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Coastal resort Pineda is the ideal Spanish base with everything you need in easy reach

Pineda Golden Taurus
Pineda Golden Taurus

CITY breaks are a fantastic way to see a bit of the world.

But by the time you cram in the museums, art galleries and open-top bus tours, it can make for a busy few days not to mention the blistered feet.

There’s no doubt about it, sightseeing is exhausting. In fact, more often than not you come home needing another holiday.

But that’s the beauty of Pineda de Mar on the Costa Brava.

With white sandy beaches against a mountainous backdrop – and a mere 12 miles from the bright lights of Barcelona – the Catalonian coastal town allows you to couple a city celebration with a family break on the beach.

The seducing seaside town is a real hidden gem – and the fact that it’s a popular holiday destination with the native Spaniards speaks volumes.

Pineda is a relatively small space – but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in character.

In the height of the summer, it’s buzzing with holidaying Barcelonans, so has much more of a Spanish feel than the more touristy towns along the coast.

The 17th Century buildings, outdoor tapas restaurants, small shops and ice cream cafes make for a pretty place. And just across the road is a palm-lined prom overlooking the caramel-coloured sand and crystal clear blue waters of the Mediterranean.

We stayed at the 4* Golden Taurus Park hotel, a real favourite with families.

With six swimming pools, a kids club, games room and evening entertainment, there’s plenty to keep the little ones entertained while you catch a few rays and get stuck into a good book while sipping a cold Cruzcampo or Pina Colada.

But if the beach is more your bag, grab your towel and head across the street. You’ll be able to see it from your hotel balcony.

Just a small word of warning, if you go all-inclusive, prepare to take to the treadmill when you get home.

The buffet-style restaurant is quite an operation, with far too many delicious dishes on offer – and a pudding station to die for.

The weekly market is great if you fancy a wee bargain but, if you want somewhere bigger to shop, Calella – the holiday capital of the Costa del Maresme – is just a 20-minute leisurely stroll away.


The perfect blend of old and new, it combines a pedestrianised centre and lively nightlife, with stunning architecture and the stunning lighthouse.

For some more hardcore sightseeing, hop on the train at Pineda station, which takes you to the big cheese – Barcelona.

Trains zip along the coast to the Plaça Catalunya – right in the city centre – in just over an hour.

From the soaring Sagrada Familia cathedral, which is still being built more than 100 years after construction began, to the street performers of Las Ramblas, there’s no shortage of things to see.

And that’s before you add in the Gaudi works scattered across the city, including Casa Battlo, Casa Vicens and the collection of colourful mosaic reptiles at Guell Park.

Park Guell in Barcelona
Park Guell in Barcelona

Even if you don’t like football, Barcelona’s Camp Nou is well worth a visit, too. The millions of people who tread its pitch every year for a peak behind the scenes seem to think so.

And the city even has its own zoo, home to more than 7,000 animals from across the globe, which is open all-year round.

To get really into the Spanish spirit, make sure you try some Catalonian cuisine. Treat yourself to some tapas while sipping your way through a jug of sangria.

When you and your feet have had enough of city life, hop back on the train and you’ll make it in time for dinner at the hotel back in Pineda.

With the city in the bag in a day or over a couple of days, that should leave you plenty of time to see a little more of what Catalonia has to offer.

Two of Spain’s biggest and best theme parks are nearby, including waterpark Aquopolis which has a dolphinarium, and Universal Studios’ PortAventura over in nearby Vila-seca, which is packed with white knuckle rides that would give Disneyland a run for its money. Children both big and small will love either of these!


Overall, Pineda is the perfect place for both the beach bum and the city slicker.


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