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Getaway to Calafell: Family tourism guaranteed

Iberians and Romans, Arabs and feudal lords all have a place in Calafell’s history. Come and play your part as well

© Bonamedia

Calafell lies in the heart of the Baix Penedès area, welcoming visitors to the Costa Daurada. Its beaches are lovely in summer, but the friendly town also has fun things to do all year round, especially for families.

IN COLLABORATION WITH PATRONAT MUNICIPAL DE TURISME DE CALAFELL.

Afternoon, day 1: Sport on a carpet of green

Afternoon, day 1: Sport on a carpet of green

Start this getaway off with sports and interaction with nature. The 18-hole, par 72 La Graiera  golf course is on the road to Calafell in Bellvei del Penedès, in a natural woodland setting. The course stretches over undulating grounds and includes three spectacular lakes full of local wildlife (which hopefully your ball will not meet). The La Graiera golf club renewed its facilities just three years ago with a new clubhouse that includes a midday restaurant and an all-day bar.

Morning, day 2: To the rhythm of the waves

Morning, day 2: To the rhythm of the waves

Don't lie in too late on your first morning in Calafell, but instead try one of the latest trends to take hold in the town, Nordic walking. The Calafell tourist board is a member of the Catalan Active Tourism Club, and promotes this activity for free. All you need to do is walk using special poles to encourage aerobic and cardiovascular activity, and there are qualified monitors to help you with the poles and the techniques to make the most of them.

Walkers meet in the Plaça de los Països Catalans, on Saturdays and Sundays throughout March, April, May and October at 9am, and in June, July, August and September one hour earlier, at 8am.

If you prefer the sea breeze on your face, another option is to enjoy the lap of the waves and the golden sands while you walk or cycle along the seafront, which stretches almost five kilometres along the beach. Or you could enjoy the activities available at Port Segur-Calafell, which include fun on the waves or on terra firma, with fishing, basketball, and much more. And there's also the option to wander around the shops and stop at one of the restaurants for a delicious lunch.

Afternoon, day 2: A journey through time

Afternoon, day 2: A journey through time

Any lover of history or archaeology will thoroughly enjoy this visit to Calafell’s Iberian Ciutadella, where you can observe how 20 years of excavation have led to the reconstruction in situ of the site. Following in-depth investigations, the archaeologists have been able to reproduce the aspect of the city’s walls, streets and houses as they were between the 4th and 1st centuries BC. The tour is arranged to take visitors back in time to really understand the ways of life, customs and basic features of Iberian culture.

After the tour, you can explore Calafell’s medieval old quarter and the 11th-century Santa Creu Castle that reigns above it all, and where there are also remains of peasant dwellings and grain storage from the 8th century. The guided tour will tell you about how the castle was destroyed in the 17th century, although the church, its Santa Cruz altar and its anthropomorphic tombs are still in fairly good condition. The bell tower, underground cells and water cistern are also well preserved, and visitors can see graffiti written by the prisoners.

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Morning, day 3: Seaside Calafell

Morning, day 3: Seaside Calafell

Another fascinating place to see in Calafell is the Casa Barral Museum, established in the old fishing shop where the writer, poet, editor and politician Carlos Barral lived. Since it opened in 1999, the house/museum has welcomed some 10,000 visitors and hosted numerous events such as concerts, conferences, talks, book presentations, writing workshops and more. The aim of the museum is to study and promote the literary and editorial work of Barral as well as Calafell’s maritime history, but also to be a place where visitors who love literature and culture can meet and exchange ideas. This is the perfect place to end your visit to Calafell on a quiet and inspirational note.

Cultural venues

Santa Creu Castle in Calafell

Offering magnificent views over the plains of Calafell, you’ll reach this hilltop castle by walking up along narrow streets with a medieval air. It was built here in the twelfth century during the reconquest and repopulation of the territory against the Moors and the old town of Calafell grew in its sheltering shadow. You’ll see the remains of the medieval necropolis with tombs carved into the rock. Above the church is the comunidor, a square building that was open to the four winds and storms and was reputed to ward off both storms and demons and bless the town. You can still see cannon holes in the castle walls.

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La Confraria, Calafell fishermen's study centre

The building of the old association of fishermen, the emblematic Pes, is now a study centre that explains a bit of the collective past of Calafell and its fishing history as well as the recent history of the seaside town. the space was created to keep alive the legacy of the 'most wooden' beach on the Catalan shore, as writer Carolos Barral called it. Get to know how the community lived and built itself up, the relationship between patrons and 'remitgers', workers of the sea and land, their social and cultural expressions – a way of life that takes you back to the last century.

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Iberian Settlement in Calafell

There are not many places where you can stroll around a reconstruction of an Iberian settlement “in situ”. Following meticulous research, the archaeologists here have reproduced the walls, streets and houses that stood here between the 6th and the 1st centuries BC.

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Casa Barral Museum

Home of writer and publisher Carlos Barral and one of the few of the old fishermen’s supply shops left in the village. The centre aims to recuperate and promote the traditions and customs of the seafaring community of Calafell and to promote Barral’s literary and publishing work.

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