Catalunya is a wonderful province filled with rich and pretty places. As I have been living in Barcelona for over 8 months, I wanted to visit many places
Due to Corona, unfortunately, I was not able to visit many other places. Some months we were not allowed to travel outside Barcelona and we were definitely not allowed to visit places outside Catalunya.
But this was a good chance for me to visit as many places in Catalunya as possible (when it was possible).
P.s. we did quite some roadtrips by hiring a car and whenever we parked, the parking costs were all for free, except Congost de Mont-Rebei and Montserrat. Just so you know 🙂
How can I not start with one of the most amazing places in Catalunya, one of my favorite places to be in, to live in; Barcelona. I have written a lot about Barcelona, which you can find under ´Secrets of Barcelona.´
I don´t think I have to say more, just go there if you get a chance. Barcelona has everything, the beach, nature, beautiful architecture (look for Gaudí on Google), amazing landmarks, a bubbly city life and every cuisine you can think of. There is always something you can do or something new to discover, even after 8 months.
100 kilometres south of Barcelona, you can find Tarragona, a very pretty city with an amazing amphitheater.
You can enjoy the beach, have a beautiful sight over the amphitheater together with the sea or visit the lively city center and eat some tapas.
We enjoyed Tarragona a lot. You can feel the history everywhere, but it is also very pretty. We went on a Sunday in September and there was also a small market going on, which was fun. You can also find street art on many places, which makes the center even more cosy.
The church in the center, also reminded me of the church next to the Bastion in Budapest.
The beach was nearly empty on the day we went there, which we did not mind at all.
Furthermore, we discovered that there is also a Fisherman’s district, called El Serrallo. From the amphitheater it was a 30 minutes walk, but man, you have to go here. The name says it all, you have to go here to eat fish, that is what they are specialized in.
Especially the Romesco, which is basically a cold sauce, but freaking delicious. It´s the local food, so we had to try it. We ate it with mussels and I never knew I would love it this much, but the sauce makes it 100 times more delicious.
We went to Tarragona by train, which is 1 hour from Barcelona.
3. Congost de Mont-Rebei
Congost de Mont-Rebei is definitely one of the prettiest places in Catalunya (next to Barcelona of course 😉 Especially for hikes, this is the place-to-be. This is the reason, I wrote a different blog about this stunning site, which you can read here.
This hiking spot is located in a beautiful gorge with cliffs and it is formed by the Noguera Ribagorçana river.
Next to hiking, you can also go for a kayak adventure, whatever you like. We spent 5 hours on this hike (up and down) and were nearly at the end. I have to admit that I am not the fastest person.
Be aware that is is approximately 3 hours from Barcelona by car. So we went here for a day on our 3 days roadtrip. For more information, you can visit my blog about Congost, by clicking on this article.
Pals is a very small town 1,5 hours from Barcelona.
When I say small, I am talking about exploring for one hour and then you can be done. But it´s medieval and really pretty with cute corners everywhere. It is definitely worth it, if you are in the area.
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Besalú is a super cute town and really photogenic. It is most know for the medieval bridge above the water. You can take such good shots from that bridge from almost every angle, also with a reflection in the water.
I am a big Harry Potter fan and found it so funny to find a store with only HP stuff and even a statue of Dobby outside the store. It does fit the town.
We went here by car on a road trip in January 2021 and we could park the car for free, only 5 minutes from the bridge.
We combined Besalú with Castellfollit de la Roca, Fageda d´en Jorda and it´s 1.5 hours from Barcelona.
Besalú might be small, we spent a lot of hours just wandering around and taking photos. It is just so photogenic and filled with surprises. I can imagine life in the Middle Ages, people working hard, kings and queens walking over the bridge.
I definitely recommend you to go here 🙂
6. Fageda d´en Jorda
Fageda d´en Jorá is a beautiful park located in the Parc Natural de la Zona volcànica de la Garrotxa, aka a volcanic park.
There are multiple non-active volcanoes here and there are nice hiking trails for if you want to see them all. The more you want to see, the longer you have to walk. There is even a volcano where you can go inside the crater.
We walked around 2 hours up and down, walked in the forest and visited one volcano, the Talús del Croscat.
This is the youngest, but highest volcano in the Iberian Peninsula. The last eruption was 14.000 Years BC. It has a horseshoe shape, so you can even see the internal structure of the cone from top to bottom. PRETTY COOL! I have never seen a volcano this close, the only other volcano I have seen was the Vesuvius in Napels (Italy).
If you love walking and nature, this is definitely the place to be.
If there is one place I would love to return to, it is Sitges. It´s so beautiful and it also reminded me of Sevilla occasionally. All the cute, colorful streets…
But Sitges is also very different than Sevilla, the biggest reason for this is the sea. The clear blue water is magical here.
Maybe I am weird, but I never enjoyed swimming in the sea that much, maybe also because I have not been to amazing beaches yet, but this sea has changed my mind. The water is super clear, I could see the fish swim when I was walking in the water. So you have to visit the beach when you go to Sitges!
