Europe’s hidden coasts: Costa Maresme, Spain

The coast just north of Barcelona is often overlooked by visitors. But with miles of sandy beach, great restaurants and a coast-hugging train, it’s a perfect escape

I love Barcelona but sometimes you have got to get out of town. Sitges? Lovely, but it can be as rammed as the Ramblas. The Pyrenees? Yes, but in summer I need a beach! OK then, the Costa Brava. But have you seen the queue of cars down to the “secret” beach that only grandma Lola knows about?

Hmm, perhaps the city’s not so bad. Barceloneta beach is just 10 minutes from the centre and there’s at least 10 square centimetres of sand per person.

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