The laid-back seaside town of Malgrat de Mar may have its roots in agriculture, but these days the vibe is more about getting away from work. Nearly year-round agreeable temperatures, rustic bistros serving locally grown food and beaches bordered by dramatic mountainous terrain make it perfect for a getaway. Part of the charm of Malgrat de Mar holidays is seeing the atmospheric remnants of its ancient industrial past, including an unusual sea-borne rocky outcrop once used to load iron.
Beyond the strip of modern hotels there’s an old terracotta-roofed village just ripe for strolling around. Plus, you’re well positioned to explore the rest of Costa Brava’s beautifully rugged coastline, with its multitude of sun-drenched resorts and the cosmopolitan hub of Barcelona within easy reach by train or car. With plenty of affordable accommodation in quiet surrounds, you can check out the nearby sights with the family, take advantage of Catalonia’s delicious cuisine and have money left over for dessert, which of course has to be the cinnamon-dusted Crema Catalana.
Ride a funicular
You don’t need to break a sweat to enjoy panoramic views – simply hop on the funicular railway to Parc del Castell to see the town from on high.
Scour the markets
For a spot of al fresco shopping, make a beeline for the stalls that pop up in town on Thursdays, or wander into Santa Susanna for the night market.
Pack a picnic
With its colourful sculpture-filled play areas, the fairy-tale-themed Parc Polivalent Francesc Macia is a lovely setting for picnics or for the kids to let off steam.