Blanes, Spain

Jardi Botanic Marimurtra
Jardi Botanic Mari

Blanes is a seaside resort located in the Girona province of the Catalonia region of Spain, and known as the “Gateway to the Costa Brava”. While smaller than Lloret de Mar, Blanes is still a very popular tourist destination, and a big town! Blanes is a great destination offering a wide variety of activities, eateries, shops, beaches, and attractions! We visited Blanes in June as a day trip from Girona, but many people choose to visit Blanes for extended periods of time as their summer getaway and base for exploring the Girona area of Spain! We thought Blanes was a wonderful day trip with our little one, and hope you plan a visit to enjoy the stunning beauty and local scene!

Travel: Blanes is appx a 1 hour car drive from Barcelona. As already mentioned, we visited Blanes as a day trip from Girona, and the drive took us appx 1 hour. There is also train service from Barcelona to Blanes. You can leave from Barcelona airport or Barcelona city center. If traveling from the airport, the trip should take you appx 2 hours, and will cost less then 7 Euro one way. If you buy the return ticket, it will expire by the end of the following day so it is best to buy 2 individual single rides so you have more flexibility in your timetable especially if traveling with little ones unless you absolutely know you will be returning the next day. Also, you must purchase the train ticket in person at the ticket counter. As of current, it is not available on the RENFE website. There are also day trips available from Barcelona that will take you to the Costa Brava such as this one via Viator that has 5 star reviews!

Exploring Blanes: 

Jardi Botanic Marimurtra: Our first stop in Blanes was the Marimurtra botanical gardens, and this was quite possibly my favorite spot we visited in Spain! The gardens are located at the top of steep cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean with panoramic views and a variety of over 4000 plant species! There is a small cafe on site with snacks, lunch items, ice cream, etc. which was great for visiting with a child. The gardens are stroller accessible, but some areas are not. You must follow the pathways that are stroller accessible. We usually parked the stroller, and would hike down the stairs when there were areas where we wanted to visit, but could not venture with the stroller in tow. There is also a photo opportunity with exotic birds on site where little ones can hold the birds on their arms – this was a hit with our daughter! 🙂 When we visited in June, the gardens were open daily from 9 am to 8 pm. Ticket prices are 7 Euro per adult, and our daughter was free as she was under 4 years of age.

The Beach: There are several beaches to choose from in Blanes, but we we chose: Cala San Francesc. The beach is also known as ‘Cala Bona’ which means ‘pretty cove’ – we heard lots of locals referring to the beach by this name! This beach is located close to the Jardi Botanic Marimurtra gardens which is why we chose it. You can walk from the gardens to the beach down the small road, and you only have to park once! It is a cove beach surrounded by cliffs and trees! There is a restaurant on site, bathroom & changing facilities, lifeguards, chair rentals, and stroller access pads! This is a great beach for kids!

Cala Bona
Cala Bona Beach near the gardens Hubby and daughter 🙂

Other local activities to consider: Castillo de San Juan Blanes is an old fortress perched high above Blanes with great views. There is also an outdoor market beachside every Monday on the Passeig de Mar in Blanes from 8 am to 2 pm.

Tips to Remember (especially for kids):

  • Most shops and restaurants will close for Siesta starting around 2pm so make preparations for your little ones if they are not used to eating late.
  • Spain’s beaches are topless so prepare any children for this in advance if this is different than your norm and as needed.
  • Prostitution is legal in Spain, and on the Costa Brava highways we saw about 15 prostitutes  with plastic lawn chairs and umbrellas alongside the road. Children may ask a lot of questions regarding this so just prepare your answers ahead of time based on what you are comfortable divulging to them based on age.
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Jardi Botanic Marimurtra
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Jardi Botanic Marimurtra

Calella de Palafrugell, Spain

Calella de Palafrugell
Husband & daughter exploring Calella de Palafrugell!

Calella de Palafrugell is located in the Catalonia region of Spain and is a small fishing town on the coast of Costa Brava, Spain in the province of Girona. This small town is stunning and captivating, and the pace is ideal for recharging and letting little ones have free reign.

View from walkway under Saint Roc Hotel
View from walkway under Saint Roc Hotel

Travel: Calella de Palafrugell is appx 1 hour 30 minutes north of Barcelona, and would make a wonderful day trip! We spent 1 week in the Girona province, and traveled to Calella de Palafrugell from the city Girona, Spain. The drive took us appx 1 hour. There are also tour companies that will bring you to Costa Brava as a day trip from Barcelona such as this one thru Viator which has 5 star reviews!

