Blanes – the gateway to the Costa Brava

Blanes (cat. Blanes) is a municipality and city in Spain, in the autonomous community of Catalonia, in the province of Girona. The municipality is part of the region Selva.

It’s a popular part of the Costa Brava of the Mediterranean resorts of Spain.

The city’s economy, traditionally based on the primary sector (agriculture and fishing), began to transform into the tourism sector in the second half of the twentieth century.

Nevertheless, even today, the mouth of the Tordera River, on which the city stands, is considered a privileged agricultural area, and its port, fishing and sports, still has a certain weight: the volume of fish caught annually is almost 2,500 tons.

The port is equipped with good shipyards, which allowed it to be an important center for coastal shipping and, previously, active trade with America until the twentieth century.

Although it was already a popular summer resort at the end of the nineteenth century, the name Blanes as the gateway to the Costa Brava emerged in the late 1950s. This was the main reason for the population explosion, which began from 4,943 inhabitants in 1920 to 32 000 in 2020.

Architectural landmarks

Civil buildings:

Casa de la Vila or Blanes Town Hall is a large seventeenth century building that has always been the seat of the local government. This work is included in the List of Architectural Heritage of Catalonia.

The Regional Library of Blanes is the public library of the municipality of Blanes, opened in 1971, and serves as the main public library of the Selva region. It is part of the library service of the Provincial Council of Girona and the public reading system of Catalonia.

Ca l’Amado Carreras is an 18th century farmhouse in the municipality of Blanes (Selva), included in the List of Architectural Heritage of Catalonia. It is located on Passeig de Carles Faust, before the botanical garden. Although it was extensively restored in the twentieth century, it still retains many of its original features, such as the main voussoir door or several rectangular windows with a monolithic lintel. There is a chapel inside, the bell tower of which protrudes over the main façade.

Ca l’Orench is a corner building in the municipality of Blanes (Selva), included in the List of Architectural Heritage of Catalonia. It was designed by Francesc Folger in 1926 and is located at 34 Carrer Ample. On the ground floor, there is a pastry shop, which retains the typical decoration of shops of the early twentieth century. The lower floor has undergone significant changes, although it retains the front door with decorations and reliefs inspired by the Baroque style. The upper floor windows are decorated with stucco moldings. Above is the terrace, in the center of which is the entrance gallery with semicircular arches.

Can Balliu is a four-storey building in the municipality of Blanes (Selva), inscribed on the List of Architectural Heritage of Catalonia. Located at number 15 in the original building from the early seventeenth century, the three lower floors have survived. There is a door with a semicircular arch and large voussoirs on the first floor, a window with a balcony, shield and date on the lintel on the second floor and two windows with a monolithic lintel on the third floor. The fourth floor and roof are modern in style. There are shops on the ground floor.

Casa Burcet is a building in Blanes included in the List of Architectural Heritage of Catalonia. Located on Roig i Jalpí, designed in 1930 by Josep Godet. The Angel Planels Foundation uses the building for exhibitions.

Can Miralbell is a 19th century building located on Carrer Ampl in the municipality of Blanes (Selva). This architectural work is included in the List of Architectural Heritage of Catalonia.

Can Tordera is a 1903 modernist building on Paseo de Dintre in Blanes (La Selva). Corner three-storey building. All openings are made in the form of a lowered arch with imposts and have decorative stone trim. In the corner there is a covered tribune under a dome. The roof is flat, with a viewing platform, the cornice is decorated with stone amphoras. In the central part – the date of construction. This work is included in the List of Architectural Heritage of Catalonia. Currently, the ground floor houses the Pull’s & Iberics restaurant.

Can Ferrer del Puig is an old farmhouse in the municipality of Blanes (Selva), included in the List of Architectural Heritage of Catalonia.

Casa del Poble is a municipality of Blanes (Selva) inscribed on the List of Architectural Heritage of Catalonia. It is a spacious building with Noucentisme lines and a range of classic-style decorative elements. It has an entablature with curved shapes, which is very reminiscent of Art Nouveau rooted in the city.

Casa Folguera is a building located at Carrer de l’Esperança, municipality of Blanes (Selva). This work is included in the List of Architectural Heritage of Catalonia. It is also known as Can Macip. It is a three-storey building with an attic in the middle. The ground floor consists of a garage and an entrance hall and is framed with red and white sgraffito.

Casa Saladrigas is a work of the municipality of Blanes (Selva) included in the List of Architectural Heritage of Catalonia. The building has a three-level facade, rectangular in plan, three-storey, with an attic. Highlights include tympans that adorn the main entrances, balconies at both corners with very well-crafted wrought iron railings, and roofs at various levels. The third floor has seven windows with a semicircular arch. A sundial is installed between the first and second floors. Used as a showroom.

