When it comes to property in the Maresme, the north coast is fairly built up, and includes some rather unattractive towns that were developed for budget tourism in the 60s and 70s. It is also possible to find more attractive properties in the hills away from the coast.
However in the southern part of El Maresme that has always been popular with people who work in Barcelona, there are some stunning mansions and other upmarket properties to be found, though prices start at around 1 million Euros.
About the Maresme
El Maresme is the name given to the coast that lies between the town of Montgat just to the north of Barcelona and the town of Blanes near the river Tordera which marks the boundary with the Costa Brava. This coast, thanks to its mild climate, good beaches, pine-covered hills, intriguing light, and good accessibility, has become a popular residential and tourist area.
El Maresme is renowned for its agricultural activity that is mainly dedicated to vineyards, flowers, fruits and vegetables (its carnations and strawberries are famous throughout Spain) and also for its fishing activity centred in the town of Arenys de Mar – one of the most important fishing harbours in Catalonia.
The coast offers many kilometres of clean wide sandy beaches between the mouth of the river Tordera and the hill that surrounds the beach of Calella de la Costa. To the south, between this town and Sant Andreu de Llavaneres, the foothills give place to smaller beaches no less suited to bathing and water sports.
Besides being popular with tourists, El Maresme has become one of the preferred destinations for people from Barcelona who wish to live outside of the city and enjoy a quieter life. The residential areas par excellence are el Masnou, Alella, Cabrils, Vilassar de Mar and Vilassar de Dalt, Premià de Mar and Premià de Dalt, Llavaneres and Sant Vicenç de Montalt.
The main tourist areas are located in the north of the county, in Calella de la Costa, Malgrat de Mar and Pineda de Mar.
El Maresme has always been a popular residential area for people who work in Barcelona but wish to live outside of the city and near the coast. It is also a place where many Catalans have holiday homes that they use for the long summer holidays and for weekend breaks. As such, and with the exception of the main tourist towns such as Malgrat, it is a largely inhabited by local people.
Life on this coast is relaxed and comfortable though the area is neither exceptionally beautiful in the way that parts of the Costa Brava are, nor terribly sophisticated in the way that Barcelona and Sitges are. However there are nice beaches to enjoy, a number of good restaurants in the area, and plenty of modern shops and services on offer. Furthermore it is well placed for enjoying day trips to both Barcelona and the countryside of the Costa Brava.
There is both an autopista (motorway) and carretera nacional (trunk road) to Barcelona that makes reaching the airport easy enough, though due to the number of commuters living in this area rush hour traffic can be a problem.
There are also regular trains to the centre of Barcelona.
© Mark Stucklin (Spanish Property Insight)