Ideal Escapes in Catalonia
Catalonia is famous as an amazing vacation destination not only for Barcelona its capital but for its rural area characterized by a fabulous landscape.
• Andorra – lies on 464 km in the Pyrenees between France and Spain. The area is ideal for hiking. One of the main road leads to Cercle de Pessons, a string of lakes. During a trip tourists can visit the Roman chapels like Sant Marti from La Cortinada.To the north we find Sorteny Valley where the traditional farms were changed into restaurants.
• Puigcerda – although is build on a little hill, Puigcerda offers great view to the beautiful valley Cerdanya. It was built in 1977 by Alfons II, as a capital of Cerdanya.
• Ripoll – sometimes a little mountain base, now Ripoll is known for Monastery de Santa Maria. The city is named “cradle of Catalonia“, due to the fact that the monastery was home of Guifre el Pelos, the founder of the House of Barcelona. In the west part of the area there is Sant Jaume de Frontanya , another amazing Romanesque church.
• Sant Joan de les Abadesses – A beautifull XII century bridge passes Ter River to get to this village. The monastery is its main attraction. Founded in 855, the church does not have too many decorations, but a wooden one.
• Olot – This little village is surrounded by a landscape full of extinguished volcanoes. In the XVIII century the textile industry gave birth to the Art School in Olot. In 1973 was built the Public Drawing school. Fine works like Les Falgueres can be found in Museu Comarcal de la Garrotxa.
• Besalu – You can arrive here passing river Fluvia. This amazing medieval village has two main attractions – the Romanesque churches: Sant Vivenc and Sant Pere.
To the south we find Banyoles lake where took place the 1992 rowing competitions. This place is ideal for picnic and open air activities.
• Girona – situated on river Onyar this city offers an amazing landscape with tall buildings on different colors. Behind them we find the old city, on Rambla de la Llibertat, with numerous open air coffee shops and stores.
The main sights in the city are : Centre Bonastruc Ca Porta , the Cathedral, Museu d’art, Museu del Cinema, Museu d’Historia de la Ciutat, Museu del Joguet.
Open air activities in Catalonia
From the mountains area to the beach, Catalonia offers almost all kind of open air activities in order to enjoy and have fun during your holiday.
Summer is a great season for fishing, swimming, raft rides, hiking and other activities while winter is ideal for ski lovers.
Barcelona has over 30 state pools like Piscines Bernat Picornell near the Estadi Stadium and next to Montjuic we find Palau Sant Jordi Stadium.
Palau Sant Jordi is used for open air activities and also for music and recreational activities.
Tennis lovers can visit Centre Municipal de Tennis Vall d’Hebron that has also kids facilities included.
The best ice skating point and hockey school is Pista de Gel del FC Barcelona.
The nearest golf courses from Barcelona are Golf Sant Cugat and Golf El Prat.
Catalonia has few airports where tourist can rent airplanes and practice parachute jumping. The best club is Aeroclub from Sabadell. Free Evolucio offers extreme sports from groups of 10-12 persons including bungee jumping and balloon rides.
Bird watching – there are 2 special area for this kind of activity – Delta de l’Ebre south of Tarragona and Aiguamolls de l’Emporda near Sant Pere Pescador. There are special guides to offer trips and all necessities for these activities.
If you want to visit Parc Natural del Cadi-Moixero is better to check the information point at Baga.
All Catalonia is an ideal place for long trips in the mountains. One of the best places is Parc Nacional d’Aiguestortes. The area has mountain shelters and tourist can ask information at Centre Excursionista de Catalonia.
Along to the 580km on the coast of Catalonia we find 30 ports, giving possibility to practice a wide range of water sports. Costa Brava was always ideal for diving; the best place is near the islands Illes Medes in L’Estartit resort. Near Cadaques and Cap Begur there are diving schools.
Sort city from Noguera river is a starting point for those interested in kayak , raft sailing and diving in underwater caves.
In the winter ski lovers can enjoy the excellent slopes of the Pyrenees. There are almost 20 areas ideal for ski.
La Molina is great for beginners. Baquera beret is the place where the royal families practices ski sport. Puigcerda of Cerdanya is a good starting point for ski descents.
An artificial ski slope was built in Barcelona near Piscines Bernat Picornell from Montjuic.