08 Nov The best day trips near Barcelona (II)
We offer you the second part of our guide about the day trips near Barcelona
Beaches and paradisiacal coves, vestiges of ancient civilizations, interesting museums, the best local gastronomy… We propose you a trip through some of the best spots that you can visit in Catalonia. Are you in?
Ideal for a day trip, in Girona you can enjoy the monumental area, discover its delicious gastronomy, lose yourself in the history of the Jewish Quarter, the Catalan Romanesque architecture and the Museum of the Cinema or even visit some locations where the TV series Game of Thrones was recorded.
What to see in Girona
The houses on the River Onyar
The River Onyar (one of the four that cross the city) divides Girona between the new and the old part and offers some of the most beautiful pictures of the city. The most emblematic picture is probably the beautiful and colourful houses that are reflected in the river, with the cathedral and the church of Sant Feliu as a wonderful backdrop.
In the heart of medieval Girona you will find one of the best preserved Jewish quarters in Europe. A network of narrow stone streets that form a labyrinth that maintains the aura of medieval times and bear witness to the importance of Jewish culture in the city.
The Cathedral and its stairs
If not yet, you will definitely fall in love with Girona when you see the Cathedral of Saint Mary of Girona at the top of its long staircase.
The temple, built between the 11th and 18th centuries, has a mixture of Romanesque, Baroque and Gothic styles and became famous among fans of Game of Thrones when it appeared as the Great Sept of Baelor in the sixth season of the series.
We also recommend you to take a stroll around the city walls, be seduced by the museum of cinema and, if you have the possibility to visit Girona in May during the celebration of Temps de Flors, a festival in which the main buildings of the city are decorated with beautiful floral decorations.
Always sunny and with incredible views of the blue waters of the Mediterranean, Tarragona will make you feel as if you were going back 2000 years in time to the era of the Roman Empire. Its well-preserved circus, amphitheatre and forum are World Heritage Sites and are complemented perfectly by the medieval architecture of the city centre.
3. Costa Brava
The beauty of its landscapes, the charm of its people, its gastronomy and the seafaring tradition of its villages make the Costa Brava the jewel of the crown of the Catalan coastline.
What to see on the Costa Brava
When you get to Cadaqués, you will understand why geniuses like Marcel Duchamp, García Lorca, Buñuel, Picasso, Miró or, above all, Salvador Dalí (who considered Cadaqués “the most beautiful village in the world”) were fascinated by this beautiful fishing village that blends perfectly with the sea and the mountains.
Walking through the streets surrounded by the typical white houses of its old town, visiting the Dalí House-Museum or contemplating the infinite number of small boats sailing on crystal clear waters are pleasures that you can’t miss in Cadaqués, a village so remote in other times that it was practically isolated until the 19th century.
Calella de Palafrugell
Another of the great treasures of the Costa Brava, Calella de Palafrugell preserves like few others the identity of an old-time fishing village with its low and white houses on the seashore. An idyllic landscape that inspired Joan Manuel Serrat to compose his famous song “Mediterráneo”.
This traditional fishing town has an important port, one of the largest beaches in the area and both commercial and leisure offer.
But it is internationally famous for the nearby islands of Medes, an archipelago of seven islands ideal for diving and considered one of the most important reserves of flora and fauna in the Mediterranean.
Empúries will hypnotize you, in an idyllic setting next to the sea, with the only site in Spain where the remains of a Greek and a later Roman city coexist.
In the Greek city, the remains of the wall, the acropolis and the market square stand out. Outside the archaeological site you can also admire the Greek port of the 1st century B. C., where in 1992 the Olympic torch of the Olympic Games of Barcelona landed.
In the Roman city, there are mosaics of excellent condition, the forum, remains of an amphitheatre, several statues and vestiges of the streets.
Lloret de Mar
One of the main tourist destinations in Catalonia, which in recent years has become famous for its lively nightlife. But Lloret de Mar is much more than discotheques.
Along its peculiar promenade you can enjoy excellent views of its beaches, such as the majestic beach of Lloret or the remote Sa Caleta.
You can also enjoy the spectacular views from the gardens of Santa Clotilde, which are over a cliff where you can stroll between beautiful staircases and fountains.
Lloret de Mar has other architectural jewels such as the Sant Joan castle and the church of Sant Romà, in Catalan Gothic style with modernist elements.
Tossa de Mar
Its postcards views (with splendid beaches, cliffs and wild vegetation) make Tossa de Mar one of the places that has preserved better its natural environment in harmony with tourism development.
In the middle of this paradisiacal spot you will find the fortified enclosure of the Vila Vella (the old town of the city) whose towers and walls, built between the 12th and 14th centuries to defend the population from pirates, are one of the most impressive medieval witnesses of Catalonia.
Tasting the famous and exquisite prawns of Palamós or getting lost in the spectacular beaches and coves of Begur and Roses are other endless alternatives that the Costa Brava offers you.
4. Delta del Ebre
With a surface area of approximately 320 square kilometers (it is the largest wetland area in Catalonia), in the Ebro Delta you will find miles of beaches, beautiful landscapes and an impressive natural wealth.
In the Ebro Delta you can discover rice farming, observe the native species and flamingos that inhabit the area, visit the salt flats by boat, paddle-surf and even eat in a floating restaurant in the middle of the sea.
Gastronomy also plays an important role in the Ebro Delta. The proximity of the sea allows you to choose between native rice, oysters, duck, smoked eel, the prawns of La Ràpita and other delicacies that will make you lose your senses.
5. Figueres, discover Dalís universe
Figueres is the birthplace of Salvador Dalí and the great attraction of the city is the Theatre-Museum dedicated to the multifaceted Catalan artist, being one of the most visited in Spain.
The building is a work of art in itself and was designed and conceived by Dalí to bring the visitor closer to his creative universe. Inside you will find a collection of works that reflect the fantasy, genius and overflowing creative capacity of an artist who did not leave anyone indifferent.
After visiting the wonders of Dalí, there is nothing better than walking around the castle of San Fernando, the largest European fortress of the 18th century with an area of 320.000 square metres.
The guided tour will allow you to know the history and military uses of the fortress, from the occupation of the Napoleonic troops during the War of Independence (1808-1814), through the Spanish Civil War to the present day.
As a final climax you can visit the Toy Museum of Catalonia, which proposes a nostalgic trip to your childhood through nearly 4,000 pieces from different periods (models, bicycles, cars, horses, trains, dolls…), among which you may discover the toys that made you enjoy so much when you were a child.
If you are interested in visiting any of the places we have suggested in our first post about the best day trips near Barcelona, our reception staff will provide you with all the information you need and you can even book some excursions directly from the hotel!