Hotel: We stayed at Hotel Garbi which is less than a mile walk to town. The hotel is situated higher up in the town, and doesn’t afford sweeping views of the ocean, but we chose this hotel for the amazing kid friendly amenities. The hotel has a play gym on the outdoor terrace of the restaurant, a pool, kid toys & tent in the lounge, and lots of room to explore including lots of trees, statues, and live ducks. We loved this hotel, and would definitely stay here again. We had one of the ocean facing renovated Mediterranean rooms. We traveled in June, and paid 152 Euro for bed & breakfast! The breakfast was very good: continental style, but offered a hot and cold buffet with juices, coffee, and wine! Another favorite hotel in town is Sant Roc. This hotel has probably one of the best views of Calella de Palafrugell, and if you are able, definitely dine on their outdoor terrace for sweeping views. This hotel is also a closer walk to the center of town. There are also lots of self catering holiday homes / apartments available for rent.

Exploring the village: There are several little beaches scattered along the promenade of Calella de Palafrugell. They are easy to spot, and you can choose to set up where you wish. Our daughter loved looking for rocks and shells at the beach, and found some beautiful additions to her collection. We enjoyed just strolling thru this seaside town, spending time at the beaches, having lunch & ice cream, and browsing in all of the shops along the promenade. The town is so small that we found it nice for our daughter to be able to walk alongside us and enjoy some independence after being in the bigger city of Girona and especially true when compared to Barcelona. We ate lunch beach side on the promenade. There are several restaurants to consider. Remember that most restaurants close down for siesta especially in this little town, but we did find there were still a few open serving food, tapas, and drinks. The seafood was fantastic! The shops also close down so make sure you visit them earlier in the day if you can. Most restaurants open back up around 8 pm for dinner, and most shops re open around 5 pm. There are also the reported stunning gardens of Jardi Botanical de Cape Roig in Calella de Palafrugell. We did not have the opportunity to visit, but consider keeping this on your radar for another family friendly activity.

Beach, Calella de Palafrugell
Beach, Calella de Palafrugell

Tips to Remember (especially for kids):

  • As already commented on most shops and restaurants will close for Siesta starting around 2pm so make preparations for your little ones if they are not used to eating late.
  • Spain’s beaches are topless so prepare any children for this in advance if this is different than your norm and as needed.
  • Prostitution is legal in Spain, and on the Costa Brava highways we saw about 15 prostitutes  with plastic lawn chairs and umbrellas alongside the road. Children may ask a lot of questions regarding this so just prepare your answers ahead of time based on what you are comfortable divulging to them based on age.
  • For great photos, walk to the hotel Sant Roc and follow the stoned pathway in front of the hotel down below, and you will come to a section overlooking all of Calella de Palafrugell.
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A kiss around the world

I have been missing for about a month now as we have been crazy busy. We returned from Ireland to take a quick beach trip to celebrate my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary! 60 years yall! 🙂 And then we headed off to Spain for my cousin’s wedding. We are now back and finally settling back into our normal quiet routine. I’ll be back regularly starting now with continuing posts about Ireland and then moving to Spain! In the meantime, I am so happy as we got more kissing photos to add to my kissing wall at home from Spain and Ireland. Updated below:

 

Updated June 24, 2018

A photo journal

On our honeymoon we started a tradition that has now been running for a decade, and that our daughter is now a part of! Follow our photo journal below of our kisses around the world!

Kissing in Rome Italy
Rome, Italy
Kissing in Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Kissing at the Eiffle Tower
Paris, France
Kissing at Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu, Peru
Kissing at Sydney Opera House
Sydney, Australia
Kissing at Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn, New York
New Zealand
Matauri Bay, New Zealand
Kissing in New Zealand
The Lost World Cave, New Zealand
Kissing in Venice
Venice, Italy
Kissing in the Bahamas
Paradise Island, Bahamas
Kissing atop Roys Peak
Wanaka, New Zealand
Then there was 3
Then there was 3… Southern Oaks – Alabama
Kissing at the beach
30A, Florida
Kissing Top of the Rock
New York, New York
Kissing Top of the Whistler
Whistler, British Columbia
Kissing Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe, California
Kissing in New Zealand
Kauri Cliffs, New Zealand
Kissing Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand
Disney World
Paris, Epcot, Disney World
Parc Guell Barcelona Spain
Barcelona, Spain
Killarney, Ireland
Killarney, Ireland
Calella de Palafrugell
Calella de Palafrugell, Spain
Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
Dromoland Castle, Ireland
Dromoland Castle, Ireland

We have an entire wall in our home dedicated to “our kissing wall”. When we look at these beautiful pictures, we are reminded of our wonderful memories. Travel has a way of humbling you; making you realize how insignificant you are compared to the scale and grander of the world. However, there is nothing small about love. We are so thankful each and every day for the gift of marriage, and our greatest blessing of all: our beautiful,happy daughter! We look forward to adding to these photos over time! What is your favorite travel tradition?