Vilanova i la Geltrú is not to be missed. The capital of the Garraf region, just 40 minutes from the centre of Barcelona or Tarragona and right next to Sitges, is buzzing with a great gastronomic, sporting, cultural and natural offer… You’ll have to come back. We show you with a list of the 10 “musts”, the activities and experiences you can’t miss.
Vilanova is a seafaring town, so what better way to start the day than with a good fork breakfast of fresh fish just bought at the town’s fish market. Straight from the sea to the plate.
On the Paseo Marítimo itself you have the Café del Mar, overlooking the port and housed in a building declared a cultural asset of local interest. They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and here they take it to the letter with an incredible offer that includes grilled squid from the beach, seafood salpicon, raw cuttlefish, baby squid casserole, cod esqueixada, garlic prawns and grilled sardines. In addition to the sea, they also have some of the best dishes from the mountains: fresh sausage with beans, fried eggs with ham, tripe casserole and omelette to taste. Make your reservation now to start the day on the right foot.
Learn how to paddle surf
Paddle surfing is becoming more and more popular, and that’s because it has everything. It’s easy, fun and allows you to make the most of the good weather and the usually calm Mediterranean Sea. It is a relaxing activity of gentle exercise suitable for everyone.
In an hour and a quarter introductory session you can learn the basic technique, keep your balance and start gliding over the water enjoying the coast of Vilanova. All the material is included.
Walk among horses in freedom
In the Garraf Natural Park you will find the Miranda Foundation, a refuge for horses where you will see how they live in complete freedom, enjoying the pastures in a beautiful Mediterranean steppe landscape. There you can take a guided tour where you will learn how horses live in their natural environment, how they relate to each other, their bonds of friendship… They also organise activities such as guided meditation with horses or live the experience of transhumance for a day.
Did you know that...?
The Miranda Foundation’s horses cross Catalonia every year to spend the hottest months in the high mountain pastures of the Pyrenees. On their transhumance route, they travel through the Parc Natural del Garraf, Montserrat, Cadí…
Garraf wine tasting
The Garraf massif is a fantastic environment in which to grow grapes and make wines. In this respect, two characteristics are key:
The calcareous rocky soils, which harbour remains of corals from when the massif was submerged under the sea, thousands of years ago.
The sea breeze, which in some vineyards leaves a slight salty touch on the roots of the grapes.
The wines of the Garraf are very fresh and especially suited to the aging process. At the 12 DOs shop in Vilanova i la Geltrú they organise monographic tastings of Garraf wines which are a great way of getting to know the different varieties and wineries that work in the area.
Participate in the candy war
The Vilanova i la Geltrú Carnival is one of the most unusual in Catalonia. It lasts several weeks, but its high point is the candy war, which takes place on Carnival Sunday.
Sixty organisations parade, dance and throw sweets through the city centre until they reach the Plaça de la Vila, where the great final war is waged. A festival to be lived.
Get on the train of history
It is a favourite with young and old alike. The Museu del Ferrocarril de Catalunya brings together a collection of more than 50 locomotives and wagons in Vilanova i la Geltrú. You can climb on many of them and take photos with pleasure.
Located in the original installations of the steam locomotive depot built on horseback between the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, the museum houses pieces such as the first Talgo or the replica of the first train that ran on the peninsula in 1848, making the journey from Barcelona to Mataró.
Go to museums
The Railway Museum is only one of the seven museums that are located in Vilanova i la Geltrú. They are the Library-Museum Víctor Balaguer, the opulent Romantic Museum Can Papiol, the modern art space Torre Blava – Espai Guinovart, the seafaring Espai Far, the Centre d’Art Contemporani La Sala, the centre for the interpretation of romanticism of the Masia d’en Cabanyes and the Railway Museum of Catalonia itself.
Among the highlights you will find Egyptian mummies, maritime curiosities and even works from the Prado Museum. The most practical and economical way to visit them is with the Museum Ticket, which for a reduced price of 10 euros gives access to all of them over a period of six months.
Dance at festivals
In the summer, Vilanova i la Geltrú is synonymous with festivals. The best known is the Vida Festival, which is held in the gardens of the Masia de Can Cabanyes and stands out for its Mediterranean character. Every year its line-up includes top local and international pop stars, but it is not limited to music. There is also cinema, crafts, illustration, gastronomy, DJ music…
Just before the Festa Major, El Tingladu is a festival 100% dedicated to the culture and music of the Catalan Countries. Four days of pop, rock, funk, hip-hop, traditional, ska, electronic… And the best of all: it’s free.
The International Festival of Traditional Popular Music of Vilanova i la Geltrú (FIMPT) is an ultra-consolidated event now in its 40th year. Great figures of traditional and traditional music perform on its stages.
Meanwhile, Nowa Reggae focuses on Jamaican music and reggae, rocksteady and ska tunes. It features artists with many different accents, but the artists who always stand out are those from Jamaica, the Mecca of this style.
Get to know the seaside town of Vilanova
The maritime quarter of Vilanova i la Geltrú preserves the memory of some of the most exciting moments in the city’s history, such as the battles against pirates and terrible pirates. Vilanova is one of the most important ports on the Catalan coast, and an itinerary along its maritime façade is key to understanding the city today.
To get to know it, we propose an urban itinerary through the most emblematic places of the maritime district, the port and the old fishermen’s houses.
Did you know that...?
At the beginning of the 18th century, Vilanova i la Geltrú had a frigate with a privateer’s licence to attack pirate ships that attacked the town from the coast.
Sunset on a sailing boat
It is a magical experience that you will never forget. From the Club Nàutic de Vilanova i la Geltrú and for less than you imagine, you can hire a 7 or 9-seater sailboat to enjoy the sunset in private during the sunset. If the weather is good, you can even go for a swim in the open sea. The best way to end the day.
These are just 10 of the many activities with which you can spend an unforgettable day in Vilanova i la Geltrú. At Visit Vilanova you’ll find many more ideas: come and discover the city is a winning idea to surprise your family and friends!
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