From Villanova to Sitges. Finding the camper of Happiness

I am writing this story to pay homage to the fantastic moments of happiness I had this year, for all the crazy adventures, countless experiences, ups and down. It’s been a great year! 365 days spent living abroad, learning new things, exploring, having fun and meeting all sorts of people. December was short but rich with precious moments. First of all, I had a work anniversary – 1 year since I started, which is my record by the way. Second, I found the city of my dreams — Porto (I promise to be back!). Third, I have continued celebrating Christmas in unique ways, as I never did before — it is four times in a row as of now. Fourth — I finally made it home, where I successfully gained 3 kilos in few days. And last, after a long break, I went hiking. I didn’t expect this hike to turn out to be one of the most beautiful experiences of 2017. It made me feel more free, alive and connected to nature than ever before. The rest of the article is about that particular hike. Preparation for the trip from Villanova to Sitges started in the early morning.

I packed a few things, found my old sneakers, bought a big bag of mandarins and the ticket to the city I had no idea existed a week ago. Approximately 40 minutes later I found myself in Villanova. At that point, I found out that Villanova, or Villanueva Y Geltru, is the 3rd largest port city in Catalunya. On that Sunday morning, the peaceful streets of Villanova were almost empty. Here and there, a few people were drinking their morning coffees. I stopped by a little bar to take a slice of strawberry cheesecake and then continued on my way. Clear winter sky and first golden rays promised a great day.

villanova beach


One of the narrow streets leads me to the sandy beach, where the trail from Villanova to Sitges begins. Such a stunning landscape! I could spend hours looking at the waves gently washing the apricot color shore. Bringing calmness and peace to my mind, sweeping me away from all the worries. After some time playing with sand and watching white foamy waves softly crashing against the rocky beach, I finally moved on.

villanova beach

Walking from Tarragona to Sitges

As soon as I reached the peak of a nearby hill, I was rewarded with the awe-inspiring view of the Mediterranean coast. Every single turn and step was magical. Due to diverse vegetation, the air was rich with the sweet fragrance of wildflowers, grasses, and pines. Evergreen leaves were glowing in winter light.

from villanova to sitges

from villanova to sitges

Squinting in bright sunlight, I was enjoying the beauty of the surroundings. Emerald smooth waters and sun melting in the sky reminded me of a divine painting. I was feeling happy and re-charged with fresh energy.

Trail from Tarragona to Sitges

The trail system connecting Villanova and Sitges is advanced, open and available to everyone. I was expecting some difficulties with my footwear, but luckily the path was excellent and extremely easy to follow. There are no steep or dangerous points and no need to carve through the wilderness, which makes the experience even more pleasant. The trail is suitable for both old and very young nature lovers.

trail from villanova to sitges

Finding camper of Happiness

When entering Sitges, I found a camper of Happiness and immediately fell in love with it. It stands there as a symbol of freedom, happiness, simplicity, and unity with nature. I was looking at the little garden behind the camper, a kettle on the table, a boat and two longboards, trying to imagine owners of this little paradise.

camper of happiness

Every single detail was perfect. My imagination drew a scene of a beautiful hippie couple swimming in the sea early in the morning, just on the brink of dawn. I am sure that whoever lives there is a happy person. I took a last look at the camper to commit it to my memory. You will be missed!
I was finishing the last part of a trail with the red-orange glow seeping over the horizon.
I was 100% happy!





51 responses to “From Villanova to Sitges. Finding the camper of Happiness”

  1. Aneesha Rai Avatar

    This looks all absolutely magical! Catalonia has so much to offer, much like the rest of Spain actually. I really wanted to camp in Sitges, but didn’t get a chance. Perhaps another summer! Hope to see that camper van there!

  2. Krupa Avatar

    This is so wonderful.. I don’t like hiking but wouldn’t mind hiking to find out that beach 😍 Your pics are amazing and thanks for sharing your story.

