Castelldefels is an ideal destination for relaxing at the beach. Nice quiet spots are easy to find on the five-kilometer stretch of beach, even in the high season. Another advantage is the accessibility, as Castelldefels is just a 40-minute bus ride or a 15-minute taxi ride away from the Barcelona International Airport El Prat.
But there’s more to Castelldefels than just taking it easy on the beach. In fact, it’s a great destination for an active holiday. You can take on a variety of different water sports in the Olympic Canal, built for the canoeing competition at the 1992 summer Olympics. On top of that, there’s always room to go running or cycling by the beach. While doing so, you might bump into some F.C. Barcelona stars residing in Castelldefels.
Where to stay in Castelldefels
It's very important to distinguish between the city center and the beach area of Castelldefels, since the distance between the two is approximately 2-3 kilometers. Most of the hotels are located near the beach, and there are few hotels in the center. Castelldefels is a summer destination, and since the beach itself is often the main reason to travel there, it is recommended to accommodate close to the beach area.
The disadvantages of staying near the beach include the fact that there aren’t many services around. Both, the inner city and shopping center Ànecblau are a couple of kilometers away. There are restaurants, bars and grocery stores on the west side of the beach area. The side of the Olympic Canal is mainly a residential area, and even finding a grocery store or a restaurant can be a challenge.
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Things to do in Castelldefells
Above all, Castelldefels is a sporty destination – there’s plenty of facilities for different sporting activities, such as rowing, canoeing, kayaking among others.
The artificial canal, Olympic Canal, was built for the Barcelona Olympics to serve as the canoeing venue. Nowadays, the canal is a multipurpose arena for canoeing, rowing and cable skiing.
There’s also a fully equipped gym in the area and a full-size outdoor swimming pool. Another interesting sports venue is the 9-hole golf course with training bunkers and a putting green.
The entrance is located at the northern end of the canal.
The Castelldefels Castle is located at the highest point on the hills. The castle dates back to the 16th century, although the church inside was built as early as the 10th century.
For centuries, its purpose was to control the territory and serve as a defensive stronghold of the Carolingian Empire against the Arabian invasions. Between the 16th and 17th centuries, it defended the city against barbarian pirates. The castle was renovated in 1897.
How to get: Bus CF1 stops at the Castelldefels City train station and takes you to the castle. By foot from the Castelldefels City train station, it takes 15-20 minutes to get to the castle.
Castelldefels has one shopping center, Ànecblau. The shopping center is located some 10-minute walk away from the Castelldefels City train station.
The shops are open every day, except for a few public holidays. Clothing-wise, the popular brands like Bershka, H&M, Pull & Bear etc. have stores inside. There are also shops for accessories, electronics and home wear. The cinema, Yelmo Cines Ànec Blau, has 9 screens. Bear in mind that all films are dubbed in Spanish. There are also several restaurants, from fast food to local eateries.
- Address: Avinguda del Canal Olímpic, 24
- Webpage: anecblau.com
The Style Outlets Viladecans
The massive shopping outlet center, The Style Outlets, is located approximately 5 kilometers away from Castelldefels. Surrounded by gardens and fountains, you’ll find over 50 fashion outlets for clothing and accessories. The shopping center is easy to reach by bus or train from the Castelldefels beach and the city.
- Address: Carretera de la Vila, 90, 08840 Viladecans
- Webpage: thestyleoutlets.es
- How to arrive:
From Castelldefels city:
Bus L99 leaves from the Castelldefels city train station and takes you right to the shopping center.
Train R2S takes you to Viladecans train station, only a 5-minute walk away from the shopping center. You can see the Style Outlets already from the station.
From Castelldefels beach:
Bus L97 leaves opposite of the Castellfefels Platja train station, at Av. de la Constitució - Pg. Brollador. You must exit the bus near Hospital de Viladecans and walk 250 meters to the shopping center. The train R2S takes you to Viladecans train station, only a 5-minute walk away from the shopping center. You can see the Style Outlets already from the station.
The prices of restaurant services in Castelldefels are close to the average level in the European Union. Hotel room prices are much cheaper in the early summer, before the high season starts in July.
Below, there are some examples of restaurant and hotel prices in Castelldefels. The costs of hotel rooms are median prices at Booking.com.
Pizza in restaurant
33 cl beer in restaurant
Hotel, 3-4 stars (April)
Hotel, 3-4 stars (July)
How to get to Castelldefels from Barcelona airport
The nearest airport is El Prat in Barcelona, which is situated only about 10 kilometers away from Castelldefels.
- There is a bus connection from El Prat Terminal T1 to Castelldefels train station. It takes about 40 minutes: Baixbus.cat. Choose L99 from the drop-down menu, Seleccione una línea, and click Obtener información to see the route. And then click Horarios de paso for timetables.
Or if you arrive with a very late/early flight, there’s a night bus N16 from El Prat Terminal T2 to Castelldefels.
- By train there is no direct connection, but it’s usually a little quicker than the bus nevertheless. Just change trains at El Prat de Llobregat station: Renfe.com. The train station next to the beach is called Platja de Castelldefels. Note that all the trains do not stop at the Platja de Castelldefels station; some stop only at the main Castelldefels station.
The train station of the Barcelona airport is just outside Terminal 2. There is a direct passage from the terminal to the train station.
How to get from Castelldefels to Barcelona
It you’re looking for more action, it takes only about half an hour by train to the Passeig de Gràcia station in the city center of Barcelona. Or forty minutes to Estació de Franca, which is closer to the beach. The trains run frequently: Renfe.com. Note that all trains do not stop at the Platja de Castelldefels station; some stop only at the main Castelldefels station.
If you stay near the beach far away from both train stations, a bus is also an option. It takes longer than by train, but the bus route goes near many hotels by the beach: Baixbus.cat
(choose L95 from the drop down menu, Seleccione una línea, and click Obtener información to see the route. And then click Horarios de paso for timetables.)
Winter: The winter months from December to February are often rainy, and the daily high temperatures are between 5-15 °C on average.
Spring: From March to May, there’s less rain and the sun tends to shine often. The daily high temperatures average around 15°C in March and 20 °C in May. May is often the first month the locals hit the beach, as hot days become a possibility.
Summer: From June to August, the sunshine is pretty much guaranteed. The daily high temperatures climb to 30 °C and above. June tends to be somewhat milder than July and August.
Autumn: September is still a warm month, often with beach weather throughout the month. Average daily high temperatures stay clearly above 20 °C in September. In mid-October, the weather cools down to under 20 °C, and it begins to rain more often. In November, daily high temperatures are already around 10-15°C.
Text: Ville Ryynänen
Images: Jussi Ryynänen
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