By Nancy Todd
Want sun? Sitges, with 300 sunny days a year, is your hot spot. Located a shell’s-throw from Barcelona on the Mediterranean Sea, this old fishing village retains its small town ambiance. Sometimes, Regina and I just want to get the hell out of noisy Barcelona and be where it is quiet and calm. We also love to take guests to Sitges.
In addition to new construction, gay-friendly Sitges has retained its allure of cobbled lanes and white stucco buildings with cobalt blue doors. Magenta flowers tumble off balconies. Colorful tiles form street signs, and many of the streets are pedestrian only.
There are a total of fifteen long beaches minus cumbersome rocks, the nude beach being at the northern end of Sitges. An esplanade follows the crescent of the harbor perfect for jogging, cycling, and lingering.
Chiringuitos, or beach cafes, dot the shoreline complete with sangria, fried squid, and the ever-necessary bathroom. Sant Bartomeu Church is a beauty, and the view from there is the best in the city. Two museums, art galleries, and good shopping add to the entertainment. What’s more, it is a quick drive to the Penedès wine region from Sitges. Hit the beach and then go wine tasting!
The easiest way to get to romantic Sitges from Barcelona RENFE train. You will cruise along the rocky coast of the Mediterranean and dart through tunnels. In about forty minutes, hop off the train, cross a street and you are in the heart of the old city. Meander another four blocks, and the turquoise blue of the Mediterranean will greet you. Paella, Spanish rice, is popular in the dozens of restaurants that line the sea. I can’t wait to go back.
Sitges’ city website: http://www.sitgestur.cat/