Hidden Gem in Costa Brava
Alejandra, Fall 2023, Barcelona
October 2, 2023

view from Marimurtra Botanical Garden overlooking Mediterranean Sea

Barcelona is a vibrant and culturally rich city, but there is more to the region of Catalonia than meets the eye. I was eager for an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and opted for a day trip to the coastal town of Blanes.

Sandrine, the SAI Barcelona program director, gave us travel advice and recommendations that facilitated our plans. Navigating the metro system is very easy and the ticket was very affordable. The train ride was about an hour and a half, but flew by as I enjoyed the scenic views and chatted with my roommates. We stopped for some tapas in the Blanes town square and continued on with our itinerary.

With our energy replenished, we made the journey to the Marimurtra Botanical Garden. One of Blanes’ most famous attractions, the garden offered stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea from its terraced gardens. It features a diverse collection of plant species from around the world. The garden is designed in a series of terraces that gradually descend towards the sea. As you explore the garden, you’ll encounter a network of paths and stairways that lead you through the lush vegetation and offer breathtaking views of the sea and the surrounding landscape. It was an immersive experience I’ll never forget.

group picture of my friends and I at Cala de Sant Francesc

After finishing our tour at the botanical garden, we made the trek to the coastline. Our route took us along various winding, narrow paths and steep stairs, but the destination was worth the trip. We arrived at Cala de Sant Francesc, or Sant Francesc Cove, a picturesque beach. It is nestled between rugged cliffs covered in Mediterranean vegetation, creating a peaceful oasis secluded from the rest of the world. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced before. The golden sand and crystal clear water were ideal for swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, and even cliff jumping. The waves were calm and we even encountered marine life as we ventured deeper into the sea. We swam for hours and enjoyed a picnic on the beach. We ended the afternoon watching the sunset as the colors of the setting sun cast a warm glow on the cove.

Visiting Blanes was like stepping into a tranquil oasis where the beauty of nature takes center stage. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful spot to unwind, connect with nature, relax with friends, or explore the Mediterranean’s underwater wonders, this hidden cove on the Costa Brava offers a serene and unforgettable experience.

view from Marimurtra Botanical Garden overlooking sea and lush greenery

Written by: Alejandra, Fall 2023 Barcelona student from Kansas State University

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