Sitges: a Mediterranean photogenic town

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Sitges: a Mediterranean photogenic town

If you like to take photos that show the Mediterranean essence, you mustn’t miss visiting Sitges. This town is a real Mediterranean jewel. It is located 38km south of Barcelona (Catalonia), on the coastline. You can come from Barcelona even by public transportation. By train it will take around 30-40 minutes. The town has wonderful beaches, churches, beautiful streets and great restaurants and clubs. Sitges combines the Mediterranean essence with an extremely lively atmosphere. Important cultural events happen in Sitges all over the year: The international Sitges film festival (renowned worldwide), the carnival, the Corpus Christi… the list is endless. In addition, the town’s night life is also pretty intense, especially in the summer. Sitges has some of the most well-known clubs in Spain such as Pacha or Atlatida. If you are an  event photographer you should have a look at Sitges calendar  before planning your trip.

Here you can see the tower of the Church of Sant Bartomeu & Santa Tecla, one of the most photographed places in Sitges. I edited this photo using  Sleeklens’ Brick and Mortar workflow for Lightroom

Right now you can imagine how interesting Sitges is, photographically speaking. You can find a lot of practical information about the town in several websites. I recommend checking the tourism website in order to organize your trip and check a list of places to see in the city.  If you do a Sitges google search and you focus on the images, you will probably find gorgeous photos showing one of the beaches of the town and the Church of Sant Bartomeu & Santa Tecla. This is by far the most common photo of the city. Don’t misunderstand me. I do think that these typical images of Sitges are beautiful and most of them are great technically and compositionally. You should definitely have a look at them. However, my intention in this article is to give some tips and ideas that might help you to get other perspective of Sitges.

Views from Colls-Miralpeix

Colls-Miralpeix is a natural area between Sitges and the town Vilanova i la Geltru which is located to the south. One of the way of access to the reservation is in Sitges, close to a famous and luxurious hotel called Dolce.  Not so many tourists reach this area. For that reason you can enjoy hiking trails and viewpoints that show a much calmer side of Sitges. From Colls-Miralpeix you will be able to take photos from a not so common perspective.

Views from Colls-Miralpeix

Vinyet Sanctuary

Although the place where this small sanctuary is placed has been related with worship to the Holy Mother since the middle age, the most part of the actual building is from the 18th century. The legend says that a figure of the Holy Mother was found there by a Muslim slave that worked in the vineyards. Although he tried several times to bring the figure to the owner of the land, the Holy Mother kept coming back to the vineyards somehow. For that reason they decided to build the sanctuary in the vineyards and call it el Vinyet, that in fact means vineyard in catalan. Legends aside, this place is almost unknown by tourists. You can go inside and enjoy the images of the Holy Mother. I was surprised to find ship decorations hanging from the ceiling. If you want to take good photos inside, bring coins with you because the light of the sanctuary turns on thanks to kind donations. The light doesn’t last long, so you need to be quick with your photos (or have an assistant near the donation box…)! I didn’t have enough coins and for that reason I don’t have any good photo of the inside! Don’t repeat my mistake!

Vinyet Sanctuary
Sitges: photographers' destination
Entry to the Vinyet Sanctuary. Blue and white colors are typically Mediterranean.


Side chapel at Vinyet Sanctuary. The windows have grape details, in honor to the vineyard that were here before the sanctuary was built.

Focus on the details surrounding the Palau Maricel (old city)

The Palau Maricel (Maricel Palace) is a gorgeous museum close to the Church of Sant Bartomeu & Santa Tecla. Both the museum and the surroundings are one of the most visited places in town. I highly recommend you to visit it during the week days because in the weekends the place is full of people.

On the left, entry to the Palau Miracel a day that it was closed. On the right, same spot on a busier day (and it can get even busier, trust me)

However, if you have no other option and you find yourself surrounded by a crowd, you can still take interesting photos of the multiple details you can find on the walls, windows and doors. You just need to look up to find many interesting decorative motifs that will give a new perspective to your photos from that area.

Details you can find close to the Palau Maricel

You can find lovely details all over the old town

Mediterranean style streets in the old town

Sitges main streets can be really busy in the sunny days. If you want to take photos without too many people around you will need to do it during the week days and early in the morning. You will have more chances to find empty streets in the low season (winter, autumn). But take into account that in sunny days of the low seasons Sitges will also be full. To this equation you have to add the different events going on. For example, during the International Sitges film festival the town is also pretty crowded (although taking photos of such an event has its own potential too!). But if you find yourself in Sitges on a crowded day, you can still take photos of lovely streets by avoiding the main ones. It is pretty amazing how tourists accumulate in just the few commercial streets. Have a look to the side streets and you will find beautiful photogenic corners.

Sitges: photographers' destination
If you check the side streets you can find jewels like this one


Sitges: photographers' destination
You can find lovely Mediterranean streets in the old city

Extra tip: if you are willing to venture out of Sitges in order to see something special, you must stop by Garraf and visit the “Platja de les casetes” (Beach of the little houses). Garraf is between Sitges and Barcelona. You can access to this beach either by car or by train (Garraf station). The peculiarity of this beach is that it has this line of little houses that belonged originally to fishermen. Houses have been kept in their original form, making this beach one of the most photogenic in the area.

View of the “Platja de les casetes de Garraf” (Beach of the little houses of Garraf)


Close up of the Little Houses (casetes) that belonged originally to fishermen

I hope my article will give you new ideas about photographing Sitges. Feel free to contact me with any question. I will be happy to tell you whatever I know (also about the more touristic or well-known areas of the town). I would like to thank Rafael Pino for guiding me around Sitges and showing me a different perspective of such a wonderful town. Have a happy shooting!!!

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I am a biologist and a self-taught photographer based in Barcelona (Catalonia). Buddhist philosophy has a strong influence on me: I have a deep appreciation to life and I give a huge value to the little things that makes our days happier. I became a passionate about photography when I got my first camera and I understood that photography allows me to express my way of approaching life. I love learning so I am always willing to trying new things. These days I am shooting mostly nature and portraits.

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