Just beyond Barcelona lies a treasure-trove of medieval hill towns, culturally rich small cities, and artsy coastal villages. You can discover them all on easy day trips while enjoying an exclusive stay in the Catalan capital. When you’re ready to travel again, Catalonia is here to bring your dreams to life.
Small cities with character
Discover small cities, some of which have held the historic title of villa, in recognition of the importance of their market, the religious power of their monastery or church, and other cultural (or even warlike) qualities that stand out throughout their history.
- Savor world-renowned gastronomy in Girona, home to such prestigious restaurants as El Celler de Can Roca, twice voted the world’s best
- Explore La Seu Vella, the 13th-century cathedral that dominates Lleida‘s skyline – if you’re able, climb the bell tower’s 238 stairs for sweeping views
- Follow the Roman Route around Tarragona, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its well-preserved Roman treasures and living heritage
- Discover new Spanish talent in Terrassa at its annual Festival TNT (Terrassa Noves Tendències), an innovative theater festival that highlights the avant-garde
On the coast of Catalonia, you’ll hear the lively fish auction and take home freshly-caught seafood. You’ll visit lighthouses that continue to guide ships and relive the adventures of pirates and buccaneers.
- Visit Sitges during Mardi Gras for one of the world’s wildest Carnivals, renowned for its colorful parades, elaborate costumes, and endless parties
- Soak up the essence of the Costa Brava in Begur, where scenic coastal paths reveal small fishermen’s houses and a grand Cuban heritage
- Take a boat from Sant Carles de la Ràpita to the Musclarium, where you stand atop a mussel farm before sampling the tasty mollusk with local cava
- Stroll through Tossa de Mar, an ancient fishing village with the only fortified medieval Old Town on the Catalan coast
Charming hilltop towns
Find villages with medieval castles crowning the highest point, white houses nestled by the seashore, and traces of different cultures that have passed through the territory and shaped its personality and people.
- Pack a basket with cheeses from artisan producers in Taüll for a picnic in still-wild Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park
- Admire the old stone houses and outstanding views in medieval Rupit – and, if you feel daring, cross Pont Penjat, a wooden suspension bridge that connects the town
- Duck down one of Peratallada‘s narrow alleyways, where cozy restaurants serve up authentic Empordà gastronomy
- Hike through the wooded hills around Siurana before visiting a Priorat winery to taste the D.O.P.’s world-famous wines and olive oil