The best attractions and events in Blanes, Costa Brava

It’s hard to be bored in Blanes. The charming beach town that marks the beginning of the Costa Brava has Spanish street markets, fiestas and traditional events throughout the year and lots of things to see and do.
Blanes has gorgeous beaches and rocky coves, beautiful churches, a pretty old town and beach promenade, impressive monuments or landmarks and plenty of restaurants and bars for a good nightlife. Blanes is also next to the lively beach resort of Lloret de Mar and just one hour away from Barcelona.
So what is it you can’t miss? Which events and attractions should you look out for when you go and visit Blanes

1. The Botanical Gardens in Blanes

Blanes has some of the best botanical gardens in Europe. They can easily be considered the town’s greatest attraction and are not to be missed.

Botanical garden Marimurtra

Marimurtra Botanical garden, Blanes
Perched on a mountain top, this colourful garden offers wonderful views over the Mediterranean sea and the pretty rocky coves below the garden. It covers nearly 15 hectares and was created in 1920, by German businessman Carl Faust. Now there are more than 4,000 different plant species and even parrots which you can pose with for a fun picture! 
The garden is open every day 10:00-18:00 (you can go in until 17.00) and the entrance fee is 6.5 euros. You can simply walk there as it is only 1.5 km from the centre of Blanes (take the Passeig de Carles Faust street behind the port) and, if you like, combine your visit with one of the coves below the garden - the wonderful Cala San Francesç
Cala Bona, Cala Francesc, Blanes
Cala San Francesç is one of the most beautiful beaches of the Costa Brava and the Marimurtra garden is one of its best attractions. The combination of the garden’s tropical setting with the lovely blue of the sea in the background is unforgettable. Especially picturesque is the little Linné temple at the edge of the cliff. No wonder over 300,000 people visit this garden every year. 

Botanical garden Pinya de Rosa

Pinya de Rosa Botanical Garden, Blanes
Another beautiful and famous botanical garden is Pinya de Rosa. It is truly worth a visit. The Pinya de Rosa landscape is officially declared ‘de Interés Nacional’. Again, you can see the ocean from this garden, which has no fewer than 50 hectares of almost 7,000 tropical species. It was built in 1945 and offers several types of cactuses, palm trees and aloe vera plants.
Pinya de Rosa is open every day 9:00-18:00. You don’t pay much to visit this garden (4 Euros) and it gives you free parking, which you can take advantage of if you also go and see the nearby chapel Ermita de Santa Cristina.
Or you can spend the rest of the day at the pretty cove Cala Treumal at about 300 metres distance. 

2. The castle and viewpoint of Blanes

If you are looking for a spectacular view on Blanes, the port, its beaches and the coastline, just hike up the San Juan hill ('Sant Joan' in Catalan) to the castle of the same name. Its location is 173 metres high, right at the top.

San Juan, Blanes

Built in the middle of the 13th century, it has undergone many changes over time. Basically just the 16th-century tower and some restored remains are left, but the view is amazing and there are signs with information so you know what you are looking at. On very clear days you can even see the profile of Montjuïc mountain in Barcelona.
Be sure to take some water for the hike and choose a time in the morning or evening when it’s not too hot - especially in the summer. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a hat and sunscreen. If you’re not up for a long walk uphill and up a few stairs, you can also drive up the winding road. There are free parking spots available.

3. Fish and seafood, Blanes' greatest specialty

Blanes, boats, beach

Blanes has had a long fishing tradition. Its port has both yachts and fishing boats and is a fantastic place to enjoy fresh fish and seafood in one of the local restaurants. You can also go and experience the activity of La Lonja de Blanes, the fish market in the port and one of the few that are still active on the Costa Brava. 

Throughout the year, several gastronomic events are organised, during which the participating restaurants in Blanes offer special menus with a special focus on the celebrated product. 

Gambas, Blanes

The Jornadas de la Gamba for example take place in May and the Jornadas Gastronómicas del Suquet de Peix, Blanes' traditional fish dish, in October. Ask for more info in the Tourism Office of Blanes.

4. The best events and festivals in Blanes

As a beach resort, Blanes offers the most fiestas and cultural activities in the summer, when there are many visitors.

A few examples of what you will be likely to see in Blanes are the Sardanas or the traditional Catalan folk dance; Habaneras, the Caribbean songs which were brought from Cuba to Blanes in the 19th century by those who emigrated there and which were then adapted by local fishermen; dance festivals; outdoor concerts; sports activities; handicraft workshops etc. 
And like most villages and towns in Spain, Blanes has great summer festivals:

La Noche de San Juan: a magical summer party on the beach

Noche de San Juan - magical rituals

Blanes has, not surprisingly, one of the best celebrations of the Noche de San Juan in Catalonia. After all, Blanes has a hill and castle named after the San Juan saint ('Sant Joan' in Catalan). 
This special night of the 23rd to the 24th of June - the shortest night of the year - is also called the ‘Noche del Fuego’ (the ‘Night of the Fire’), as this is when the Spanish gather around bonfires on the beach with food and drinks and welcome the summer with magical rituals. And of course there will be fireworks, firecrackers,...
The party atmosphere spreads across the town too, with street parties (verbenas), music and crowded bars. It is also common in Catalonia that night to have the local cava and a typical dessert called ‘Coca de Sant Joan’, made of dough of sweet bread, custard and candied fruits.

Fiesta Mayor de Blanes & the best Fireworks Festival of the Costa Brava

Blanes, beach, fireworks
If you stay in Blanes end of July, then you are lucky as you will get to experience the most impressive Fireworks Festival of the entire Costa Brava and one of the best in Europe! 
Concur Focs d'Artifici is a famous international fireworks competition and part of the Santa Anna Festival or Fiesta Mayor de Blanes. This summer festival celebrates the town’s patron saint Santa Anna and offers all kinds of entertainment, such as music, folklore and parades with giants. 
Blanes concert
The fireworks competition is the biggest event of Blanes, attracting thousands of people from surrounding areas and further away. They all want to see the spectacular fireworks as different countries compete.  
You can see the fireworks best from the beach but you can also opt for watching them from the hills or even the Sa Palomera rock, which separates the Platja de Blanes and S'Abanell beach and where you are right in the middle of the action. Within the unique setting of Blanes, these fireworks are an unforgettable spectacle!
 Blanes fireworks

Fiesta Mayor ‘pequeña’ or ‘small’ summer festival

Did you book a beach holiday in Blanes in August? Then you can also look forward to a traditional summer party. The Fiesta Mayor pequeña or 'small Biggest Party' is celebrated in honour of the saints San Bonosio and San Maximiliano around the 21st of August. 

It has a festive program with musical, cultural and sporting activities, such as a regata or rowing competition. The most famous event of this festival is the night walk Caminada Popular Nit de Sant Bonós.


Carnaval Blanes

If you happen to go to Blanes in winter, then you can experience a different kind of local fiesta: Carnival! Prepare to have fun, as the Spanish love this event. Everybody dresses up and participates and there are parades across town.

This Carnival includes activities such as concerts as well. There are also special workshops, play areas or shows especially designed for children. For more activities with children in Blanes, check our Blanes Family Guide