Friday, August 29, 2014


Visited July 2014

Sitges is an attractive seaside resort near Barcelona. It has long had the reputation as a top location for gay and lesbian holiday makers but these days can be best regarded as an all round destination.
Sitges is located about 35km south west of Barcelona - close enough for a day-trip which is how I did it. Hence this page has not as much detail as most others.

The town area has 11 beaches, 10 of them west of the harbour, flanked by a nice walking promenade. In the photograph I have place-marked the beaches which have photographs on this page plus famous Basso Rodona - the gay beach. I pinched the map off Gay Sitges Guide.

I took this on the approach road to the marina looking south west - all 10 beaches in the map above are in the area down to that white building far background left (Hotel Terramar) which will be clearer if you click-expand. So will the "cathedral" (actually a church - the Church of Sant Bartomeu i Santa Teclas aka La Punta) on the headland which is conspicuous from all these town beaches.
It's over 3km in a straight line from camera to the Hotel Terramar.

Image Wikitravel Sitges
I include a lot of 3rd party pix on this page because I originally intended to include Sitges and some other day-trips out of Barcelona as part of the Barcelona page - and so only took a few shots when visiting. But later I realised the other places had too much info and needed their own page - so all day trip locations ended up stand-alone.

The very first of the 10 beaches west of the marina is Balmins - a gay/mixed nude beach. The far half tended to be almost exclusively gay when I visited - the near half a mix of gays, lesbians and other nudists. I was underwhelmed by this beach - it has a very flat profile which meant 80% of the sand was wet despite the fact that this coast has a tiny tidal range. Consequently people tended to be jammed together. A small stream runs across the beach - consequently the sea water was not particularly clear. My shot doesn't show about half the mixed nude area - as said on other pages, I try to limit where I point my camera on/near nude beaches.

This is shot from the other end of the series of 10 beaches. The camera is between Les Anguines and Terramar beaches - that is Terramar behind the paddle boats. I thought this area was pretty nice - by the time I got down here the wind had come up and the more exposed beaches were a bit unpleasant but the curve of the beach plus the breakwall/groynes of the final 3 beaches gave them good protection. Note not crowded - and this was Saturday in July.

Town beaches are not my thing but the first 3 beaches south-west of the church are not bad. They seemed to have plenty of sand, beach bars, showers and lifeguards and were fairly crowded. The backing esplanade reminded me of Barcelona with an entertaining parade of passers-by of all types.

The 11th town beach is way up the other end again, on the FAR side of the marina. 
Refreences claimed this beach is also popular with nudists but my visit saw none and a decidedly family/couples atmosphere. There was even a big elementary school excursion. Nevertheless the Spanish are so relaxed about beach nudism that you are likely to find them anywhere - and no one seems to give a damn. 
I liked this beach - it had okay sand and water and a nice atmosphere and the walk thru the marina from Balmins was good value for pleasure-boat nerds like me (image Panoromio - Josep Maria Alegre)

There are 17 beaches in total in the Sitges area.
I checked the area immediately north-east of Aguadoc by trekking the steep cliff-side track for 20 minutes or so. There was one tiny boulder beach at the foot of a steep climb down, plus some very nice villas along there, but the train line comes very close to the sea - eventually forcing the track to end. I saw some lovely beaches from the train which runs along the shore in the 20km north-east of Sitges - with several railway stations for visitors who do their location homework - otherwise you would need a car or moto along the parallel C31 coast road to access these places.

South-west of town are the rather well known twin beaches of Platja del Muerto -about 2km past the Mirrimar Hotel. A  big confession: I didn't make it there: I got about half-way when I realised the very blustery weather was deteriorating further - it looked about to storm. This, plus the fact that I'd seen no-one since the golf course, made me think continuing might not be the best use of my time. Nevertheless I'll add what I have learnt about these beaches.

I made it as far as the Atlantida night club. Note there is a small creek to cross on the eastern side of the golf course - not too hard if in dry season (summer). That big snaky resort next to the Terramar Hotel is the Sunway Playa Golf and Spa. 
For people wishing to minimise walking it is possible to catch a taxi to the Atlantida (a side road comes in across the golf course and under the train tracks), There is limited parking if you have your own car or moto.
Note the walking track across to the beaches from Atlantida is rocky and has some steep slopes - some people chose to walk along the rail lines. The websites urge caution - the trains rock thru here at 130kph.

This is the first beach - a mixed nudist/gay beach apparently, in a small cove. The beach is pebbles. Note the beach bar/restaurant this end (images above and below

Just over the hill is the second beach, more exclusively gay. Also pebble surfaced. Apparently pretty popular, not so much for beach quality but for the extensive gay cruising area in the woods across the railway tracks. The outline of what you can expect in this area on the gay websites is pretty hilarious.
BTW - I think this second beach is the original Platja del Muerto. The first beach probably has a local name but I couldn't find it.

The different Sitges websites cover this well so I'll just do my experience. I came down from Barcelona's Estacio de Franca in under an hour for about 4.30 euro. Fairly frequent trains, even more so from Passeig de Gracio and Sants. Take care at Sitges railway station ticket office for a  middle aged guy who may try to short change you - uses the "slow to hand out change" technique. Only dummies would fall for this. Don't ask how I went, I can't talk about it.




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