above 20 °C. In mid-October, the weather cools down to below 20 °C, and it starts to rain more often. In November, the temperature is already around 10-15°C.
Text: Ville Ryynänen
Images: Jussi Ryynänen
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