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Sitges, otherwise known as the St Tropez of Spain, is a cultural beacon throughout Catalonia and beyond, thanks largely to its annual film festivals and carnivals. The film festivals, dedicated to celebrating the horror and fantasy genres, take place in October, while the carnival takes place around February and March. The rest of the time, the place is a wonderful Mediterranean resort full of wonderful food and gorgeous beaches. A horror film festival might not be great for kids, but otherwise Sitges is the perfect family friendly holiday destination - great weather, amazing culture and much smaller than nearby Barcelona. It's a great base from which you can explore Catalonia, and with a huge selection of rental apartments available, you can do so at very reasonable prices.
Sitges is just 25 miles or so southwest of Barcelona, with all the attractions of a major city, but the smaller town has plenty to recommend it for a family holiday. It is surrounded by the striking Parc Naturel del Garraf, a bleak rocky wilderness which has to be seen to be believed, given how close it is to bustling Barcelona and Sitges. Around Sitges, there are also about 17 beaches (many of which have Blue Flag status), a wonderful 17th Century church and a few museums to explore, particularly the art collections on display at the Cau Ferrat Museum and the Palau Maricel. And you can't possibly leave without trying xató, the local speciality - think seafood salad with the most delicious spicy sauce you have ever tasted! Older family members are also advised to sample the local liqueur wine Malvasia, a delicately flavoured fortified wine. If all of this isn't enough for a relaxing week away from work and school, the carnival, which kicks off on Shrove Tuesday is incredible, culminating in parades of up to 40 floats or more.
With beautiful apartments available for holiday rentals at around £100 a night for a family of five or six. Ocean views and traditional buildings are complemented by modern essentials such as air conditioning, and give you a flexible base from which to explore the area. Renting an apartment in this way gives you the flexibility to really enjoy the life of the town itself, mingling with local restaurants and people, rather than being cooped up in a hotel and just enjoying the weather! You can let the children run around knowing they're not going to cause issues with other tourists, and you can relax in a Catalonian home from home.