01 Jun 5 COOL DAY TRIPS FROM BARCELONA
The capital of Catalonia, Barcelona, is one of the most popular destinations in Spain. This city is full of nice architecture, good cuisine, terraces perfect for people watching, among others.
But if you fancy a change of pace or you’re keen to explore the Catalan life beyond the metropolis, there are plenty of day trips from Barcelona just a short ride away. You can choose between mountains, beaches, endless vineyards, pretty little villages and much much more.
I’ve picked some of my favourite day trips from Barcelona that may add interest to a wonderful trip.
1. COSTA BRAVA
This region stretches from Blanes, about an hour drive northeast of Barcelona, to the French border. Costa Brava means Wild Coast in English and gets this name cause is full of rocks, cliffs and small coves. Visitors can get a true taste of relaxation, soaking up in the sun and discovering the picturesque villages, or let their adventure spirit begin diving or kayaking in the beautiful crystal blue waters.
My favourite towns in La Costa Brava are Begur, Cadaqués, Calella de Palafrugell (pictured) and Tossa de Mar.
The mountain of Montserrat rears up an hour train ride away from Barcelona. Known for its religion meaning, magical rock formations and serrated peaks, houses a Benedictine abbey, where there is a shrine to the Black Madonna (La Moreneta). Also, it’s home to one of the best and oldest boys’ choirs of Europe, they perform every weekend and if you have the opportunity, don’t miss them.
From the highest point of Montserrat, St. Jerome’s peak, the views, overlooking out over the whole of Catalonia, are impressive.
Between a half and one hour from Barcelona, depending on the transport method, rests the medieval city of Girona.
The historical preservation is excellent; Roman walls, a mix of a Gothic and Romanesque cathedral, and the old Jewish quarter; are some of the most important reasons when visiting the city.
With colourful houses on both sides, the Onyar River crosses the city and makes it a really vivid postcard.
Curiosity: the recently known as the best chefs in the world had their restaurant here, as expected, the meal is hilarious, but also very expensive and the waiting list is larger than life. Though they opened a fancy ice-cream shop, for every budget, and leaves everyone speechless: “Rocambolesc”.
Tip: In may take place the Temps de Flors festival, a floral exhibition that covers fairly the whole city. So this is a fantastic time to visit Girona.
Visiting Tarragona is like traveling back in time and retrace the footsteps of Roman gladiators. A simply fantastic amphitheatre, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, still stands from nearly two millennia ago; in the time, Roman walls and porticoes can be admired. A magnificently preserved aqueduct stands outside the city, if you are prepared to take a 4km jaunt of town make sure to visit it, as it is one of the most well preserved in Spain. As Girona, Tarragona has also a Gothic cathedral and a picturesque Old Town.
Even though Tarragona is known for her history, there is also a large beach perfect for sunbathing and chill out.
The sea-side charming town of Sitges is just 30 minutes by train from Barcelona. It is known for welcoming people of any sexual orientation, races and religions.
Over 17 sandy beaches with good water quality, oodles of cafés, bars, restaurants and nightlife in the palm-lined promenade by the sea are waiting for you!
6. EL PRIORAT VINEYARD REGION
If you are a wine lover this is the excursion you are looking for. Quite years ago El Priorat produced wines but was never considered an important region for viticulture. Nowadays, is one of the most important regions in Spain and most of the varietals produced are shipped to places like the United States, France and the rest of Europe for a very high price.
Take a tour among the vineyards and be carried away by the taste of a good wine while the sun shines through the grape-bearing vines.
As this excursion doesn’t tend to occupy an entire day, you can complete the journey visiting Tarragona or Sitges.
7. ANDORRA & THE PYRENEES
A bit further than the other ideas, about 2 and a half hours drive from Barcelona, there is the city of Andorra surrounded by mountains. Andorra has endless activities to do all the year round; in winter is a paradise for skiing, and in summer is perfect for hiking and admiring the Mother Nature in its splendor, apart other outdoor activities. Spas overlooking the mountains and shopping streets fill the downtown, ideal to pamper yourself, cause it’s free of Euro taxes, w means all is cheaper than in Spain!
A perfect getaway from the busy life of the city, the beach and pollution, which requires more than a day to live it.