November. La Castanyada
November is the most quiet month of the year in Sitges, in fact, is the month that some hotels and restaurants choose for having their holidays and others open only on weekends, but don't think that is dead, as many other places are still open. You always can find something to do.
The 1st of November, all Saints day, Catalunya celebrates the "Castanyada", the name comes from "castanya" (Spanish chestnut).
Is very typical to find "castanyers" or "castanyeres", who sell in the streets hot chestnuts and hot "boniatos", that is someting similar to a orange potato, but with a sweeter taste. The people also eat "panellets", a sweet made with almonds, sugar, eggs and "piñones" (pine fruits). The traditional drink of this day is the "moscatell", a very sweet wine.
This tradition comes from the old times, when the bells of the church played all the night for the death people. Friends and family used to help to the bell players and they ate those aliments, highly energetic, to resist all the night.
Unfortunately the "Castanyada" is beginning to be contaminated by the Anglo-Saxon Halloween, as many discos and other entertainment places prefer to celebrate it.
Platja de la Ribera
The Ribera Beach of Platja de la Ribera in Catalan is certainly a well-known part of the Sitges legend, but you needn't bring your bathing suit to enjoy this unmistakable part of Sitges. Indeed, when I went to Sitges in April, the weather was rather uncooperative and you couldn't tan during the morning even if you wanted to. Instead, the Platja offered great scenery as a storm brewed off the coast and the waves broke against the rocks. Towards the end with the cathedral there are many older hotels and sculptures that help add to the artistic beauty of this quaint little town.
Sitges: A Lovely Resort
"Sitges and its Beaches"
Sitges lies only 40 min by train from Barcelona. It's a nice resort town on the coast. In summer it is full of sun-and-sea loving tourists. Among the many beaches everyone can find his favorite spot: There are large crowded beaches and more secluded ones, there are beaches for families with children but also a nudist beach, there are beaches more popular with straights or with gays, who flock to Sitges in the summer time.
"Not Just Beaches"
But Sitges is not only the beaches: there are the promenade, the narrow streets, the many kinds of restaurants and cafes, the artists' houses which became museums: all of these make it a really charming place.
A bit of a rip off?
We visited Sitges because my brother has bought an apartment in a nearby town. The beer was sweet and extremely expensive and, all in all, we felt a bit ripped off as tourists. A small bottle of water cost us more in a grotty seafront cafe than we had been charged for a 500 ml bottle in the excellent Aqua in Barcelona. I think that says it all.
However, the old town was very pretty and there does seem to be a liberal attitude, which certainly seems to benefit gay couples.