What I did:
Ribes Roges Beach-
The beach is Vilanova’s main attraction. It is a nice, wide, sandy beach. It is kept clean and well maintained. In the summer places to eat and drink called “chiringuitos” are assembled along the beach.
The Rambla in Vilanova is said to be the longest in Catalonia. It stretches from the waterfront up to the Plaça de les Neus, and it is the main road of the city. Many festivals are held on the Rambla, and it is a nice place to walk along, grab something to eat or drink, shop, or just people watch.
Placa de la Vila-
The Plaça de la Vila is the main city square. It hosts many festivals and events, and is also where many protests take place.
Plaça del Mercat-
The Plaça del Mercat, or “Market Plaza,” is the site of the central market in Vilanova. While they are open throughout the week, the best day to go is Saturday morning when the market expands outside into the Plaza.
Although many people do not know the origin, Carnival marks the start of Lent. In Vilanova it is a weeklong celebration. The celebration really kicks off with the “Merengada,” which is basically a food fight with meringue (as in the stuff on top of lemon meringue pie). The following day is “Arrivo,” which is a parade that goes through town with costumes, music, dancing, and some small fireworks. A couple days later “Comparse” is celebrated, which starts with people skipping through town with their significant others and a band behind them and culminates with a giant candy fight in the Plaça de la Vila. There are also other days with music and dancing and other festivities.
Panta de Foix-
Located on the outskirts of Vilanova i la Geltru is the Panta de Foix. It is a water reservoir and park that offers nice views, good places to have a picnic, and nice walking trails.
I worked out at a few different places in Vilanova. Gimnas Miro is a nice, small, basic facility that charges fair monthly rates. Aqua Sport Clubs is more expensive, but it the best fitness facility in town. There are also multiple free options: the beach (which also has areas to play sports like volleyball), the promenade that runs along the beach (and is a great place to go for a run or bike ride), and the Parc de Baixamar (workout area with equipment such as pull-up bars).
My main reason for being in Vilanova i la Geltru was to teach English through the CAPS (Conversation Assistant Programme for Schools) organization. Overall, this was a great experience. The staff at the school I was at were incredibly kind and great to work with. I was able to work with kids ranging in age from 5 to 18. I enjoyed my experience so much that I plan on continuing to teach English.
Where I ate and drank:
Pausa Coffee is the best place to get coffee in Vilanova. They offer craft coffee drinks like Chemex and V60, and also offer a variety of espresso based drinks.
Cal Puput is a great place to go to eat Catalonian food. The food is very tasty and well priced. However, it is only open during limited hours and can get extremely busy during those times, so it would be a good idea to make a reservation.
Kinkakau is a nice, relaxing pastry and coffee shop. It is a great place to grab a cup of tea.
La Burguette offers a variety of different burgers. The portions aren’t exceptionally large and the prices are relatively high, but the burgers are very tasty.
Locataed a short drive outside of Vilanova in nearby Canyellas is Cal Manalet. It is another nice place to get great Catalonian food, and the service is excellent!
A Beer Apart-
A Beer Apart is an excellent craft beer spot. They have a nice selection on tap, and an even bigger selection of bottles. They also offer some great food.
El Canceller is an excellent place to go for wine or vermouth. They offer a variety of wines, and I would highly recommend a guided tour of the old cellars that give a glimpse into the history of the place.
El Giraldillo is a nice place to go for some good, local seafood.
Sushihana is conveniently located on the Rambla, and it is a good place to go to satisfy a sushi fix.
Where I stayed:
I stayed with some very hospitable families from the school while in Vilanova i la Geltru. They opened their homes to me and even took me to places like Panta de Foix and Montserrat.
How I got around:
I walked to get around town in Vilanova, and I used the Renfe/Rodalies train system to visit nearby towns.
My favorite thing:
My favorite thing about the city of Vilanova is the beach. The beach is a good size and has nice sand. It is a good place to workout, or just to relax and read a book.
My least favorite thing:
My least favorite thing about Vilanova is the smoke. A very high percentage of the population seems to smoke. It is hard to walk very far in town without walking past someone smoking a cigarette.
For next time:
Next time I would like to spend more time at the beach. I have not been in Vilanova during the summer, which would be the best time to go to the beach.
Welcome to the Healthy Explorer Blog. If you like travel stories have a look around my blog and check out my podcast— maybe you'll find an extra spark for your own adventures.