Barcelona and the surrounding coasts are teaming with tourists, particularly in the summer months. With good reason, too: there is so much to see and do, the weather is warm but rarely oppressive, the food and drink are world beating, and both architecture and scenery are breathtaking. Who wouldn't want to visit? Therein lies the problem. Barcelona welcomes over seven million visitors a year, and many come with a similar agenda. The locals, however, have different plans for their vacations, one of which I'd like to share with you here.
Without having to wait in queues of travellers, this route will take you to see some of the most impressive and significant sights in Catalonia, ending with a completely unique experience at the eastern-most point of the Iberian peninsula.
In a rented car, head north-east along the coast until you reach Alella. This is the closest wine-producing area, and offers a great line in fresh, herbal whites and fruity reds. Check out one of the vineyard tours before going for lunch in the town itself.
Carry on the the highway toward France until you get to the most iconic of the Catalan cities: Girona. Take a walk along its picturesque Ter River before treating yourself to a Michelin-starred ice-cream parlour from Can Roca, or go the whole hog and splash out on a dinner at their exquisite establishment just out of town.
The name Salvador Dalí is synonymous with Catalonia, surrealism and artistic excess. Figueres was his hometown and marks our next stop: The Dalí Museum. It is hard to put into words the character of this collection, but it is unlike any other cultural experience imaginable.
Dalí spent his summers in nearby Cadeques, which will be our next stop. This little town is an absolutely idyllic fishing settlement which really comes into its own during the summer, where the locals enjoy paella by day and 'ron cremat' (a type of sweet rum punch) by night.
The final call is Cap de Creus. Best known for its status as a national park, this rocky headland has just two buildings: a lighthouse, and restaurant that serves the local catches and, curiously enough, does a mean curry. There are three flats above that you can book to rest your weary legs!
Since moving to Spain in 2005, I have got to know the country well though frequent trips to its most interesting regions. I currently live in Barcelona an enchanting that seems to fascinate me the longer I am here. The cultural traditions, both old and new, provide year-round entertainment, and the culinary customs add a delicious dimension to each season. I have been renting out a room in my city-centre flat to holidaymakers since 2008. I like to offer folk a feel of the best parts of the city in general, but really relish the opportunity to introduce them to the hidden gems I've discovered in my time here. I like to think that I've integrated myself as much as possible in my new homeland. My Spanish and Catalan are good and I am involved in running events here, from a monthly second-hand market, to pop-up food events and concerts. Aside from tapas and bargain-hunting, my vice is football. I'm a keen follower of La Liga, and make it to Camp Nou a few times a season, plus try to get to games around the country when I travel. Please get in touch if you're tempted by a trip to this wonderful part of the world. ¡Olé! Full profile ⋅ Leave a Review
Receive special offers, VIP invites and exclusive updates for Barcelona.