What’s happening in Calafell? There’s no shortage of things happening in this town, from films to food fairs, from dancing to children’s shows, there’s something for everyone in this town. Enjoy 5 miles of sandy beaches, great food, and plenty of culture and history. Did you know that the population of Calafell is 25,000? However in the summer this increases to 150,000 because of tourism, which with 300 or so days of glorious sunshine each year, plenty of bars and disco and a huge range of activities, it’s not a big surprise.
Calafell is one of Catalonia’s accredited Family Holiday Destinations, along with another 14 destinations dotted along the Catalan coastline. The town even holds a special family weekend, which happens normally during the first weekend of May. Calafell has its own Children’s Club which is geared for those family members who are between 4 and 11 years of age, which costs €2 per hour. As any parent knows this is a super solution for a few hours here and there, when your child could do with hanging out with other kids, and you could do with a little “you” time!
The gateway to the Costa Dorada, Calafell has around 5 miles of lovely golden sand, with plenty of water activities going on for those who prefer to do something apart from pure, unadulterated sun bathing. The sea in Calafell is pretty calm and the sea is easy to enter, due to gentle slopes as you go into the water. You’ll find disabled parking close by the beach, plus during the season there’s disabled bathing, thanks to the assistance of the Red Cross crew. There are also children’s play areas on the beach.
For the shoppers amongst you, Calafell has a good range of shops, plus two open air markets – one which is on every Tuesday morning at the esplanade of the municipal market, and the other on every Friday morning next the the train station (RENFE) of Segur de Calafell. Segur de Calafell is where you’ll find the port, which also has its fair share of shops, bars and restaurants. As Calafell is classed as a resort town, shops are open during the season on Sundays.
Calafell-An Active Sports Tourism Destination
As well as being an official Catalan Family Holiday Destination, Calafell is also an active sports tourism destination. Essentially this means that the resort town is making use of its natural resources to encourage people to take part in outdoor activities, some of which are non competitive. So in Calafell, you’ll see that sports, nature and culture have been intertwined to offer the visitor a wider, healthier type of tourism. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of non active and non sporty tourism going on as well!
What Is A Family Holiday Destination?
The Catalan authorities have chosen places like Calafell to be a Family Holiday Destination, as they are especially sensitive to the needs of families on holidays. So accommodation should be family friendly and you can expect in Calafell to be able to get cots and high chairs, far more easily than you might in a non certified town. The restaurants that have been certified will have high chairs, nappy changing spaces, bibs and children’s menus.
On top of these family necessities, during the season there are the workshops laid on for the kids, plus special shows, including clowns, puppets and theatre. In Calafell you can also join dance classes during the summer as a family, so you could be doing a bit of salsa or the pasa doble!
By the way the other FHD destinations are:
Blanes, Calella, Calonge – Sant Antoni, Cambrils , Castell Platja-d’Aro, La Pineda Platja-Vila Seca, Les Valls d’Àneu, Lloret de Mar, Malgrat de Mar, Pineda de Mar, Roses, Salou, Santa Susanna and Torroella de Montgrí – L’Estartit.
Calafell Culture & Heritage
As much as this resort town is geared up for families and those who feel the urge to be active and sporty on holidays, Calafell still has its integral culture and heritage. Wander around the old quarter of an evening, before choosing your favourite pre-dinner tipple.
Calafell has a variety of places of interest to visit- amongst these are its Iberian Citadell, medieval castle and Romanesque church. Pulsating through the town, of course, is its seafaring history and much of the tourist activity is concentrated in the old fishing district, which is known as the Marina de Calafell or simply La Platja (the beach in Catalan).
Things To Do
Iberian Citadell of Calafell
One of the highlights of Calafell is, of course, the wonderful Iberian Citadell of Calafell. 20 years of excavations have taken place on this site, so that you can discover and appreciate the life of the Iberian civilisation. Reconstructions have taken place to make the experience as exhilarating as possible for you, as you leap back in time and learn about the way of life of these distant ancestors of ours!
Calafell boasts around 5 miles of golden, sandy beaches, of which some were the amongst the very first beaches in Catalonia to receive the 14003 ISO certification in 2003, and the town has continued to add other accreditations to its list ever since. It is wonderful for families, with so much in place in terms of services, but also the calmness of the water. Beaches have children’s play areas, there are adapted walkways, disabled services such as parking close to the beach and so much more.
Calafell Santa Creu Castle
A landmark and another one of Calafell’s attractions, is the Santa Creu Castle, which has wonderful views over the surrounding landscape. The hill where it is perched was fortified during the first half of the 11th century, as the area was being repopulated against the Muslims. Today you can see the remains, including some tombs which are carved in the rocks.
Saint Michael’s Church Calafell
You’ll find this church in Segur de Calafell, and it’s a gem of Romanesque architecture, which crosses over into Gothic style also, being constructed during the transition. This church is not normally open to the public, but can be admired from the outside.
Casa Barral Museum Calafell
Carlos Barrral, who was a writer and publisher, maintained a close relationship with Calafell throughout his life (1928 – 1989). His house, Casa Barral is one of a handful of remaining typical fishermen’s houses of the town. Since 1999 the property has been owned by the town, and is now a museum which aims to revive customs related to the seafaring lifestyle and community. It also honours the literary importance of Barral, who was one of the 20th century’s most important figures in his field.
Where to Sleep
Where to Eat
Carnaval Xurigué Calafell
Festival Date: 12-02-2015
Check out the Calafell Carnival, which goes on for 4 days here.
Calafell Festival of San Anthony Abad and Three Turns-Festa dels Tres Tombs de Sant Antoni Abat a Calafell
Festival Date: 25-01-2015
Like every year, arriving in Calafell is traditional Tres Tombs (Three Turns) as part of the festival of San Antonio Abad (Saint Anthony Abad patron saint of animals) – more here.
Winter Festival Calafell Feast of Candlemas-Festa de la Candelera La Festa Major d’Hivern de Calafell
Festival Date: 07-02-2015
The main winter festival of Calafell focuses on both the religious ceremonies and entertainment, and festival fun. More information here.
Festival of Saint Peter Calafell Beach-Festa Major de Sant Pere de la Platja de Calafell
Festival Date: 29-06-2015
With the arrival of the warmer weather, it’s time to dress up and commemorate the day of Saint Peter. Find out more here.
Weekend of the Iberian Routes from Calafell-Cap de Setmana Iberic de la Ruta dels Ibers a Calafell
Festival Date: 04-10-2015
This is a fantastic opportunity to see the Iberian routes of the area. Find out more about the Iberian Routes of Calafell here.
Halloween in Calafell-La Castanyada
Festival Date: 1st November, around Halloween
The Tourism Office organises different things at this time of year in Calafell.
Learn more here.
Calafell Festival Rostada Popular de Calafell
Festival Date: 30-11-2015
This festival falls somewhere between gastronomic and agricultural.
Check out more information now about the Calafell Festival Rostada Popular