Maresme: Top 10 Towns and Villages
Maresme is located a short drive north of Barcelona and occupies the area between the Mediterranean and the hills of the stunning Serralada Litoral Natural Park. The region is made up of 30 towns and numerous charming villages. The 52 km coastline stretches from Montgat to Malgrat de Mar. Maresme is characterised by its fantastic quality of life, its climate, its proximity to the sea and the city of Barcelona, as well as its green surroundings and excellent sporting facilities, including many golf courses and sailing marinas. It is also a renowned wine-growing area. Here, Lucas Fox Maresme Director Rafael Rosendo shares with us his Top 10 towns and villages in this beautiful unspoilt region of Catalonia.
El Masnou (literally ‘the new farmhouse’) is around 15 minutes’ drive north of Barcelona. A Roman village called Cal Ros de les Cabres was one of the first settlements located on the site of the current town and the town’s museum has collections of archaeology and beautiful ceramics from this era. With a population of around 22,000, the town is both a tourist centre and a dormitory town for the city, as it is well connected to the C32 motorway and the train station takes you to the heart of Barcelona in just 20 minutes. Buildings in the town centre have a wide range of eclectic styles including Neoclassical and Modernista. Camping Masnou is the oldest campsite in Spain and the nearest one to Barcelona.
El Masnou offers everything: easy commuting distance to Barcelona, a range of shops and amenities and the beach literally on your doorstep! (RR)
The charming village of Teià is surrounded by some of the best wine-growing boutique vineyards of the Maresme. This peaceful little village is located in the hills behind the coastal town of El Masnou, just 20 minutes from the city of Barcelona. The Teià tennis club is one of the best in the Maresme region and close by there is also golf courses and a nature reserve. More recent urbanisations have led to the construction of some excellent modern properties with great views, large open spaces both inside and out, and high levels of security and privacy. Teià properties are ideal for holiday homes, lifestyle properties, retirement homes or indeed as a principal residence.
The charming village of Teià has a great community feel. Ideal for families as there are excellent schools and always many cultural events on offer. (RR)
Alella is one of the prettiest villages on the Maresme Coast. Two river streams flow through the village, and mountains rise up behind the town, creating a countryside oasis within easy distance of the beaches and Barcelona. What used to be the old Roman road (Vía Augusta) uniting Rome and Andalucía is still today a narrow road running through the village. The town is known for its wines (many of which are served in Michelin starred restaurants), cava and perfumes and it is also a commuter town for Barcelona and Girona. There is a large international community in Alella thanks to the easy commute and many children attend the nearby trilingual International school Hamelin-Laie in Montgat. Alella properties include large country estates and small farming properties, villas in newer urbanisations and townhouses.
Alella is a growing international hub and its reputation is now expanding far beyond Catalonia. It has an excellent quality of life, great wine, good local and international schools as well as being within easy commuting distance of the city. (RR)
Cabrils is a charming, ancient village, just 23 km from Barcelona and 10 km from Mataró. The village dates back to the early 1300s, with today’s buildings being a mix of antique stone buildings and refurbished estate homes. The village is surrounded by the hills of Cirers and Montcabrer, as well as abundant pine and oak forests, which make it perfect for all sorts of outdoor activities. The village boasts a few excellent restaurants and there are numerous cultural events throughout the year. All this, combined with the close proximity of the beach and marinas, means there is something for everyone. The Montcabrer residential area is one of the most prestigious in the region whose properties include family villas, lifestyle properties and retirement homes.
Cabrils is often overlooked when people look to buy in Maresme but it has so much to offer on a lifestyle level. A great local and international community, lots of local events and festivities and for the sports fanatic, it offers more or less everything including golf, horse riding, cycling, hiking and a range of watersports at nearby marinas. (RR)
Caldes d’Estrac (also known as Caldetes) offers a truly unique paradise. The pristine beaches offer the best of the coastal lifestyle. The charming village has a mix of stunning Modernista and Gothic architecture and a series of year-round agricultural and horticultural events have led to a flourishing restaurant scene. In the late 20th Century up until the 1920s it became popular with the Barcelona bourgeoisie thanks to its thermal baths. The area equally accommodates recreation lovers looking for outdoor adventure as well as those keener on more cultural pursuits, with a literary trail that celebrates Caldes d’Estrac’s history of Spanish poets and writers.
