The town of Malgrat de Mar dates back all the way to the early 14th century, where it was a bustling agricultural centre and became a busy maritime hub. Today, visitors can still get a feel for the past at historic sites across the area.
In Malgrat de Mar's historic centre, El Castell is a castle tower resting on a hill and surrounded by a park. The park's tranquil grounds are a top location for afternoon picnics, as well as catching breathtaking views of the area. Nearby is the 16th century Church of St Nicolau – known as the 'Cathedral of the Coast' due to its size.
Local sights and sounds
There are no shortage of activities in Malgrat de Mar, especially when it comes to getting out and enjoying the Spanish sun. As if the beaches weren't enough, there's also the popular Marineland, a waterpark and marine zoo mixed into one, where you can glide down water slides and watch dolphins perform tricks all in one day.
Authenticity is the name of the game, with further things to do that'll submerge you in the local culture. Modernist-style buildings are scattered throughout the city like the La Cooperativa – one of the oldest buildings in Malgrat – and the Old Hospital whose chapel now serves as an exhibition space. They make strolling down side streets and hidden avenues an adventure of their own.
The Parc Francesc Maria is where visitors uncover a truly unusual spot. Modelled after children's tales, there is a gingerbread house and giant boot, as well as huge donuts and croissants that are big and sturdy enough for the kids to play on.
Classic Spanish bites
The area of Costa Brava is renowned for its foodie-forward thinking, so it comes as no surprise that Malgrat de Mar is full of restaurants that take Spanish cuisine to a whole new level.
Visitors to the area will find that most restaurants highlight the blend of fresh seafood from the Mediterranean with vegetables and meats from nearby mountains. Eateries range from classic Spanish like Bei Pepe, which serves delicious pans of paella, to casual food with a unique Spanish twist at Restaurant Klein 84, plus everything in between.
Along the coast
Though you'll find relaxation and attractions in equal measures in Malgrat de Mar, and you might want to explore the nearby resorts for even more choice of things to do.
The bordering town of Lloret de Mar is the local hub of tourism and many Costa Brava holiday packages are based here. Just a short jaunt down the coast, palates expand at gourmet restaurants and heart rates spike at WaterWorld – one of the largest waterparks in Europe. The nightlife scene is also pumping here – think craft cocktails in tiki bars, foam parties and all night dancing. The short taxi ride makes soaking up Lloret de Mar's party atmosphere for the night an enticing option, knowing you can feasibly return to Malgrat for peace and quiet the next day.
Similar in size to Malgrat de Mar, Calella is to the west and has more parks, shops and coastline to explore as well as beach bars and discos to keep you entertained come evening. Barcelona is also only an hour away for quirky architecture, art galleries, the best shopping in the region and more of that infamous Spanish nightlife.