During the 1970s to the 1990s, Maresme was predominantly a summer destination for Barcelonians to have their second home. Families would “move” into their summer house for the three months of summer, and move back to Barcelona for the rest of the year.
Towards the end of the 1990s, transport infrastructure had improved over the years, mainly the motorway, which meant that travel time to the lower part of Maresme was easily commutable. New houses were being built more equipped for the colder winter months; bigger houses with less outside spaces, with the expectation that they would be bought by families planning live there year round.
Today, these previously predominantly summer towns have become more like suburbs of Barcelona, and most people are resident all year round. The area is also fast becoming a popular choice for expats, especially expat families, thanks to its unbeatable combination of beach, village, mountains and proximity to Barcelona.
Lower (Baix) Maresme runs from Montgat to Caldes d’Estrac. This is the most popular area for families commuting into Barcelona. The train from Caldes d’Estrac to the centre of Barcelona, Plaça de Catalunya takes 49 minutes.
Higher (Alt) Maresme runs from Caldes d’Estrac to the Costa Brava, as far as Blanes and Lloret de Mar. As you travel up towards the Costa Brava, the coast line starts changing, and you start to see the rocky outsets and torquoise waters more commonly associated with the Costa Brava. This area attracts many tourists, the more well known towns being Calella, Pineda de Mar and of course Lloret de Mar.