Amapola's Blanes page
"Blanes in March"
I have spent many happy trips to the Costa Brava (the brave coast);
My most recent, being a trip last March (2004) to visit old and dear family friends.
The Costa Brava is so named, because ot the rocky headlands that could so easily wreck ships. Bound by the Mediterranean on one side and the Pyrenees on the other the costa is 133 miles of rugged coastline
Although, personally, culture wise, I prefer Andalucia, to the north...there is also a certain 'je ne sais quoi' that lures me back to this area...That of adventure, the likelyhood of encountering some rather 'interesting personalities' and a few unspoilt rugged landscapes that can fire the imagination for years to come.
If you visit this costa and spend all your time in a large resort, you could very likely be lost in a 'Butlinesque Hell.'..However, look a little deeper, and you can easily meet some life long aquaintances or discover a little rugged coastal corner that fires the imagination 'in the most delightful way' .
There are still many unspoilt picturesque corners to experience without the ruins of the concrete corporate style resorts..and when found, a truly delightful and inspiring time can be had for all.
This coast is named accordingly ; )
(photos copyright amapola feb 2005)
"Climate and Vibe"
"The maritime situation of Blanes governs its climate, with an annual average temperature of about 16º C with infrequent rain". (official tourist board climate advise)
Let me dispel one myth.... it rains in Blanes. OK, maybe not that much in the summer, but anytime, slightly out of season. I have experienced rain non stop, daily for over a week in March and some extreme storms in early September, although, the summer months can get very hot, as elsewhere in Spain, autumn can bring some very cold evenings where coats and even scarves and evengloves, are needed. Luckily, there is alot to see and do in the region should the weather be not so good.
The vibe is relaxed (although, not on the scale of Andalucia relaxation), rather eccentric in a positive way, often intense and definitely quirky. People like to drink in this region.
Generally, the multi national people of Blanes are well travelled, fairly well-off and sociable. Different nationalities seem to mix well together. Artists, musicians and general eccentrics, seem to be drawn to the region, which makes for a rather creative vibe. Eating out locally is very inexpensive, and therefore a frequent, pleasure.
In the days before ridiculusly cheap airline travel to such places, Blanes and the surrounding areas were popular with the tourist coach industry. However, recently, the previously bargain-packed coaches are losing out to cheap air travel and there is a slightly less of a packaged vibe in some of the smaller resorts, which I have to say, I am happier about...Maybe the local councils will appreciate more the natural beauty of the region, and keep the concrete buildings in check : )
(this pic is not mine, it is from the local tourist board, but i can vouch for them, there are lots of pretty coves like this).
"What is it is it like in Blanes?"
Blanes is in the province of 'Girona' or 'Gerona'. (It is in Catalunya, so there are always two spellings for things, one in Castillian and one in the local dialect of Catalan).
Girona/Costa Brava airport now has four very reasonably priced flights a day from London Stansted. There are innumerable fights from almost everywhere in the UK to Barcelona, and local train services are excellent, as is the road network. English is widely spoken, but it is a big asset if you speak a little Spanish. The locals speak Catalan, which is, in general, a pinch of Spanish, French and their own local dialect.
Blanes is quite a built up town, although I don't really get that feeling walking around. A mix of a working town and a resort. There is a working port (with great fish market), 3kms of coastline with rocky coves and coarse sand beaches.
Along with all the trappings of modern tourism, Blanes also prides itself in giving visitors a taste of real Catalan Spain, offering traditional street markets, several fiestas and folk dancing fairs. (Local dance, the Sardana, and much more sedate than Southern Spain's Flamenco dance).
The regions is very green compared to the rest of Spain. It's definitely worth hiring a car or bike to explore the surrounding areas. There are still many unspolit fishing villages and the journey to and fro from there , to 'wherever' can be a visual delight.
Blanes is linked to Malgrat and Tordera by National Highway N-II, where it joins Motorway A-7, and by the Barcelona-Girona railway along the coast.