Vilassar de Mar - coastal charm in the heart of Maresme

An insider’s guide to Vilassar de Mar

A flat landscape full of flower plantations next to the sea welcomes you to one of the towns with the strongest maritime traditions in Maresme, Vilassar de Mar. This vibrant coastal town of around 20,ooo residents is rich in architecture and unique products sold by local artisans. Just 25 minutes by train or car from the centre of Barcelona, a short drive to the Parc Serralada Natural and with quirky bars restaurants and shops on your doorstep it is no wonder that Vilassar de Mar has become one of the most sought-after destinations to live and visit in all Maresme.

“Vilassar de Mar has the community feel of a village but the amenities of a small town. The streets are full of traditional ‘casas de pueblo’ and a pedestrianised main street bustling with life, make up the picturesque village centre. There’s a good choice of cafes and restaurants serving everything from Catalan cuisine to sushi and some of the best chiringuitos in the Maresme are within walking distance. My go-to eateries include the Sushi restaurant Yumé, the chiringuito Oblikué and the restaurant Verdeguer”
Jane Mitchell

Here’s the Maresme Connect guide to Vilassar de Mar from its fascinating history to its diverse and exciting food options.

History

Vilassar is renowned for its beautiful fishermen’s town houses close to the seafront

Vilassar de Mar was traditionally a fishing village, with a renowned nautical school for future sailors. To learn more about Vilassar de Mar’s maritime history, a visit to the museum of the Mina Vella is the perfect place to start. The museum is located in an old hydraulic mill, built at the beginning of the 19th century. This mill was the headquarters of the Mina Vella water company, one of the oldest in the region. Currently, the mill houses a permanent exhibition of  tools for the construction of wells and mines.

The streets of Vilassar de Mar showcase a large number of buildings with a rich historical heritage. Whilst strolling along the seafront, it is hard to miss the beautiful Modernista homes known for their detailed columns and arched and stained glass windows. The architecture in this region focuses heavily on its entrance doorways.

After the economic decline of the 17th century, Maresme began to recover its population. So much so that, in the middle of the 18th century, the old medieval churches were insufficient and, encouraged by the economic recovery, many towns began the construction of new temples. During this era,  the church of Sant Joan in Vilassar de Mar was built. If you visit the Old Town you can still hear the original bells that go off at the top of the hour.

Beaches

Vilassar de Mar is pocketed with small beaches and rocky coves

Right in front of Vilassar de Mar train station you find Platja de Ponent. This beach is pretty small and is better suited for a brief visit. If you are looking for a long beach day, you’d best head to Platja de Cabrera which is 10 minutes walk from Vilassar de Mar’s main town and is the largest beach nearby. It also has lots of chiringuitos to choose from as well as the very popular year round permanent restaurant Las Palomares. 

Between Platja de Cabrera and Vilassar de Mar, there is also the Club Nàutic, offering sailing courses,  social and sporting activities year-round to bring the community together. 

Shopping

Local fresh food market

Vilassar de Mar has a number of well known supermarkets such as Carrefour City, Condis and just out of town a Mercadona and Caprabo, while also offering organic and locally sourced options such as those provided in Ametller Origen. 

In all other areas of retail, this town has got it covered with pharmacies, hardware shops, hairdressers, beauticians, bakeries, delis, dry cleaners and more. 

There are numerous independent shops as well including Mi & Ca or Nony Marti‘s fashion boutiques, Maluka’s unique satchel bags, and THESHOP’s surfing gear. If you are looking for more products sold by local artisans check out No20‘s showroom, coworking and events space. 

Food

Natural Vilassar de Mar

Natural restaurant

Vilassar de Mar has a good variety restaurant options; starting with the promenade chirnguito, Oblikue, which offers beautiful views of the Mediterranean, but only open in the summer season. Other summer chiringuitos includes la Caracola Negra, Deja Vu and Kaos.  If you are looking for more of a fine dining experience check out Verdeguer. Verdeguer sources their products from local producers, offering daily dishes depending on what the local markets have in stock.

Global ‘pinchos’ brand Espinaler originated in Vilassar de Mar and is a must, both at its little bar on the seafront and the larger emporium just out of town. If you are looking for a quick bite stop by il Forno for fantastic food and drinks right near the train station. Try out Favela if you want a nice eating spot in the centre of the main plaza.

Sushi lovers should look no further than Yume Sushi but there are many other Japanese and also Thai options too. While, vegetarians won’t feel left out when visiting Natural, a veggie/vegan-friendly restaurant in the centre of the Old Town.

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