If you’ve been curious about exploring Spain on your next family vacation, Sitges may be the destination to meet all your needs. A lovely town right outside Barcelona, Sitges maintains its magical and classic Spanish vibe and still provides comfort, class, entertainment, good food, nice shops and luxury accommodations.
This Spanish jewel, just 30 minutes away from Barcelona, is home to millionaires and is a popular holiday destination for wealthy American, French and English families.
Here are a few curiosities my fiancé and I have learned about Sitges just by chatting with the friendly locals:
- The little town has a population of just 4,000 people, which goes up to 24,000 during summer due to the seasonal residents coming from other countries to enjoy their holidays.
- The most wealthy side of the town is called Vinyet. The area—already blessed by the beautiful local beaches and just few minutes away from the town centre—is enriched by stunning and luxurious villas, owned by what the locals call “Los Indios” (Spanish immigrants in Cuba that became millionaires and came back to Spain to show off their wealth).
- As a local taxi driver was telling us, these villas are extremely well taken care of because it’s a kind of inside competition between the owners of the mansions for who has the most prestigious villa in the town!
Why is Sitges so perfect for a luxury family vacation?
1. It’s clean
There are 17 clean and sandy beaches along the coastline, separated by rock sea piers, clean, private and still wide enough to enjoy your privacy (the town has a ISO 14001 Certification for clean waters and beaches and for quality of services).
2. It’s safe
Sitges is small, safe and quiet. In the main square, kids are free to play in peace with ball games, rollerblades and outdoor plays. The beach is safe and secure for kids—clean, not too wide and close to shops and amenities. You can find luxury cars parked alongside the beachfront near the main square, which made us think of an ideal and secure getaway, even if you treat yourself with a luxury car-hire for the weekend.
3. It’s family-friendly
There is a playground just on top of the main beach and street artists like a bubble street artist blowing water bubbles for the kids to go crazy for! (Our daughter Bella loved it so much we couldn’t take her away from the fun!). Even a dinner out can turn into an occasion for the little ones to play and have fun in the square or near the beach while you are waiting for your food to be served.
4. It’s English-speaking
It’s really easy to feel at home. Everyone speaks fairly good English and it’s really easy to get around. Even during street performances, the artists were doing the shows in Catalan and English to attract the international crowd and engage with everyone.
5. The food is great
As this is a seaside town—slightly outside of the main city—you can expect a superb quality in the seafood dishes. You can taste the best Mediterranean cuisine—as advised by the locals—at “La Fragata” Restaurant (Passeig de la Ribera). The food was unbelievably delicious.
Argentinian Grill (for Meat lovers) was brilliant—and it offers a service also during the traditional “siesta” (between 5pm and 7pm) when most restaurants are closed.
If you like to cook in your own kitchen instead, there are plenty of local shops and a lovely market with fresh food and ingredients for a special and exquisite home meal!
6. There’s lots of arts and culture
There are museums and historical building to visit and lots of activities and festivals all year around (including an International Film Festival, a Vintage Car Festival and a Jazz Music Festival) that keep the town buzzing and full of entertainment for adults and for children.
7. The nightlife is lively
The shops are open till late, and there are lots of families taking a stroll alongside the beach in the evenings with their kids. But if you’re bringing along the babysitter, there are also nice pubs and nightclubs with good music.
8. It’s well-connected
The close distance from Barcelona and Tarragona makes the town ideal if you want to visit the city and the surrounding areas. There are not enough trains to/from Barcelona in the evening and the few ones running are really slow. But it’s a quick drive to the Catalan Capital, so a taxi ride offers an easy alternative to the public transport.
9. It’s diverse
You’ll find a mix of cultures in Sitges – due to the large blend of French, English and American visitors/locals. This openness and variety of people has resulted in an open and friendly vibe towards the gay community—which celebrate in Sitges, yearly, the Gay Pride.
Where to stay
You can rent out one of the villas on the beach or a more isolated and private mansion on the back of the mountain of the Parc Naural del Garraf: The view from the top of the city is simply breathtaking!
This site will give you a good idea of the rental market in the area.
What to do
For an alternative family day out, you can visit the Marina of Sitges and rent out a boat. It’s definitely a different and worthwhile experience with you and your kids.
Sitges has been for my partner and I a total revelation. We went to Spain to look for a holiday destination where to bring our families and take them around (including Bella-May’s grandparents and cousins). Sitges came as the answer to all our questions, also exceeded our expectations. Its charm, its historical vibe and the cosmopolitan and international atmosphere make this town a vibrant, comfortable, sophisticated and exciting place for a perfect and unforgettable vacation with your loved ones.
About Claudia Iorio
Claudia Iorio is an Italian expat in the U.K., mum of a bubbling baby girl Bella-May and engaged to Byron. They are a motivated, positive, multicultural and happy family passionate about travel, new experiences, personal growth and the constant discover of different cultures. A former journalist for an Italian national newspaper, Claudia now writes about her experience as a mother and about travel, food, entertainment, personal development and day-to-day life. Follow her on her blog and on Instagram.
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