You can find some great suggestions of things to do and places to visit both in and around Barcelona below.
Barcelona's favourable location, in perfect harmony with its immediate surroundings, together with its ease of access and varied climate, make it a starting point for discovering new landscapes and enjoying contact with nature. Within a radius of a little over 200 kilometres you can find charming areas offering a wealth of cultural and historical landmarks, as well as recreational activities.
To the west, you will find Lleida and its province: the fruit producing area of Catalonia which is also famous for its olive oil and Romanesque church trail.
Heading inland, we reach Girona with its important, recently refurbished Jewish Quarter; Figueres, whose Dalí Museum is the second most visited in Spain; and Montserrat, a peculiar rocky mountain range which is the site of the monastery where people come to worship "La Moreneta", the black madonna who is the patron-virgin of Catalonia. You can also visit the Museum of Montserrat and admire works by artists such as Picasso, Dalí, El Greco and Caravaggio. The nearby Penedès, a wine-producing region of long standing, makes the cava, or sparkling wine, drunk by half the world. The main wine producers in the sector open their cellars to visitors so that they can find out, firsthand, about the processes involved in making this sparkling wine, which is associated with celebrations and joyous events.
To the south, you will find Tarragona, the southern capital of Catalonia, which was the main bastion of the Roman Empire on the Iberian Peninsula. A wander through its archaeological landmarks is an absolute must. The monastery trail includes Poblet, Santes Creus and Vallbona de les Monges: clear exponents of the transition from Romanesque to Gothic architecture.
To the north of the Catalan coastline, we find the Costa Brava, with its endless succession of beaches, coves and cliffs; where the pines grow on the shore and are an exceptional and unique sight. And Empúries, whose impressive ruins bear witness to the Greeks and Romans who lived there before the time of Christ. In the south, 35 km from Barcelona, we come to Sitges, the white town with a distinctive personality, famous for its lively carnival celebrations and bohemian atmosphere.
Another area to explore is the Pyrenees, the natural frontier with France and Andorra, with its many ski resorts, such as the Vall de Núria which is only accessible by rack railway. They provide all kinds of services and infrastructures for winter sports and the natural setting is also ideal for those who want to go climbing or participate in adventure sports.
Fun and thrills are also to be had near Barcelona. The Port Aventura theme park will take you on a fascinating journey to far-flung corners of the planet, where you can enjoy their entertainments and cuisine.
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Mette Heide Sørensen - 2010/04/24