Maresme stretches for 30 miles just north of Barcelona and south of the Costa Brava, in a long narrow slice between the Mediterranean Sea and the sloping hills of the Serralada Litoral mountain range. It’s an area locals love and foreign tourists haven’t quite yet discovered, and is less crowded than places like Sitges or the Costa Brava.
The area is dotted with coastal towns like Caldes d’Estrac, a spa town, or nearby Arenys de Mar. Maresme is very well connected to Barcelona, with inexpensive trains leaving regularly from central Barcelona and stopping in various small towns along the coast, and the C-32 highway, which follows a similar route.
Catalan and Spanish
Mas Salagros EcoResort
Price from €100
Mas Salagros EcoResort
is an upscale family-friendly resort near the Catalonian coast.
El Masnou is a popular beachside town, and is only a short 25 minute drive away from the resort. There are plenty of small seaside restaurants, and the beach has fewer tourists than the crowded beaches in Barcelona city.
TAKE A TRIP TO BARCELONA:
Montjuïc (the "Jewish mountain" in Catalan), located on a hill overlooking Barcelona, is within walking distance. This large park offers all sorts of activities especially for the little ones and can be accessed by cable car or funicular. There is a castle to tour, horses to look at, gardens to picnic in, playgrounds at the Park Joan Brossa, a swimming pool, an amphitheatre and a museum showcasing works of Catalan artist Joan Miró.
El Cau is a new play centre in Barcelona’s L’Eixample district. Designed exclusively for children, it’s a play paradise, created for enjoyment, fun and creativity. It’s an ideal place to go on a rainy day, or when the kids need to burn off some excess energy. Whether you live in Barcelona or are just visiting, El Cau is somewhere where the children are guaranteed to have fun and make friends, while parents can enjoy snacks, chats and spot of relaxation.The concept is similar to that of a gym, but instead of going there for exercise, kids go there to play. One part of the interior space is filled with toys, games, arts and crafts, whilst the other part has an innovative maze-like design with steps, ramps, toboggans and huts where children can run, climb, jump and hide.
A great way to discover the wonders of the deep without getting wet. Ocean, tropical and Mediterranean themed aquariums showcase some of the extraordinary life forms of the sea.
Perched high on a hill and accessed via furnicular, the Tibidabo amusement park is one of the oldest amusement parks in the world. With 25 rides suitable for all ages, a Skywalk and vintage toys museum as well as restaurants and picnic areas it’s a great family day out, and the views of the city are breathtaking.
A great indoor option if it’s too hot (or raining) outdoors, is the CosmoCaixa Science Museum in Sant Gervasi. The museum takes children on a journey through the natural world and beyond, exploring rainforests and flooded forests, and travelling through space and time at the planetarium. There are lots of interactive workshops, activities, games and experiments children can take part in.
Address: Carrer d'Isaac Newton, 26, 08022 Barcelona
One of the oldest zoos in Europe, you could easily spend a whole day here. Animals are well-care for in open enclosures, loosely grouped by region. In addition to lions, tigers, elephants and giraffes, you can see gorillas and orangutans, all sorts of exotic birds, reptiles large and small, and sea lions. Fast food is served at various on-site establishments, or take a picnic with you. A ‘zoo train’ can take you around the grounds, or you can hire a buggy. Added attractions include daily dolphin shows, playgrounds, a farmyard zoo and clowns. Be advised that animals may be sleeping on hot days and kept in doors on cold days.