Sant Pol de Mar is ideally located half way between Barcelona and the Costa Brava and with an excellent train connection to the Catalan capital and is one of Maresme’s most popular and charming coastal towns. The sandy beaches with the backdrop of green hills and pretty white houses, are dotted with fishing boats, canoes and kayaks and have become a go-tp summer destinations for many wealthy Barcelonians. The town offers many amenities pharmacies, doctors and schools.
The cobbled streets in the town centre offer some cute boutique shops and great dining options. There are also a number of popular chiringuitos and seafront cafés, ideal for a morning coffee, lunch, or sundowner. Events and festivities are at their peak in the summer months with a strawberry festival in May, a jazz festival in June, the St James’ celebrations in July, and the Habaneres festival in August.
“I’ve been lucky enough to live in the Maresme town of Sant Pol de Mar since 2010. Everyone who know it speaks of its charm and how they love visiting. Unlike other Maresme towns it remains unspoiled by modern development, and fiercely maintains old customs and traditions that are reflected in the annual fairs and fiestas, from the blessing of the animals on the feast of Saint Anthony, to the music and dance of the Havaneres and Sardanas. In summer it has a lively buzz, but is rarely overcrowded. There are plenty of chiringuitos, cafes and restaurants, and regular live music events. During winter things are much quieter, though the town has its own life, independent of summer visitors. The main street has a variety of shops that I love to visit, as well as special markets selling local produce and artisanal items from time to time.”
The charming beachside town of Sant Pol de Mar was home to a monastery in the medieval period that helped the area flourish economically due to the influx of people. Its golden period was between the 11th and 14th centuries which transformed Sant Pol de Mar into an important cultural centre. An economic crisis, plagues, and civil wars took its toll at the end of the 15th century and the monks left the monastery. It took decades for the town to get back to its previous state but at the end of the 16th century, its recovery began.
In 1599 Sant Pol de Mar became independent from Sant Cebrià, becoming its own municipality with a growing economy from its own vineyard cultivation, wine trade with America, and fishing activity. In 1859, with the arrival of the train, the industrial sector was developed. This, along with the diverse agriculture and the popular fishing sector, allowed a new stage of growth.
From the beginning of the 20th century, San Pol de Mar became renowned for being a quiet summer village for families looking for a weekend escape or holiday from Barcelona.
Sant Pol has a range of different property styles on offer including modern newer apartment buildings, contemporary villas, Masias on the outskirts, family homes and more traditional homes. As more international visitors have made Sant Pol de Mar their summer resort town, prices have risen in recent years but apartments and houses are easily rentable on sites such as AirBnB and VRBO. Prices can range from around €200,000 for a two-bedroom apartment to €1.5m for a Masia with lots of land.
Sant Pol de Mar has some amazing restaurants. Bar-Restaurant Can Talamàs is a cosy eaterie that boasts a fantastic lunch menu. It is reasonably priced and a 5-minute walk from the beach. For delicious traditional food at a reasonable prices you can try Restaurant Margot. Another amazing beachfront restaurant with a relaxed ambiance, wonderful views, and delicious food is Restaurant Terrassa Voramar, which is pictured above. And for a peaceful restaurant with an outdoor terrace, head to Ruby’s Bar, perfect for tapas, coffee, paella, or just a copa or two.
Sant Pol de Mar has a few boutiques which are worth a visit. Krisbel Moda Sant Pol has women’s clothing for all ages. La Sara outlet has cute clothes for great prices, L’encant de la Carla is perfect for all accessory and clothing needs. La Botigueta is a cosy boutique. Other shops around Sant Pol de Mar include Floristeria Sílvia Gasull, pictured above and Mobles Ramon, a popular furniture store.
The coastal town of Sant Pol has a range of picturesque beaches that are all easy to get to including:
Sant Pol Beach
This pretty beach is perfect for families. With beautiful, crystal clear waters, this beach is steps away from all amenities. There is parking close by, a park as well as many restaurants and beachside cafes.
