Long, sandy beaches, wine, music, culture and heritage are some of the main ingredients in El Vendrell. Coming here, you’ve arrived into wine country – El Vendrell – is in the famous Penedes wine growing region. But apart from its nectar from the Gods, this big Catalan town of over 36,000 people, is possibly most well-known because of its famous son, the cellist Pablo Casals. He was born there and lived during his youth in El Vendrell, although he later went into exile, but he is now buried in the town’s cemetery. Casals is not the town’s only famous son, but more about that later.
El Vendrell is around 4 km from the nearest beaches which are Coma-Ruga, Sant Salvador and El Francas. The town has an extraordinary cultural and historical heritage, beautiful beaches close by and of course a balmy Mediterranean climate. Its 18th-century church is especially well known – the church of San Salvador, but it also has other historical buildings of interest, as well as some museums to see.
Within the district are two areas which are also well-known, one is Sant Salvador which is where Pau (Pablo) Casals, the great cellist, had his summer house, and the other is Coma-Ruga, which used to be a medicinal spa, but nowadays is a marina. The summer home of Pau (Pablo) Casals is a Museum these days and if you visit during the summer, you can enjoy music festivals which happen in the nearby Pau Casals Auditorium.
El Vendrell is especially well known for its food, and its most famous speciality is called Xato, which is a salad and salt fish dish, that combines curly endives with salt fish, with a dressing which is similar to Romesco sauce. You can enjoy this with the choice of excellent Penedes wines or cavas.
So El Vendrell is an excellent destination for the foodies amongst you, but also for the culture vultures, and those who just want to enjoy some relaxation, or spas or sports. It also has its own tourist bus that on different days runs through different routes, if you want to know more about those please click on El Vendrell tourist bus.
Things To Do
El Vendrell Beaches
The coast line near El Vendrell has fine sandy beaches which go on for around 7 km. The water in this particular corner of the Costa Dorada is considered to be especially healthy because it has a high iodine content. On some parts of the coastline, you can still see some old liquor warehouses and 19th century style homes.
This beach is around 2300 m long, and around hundred metres wide and it has fine sand. It is home to Masia Blanca, which is a marine nature reserve, with flora and fauna protected by the town’s authorities.
Sant Salvador Beach
And the bigger than Coma-Ruga beach, it measures around 2900 m in length and around 70 m in width. It also has fine sand, and gently slopes down into the Mediterranean.
El Francas Beach
This beach is smaller, being approximately 1800 m long and 60 m wide. Also fine sandy beach, it also slopes gently into the Mediterranean Sea.
Església Sant Salvador El Vendrell
The 18th century Baroque church in El Vendrell is a beautiful church that deserves to be seen. The Baroque period was from 1739 until 1936, but in fact the first church that would have been on the same site can be dated to the year 1307. However the structure went through a series of both extensions and demolitions, the last of which took place in 1732.
In August 1739 the Baroque church was blessed and inaugurated, and inside there were altarpieces and other elements of considerable beauty. Unfortunately the Spanish Civil War brought an end to the splendour of the church in July 1936, and although it doesn’t make any difference to the outcome, El Vendrell was unfortunately no different to many other towns at that time. There was unfortunately plenty of sacking, vandalism and burning, regardless of religion.
Vila Museu Pau Casals – Pau Casals House Museum
Avenida Palfuriana 67, El Vendrell – Phone: 977-684-276 Website: http://www.paucasals.org/ca/MUSEU-historia-i-missio/
You really don’t want to pass through, or visit El Vendrell, without going to this moving beautiful, small museum. By the beach, the museum is in the house that Casals built in 1909 lfor himself overlooking the gorgeous beach of San Salvador. He lived in the house until 1939, at which stage he was forced iinto exile, and sadly he never returned to live there. His remains are in the town’s cemetery however.
This is a delightful place to explore, naturally enough it has music as its central theme, but its intimate feel, its contents, memorabilia, and of course energy, all pay perfect homage to this musical genius. There is also a little theatre which shows a video of Casals performing, and some other presentations.
