It hasn’t been long since the high-speed rail link has united the capital of Catalonia with its towns Girona and Figueres, and now we can offer a one-day excursion that makes the most of the region, leaving Barcelona and heading first to Figueres to visit one of the country’s most curious and popular attractions, the Dalí Theatre-Museum. Then it’s back on the train again to Girona, where the tour takes visitors around the most interesting corners of the beautiful city. It’s a full day before returning to Barcelona in the comfort of the train, and comfortable shoes are recommended!
The geology and climate of the Priorat area makes it unique in Catalonia, and a producer of delicious wine that is recognised world-wide. Over the weekend you will visit several bodegas where the wines are created, and the area is also home to the first Carthusian monastery ever founded in the Iberian Peninsula, back in the 12th century. Today mostly in ruins, visitors can still be awed by the impressive site and learn about how the monks lived in the spectacular landscapes of the Sierra del Montsant.
Spend two days on a journey of discovery in La Noguera, near Lleida, in lands full of monasteries and castles, and with a climax that will take you closer to the stars and the universe, at La Noguera’s exceptional observatory, with its opening dome where you can watch films and documentaries, and observe the skies through the images captured through the great telescope. There is also a telescope park where visitors can make their own observations.
The caves of Collbató are a spectacular geological feature that leave an impression on all visitors, proving that the mountain can be just as beautiful inside as out. The tour takes you into the caves, with a visit on foot to the Collbató olive groves, which includes a tasting session in which visitors can sample the excellent top-quality oil. All under the magnificent gaze of the mountain range.
An authentic voyage back in time, beginning with an unforgettable journey on the vintage Lakes Train, departing from Lleida and running through magnificent countryside to the village of Salàs; and finishing with the wonderful village itself, Salàs de Pallars, where visitors can see and explore typical shops, perfectly preserved and styled from history, including a traditional grocer’s, a pharmacy, a barber’s, a tobacconist’s, a haberdashery and a village café. This is the perfect way to discover the countryside and the history of Lleida.
Immerse yourself in the Núria Valley, where history, nature and tradition are combined in the heart of the Catalan Pyrenees. And ascend to the Núria Sanctuary on the rack railway, nearly 2,000 metres above sea level. The train passes through beautiful countryside on a fantastic voyage that everybody must make at least once in a lifetime.
Just 20 minutes from Barcelona is a real treat for Gaudí fans – known as the workshop of the Sagrada Familia. The Crypt at Colonia Güell, which was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 2005, reveals the magic of Gaudí’s architectural genius. It’s his only work in the village that housed the workers of a textile factory, but the whole village is full of modernist architecture and well worth a visit.
Price €9, including tickets to Gaudí's Crypt at Colonia Güell, the permanent exhibition, and a map and audio guide available in 8 languages: English, Catalan, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, German and Russian.
The Earldom of Rialp is full of 11th and 12th-century architecture, with ancient parishes, defence fortifications, and farm buildings, situated along the Rialp River in La Noguera. The visit lasts three days and two nights, and enables guests to explore not only the fascinating architecture, but also visit the Bassella Motorcycle Museum and to experience a trip in a microlight aircraft to view some of Catalonia’s most impressive countryside from above.
The town of Tortosa maintains some of the most diverse historic culture and tradition. Every Saturday there is the opportunity to enjoy a different walk around its streets: on the first Saturday of the month explore Arabic Tortosa; on the second it’s Jewish Tortosa, on the third, Christian Tortosa, and the fourth discovers Renaissance Tortosa. And if the month has a fifth Saturday, there is a general route around the town. The meeting point is Plaza Paiolet at 11am, and the tour is the best way to get to know the real city, leaving from the banks of the River Ebro to branch off in all directions without ever covering the same route twice.
Pablo Picasso claimed that everything he knew he’d learned in Horta de Sant Joan. If you would like to visit the streets and landscapes that so influenced the talent of the artist, come and discover the mountainous area, crossed by the Tortosa-Beseit passes, and maybe gain an insight into what inspired the Templar Knights of the Order of Solomon to build a town here in the 12th century. The visit includes a tour of Horta de Sant Joan, a guided visit to the Church of San Juan Bautista, and tickets to Els Ports Eco Museum and the Picasso Centre.