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Barcelona Village

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Barcelona Village - content area

Out and about in Catalunya

Places to visit

Perpignan over the Spanish border a quaint city and means you can buy some squash for drinks (it's really hard to find in BCN - you would be amazed at the things that don't see to cross the Spanish border from France)

Sitges is a very hip and trendy whitewashed seaside town just down from BCN. I'm told that before they revitalised the sea front in Barcelona, Sitges was the beach for BCN.

Girona has romantic gothic heart and is very pretty. In the spring you can see snow on the Pyrenees while walking around the city walls in a t-shirt

Vic is also worth a visit with an old centre and, we discovered by chance, a really really good (if crowded) medieval Christmas market around the 9/10th December with lots and lots of stalls, traditional crafts and almost all the sellers dressed up in medieval costumes.

Seu d'Urgell is where they held the canoeing for the Olympics and is up towards the mountains. We spent a really enjoyable day watching canoeists negotiating the rapids in a man-made centre.

Banyolls (to the North of Girona) is where you can go if you're bored of the sea. It has a pleasant lake which can easily be walked around in a couple of hours and feels a bit more like English countryside.

Penedes is the wine growing area and is somewhere we've driven through with gentle rolling countryside and acres and acres of vines. Vilafranca de Penedes is another really lovely town with an historic town centre.

Hostalric is a smaller walled city with a castle half way to Girona. We got there also at the time of their Christmas market, this time just before Easter.

Figueres is famous as the home of the Dali and the Dali museum. The museum is in an old theatre and is very theatrical in nature. It seemed very self-indulgent 20 years ago, but this time seemed a more balanced collection.

Further to the South is Tarragona, the ancient Roman capital of this area with Roman ampitheatre and an older part. It's pleasant enough but other smaller towns have been more appealing from what we've seen.

Down near Tarragona is Port Aventura - the second largest theme park in Europe and on a direct train from Barcelona Sants.

Costa Brava

The problem with the Costa Brava is that it still has a reputation that's now 30-40 years out of date. What was the first of the package holiday resorts is now a seriously chic and upmarket location with scenery and house prices to rival the French Riviera

Sitges

A very pleasant (and hip) bohemian sea-side resort to the south of Barcelona which is very easy to get to via a train which runs along the coast or by car.

Seu D'Urgell
Situated out to the Pyrenees Seu D'Urgell is a delightful rural Catalan town with a pleasant, if not particularly striking town centre, but with a fabulous white water rapids centre where you can just sit and whileaway a day watching canoes cutting through the rushing water with the mountains of the Pyrenees behind.
Girona

The prettiest town in the area we've found so far with a Gothic centre, views from the city walls to the Pyrenees, a multiplicity of small bridges over the river and surrounded by lush farm land.

Tarragona

Ancient Roman city with a number of Roman buildings and an older city centre.

Vilafranca de Penedes

Centre of the wine growing Penedes region famous for Cava sparkling wine. Very pretty old town.

Parc de la Labyrinth (Horta)

The best park in the whole of Barcelona. A small fee to enter, but glorious water gardens in secluded woods

Figueres

Home of the Dali museum, but something of a frontier town otherwise (it's the last major town before France)

Montserrat

Just outside Barcelona (about 45km) is the very jagged mountain of Montserrat. Celebrated as a Catalonian place of pilgrimage it is both an amazing looking mountain and a place deeply ingrained within Catalunian spiritual life.

Ametlla and Ampolla

Fishing ports down the coast with views to the Ebre Delta. Extremely good scenery and not heavily developed with cliffs and little coves into clear blue water that looked excellent for snorkling.

Costa Dorada

The Costa Dorada runs from North of Tarragona to Sitges. It's largely flat with very long sandy beaches, but like the Maresme lacks some character.

La Molina (Pyrenees)

La Molina, is the closest ski resort to Barcelona and is accessible by train from the city (line Vic-Puigcerda). We visited in summer, but the resort is extensive with large numbers of lifts and runs (and lots of snow machines).

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