Searching for something obscure to do one early Saturday morning, we stumbled upon a google entry for Sitges Aquatic Paradise, an abandoned water park 35km southwest of Barcelona, in, well, Sitges.
Described as being a ‘Spanish pearl’ by the Daily Telegraph, Sitges is known for its flamboyancy, welcoming locals and its vibrant gay nightlife. Taking only 25 minutes to arrive here by train from the center of Barcelona, it’s well-worthy of a visit if, like us, you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Barcelona in high season.
Perched a little further inland, only minutes from the coast, lies our destination for today.
During the 1990s Sitges Aquatic Paradise opened to the delight of families looking for thrills and excitement and a way to escape the summer’s heat.
Sadly, as popular as it was, this fleeting dream lasted only two summers, when, overwhelmed by debt and a lack of sponsorship – and, reportedly, the death of child on the wave machine, the park was forced to close its doors.
20 or so years later, the park lays abandoned and closed-off, though in previous years that hasn’t deterred the likes of a band shooting their music video here; fashion editorials using the vacant backdrop for their shoots and skaters and skateboarders using the abandoned pools to hone their skills.
Unbeknownst to us, not until after we visited, the police also use this area to conduct training operations…
Redevelopment plans have been proposed numerous times since 2006 when Atri S.A. purchased the land, but the financial crises in 2007 put any ambitions on hold and no further development plans are afoot, leaving the park to remain in this eerie, ghostly state you see today.
Water-park address: Camí Mas d’en Puig, 8, 08870 Sitges, Barcelona