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Outside Barcelona Lies The Sitges Filmfest

The small town hosts an amazing convention of horror and fantasy film fans for ten days in October.

There are certainly no shortage of reasons to visit Barcelona, from its lively beaches, to its even livelier bars and clubbing scene; from the surreal majesty of the Gaudi park and the architect’s masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia, to the cosmopolitan shopping district, the Catalonian capital has been attracting ever-increasing numbers of visitors from all across the world for decades now.

Cheap holidays in Barcelona are often timed around the dates of one of the city’s many festivals. Ravers and electronic music lovers flock to the Sonar Festival, which usually takes place in May. Here, the latest DJs and electronica groups perform throughout the day and night in the city’s clubs and concert venues, and the beach is transformed into a carnival of sound systems by night.

This month, the Sitges Film Festival celebrates its 44th year. Although the horror and fantasy film festival takes place in the small coastal village of Sitges, the town is only 12 miles from Barcelona’s main airport and half an hour’s bus ride south of the city centre. You can get there by train in just 15 minutes and taxis are quite happy to take you there, although at around €60 for a taxi ride, you are well advised to share with other film buffs!

Ever since the festival first took place in 1967, it has attracted some of the coolest names in the movie world, such as Cameron Diaz, Jodie Foster, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Sam Raimi, George A Romero, Quentin Tarantino and Jon Voight. There are literally hundreds of film screenings during the ten-day event, with afficionados rubbing shoulders with actors, directors and producers. This year’s festival begins on 6 October and is especially honouring Hollywood director Bryan Singer, who was at the helm for hits such as The Usual Suspects, X-Men and Superman Returns.

Even without the festival, Sitges is a lovely place to visit, with old cobbled lanes, whitewashed houses and a lovely sandy beach.