Caldes d’Estrac has probably the best stretch of beach in all of Maresme and even in August it never gets overcrowded. Take a step back from the sands and you find yourself among some of the most visually striking architecture in the whole of Catalonia. A true gem. (RR)
Vallromanes is a small municipality located in the attractive Vallès Oriental, separated from the Maresme Coast by the hills of the Serralada Litoral Natural Park. Inhabitants of Vallromanes enjoy excellent access to Barcelona (20 minutes) either via the coastal highway or the AP-7 motorway. Vallromanes also offers facilities such as an equestrian centre and a pristine golf course and is a short drive from Maresme’s beaches and the beautiful Montseny Natural Park. Nearby you can find the outlet shopping village La Roca del Vallès and the Montmeló F1 circuit. A quiet town strategically located for enjoying literally all that this area of Catalonia has to offer.
Vallromanes boasts a gorgeous location in the lovely Montseny Natural Park and gives inhabitants the feeling of living a country lifestyle whilst still enjoying easy access to the bustle of Barcelona city, the beach, a great horse riding centre, world-class shopping and an amazing golf course. (RR)
Premià de Dalt
Premià de Dalt is set in the hills behind the coastal town of Premià de Mar, just 25 minutes from the centre of Barcelona via road or rail. The quaint little village centre is brimming with old-fashioned Mediterranean charm with perfectly maintained stone houses and a central park and square where local events and festivities bring the town to life all year round. In the rest of the municipality we find more modern luxury housing developments with impressive villas with pools and sea views. The town itself is surrounded by horticultural land, offering charmingly picturesque landscapes all year round.
Premià de Dalt offers the opportunity to live in a peaceful, picturesque old Mediterranean town in the hills and, at the same time, be able to commute easily to Barcelona for work and enjoy all of the nautical activities available at the nearby marinas. (RR)
Sant Vicenç de Montalt
Bordering the Montnegre Natural Park and leading down the quaint coastal town of Caldes d’Estrac with its long, pristine beach, Sant Vincenç de Montalt offers the best of lifestyle living. For those who enjoy the outdoors, this town is well located for activities such as horse riding, golf, hiking, 4-wheel driving tours and even upscale sailing in the nearby coastal town of Sant Andreu de Llavaneres with its luxury marina. The town’s calendar of cultural events is peppered with medieval fairs, antiques markets and gastronomic celebrations all year round, which are enjoyed by the local population of 10,000 and a growing number of international residents. Barcelona is easily reached from Sant Vincenç both by car and by train from Caldes d’Estrac.
The relatively recent discovery of Sant Vincenç de Montalt on the international property market means that it is still possible to find some great opportunities for investment in plots of land, renovation projects and designer new builds here. (RR)
Sant Pol de Mar
Situated halfway between Barcelona and the Costa Brava and with excellent public transport links to both the city and the international airport, Sant Pol de Mar is a popular coastal town, yet not over crowded in the summer. The pretty, sandy beaches, dotted with little fishing boats are ideal for a summer holiday by the sea and the green hills, peppered with white houses make an attractive backdrop. The town of Sant Pol de Mar is steeped in history and the narrow streets of its centre offer some surprisingly good fine dining options for such a small town. Events and festivities are at their peak in the summer months with a jazz festival in June, fireworks for the St James’ celebrations in July and the popular Havana festival in August.
Sant Pol de Mar is a picture-postcard seaside town which is well loved by locals and visitors alike, in part because it is slightly livelier than other neighbouring towns on the Maresme Coast, yet is still authentic and not spoiled by mass tourism. (RR)
Sant Andreu de Llavaneres
Greatly overlooked by the mainstream tourism market, Sant Andreu de Llavaneres has maintained a high-class atmosphere and immaculate sandy beaches in front of its attractive boardwalk and marina. The surrounding countryside is well-maintained and is home to a wonderful golf course, making this an ideal location for golfers and sailors alike. Sant Andreu de Llavaneres, often shortened to Llavaneres, is some 36km north of Barcelona and can be reached via rail or road on the N-2 road or C-32 highway. The town and surrounding area are both residential and agricultural and Llavaneres is mainly known for its upmarket sailing in summer.
Property in Sant Andreu de Llavaneres tends to be freestanding villas on generous plots with enviable views over the sea, the nearby marina or the golf course. Residence in Sant Andreu de Llavaneres is synonymous with luxury living. (RR)