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Caldes de Montbui
Foto: Ferran Traité Caldes de Montbui

Around Vallès Oriental, immersion in Caldes de Montbui

You’ll visit the best preserved Roman baths in the Peninsula and a family of noodle-makers dating back to the 18th century

By Xavier Amat
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The Romans had already discovered the properties of the waters of Caldes de Montbui. You only have to put your hand ‒ very carefully ‒ in the jet of the Font del Lleó and you’ll see that this fountain is unlike any other! Today you’ll discover many different and interesting places in this town in the Vallès region, and not only related to its waters!

IN COLLABORATION WITH BARCELONA ÉS MOLT MÉS AND THE DIPUTACIÓ DE BARCELONA.

Espai Can Rius, Caldes de Montbui
Espai Can Rius, Caldes de Montbui

Espai Can Rius

After having been closed for almost a century, in the early 2010s the former dining room of the Balneari Can Rius was opened to the public as the Espai Can Rius. The spa was one of the most prestigious in 19th century Europe, and the reformed centre preserves its beauty and warmth. So a good way of starting the day in Caldes de Montbui is a visit. It’s also in an exceptional spot in the town centre but close to the natural area of the stream and Can Rius park. The Espai Can Rius offers a wide range, such as concerts, lectures and educational activities.

Pastes Sanmartí Caldes de Montbui
Pastes Sanmartí Caldes de Montbui

Fine pasta

Did you know that in Caldes de Montbui the Sanmartí family has produced pasta since the year 1700? And it’s not just any pasta: they make it with durum wheat semolina and ‒ perhaps herein lies the secret of its taste ‒ with thermal water from the town. They also stress that none of their pastas contains egg or its derivatives. You can visit them at number 40 Carrer de Barcelona. On Tuesdays from February to April there are guided tours but if you’re not in Caldes then you can always pop in and buy some of its many pasta varieties.

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Termes Romanes Caldes de Montbui
Termes Romanes Caldes de Montbui

The Roman past

Before lunch, you still have time to wander through the town centre, take photos of the Font del Lleó, and, above all, discover the Roman baths, considered the best preserved from that time in the whole Peninsula. Listed as a cultural asset of national interest, you can see a pool measuring 13.5 x 9 metres, with five steps on the four sides and a beautiful surrounding gallery. It dates back to the 1st century BC.

You must be hungry now. For lunch we have chosen the restaurant Cafè del Centre, located in the Ateneu El Centre. You can choose from seasonal dishes of traditional Catalan cuisine, offering good value for money. They also have vegetarian and vegan alternatives, as well as dishes for coeliacs or people with other intolerances.

Banys El Safareig Caldes de Monbui
Banys El Safareig Caldes de Monbui

Swimming in an old laundry pool

After the ‘sobretaula’, enjoying a good chat and letting your food go down, and if it’s warm, perhaps you’ll feel like a new experience for many: swimming in an old laundry pool! And it’s a special place as it was built in the mid-19th century and, of course, its mineral-medicinal water has therapeutic and relaxing properties. It had been in disuse for a couple of decades ‒ we have washing-machines now, of course... —, and was restored and turned into the Banys Termals El Safareig.

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Museu de la Farmàcia Codina Caldes de Monbui
Museu de la Farmàcia Codina Caldes de Monbui

Modernista pharmacy

Given that in spring and summer the days are long, you’ll still have time for another visit in Caldes de Montbui: the Museu de la Farmàcia Codina. It has been restored and looks as it did when it was opened in 1910 by the eponymous pharmacist of the time Salvador Codina i Duran. There are guided tours, in which they explain its history and also the different period objects and utensils on display.

Is it getting late? A good place to spend the night is the Hotel & Spa Vila de Caldes, in the historic town centre. The spa was founded in 1680, and in 1992 it was reopened as a hotel and spa after a complete refurbishment. Its guests have included artists such as Manolo Hugué, Picasso, Miró and Mir.  

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