Other than that, the center is small, but very cute. I would love to go back and enjoy the beach again, but also visit more sights, as we spent most time on the beach.
8. Castellfollit de la Roca
Situated on the top of a cliff is this a very special town to visit.
The rock where the town is situated is over 50 meters (160 feet) high and almost a kilometer long. It was formed by the overlaying of two lava flows.
This town is also located close to the Parc Natural de la Zona volcànica de la Garrotxa, aka a volcanic park. We combined visiting this town with Besalú, Fageda d´en Jorda, Santa Pau and stayed at an Airbnb in Can Genassa. That is only 15 minutes by car.
I recommend you to walk around this small town and enjoy all the views. You can easily visit the whole town in 1 or 2 hours.
It is located 1.5 hours from Barcelona and we could park for free (as almost everywhere).
Girona is a magnificent city, 102 kilometers away from Barcelona and a good day trip. We visited Girona on one of our roadtrips which you can read about here.
The city is partly surrounded by a city wall, it has pleasant squares, cobbled streets, and many historical monuments and buildings. The most famous sight is the one over the river with all the colorful houses. That is really pretty.
We did explore the bridges, the Jewish quarter (if you are a Game of Thrones you have to go there, as a scene was shot there). Then we tried to escape the heat by going to the Catedral and Basilica, which were both amazing.
Girona is definitely worth a visit, just because it has so many facets.
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Next the town that surprised me most… Blanes. I had heard many party stories about this town, but I did not catch that vibe at all.
We went to climb the big rocks and had a brilliant view over the coastline. This is something you must-do when you are in Blanes.
Also the beach is so nice, you can even go snorkeling or diving. The restaurants are so diverse and we wanted to to visit the castle on top of the hill, but did not have time for that.
For more information about Blanes and the roadtrip, you can read this article.
Blanes is one hour from Barcelona by car.
11. Santa Pau
Santa Pau had been recommended by locals and I am recommending it to you now. It´s pretty small, but quite charming. It has cute cobbled houses, the road to the center is rather cool and the sights are lovely.
This place was also part of our roadtrip to Besalú, Castellfollit de la Roca and Fageda d´en Jorda and is also located in the volcanic area I have written about before.
We spend 1 or 2 hours in this small town and enjoyed a coffee with the pretty views.
It is 2 hours from Barcelona by car and I do recommend to visit it if you are close by.
Vic is nice medieval town and most known for the 11th-century Romanesque bridge and Plaça Major, the main square.
It reminded us a lot of Solsona, a town we visited before Vic. We adored Solsona and so Vic as well.
We visited Vic on a roadtrip, combined with Congost de Mont-Rebei and Solsona. It is 1 hour north of Barcelona.
30 minutes from Vic, you can find the Monastery of Sante Pere Casseres, which is an 11th-century Benedictine monastery. It has a Romanesque style and offer scenic views of the surrounding. We enjoyed this spot just as much.
Montserrat is an insanely beautiful hiking spot, only an hour away from Barcelona. There is a direct train going there, but we visited this place by car.
It is a Benedictine Monk retreat and I have to admit, that even though I am not religious, this whole site really felt holy. The Monastery here dates back from the 9th Century.
You can take this small cable car up to the mountain, once you parked your car and from there you can take a couple of routes.
It is just amazing to be able to walk those rocks and have this brilliant view all over Catalunya. I absolutely want to go back here in the future, to hike more.
I feel like the photos can not do justice to this place, but if you ever visit Barcelona for more than 1 week, please visit this place if you like hiking and nature.
14. Calella de Palafrugell
Calella de Palafrugell is a very typical lovely summer destination. It is gorgeous, especially due to the 7 amazing beaches.
It is also touristic and if you want a spot at the beach, you have to be early. When we went to have a drink, my boyfriend had the best Mojito sin (without) alcohol.
Don´t forget to visit the town! It´s not that big, but I always love to wander through those charming white streets.
Calella is located 1.5 hours from Barcelona and we had a look at this town on one of our lovely roadtrips.
I just saw an ad to buy a house in Begur and if I could I definitely would!
We went up the hill to visit the ´castle´ and had the best view ever over the town and sea. But not only then, even when we parked our car and this is why I think the people here are so lucky.
It has one of the 3 best beaches in Spain, which already should be the no.1 reason for you have to go there 😉
Begur is 1.5 hours away from Barcelona and this town was the place-to-be on one of our great roadtrips.
Then the last place I want to discuss… Solona. I can´t get over this place. It all seems to old, so old that it must have many secrets.
We loved walking through the antique cobbled streets and have a coffee there. Next to that, we liked Placa de Sant Joan, an attractive square with a fountain in the middle.
Solsona is located 1.5 hours from Barcelona and is a good spot if you want to do a roadtrip combining Vic and Congost de Mont-Rebei.
Which place are you planning to go or have you been to in Catalunya? Let me know in a comment 🙂
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