Blanes

The beaches closest to Barcelona are at Blanes. The Costa Brava begins here with five different beaches, running from Punta Santa Anna on the far side of the port—a tiny cove with a pebbly beach at the bottom of a chasm encircled by towering cliffs, fragrant pines, and deep blue-green waters—to the 2½-km-long (1½-mile-long) S'Abanell beach, which draws the crowds. Small boats can take you from the harbor to Cala de Sant Francesc or the double beach at Santa Cristina May–September.

The town's castle of Sant Joan, on a mountain overlooking the town, dates back to the 11th century. The watchtower on the coast was built in the 16th century to protect against Barbary pirates. Most travelers skip the working port of Blanes.

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