  3. Sandy Cadiz-Smith Avatar

    I have had some wonderful times in Catalonia but have n ever been to this part. How long did the hike take? Were there any parts that involved rock climbing, that were particularly steep or particularly narrow? I love a hike but am not good at precipitous heights!

    1. Aleksandra Avatar

      Hi Sandy, no, the trail is super easy to follow and mostly flat. It took me around 4 hours as i have stopped many times to enjoy the views, have a pic nic and take photos. It’s a beautiful and inspiring hiking trail

  4. Fatema Avatar

    This looks magical. I love finding unique places to hike. How do you reach there

    1. Aleksandra Avatar

      Hi Fatema, it’s super easy. You can take a direct train from Barcelona (takes around 40 minutes and you are there) 🙂

  5. Lorial Roballo Avatar

    Lived close to here and LOVED it!! Sitges is so beautiful. Such a nicely written post too.

  6. Selina Anjum Avatar
    Selina Anjum

    What a gorgeous hike. I love being outdoors and find it incredibly therapeutic. Also, love the happiness camper!

  7. Megan Avatar

    Such a great perspective. I love that you took the time to focus on the moments of happiness from the year. It makes me happy just reading about them. 🙂 <3

  8. Lydia Smith Avatar

    You sure found happiness in last year’s travels, I’m sure this year holds something better. The landscape of Stiges is beaitiful and your happiness is written all over the post. You even added 3 kilos! If not like to bike alone though. Thanks for sharing your Spain happiness experience.

  9. Carmela from Seeker Avatar

    Lovely photos and what a gorgeous place!

  10. Sami Avatar

    I am obsessed with that camper van shot! This looks like one of my kind of hikes – incredible scenery that is not too strenuous. I am new to the hiking game.

  11. Michael Hodgson Avatar

    Strawberry cheesecake and mandarines … now that is food for the best kind of hike. 😉 And trails that start or end on a beach … pure magic. Loved the post!

  12. Ashley B. Avatar

    This looks awesome! I had never heard of Villanova (aside from the college) until this post. I may need to visit! I love Porto also 🙂

  13. Clara Avatar

    Next time I go to Barcelona, I absolutely have to visit Sitges, because it looks really magical! Thanks for sharing your happiness experience 🙂

  14. Nathalie McNabb Avatar

    Just what I need on this Sunday morning, a reminder that life is still full of beautiful things and poetry. Well written article with lovely pictures. Thank you for the inspiration

  15. Adrenaline Romance Avatar

    That’s an incredibly beautiful coastline. We would definitely love to hike and camp there. If there are gusts, this place would be perfect for recreational windsurfing.

  16. Emily Breuninger Avatar

    Ah, beautiful! I would love to visit and camp there some day.

  17. Sandy N Vyjay Avatar

    The hike from Villanova to Sitges looks really excellent. What I love about it are the wonderful views of the Mediterranean coast all along. They look really spectacular. The other fact is that the hike is something which probably most people can enjoy as it does not seem too demanding in terms of toughness of the trail. A great opportunity to revel in the beauty of nature.

  18. ada Avatar

    Spain is my favourite European country. Its so beautiful, especially the south. I haven’t been in Villanova or Sitges so I would love to visit !

  19. Jason Butler Avatar

    Those pictures look nice. I need to see a beach asap.

  20. Kavita Favelle Avatar

    How amazing to have spent a year living abroad, huge milestone! How amazing to learn that Villanova is the 3rd city of Catalunya, like you, I hadn’t heard of it. The walk to Sitges looks beautiful, what lovely landscapes.

  21. Hang Around The World Avatar

    Outdoor adventures are of favorite and especially the ones near the sea! You have done a great experience and we’d like to try something similar next time we will visit Catalogna again 🙂

  22. Rachel Clarke Avatar

    it looks like such a beautiful region to explore! Hidden beautiful places that you don’t expect are simply the best 🙂

  23. Jen Avatar

    Oh wow, i am truly inspired to do something like this. It doesn’t look like a typical tourist trail so it would be perfect to just suck all the experiences in from your surroundings. And yeah, beingon that camper would give me a hippie feel too if i ever go there. Awesome.