Castle of Sant Joan, XI century.

Hospital Asil de Sant Jaume is located on Carrer Argelos. The building is included in the List of Architectural Heritage of Catalonia.

Mas Guelo is a farmhouse in the municipality of Blanes, inscribed on the List of Architectural Heritage of Catalonia. The most interesting elements of the facade are the lintels, pillars and corners made of stone, as well as wooden beams protruding at the beginning of the roof. As for the openings, the main door retains a semicircular vaulted arch, and the main window retains a canopy vaulted arch decorated with shutters. The rest of the holes are stucco. A half-meter stone plinth and several benches are attached to the facade. On the lintel on the right side of the entrance there is an inscription from 1620, as well as a shield.

Blanes Viscount’s Palace is a Gothic palace in the Cabrera house in the municipality of Blanes, declared a cultural heritage of national interest. It adjoins the Church of Santa Maria, located on a site above the level of Dintre Vila.

Religious buildings:

The Parish Church of Santa Maria de Blanes is a Gothic building in the municipality of Blanes, built between 1350 and 1410. This work is included in the List of Architectural Heritage of Catalonia. The work was carried out in several stages, the facade and the bell tower have been preserved in the original Gothic style. The portal is framed by pointed arches in decline, at the top is a rose window topped with battlements. The bell tower is square in plan, two-storied, with a double window and pointed arches on each side. It has three naves inside.

Convent de Sant Francesc de Blanes is an old monastery of Capuchin monks built in the city of Blanes. It was built in 1583 on Cape Santa Anna, at one end of the Bay of Blanes, and until 1835, due to the confiscation of church property by Mendizabal (Juan Álvarez Mendizábal, born Juan Álvarez Méndez, was a Spanish economist and politician who served as Prime Minister of Spain from 25 September 1835 to 15 May 1836), it remained abandoned and was in rather poor condition. In 1910, it was bought by the publisher Joaquim Casas i Carbo, brother of the artist Ramon Casas. The new owners began restoration work continued by the Biosk Garriga family in 1942, while retaining several original elements. Inside the fence is the chapel of St. Anne, which has been documented since 1477 and predates the monastery itself.

The monastery inspired the writer Joaquim Ruir to write the short story “Les Coses Benignes”.

Ermita de Santa Bàrbara de Blanes is a church in the municipality of Blanes, declared a cultural heritage of national interest. It is located on the top of the hill of the same name in front of the castle of Sant Joan.

The Sanctuary Mare de Déu del Vilar is located in the Sierra de Marina, which is an important center of attraction for the entire region. The building is included in the List of Architectural Heritage of Catalonia.

Beaches

Blanes has a four-kilometer coastline that alternates attractive coves with large and small beaches marked with the Blue Flag of quality. Here you can find all the services you need for a pleasant stay and water sports. On the large beaches, restaurants and lifeguards are available throughout the swimming season.

Platja de Blanes is located in the heart of the city, next to the port. This large beach is the beginning of the Costa Brava resorts from the south.

Cala Treumal is a small beach to the north of the municipality, but very picturesque.

Cala Sant Francesc (also known as Cala Bona) is a beach surrounded by pine trees, ideal for families due to its size and ease of access.

Punta de Santa Anna is a small pebble beach located at the end of the port of Blanes, just below the monastery.

Restaurants

There are no Michelin-rated restaurants in the city.

Shopping

There are many shops of all kinds in the city, especially in the city center. These historic establishments have evolved over time, adapting to the needs of tourists and residents. You can find modern and designer international stores.

Also in the old town there is a fruit and vegetable market, a fish portal, a clothing and souvenir market, and a weekly market.

How to get there?

A modern bus station connects Blanes with Lloret de Mar, Tossa de Mar, Barcelona, Calella, Girona and Girona-Costa Brava International Airport.

Trains leave for Barcelona every 30 minutes. Trains run at the same frequency in the direction of Maçanet-Massanes station, from where you can change to trains towards Girona and Figueres. In summer there are boat trips from Playa de Aro to Arenis de Mar.

The city is five minutes from the N-II and C-32 and 15 minutes from the AP-7. Travel time by car to Barcelona is about an hour.

From Madrid 7 hr 9 min (690 km) via A-2 and AP-2

Main information

Area: 18 sq. km

Coordinates: 41 ° 40 ′ 26 ″ N, 2 ° 47 ′ 32 ″ E

Population (total): 39.900

Languages: Spanish, Catalan

Currency: Euro

Visa: Schengen

Time: Central European UTC +1

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