Tucked up next to the French border on Spain’s east coast, Catalonia is known as a fiercely proud and passionate region, having resisted attempts to control it for centuries. Traces of this wilful, independent spirit can be found in language, art, culture and traditions. A Spanish region unlike any other, we think Catalonia is just the place to stoke your inner fires. It’s so, so much more than Barcelona!
Where to go
Shop your ways through the fashionable boutiques of Barcelona, before experiencing a few hours of wonder at La Sagrada Familia. Tour the wineries surrounding Tarragona and enjoy the wonderful Cava they produce. Explore the cathedral of Girona and its medieval quarter. Swim, surf, and splash on the miles of coastline. Tour hilltop villages, searching for the local specialties. Find a clifftop bar and stare out into the beautiful blue Mediterranean.
Food & Drink
You’ll never look at Cod the same way having visited Catalonia. Once a staple food, the Catalonian people have turned this pedestrian fish into an essential, delicious ingredient of many dishes including casseroles, in addition to being served by itself. Inland is pork country, and ham and sausage figure largely on the menu. For authentic Catalan cuisine, we recommend Degvsta (Carrer dels Cavallers 6) in Tarragona. Otherwise, benefit from the culinary excellence that El Bulli brought to the region by trying the degustation menu at Nu (Carrer de Abeuradors 4) in Girona.
Much like the rest of Spain, Catalonia parties late. Don’t expect there to be much action until around 10 pm. In Girona, we recommend Cu-Cut (Pl. de la Independència, 10) for an authentic Catalonian bar experience with great cocktails, surrounded by locals. In Tarragona, simply head down to the Camp del Mart, underneath the castle, for a wide range of tiny bars and tapas joints to suit all tastes.
Where to stay
Our pick for Catalonia is the Hotel Gran Claustre
, located in the charming seaside medieval town of Altafulla. This fabulous boutique hotel boasts spacious suites, a wonderful spa, and the stellar ‘Bruixes de Burriac’ restaurant. A terrific base for exploring the region. How to get there
British Airways, Ryanair, Vueling, Iberia and Easyjet fly to Barcelona from London daily.