  24. Brittany Avatar

    Wow that coastline is gorgeous! I also love that “happy camper”, so neat.

  25. Renata Avatar

    This place looks magical!! Such beautiful pictures!!! Thanks for sharing.

  26. RJ Avatar

    What a fun discovery! I found something similar when I was in Denmark, but instead of a camper, it was a Happy Wall, where people would write happy messages in all sorts of languages. It’s different and unique and most definitely memorable!

  27. Karla Avatar

    So beautiful! I’d love to visit someday!

  28. Geemiz Travel Avatar

    This is an amazing place and I am really happy with all the things you have done. Kudos to your work Anniversary and wishing you the best this year. All your photos are adorable.

  29. Sherrie Fabrizi Allbritten Avatar

    Beautiful hike! I love all your photos. The path, you found it to be an easy walk? Just lovely, would love to do someday 🙂

  30. Dee Avatar

    Hi! Lovely read and great info! I think this would be my new home the way you descrobe it! I didnt get to visit here yet.. but need a trip now!

  31. Ania Travels Avatar

    Looks so beautiful!!! I love hiking in unique remote spaces, I feel like I’m one with nature then!

  32. Danik Avatar

    I love the photos on this post. As a hiker, I would love to do this hike. Looks easy to do. Did you find it easy or difficult in places?

    1. Aleksandra Avatar

      hi, it was very easy 🙂

  33. Unta Avatar

    Wow, no matter what a great year is behind you. I like hikes by the sea, everything feels so much easier. I feel inspired to go hiking tomorrow. 🙂

  34. Harsh Avatar

    Isn’t it an amazing feeling to visit a city you had no idea about? And your imagination took me to Sitges and just there in front of the camper. I wish I was that hippie girl’s partner. Jokes aside! Beautiful blog.

  35. Sandy N Vyjay Avatar

    The Camper indeed looks like a slice of paradise. Indeed the people who live there must be real happy folks. It must indeed be a great experience of joy to wake up free like a bird in these natural environs. And then probably head out for a swim. Indeed the place holds the promise of great times.

  36. Ferne Arfin Avatar

    The last time I was in Catalunya was on a trip from French Catalonia to Barcelona, experiencing the culture of both places. Unfortunately, I had limited time and specific places to go. I wish I had taken a more leisurely approach, as you have done. It looks like it was a lovely walk and inspires me to go back to the region.

  37. Leela Avatar

    Wow, so lovely! And that camper is amazing. Glad you had a great year!

  38. Katie Avatar

    This is a great post! There’s something very special about being by the sea and I wouldn’t have thought about hiking here until I read this post. I’m very glad that the trail is so easy

  39. Adventuregirleliana Avatar

    This looks beautiful and serene! Had been to Spain but not the Catalonian parts. Hoping to return soon. Will keep this place in mind. Glad last year so great to you!

  40. Alexander Popkov Avatar

    Magical pictures! You had a beautiful year. Wish you to have an even more fantastic year next! Fun travels.

  41. Danny Avatar

    Beautiful photos! This looks like a really incredible trail not to be missed, will do this hike the next time.

  42. Colleen Avatar

    This is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

  43. Anja Avatar

    What a great read! I just love the camper of happiness – what a beautiful message❤️

  44. Cath Avatar

    Such refreshing post. Thanks for sharing. And Congratulations on your work anniversary!!

    1. Aleksandra Avatar

      thank you Cath!

  45. Heather Avatar

    Wow the photos really make me want to go!! What a wonderful experience!

  46. heather Avatar

    what gorgeous images!!!

  47. Marina Rosie Avatar

    Your pictures are always beautiful! I’ve never been hiking before but honestly this makes me want to go out and enjoy the beauty of the surroundings, just like you! I love a good beach, I always draw a heart in the sand too haha! x
    Marina Rosie x

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