Sitges: Where to eat, drink and play in Spain's most surprising resort
Short breaks in Spain
Culture and cuisine were top of Bairbre Power's list on a short break in sunny (and sparkling) Sitges.
Set the mood
There's so much more to Sitges than just swimming in the Med.
Strike out on a walking safari to explore the lovely beaches, gym bunnies will appreciate the water sports on offer, and pump up the adrenaline with an unforgettable high-speed rib boat ride (adventures.es).
Landing back in Aiguadolç Marina, chillax at the Can Laury waterside restaurant to sample Catalan seafood (canlaury.com).
Wine lovers should grab a cab - 20 minutes away you'll find Cavas Codorníu, the world's oldest and second-largest producer of sparkling Cava wine.
The €12 ticket includes an underground tour and adults can sample two Cavas from Codorníu's premium range. Enjoy some tapas at their restaurant and shop for Cava for pressies (codorniu.com).
Sitges is a special place - the friendliness of the people is sure to bring you back.
The Avenida Sofia Hotel and Spa is a smart boutique hotel boasting a seriously cool rooftop restaurant and small pool. My highlight was a chilled glass of the local Malvasia de Sitges, enjoyed watching a rosy sunset over fresh sushi.
The spa is a stress-busting oasis with a salt water pool and hydrotherapy circuit, too.
Sitges is full of surprises, and value for money.
Culture vultures should visit the Maricel Museum, which boasts pieces from the art collections of Dr Jesús Pérez Rosales and the Collection of Sitges. A €13 value ticket covers this plus free entry to the El Cau Ferrat and Fundació Stämpfli museums.
Fancy a cocktail after the beach? The Casa Bacardí Sitges tour costs €9, with a mixologist helping you make your own mojito or cuba libre afterwards. Enjoy your own handiwork on the terrace.
Close to Barcelona, 35km to the north, Sitges can fill up quickly with a tourist overflow, so make sure to book ahead. I thoroughly recommend you try and catch the memorable Corpus Christi festival in early June.
A Sitges tradition, locals work through the night to carpet the streets with flowers. Gardeners will love the exhibition of carnations and bonsai.
Get me there
You have a choice of flights from Dublin to Barcelona including Aer Lingus (aerlingus.com), and Ryanair (ryanair.com). The transfer to Sitges takes about 30 minutes by car.
Prices at the Avenida Sofia (hotelavenidasofia.com/Sitges) start at €130 (accommodation in superior room) and €158 with breakfast during the month of March. Access to the spa is free if booking is made directly with the hotel, otherwise there's a daily charge of €15pp.
NB: Prices subject to availability.