Sitges, Spain

Sitges, Spain

painters, writers and sculptors began travelling to this
coastal town at the end of the 19th century, Sitges has been known
for its creative and liberal leanings. The town’s many festivals
and celebrations draw in wild party-goers from around the globe,
while a choice of beautiful sand beaches and a peaceful off-season
attract sun-seekers and young families. Culture vultures should
head to the Old Town to admire the Church of Sant Bartomeu and
Santa Tecla, built in the 14th and 15th centuries, or make a trip
to the Cau Ferrat Museum. Once the home of modernist Catalan artist
Santiago Rusiñol, the building now exhibits his life’s work.
Venture outside the town for a walk in the Garraf Natural Park,
where you can hike up mountains in the Garraf Massif or wander
round abandoned villages nearby. Nearer to home, a walk along the
Passeig Maritim – a boulevard lined with charming cafés and
restaurants – makes for a pleasant pre-dinner stroll.

Despite the town’s impressive stock of cultural and historical
activities, Sitges is more prominently known for its party
atmosphere. Just a 40-minute drive south of Barcelona, Sitges
offers a cosmopolitan vibe without any pretension. The town’s
lively nightlife and glam crowds have earned it a reputation as the
Saint-Tropez of Spain and with bars and clubs aplenty (not
forgetting the latest Soho House addition, Little Beach House Barcelona), this former
fishing village has redefined itself as one of the top destinations
for revellers.

Don’t miss…

The Sitges Film Festival. Since 1968, Sitges has hosted events,
awards and screenings of fantasy and horror films. Watch timeless
classics or new independent releases, all the while keeping an eye
out for high-profile celebs; previous award winners have included
Christian Bale, Michael Gambon and Robert Downey Junior. Once gore
and scares have sufficiently doubled your heart rate, relax with
some wine tasting from Catalan’s wine country. The region’s cava
should do the trick.

Who to take with you

A friend who loves seafood. This coastal town is home to some of
the best seafood restaurants in Catalonia. Try xató, a traditional
salad dish served with anchovies, tuna and cod, topped with a sauce
made from almonds, hazelnuts, breadcrumbs, garlic and nyora pepper.
As the recipe varies in each Catalan town, many tourists embark on
a taste tour called the “xató route” to decide for themselves which
recipe is best.

When to go

October to catch the Film Festival and the last of the warm

Where to stay

Little Beach House Barcelona offers
Miami-esque interiors, coastal dining and private terraces with
views of the beach (sprinkled with peppermint striped beach towels
a la Soho House). For a more traditional stay, Hotel Medium Renaixença is one
of the oldest in Sitges, and only a few minutes walk from both the
beach and the town centre.

Most likely to bump into…

Although an off-season trip to Sitges is ideal for a relaxing
holiday, most go to Sitges to let their hair down. The Sitges
Carnival is held in spring, where crowds gather for live music,
colourful costumes and parties into the night. The rest of the
year, revellers flock to the town centre for LGBT-friendly bars,
drag nights and clubs. The morning after a big night out, you’re
likely to see a few haggard faces but a friendly atmosphere
permeates through this liberal town, meaning even the most hungover
souls will greet you with a warm smile of hazy recognition.

Essentials to bring with you

Be ready for a day at the beach or a night out in the town with
this APC canvas tote big enough to
hold outfits for both occasions.

How to get there

Sitges is just a 40-minute drive from Barcelona, so fly into
Barcelona airport and hire a car to drive down the beautiful
Catalan coast.

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