Opening Hours (from the El Vendrell Tourism Website)
Winter Season – 16th September until 14th June:
Tuesday to Fridays: 10.00 -14.00 / 16.00-18.00
Saturdays: 10.00 -14.00 / 160.. – 190.00
Sundays and holidays: 10.00 -14.00
Summer Season – 15th June until 15th September
Tuesdays to Saturdays: 10.00 -14.00 / 17.00 – 21.00
Sundays and holidays: 10.00 -14.00
Closed: On Mondays
1st and 6th of January; 1st of May; 25th and 26th of December; 24th and 31st of December afternoon
El Museu Deu – Deu (Ten) Museum
Plaça Nova 6, El Vendrell – Phone 977-666-308
The museum was founded by Mr. Antoni Deu Font (1918-2001), who was a former notary of the town, who had collected a large and varied collections of works of art, which he donated to the town in 1987. The collection is considered to be one of Spain’s most important art collections, and it includes pieces that dates to the 12th century right up to the present day.
The museum opened in 1995, and a temporary exhibitions space was opened in 1997, which also hosts work other than that can included in the original collection.
The art genres included are paintings, metalwork, teligious carvings, glass, ivory works, engravings, basins and drugs. A huge amount of care has gone into preserving and laying out these wonderful works, in the old Manor house that was entirely remodelled to accommodate this fantastic art collection.
Casa Nadiua de Pau Casals – Birth House of Pau Casals
Santa Anna 4, El Vendrell Phone: 977 181 819
This Museum opened on 29 December 1998. A visit to the house where Pablo Casals was born, gives you the opportunity to take a trip down memory lane and feel and sense about Casals beginnings and childhood.
The home definitely still retains a late 19th century middle-class atmosphere; it’s a tall building which has now are balconies on two floors.
Casa Museu Àngel Guimerà – Àngel Guimerà House Museum
Santa Anna 10, El Vendrell
This house museum is where the playwright and poet was raised during the 19th century, and was here that he would have first started writing poetry.
At the time of writing the museum is closed for renovation work.
Its shares the ground floor with the El Vendrell archaeological Museum, which is also close at this time for the same reason. Please feel free to check back and in the meantime refer to the local tourism website which is – http://www.elvendrellturistic.com/museus.php
Museu Arqueològic del Vendrell – Archaeology Museum
In this Museum the vast majority of the archaeological past of the region of the Baix Penedes is housed. Here you can see some very important aspects of the prehistoric world, as well as the Iberian settlements, and the Roman era of this area.
Fundació Apel·les Fenosa – Apel-les Fenosa Foundation
Calle Major 25, El Vendrelll – Phone: 977-154-192 Website: http://www.fundaciofenosa.org/
The foundation’s main aim is of course to protect the work of Picasso’s friend, Aple-les Fenosa (1899-1988). When you visit you can see many sculptures, in this restored 16th century home which has a lovely Mediterranean garden, that was the summer studio and home of the sculptor.
There is a route of course in honour of Pablo Casals. You can read more about this by clicking on Pablo Casals and the Four Geniuses.
Where to Sleep
Where to Eat
I mentioned a little earlier that El Vendrell is well known for its food. In 2001 in the summer, it was decided to set up an organisation of the restaurants of the town. Back then not many were convinced that would take off, but the restaurants, caterers, olive farmers, wine producers, and chefs have made a success out of this group.
The organisation has produced a book which highlighted ecological and gastronomic journey, and also includes recipes. Of course it looks at the different restaurants and actually each restaurant gives for recipes, which has been paired with the carvers and wines produced in the area. You can find this book in the restaurants as well is in local bookshops.
Diver Parc Ludic -Diver Park
Av. Palfuriana, 104, 43880 Coma-Ruga – Phone: 677-428-625 Website: http://diver.cat/
Don’t get confused by the name, this is not about diving, but in fact is an adventure park where you can have a range of adventures perched upon trees. There is over 50 activities for all to enjoy, and for different adventure circuits.
Aquatic Classroom El Vendrell
Club Nàutic de Coma-Ruga, Pg. Marítim, s/n, 43880 Coma-Ruga – Phone: 610 75 06 16
Because of the marine protected area, called the Masia Blanca, you can also attend the aquatic classroom of El Vendrell. Since 1999 this area has been protected, because of its important ecological value and its unusual nature. In the aquatic classroom you’re going to find lots of fascinating information in the exhibition, including a documentary. Then afterwards you can practice snorkelling in the protected area, where you can see an amazing selection of flora and fauna.
To take part you don’t have to have previous experience, as you will be snorkelling, but you do need to be added to swim.
It lasts for three hours and it costs €20.