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Illa Fantasia
© Sara Hernandez Pons

Discover Catalonia 2015: family getaways

Do you have kids who like animals and aren't afraid of flying? Check out the getaways we have for you

By Xavier Amat

Sometimes it’s the smallest who are the bravest. In this selection of escapes for the family all over Catalonia you can choose to travel by balloon, meet the bees who guard their delicious honey, or experience the sensation of flying in the Empuriabrava wind tunnel. And if the kids aren’t quite so adventurous, there are also fun visits to museums, entertaining trips, and days out to attraction parks and aquatic centres. 

Coves de l'Espluga de Francolí

Guided visit to the Espluga caves

The Espluga caves are found in La Conca de Barberà, and include one of the largest conglomerate rock caves in the world. The visit incorporates a 600-metre voyage into the earth, accompanied by a guide and a virtual archaeologist, who can tell the explorers all about the geological formations to be seen in the magical place, and about its different inhabitants, from the Palaeolithic to the Iberians. This is the perfect visit in the heat of the Spanish summer, as temperatures in the caves are always pleasantly cool.

Price 4.80, including a guided visit to the caves museum.

Túnel del Vent

Experience the feeling of flying

Something like the thrill of parachuting, but without the fear of jumping out of a plane, and with no risk at all – the WINDOOR wind tunnel opened in Empuriabrava in Alt Empordà in 2012, and can make your dream to fly come true with a truly amazing experience. The tunnel applies the latest technology in a ten-metre-high transparent tube to make you feel lighter and freer than air, and is suitable for anyone over four years old. 

Price from 49.

Aventura en familia barrancos

Ravine descent

If your little ones are over six and they can swim, they can spend a fantastic day in pure nature, with a guided ravine descent. Older children can also take part in this expedition in the amazing location of the Aran Valley, where they can walk along the river bed, combining the fun of swimming while learning techniques from rock climbing and potholing, and even using ropes to climb down the odd waterfall.

Price from 37, including the guide and all equipment.

Detall animal pintura museu de Lleida
©Museu de Lleida: diocesà i comarcal

Discover the hidden animals at the Museum of Lleida

This guided tour of the museum reveals the hidden animals in the exhibits at the Museum of Lleida. A fun way of helping the whole family to enjoy art, the activity also teaches about how animals have accompanied humans in their daily lives all through history, and the different roles they have played, from domestic companions, to farm labourers, to taking part in religion and war. The visit lasts 90 minutes, and takes place on Saturday twice each month at 11am.

Price adults 10, children free.

Centre d'Interpretació d'Energia

The Energy Centre and the Tragó caves

This visit takes in the second-tallest dam in Europe, the 151-metre-high Canalles Dam in La Noguera. The site includes a comprehensive Learning Centre where you can find out all about how hydroelectric energy works, and see the working turbine room and the mechanics of the dam. The site is also located near to the Black Cave of Tragó, with its stalactites and stalagmites, fossils, waterfalls and wells.

Price from 10. Weekend visits at 10.15am.


A trip in a 4x4 and brunch among the vines

The Penedès area is known for its vineyards, its wines and its cava, and this visit offers a unique way of discovering them, transported in a convertible 4x4 on a spectacular route around the J. Miquel Jané bodega. For the grown-ups the visit ends with a tasting of four international award-winning wines, and all of you will spend the night at the Cal Ruget Hotel, in the middle of the vineyards and with magnificent views of the Montserrat mountain.

Price from 460, including accommodation, guided tour and tasting.

Activitat amb mel

Do you like honey?

You cross Catalonia to the Terres del Ebre to visit the Muria Centre of Apiculture, where, well protected under your beekeepers’ suits, you can get to know the world of bees by observing them in their natural habitat. See how they live in the hive, how they communicate, and how they work, and you can also learn about the work of beekeepers and the tools they use to protect them from the bees. A video show and an audio guide (available in five languages) complete the information and education about the exciting world of bees, and the visit ends, as it must, with a honey-tasting session to see what it’s all about.

Price 13. The visit takes two hours.

Vol en Globus Igualada

Ballooning over central Catalonia

There are many balloon flights to take you over the lands of Catalonia, and all are something special. This trip offers the spectacular views of the Conca de Òdena and the Montserrat mountain. The balloon takes off from near to Igualada, in La Anoia, and from then on the story is waiting to be told. If you have ever travelled by balloon before, you will know the thrill of the flight and of seeing the countryside from 1,500 metres above the ground. If you’ve never tried it, we can only recommend you do! This is something you must do, if only once in your life. 

Price from 80, including flight, photos, transport by 4x4 to and from the meeting point, and your flight certificate.

Catalunya en Miniatura
© Catalunya en Miniatura

All of Catalonia at your feet

Miniature Catalonia is a popular school visit for local children, but it’s a great place for grown-ups and children who don’t know the region too, because the miniature country can teach you all about the great and varied history and traditions of Catalonia in just one morning or afternoon, taking you through the dozens of models, all built in miniscule detail. And right next door, so you can make a whole day of it, is the Animated Forest, an exciting adventure park set among the trees of El Baix Llobregat.

Price 9.50, including entry to Miniature Catalonia (Not including entry to the Animated Forest).

Circ de Colomers

A family walk through the Colomers cirque

If your family loves nothing more than mountain walks and photogenic scenery, this is the visit for you. A guided walk through Colomers, a cirque glacier formed by 3,000-metre peaks and holding over 48 lakes. It’s impossible to see all the lakes, but we can manage at least five of them on our route. The walk is long but not difficult, and is suitable for children over six.   

Price from 18, including the guide and taxi to and from Colomers. Please bring a packed lunch.

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