Sitges, Spain—a small town located about an hour west of Barcelona by train—has a Mediterranean feel with whitewashed buildings and flower-lined balconies. And it offers a beach experience that can't be beat.
Unlike Barcelona and other coastal cities in Spain, Sitges manages to maintain its old-world charm. The architecture of the city is typically Catalan, including the parish church of Sitges, Lesglesia de Sant Bartomeu i Santa Tecla, which towers over the beach.
Three museums in the area showcase internationally renowned Spanish artists, including Picasso and El Greco. Further, the town rarely has a lull in its entertainment calendar as it hosts lively monthly festivals as well as the annual Sitges Film Festival in October.
Sitges beckons travelers who enjoy surfing, a roaring nightlife and regional delicacies—consistently good seafood and tapas are readily available at seafront restaurants. While walking off the extra calories, visitors will stumble upon shops, high-end boutiques and cafes.
For day-trippers coming from Barcelona, private, guided tours are a good way to experience the highlights of the city. While some tour operators take guests to the monastery in the hills at Montserrat, others escort clients to Bodegas Torres to tour the wineries via private car.
Sitges is known as a gay-friendly destination, during the summer months in particular, when several beach parties take place on its designated "gay beaches." The city also hosts the
annual Gay Pride Sitges festival, which includes performances from local celebrities, a fashion show, live DJs and more.