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welcome to arenys de mar
Foto del focs de Sant Pere. Foto d'Enric Pera

Arenys de Mar

Arenys De Mar is one of the main towns in the area known as The Maresme.  The towns proximity to Barcelona, and the population increase which has occurred in recent years has not affected the character of the town, which has expanded gradually.  The people of Arenys enjoy a large variety of social activities and they take pride in the town.The local history and future projects which affect the town, are discussed passionately by the local people.  At times, depending on where the conversation is leading the nickname of “know-all”, which is given to the people of Arenys, appears well deserved due to the amount of detailed information given- which is often not necessary



Arenys De Mar is situated 40km from Barcelona, which can be reached by road either on the NII (Route National 2) or by the motorway C-32.  By rail, line C1 on the suburban network runs a frequent service which takes 50 minutes from Arenys De Mar to the centre of Barcelona (Plaza de Catalonia).  The C-61 road, which goes inland over Collsacreu, is the main interior route and allows access to another motorway (the A-7, exit for San Celoni) Montseny is very near and the national park of Corredor-Montnegre is also close by. Girona is 60km away and Montserrat can be reached in one hour by car.  The nearest airport is that of Girona-Costa Brava, which is 40km away and Barcelona (El Prat) airport is 56km to the south.

The port of Arenys is one is one of the most important on the Catalan coast, and is the most obvious connection with the town´s long history and seafaring traditions.  Fishing and all the support activities which have grown around the port is one of the main economic activities in the town.  Almost the whole fishing fleet of the Maresme is based here.  The afternoon fish auction, which takes place daily when the boats return, is a picturesque spectacle which attracts many visitors.  The fish from Arenys, and especially the prawns, are highly valued throughout Catalonia.  In Autumn there is a gastronomic celebration in the restaurants in the town which is based on the local calamar (squid).

The coast in and around Arenys consists of extensive beaches with a background of hills which slope down to the sea, which acts as an introduction to the more rugged coastline of the Costa Brava.  In the port there is also a large Marina containing many pleasure craft and there are facilities for accommodating any passing yachts and cruisers.  Throughout summer many sailing boats stop off in Arenys as part of their Mediterranean itinerary.  The boatyards, which in the past were responsible for construction of a large part of the Catalan commercial fleet which traded with America, are still important to the local economy.

The Riera


The Riera is the commercial centre and acts as the hub for all local activity.  Two rows of plane trees, which have been standing for hundreds of years, provide shade for the pavements and give the town a distinct image.  These trees can be seen as silent witnesses to one of the most common activities of the townspeople in their free time: strolling up and down the Riera.

In the middle of the Riera, across from the Plaza de la Iglesia(the church square) you can see the Mercadear(covered market) a magnificent yet functional building in the modernist style. It is open every morning(except Sunday) and some afternoons. Inside the hubble  of people and the frantic activity is constant. On Saturday mornings the Riera becomes the commercial hub due to the activity of the open air weekly market.
The Calisay building is another famous construction in the town. It was at one time a distillery making liqueurs, which became well known throughout Spain, and is now being used as a municipal cultural centre.

"Fiestas" in Arenys


La fiesta mayor is celebrated on Sant Zenon, on 9 July ,with an extensive programme of activities in honour of the saint, culminating in a huge fireworks display on the beach. The “giants” of Arenys can be seen on the streets at various times during this fiesta. All the children of Arenys know the giants by name and all enjoy following their progress through the streets. On the night of 14 August the giants parade through the streets and everyone ends up at an open air dance at the port.

The celebration of Sant Roc, on 16 August, is highlighted by the passage through the town of groups of young people carrying special crystal containers full of eau de cologne which they sprinkle over everyone. This tradition is in memory of their ancestors who asked the saint to release them from the plague. This a rather unusual fiesta, as there are few like this in Catalonia where the main “character” is eau de cologne!!

During the summer months the programme of events brings together all types of activities- cultural events, dances, and fiestas- one after the other. The fiesta of San Juan sees the beginning of the season with an enormous celebration on the beach, and the Feria de Solsticio (summer solstice)- a craft fair which takes place on the Riera. In addition there is the jazz festival, arts fairs, and the numerous street parties.

Arenys, first class services

Mercat municipal

Arenys is the capital of its administrative area and in the town there are many public services. Among them there is a health service, learning institute, school of chicken farming, school of music, and various schools of lace making- which nowadays are utilised more for hobbies and to remind people of the thriving lace making industry which existed here a century ago.

Arenys is proud to have created the first municipal radio station in Catalonia and it is also working towards the aim of being notable in the fields of IT and communications. In a short time it is forecast that the people, and the businesses, of Arenys will be able to enjoy the latest broadband cable technology.

Two important industrial zones are being developed- both through public and private initiatives and, although agricultural production has declined in recent years, the area still contains some market gardening.

Spending Time In Arenys


There are lots of options for tourists. There are campings and a few guest houses (Pensiones) but, in addition, during the summer season there exists the possibility of renting flats at a reasonable rate.  There are a number of flats in the town which are “second” homes for their owners.

Los Baños de Can Titus, which has been operating for many years, as a spa hotel which offers the latest in thermal treatments and installations.

Arenys welcomes many day visitors throughout the year, especially groups of  retired people and school children.  The artistic charms and monuments, the museums, the port and everything surrounding the myth of Sinera- the creation of Salvador Espriu, are good reasons to pay a visit to Arenys. 

The attraction of the beaches in Arenys is their size and the coarse sand.  For those who prefer the shade to the sun the park of “Lourdes” and the quite streets of the town are excellent for walking.

400 Years Of History

La Torre dels Encantats

Within the town there are some places which must be seen.  The parish church of Santa Maria contains one of the most important and best preserved baroque altars in Catalonia, which was built at the beginning of the 18th century by the sculptor Pau Costa.  At the top of Calle de la Iglesia, next to the church you will find the Museo Marés de la Punta (museum of lace making) which contain some of the most important lace work in Europe dating from the 16th to the 19th centuries.  Also in this street there stands a building which was originally a school for nautical officers and is now utilised as a museum of minerals with one of the best and complete collections in Catalonia.

At the top of the Riera, on both sides, can be found many examples of houses of much beauty hidden away.  The amount of walking needed to cover this area is well worth undertaking as the beauty of the buildings brings ample reward.  Some of the defence towers built to ward off the Berber pirates are still standing and have been well preserved.  The Fidel Fita historical archive contains some of the most important historical documents relating to Arenys and the surrounding area, which have been recovered and preserved.

At the top of Turò de la Pietat, to the west of the town, stands the towns cemetery which is a classic example of the marine cemeteries of the Mediterranean.  The writer Salvador Espriu eulogised the cemetery into a literary myth in his great poetical work “Cementiri de Sinera”.  Inside are many sculptors of notable beauty by modern artists of renown such as Josep Llimona and Venanci Vallmitjana.

The view from the cemetery is breathtaking.  From there you can see the main landmarks and symbols of the geography of Arenys.  To the west, the silhouette of the Torre dels Encantats guarding the limits between the dioceses of Gerona and Barcelona.  From the interior contemplating the omnipresent Tres Turons.  To the east the view is occupied by the port where the ancient Montcalvari building stands out. A glance from this privileged balcony allows us to pick out the church of Santa Maria, the various convents of religious orders, the neo-classical house donated by a son of the village, Josep Xifrè, and on the horizon, looking upwards, the mountainous mass of Mont Negre.