Swimming, seaside and slowing down in Sitges

After the bustle of Barcelona – and some crazy busy months of work and school – we were all ready for a bit of family downtime.  So we had booked a few days on the Spanish coast to relax and slow down a bit.  We found an airbnb house in the hills above Sitges – and were pleased that it took us less than an hour from Barcelona to get there.

The online details really didn’t do the house credit – it was absolutely stunning.  I would highly recommend it. Surrounded by the Garraf National Park, it was in a peaceful spot with great views and few houses close by.  As we walked up to the house, guided by the Spanish neighbours who look after the place, we reached the absolute highlight – a beautiful deck and private pool!  The host had barely put the key in the front door and the children were naked and ready to jump in!  Thankfully we could find their suits quickly enough – and they were barely out of them for the next three days!

They swam as soon as they woke up, in the afternoon after our daily trip out, and in the evening just before bed!  And then I’d sneak in a dip once they were asleep as the sun was setting. It was absolutely heavenly!

Each day, we did drag ourselves away from the house – although not too far! We spent two lovely days in Sitges exploring the pretty old town and enjoying the beaches.  I love this shot of Alex confidently striding out to sea in the bottom right:

The beach was perfect for little ones – super sandy with a really gentle slope into the warm water.  So they splashed around in the shallows really safely and independently which they loved:

They could go really quite far out and still be easily able to stand:

We also did a fair bit of research into the range of ice cream shops in Sitges 🙂

On our final day, we decided to explore inland and see more of the Garraf National Park.  I must admit, I was a bit nervous when we turned into the park and found a very rough track rather than a road – was a bit concerned the hire car wasn’t going to make it.  But it did, and I’m so glad I didn’t make Matt turn around!  The park was beautiful – lush green vistas, views out to the sea and vineyards dotted on the hills.

Matt had read about a buddhist monastery up in the hills, so we stopped in for a look.  It was quite surreal seeing a massive stupa in the heart of Catalonia – the last one I’d seen was in Nepal!  The main monastery was closed to visitors on the day we visited, but we were still able to wander around the beautiful grounds.

Alex studied Buddhism as a topic at school last term, so he delighted in telling us all about the prayer wheels and flags!

It was such a peaceful spot and really special to spend some time there.  All too soon, we had to head back to the airport for our (thankfully on time) flight home. It was a short holiday – but we loved the chance to slow down the pace a little and we’re already planning a longer trip next Summer.

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