Calella is located in the Spanish region of Catalonia on the Costa Maresme, which is commonly regarded as being part of the better-known Costa Brava. This thriving modern town is just 50 kilometres north of Barcelona - its accessibility and three kilometres of sandy beaches make this the tourist capital of the Costa Maresme.
The resort is next-door to the Costa Brava which officially starts 12 kilometres north at Malgrat de Mar. It's also sometimes confused with the much smaller resort of Calella de Palafrugalls, 60 kilometres north east along the coast. The Costa Maresme extends from just north of Barcelona, 55 kilometres northeast to the southern boundary of the Costa Brava.
Calella attracts both Spanish holidaymakers and international tourists, primarily from Germany, Britain and Scandinavia. Its many modern hotels, with a total of 14,000 beds, gear themselves to the package holiday market - good transport links enable the big tour operators to bring holiday groups here in droves (by plane and coach) during the summer months.
The resort is just 60 kilometres from Barcelona's "El Prat" international airport and 45 kilometres south west of the airport at Gerona. With its excellent range of water sports and beach entertainment, international restaurants and lively nightlife, this is a holiday destination which appeals mainly to teenagers and families with young children.
The local authorities and commercial organisations have gone to great pains to court the international tourist market. The beaches have 50,000 square metres of sand between them so they're never over-crowded and are kept spotlessly clean by an army of local council workers. The seafront entertainment, on the modern esplanade and on the Beaches themselves, is second to none. During high season there are beach games, organised activities for children, plenty of watersports, dancing, fiestas.and nearly 1,000 sunshades for hire!
The beach is obviously the biggest pull for the majority of tourists but Calella has other attractions, not least of which is its proximity to Barcelona. Trains run every half hour to the great metropolis which must surely rate as one of the most beautiful and exciting cities in the world.
The old part of Calella is worth a visit for its many ancient buildings, the beautiful Dalmau natural park and the old-style narrow streets where you can taste some of the "real Spain" in the tapas bars and restaurants serving local Catalan specialties.
Every month throughout the year colourful fiestas bring the streets to life with processions, parades, music, dancing and much general merrymaking.
Throughout the summer months you can see the famous Sardana danced down at the beachfront every Sunday evening. Local people join hands to perform this fiercely cherished Catalonian dance, which was banned under Franco's fascist regime. They move in circles to symbolise the brotherhood and unity of the Catalonian people, accompanied by local musicians (known as "coblas") playing flute-like instruments.
At the beginning of June there's a big Sardana festival at the beach and in Dalmau Park. And if you're visiting in the middle of September you'll be able to enjoy one of the biggest fiestas of the year - the music festival of La Minerva which includes the election of Miss Calella and the not-to-be-missed parade of the giants. Huge papier-mache figures, beautifully sculpted and painted, are carried through the streets in one of the most extraordinary spectacles in the whole of Spain.