La Murtra Beach
At nearly 1300 metres long, this tranquil beach has everything you need for the perfect beach day, offering everything from a range of chiringuitos to sun umbrellas and showers.
Les Barques beach
This easily accessible beach is great for a quick dip or tan. It also has a beachside restaurant, and is just a few steps away from the train station.
There are many beautiful places to see in the town from the gorgeous architecture to the beautiful 18th Century church.
Parc del Litoral
With a beautiful path for walks, a skatepark, and a play structure for kids, people and children of all ages can enjoy this beachside park, and admire the Mediterranean views.
Ermita Sant Pau
The current church started construction in the 18th century but was paused due to the War of the Spanish Succession. It was not completed until 1804. While the current church dates back to the 18th century there were previous religious sites in the same area dating as far back as 1485.
Mirador de Sant Pol de Mar
This observation viewpoint is a perfect place to see the Mediterranean as well as the pretty rooftops of Sant Pol.
Cal Doctor Roura
This is a beautiful house with a modernist tower by the architect Ignasi Mas Morell dating back to 1917. It has an asymmetrical facade, ladder panels on the balcony, and ornamentation with green glazed tiles and iron railings.
This stunning building was built in 1924. Its style is inspired by the Catalan Civil Gothic, with crown windows, beautiful gardens, mouldings with sculpted corbels, and solana gallery.
Casa Mas i Morell
The Casa Mas i Morell was designed by Ignasi Mas Morell in 1919, and built in 1922 for Josep Mas i Morell. It is located in front of the sea in the square and it boasts the Noucentista artistic movement that was throughout Barcelona at the time. This is shown through symmetry, balance, and decorative restraint. There was also a restoration of the house carried out in 2004.
Joan Vila Arcelos, a master builder and renowned painter, built Casa Camino in 1923. The upper half of the house is more original with its decoration surrounding the balcony.
For more information on activities in Sant Pol de Mar take a look at the town hall website.
Sant Jaume Festival
The local Festa Major for the town. This annual weekend-long festival is filled with dances, parades, fairs, concerts, fireworks, and so much more. Events are held at many different locations in the village including, Platja de les Barques. (The weekend closest to July 25)
Fira de Sant Pau
This is the second major festival of Sant Pol de Mar. It holds historical traditions and its origin goes back to the medieval period. On this day, the giants of Sant Pol come out in a parade, where they end up offering the entire audience the ancient dance of the Almorratxa. They recreate a legend of medieval origin that deals with the conflict between Moors and Christians at the time. This fair takes place throughout the town’s streets and is filled with lively music, parades, and shows for children. On the Sunday after Sant Pau, the March of Sant Pau is celebrated, with nearly 1,500 participants from all over Catalonia. (January)
From the end of May to the end of April you can enjoy the beautiful and delicious strawberry festival. The festival aims to help promote and publicise the typical crop of Vallalta, the Maduixa (strawberrry) del Maresme, which is currently disappearing as a result of changes and evolution over time. It is organized jointly between the different towns integrated in Vallalta: Sant Cebrià de Vallalta, Sant Iscle de Vallalta and Sant Pol de Mar. Local restaurants make strawberry specialities such as salads, pastries, savoury dishes, and sorbet featuring the fresh, delicious strawberries of El Maresme.
Festival de Jazz de Sant Pol de Mar
One of the oldest Jazz Festivals in Catalonia, these concerts take place in local venues between May and June.
Firamar, Sardinada, and Festival d’Havaneres
Firamar is a fair of arts, crafts and maritime motifs, it also includes the Sant Pol Havana Festival and the traditional Sardinada dance. You can find workshops and displays of fishing arts as well as the sale of seafood such as sardines and boquerón (anchovy) sandwiches. It is held at the end of August in Passeig de la Punta and on Pescadors beach. (August)