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Trip Report: Barcelona, Malgrat de Mar, and surrounding area

Trip Report: Barcelona, Malgrat de Mar, and surrounding area

Old Apr 21st, 2017, 11:03 AM
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Trip Report: Barcelona, Malgrat de Mar, and surrounding area

We flew to Barcelona airport and landed after 7 am. Airport was empty, and we got to our hotel, the Tropic Park Hotel in Malgrat de Mar at around 10. The hotel was renovated about 2 years ago and the regular rooms were modern, although small, but cozy. (we also got to see the spacious suite like rooms which had a jacuzzi and was really nice and spacious.) On our first day we hired a taxi to take us to Cami De Ronda in Blanes which is less than half hour away. (there's another Cami de Ronda many hours away). It's a walkway along the water with cliffs- it's really beautiful! and there's a beach there, but it's topless, which we hadn't known. I was surprised to see families bring their kids to a topless beach; Is this common in Spain? After that we went to Castille de San Juan in Blanes- it's a castle also overlooking the water. You can't actually climb to the top of the watchtower, but the view is still nice.

We spent the next two days in our hotel, relaxing. We took a walk to the old town of Malgrat de Mar- walked up to the tower overlook- by a castle like area- you can either take an elevator to the top or walk up. The view was nice at the top- overlooking the town. The next day we took a walk in the other direction toward and past Santa Susanna- another town. We walked on the road closest to the water because there is no boardwalk and we didn't want to walk on the sand. But we saw plenty of views of the beach.

We went to Girona the following day on a bus tour. It's an old medieval town that has a cathedral and an old synagogue in the Jewish quarter. Then we went to Banyoles, a beautiful turquoise lake nearby where people had the opportunity to rent a rowboat or canoe or take a ferry boat ride on the water. After that we traveled to Besalu, another medieval town that also had a castle like entrance bridge with aqueducts, and went to an old Mikva. A lot of history on this tour!

The next day we hired a taxi to take us to Cap de Creus Natural Park, which is stunningly beautiful. We weren't sure exactly where hikes started, so our taxi dropped us off by the information area- by the lighthouse. There they told us there are two hikes- one is easy and starts from Tudela and one is difficult and not paved. We opted for the easy hike and bought a map from the information area. We had the taxi drive us back to Tudela a few minutes (parking was about 5 euro) and he waited for us there for 2 hours. They told us the hike is 1 hour in each direction 2 km (linear, not a loop), but it was more like 1/2 hour each direction on paved roads that were hilly, but so beautiful, and along the water. At the end there was a place you could swim if you wanted to. This was the highlight of our trip and highly recommend it, although it did take an hour and 40 minute drive each direction from our hotel. We found out before this particular trip that if a taxi takes you someplace- you pay by meter for one way plus the waiting time (20 euro per hour wait approx) and then the way back is free (just remind them to turn off the meter on the way back. We hadn't known this before our trip to Cami de Ronda and overpaid.)

Relaxing the next day at the hotel was nice. And the following day we took a taxi about half hour before sunrise to Tossa del Ma- which is about 40 minutes away from our hotel. There's another! castle there and we walked up shortly after sunrise- and saw the beach and coastline- also pretty, but if we hadn't had time, I would have skipped this. We got back to the hotel ate breakfast and then walked 15 minutes to the Malgrat train station where we caught a train to Barcelona- to placa catalonia station. In Barcelona, we didn't have a lot of time, so we first walked to the Barri Gotic (Gothic quarter) and saw an old medieval synogogue, built in the 3-4th century and wandered around. Then we hired a taxi to drive us around to multiple places including: Port Vell, the harbor, Park Guell- tickets were sold out, but we were able to see part of the park with many Gaudi like architecture. We also wen to Casa de Batllo- more Gaudi houses, Jardin de Miramar- huge public garden almost like a park which was nice and had good views of the city. We wanted to take cable car ride but the line was over an hour long. After that we took the train back and got off at Santa Susanna, which is about equidistant from our hotel as the Malgrat train station. However, there were no taxis there as there are by the Malgrat station.

The next two days were spent relaxing at the hotel again, taking more walks along the beach, walking into town again, and afterwards shopping.

And on the 10th day we flew back home.

We didn't make it to the national parks of Aiguestortes or Ordesa because the taxi said it would cost about 1000 euro, so we skipped this. We still had a wonderful time and highly recommend Cap de Creus- which is closer and beautiful.
zxcvbnm is offline  
Old May 8th, 2017, 12:56 AM
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Thanks for the tips about walks and everything in this area. I'm so stuck with Barcelona itself that I never get out of town to see the surroundings, but I must change that soon.



Yes, thanks God they are still quite relaxed about this in Spain ;-) Thirty years ago all of Europe were topless on the beaches, but our times are far more puritanistic, at least on the surface...
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Old May 17th, 2017, 11:18 AM
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Do you recommend your hotel for a first-time visitor to Barcelona? Is it far from the Barcelona sites? It looks gorgeous, with the water views, which is what we'd prefer. Thanks!
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Old Jun 18th, 2017, 06:18 PM
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no problem kimhe.
Tabernash2 we were there with a group, so we weren't the ones who chose the hotel, but overall we were happy with it. It's pretty close to the beach, it's not stunning, but was decent. Inside it looks like it was renovated within the past year or two. I would recommend it (although it's probably not like an American 4 star hotel, maybe 3 star).
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Old Jun 18th, 2017, 06:19 PM
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tabernash, it is a little far from Barcelona, maybe an hour or so by train- can't remember exactly. So if it's your first time, you might want to stay in Barcelona itself and take a day trip to Malgrat.
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