The luckiest thing about visiting Barcelona is that not only you can find everything that a city has to offer but you can also visit nearby towns that have exceptional features. This post is dedicated to my favorite explorers. Explorers that are both curious and active. The ones that want to explore different surroundings and are not scared of getting lost.
CALDES DE MONTBUI
Caldes de Montbui is a nearby town located in the interior part of Barcelona, called Vallés Oriental. It’s 30′ away by car from the big city and it’s really easy to get there. However, buses take around an hour because of several stops throughout the journey.
There’s around 18,000 inhabitants and it’s one of the few Thermal towns in Catalonia. This means that there’s natural hot water underneath the town and therefore, Spa’s and all sorts of Thermal sites to see and discover.
SPA & RELAXATION
The town has several places to visit, some of which are the Spa’s; Balneario Broquetas, Balneario Victoria and Balneario Vila de Caldes. All of them offer many services, products and experiences.
However, I only visited the Balneario Victòria and it was really cool. They have this old-fashioned underground SPA with different zones and a nice warm swimming pool. They offer many package deals for different occasions; I got the basic package which included a relaxing massage – very much needed! Be aware that the SPA is primarily a place that elderly people go to because of the water treatments so, do expect loads of old people chilling in the area.
HOT WATER SITES
It isn’t called an Off-The-Beaten path place if there isn’t any spots out there to visit, right? Well, not only you can chill at the SPA but you can also visit the Old Town’s interesting sites. The most famous attraction in Caldes de Montbui is the Lion Fountain. Water comes out of it at 74 degrees!!! Don’t be afraid to touch the water, I promise you won’t get burn. In the past, inhabitants used to use the fountain’s hot water to cook or clean their ingredients.
You’ll probably realize once you’re there but Caldes de Montui isn’t big at all. If you walk around the city you can visit the Safareig which is another natural swimming pool. However, this one is used for washing only. The most surprising fact is that the eldest keep washing their clothes there!
Finally, I found out that there was an outdoor hot water swimming pool so I had to give it a try. There’s a 3€ fee entrance to get in and you must wear those ugly swimming caps, but it was worth it. You can overlook onto numerous fields, mountains and nature in general. The water is warm so you can even visit during winter. There’s also a small terrace to chill out or even sunbathe in summer.
Apart from the attractive SPA’s, Caldes de Montbui is more than that. There’s also several parks and trekking trails for everyone to enjoy. Families with kids can have a little excursion to Torre Roja, Torre Marimon or the Farell Mountain.
There are also many sites within the town that are mostly Roman remains. Check out the Prison Tower, the Roman Bridge, the Roman swimming pool or the Remei Hermitage . There’s also a medieval Wall and the “Delger” House Museum. However, if you need some more information on the town just stop by the Touristic Information Point at the local Museum Thermalia.
The Museum hosts a full exhibition of well-known artists like Picasso or Manolo Hugué as well as an exhibition regarding Thermal history in the town.
I did visit most of the places mentioned above but I also had time to try very nice food. I specifically remember Na Madrona Restaurant. A small hidden Italian restaurant in a narrow street that definitely didn’t disappoint. The place looks like a proper old-fashioned Italian restaurant, I actually felt as if I was in the middle of Rome. I totally recommend the grilled prawns and hummus starter, they were absolutely delicious.
There are several bars with terraces to have a cold shandy after a long walk in the mountain. Canaletas Square must be famous in Caldes because it was always crowded with people drinking and eating tapas.
Finally, I also popped into a place called FIKA, the only and nicest place for brunches in Caldes de Montbui. It has everything you could think of for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The avocado and egg toast is my favorite. They only serve vegetarian and vegan food so be prepared to have a healthy meal.