Turisme de Sitges

Garraf, beach huts and Gaudí's legacy

Thanks to its geographical location and its history, the town of Garraf, which actually belongs to Sitges, has its own personality and is well worth a visit (or more, as you will see). The huts that are set right on the sandy beach are the most distinctive picture postcard image of a place where Gaudí also left his mark. There must be a reason for it...

Let's start with the picture postcard, all right? Why yes, we're talking about an iconic image: 33 green and white huts, modest and made of wood, all lined up on the sandy Garraf Beach and all facing the sea. A seductive skyline of its very own, which has been declared to be an Asset of National Interest, in the category of Historic Sites, by the Catalan Generalitat since October 2020. This classification certifies its importance as a tourist attraction and, most importantly, guarantees its protection.

 

The first huts in Garraf date back to 1920 and were in fact shacks made from reeds: some were used by families to protect themselves from the sun when they went to the beach; others were used by fishermen to store utensils and even others provided shade and rest for the workers on the railway line that was being built in the area.  Reeds aren't exactly very sturdy (you remember the story of 'The Three Little Pigs'), so these huts were covered in wood, and in 1930 they were raised onto pylons to make them more resistant to eastern winds and sea storms.

 

Can you imagine 'living' in a hut that has sand instead of sidewalks? That instead of a street, it has the sea in front of it? That has a soundtrack as primitive as the sound of waves breaking and the breeze that blows them? Yes, Stendhal's syndrome is also particularly intense here...

 

By the way, the conservation of the huts is currently handled by an organization - the Association of Huts - whose mission is to maintain and protect the huts and their surroundings.

 

But huts aside, in Garraf there are more things to see and do. For example, there's the Garraf Marina, a sports and leisure activities center (regattas, sailing, diving, etc.). And then there's the Celler Güell, a Modernista whim reminiscent of a small medieval castle with a princess to be rescued. Here, in this old winery, we also find different versions regarding its authorship: it is said that the architect in charge of it was Francesc Berenguer i Mestres, one of Antoni Gaudí's disciples; other sources claim that it was a joint effort between the two of them. In any event, Gaudí's influence is unquestionable. This winery had been converted into a restaurant, currently closed.

 

And of course, as a lookout over the village, there is the Garraf Park, that karstic, unique and different, gray and green natural wonder, with the sea in the background and many different routes to enjoy at your own pace. You can't say that the combination isn't attractive: a beach with small huts, Gaudi’s legacy, its own Marina and the gateway to a nature park.  Yes, there's no doubt about it: Garraf is a little big town.

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