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Discover Catalonia 2015: gastronomic getaways

If you're hungry or thirsty while reading this, go grab a snack and a drink, or you'll be drooling all over your computer in no time

Catalonia is well-known for its great food and wines, bringing in waves of the gastronomically curious every year. But beyond the endless choice of exquisite restaurants throughout the region, there are plenty activities available related to gastronomy, where you can learn something new and have a great time doing it. Here is our selection.

Terra Alta, the lands that seduced Picasso

Terra Alta, the lands that seduced Picasso

Spend a couple of days in Terra Alta, a place that enchanted Pablo Picasso, particularly the village and surrounding areas of Horta de Sant Joan, special for their rich history and craggy yet welcoming surroundings. Visit the Altavins Viticultors and Bárbara Forés cellars, and sample the local dish 'crestó', young local goat from Ports de Tortosa-Beseit, a breed that once was on the brink of extinction. The trip also includes a tour in a 4x4 vehicle so you can get to know the less-accessible areas of the region.

Price from €175, including accommodation, and tastings, and some meals.

Empordanet winds

Empordanet winds

From your base in Peratallada, a medieval village registered as a 'Bien Cultural de Interés Nacional' (Heritage Site of National Cultural Interest), you will visit different places in what the locals call Empordanet, the area of Empordà between Les Gabarres and El Montgrí. You'll enjoy lunch and dinner at different restaurants to sample the variety of tastes of the area, and the highlight of the trip is a flight in an ultralight aircraft, either over land or along the coast, from where you can fully appreciate the incredible beauty of this part of the Costa Brava.

Price from €195, including accommodation, meals, and flight in an ultralight aircraft.

Rural Segrià

Rural Segrià

Spend a weekend in Segrià, whose capital is Lleida, where you can enjoy the calm of rural life but also with the atmosphere of the streets and shopping on offer in this capital city in the Catalan interior. Activities included in this tour are visits to quail and pig farms as well as to the Raimat cellar, lunch in a restaurant with traditional cuisine, and a tasting session of cured meats.

Price from €97, including accommodation, some meals and guided visits.

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History of the Born and tasting session

History of the Born and tasting session

This trip stays in Barcelona to get to know El Born, one of the city's most historic districts, which suffered particularly in the War of Succession. Accompanied by an official guide, you'll follow a two-hour route around the squares and streets, and end your tour in the Princesa market, located in an original 14th-century building and today a space of particular gastronomic interest, where you can sample all sorts of dishes at the tables or seated at the bars around the marketplace.

Price €45, including guided visit and tasting.

El Penedès, a different perspective

El Penedès, a different perspective

This trip provides a comprehensive and passionate insight into the Penedès area, known for its vineyards and the wines and cavas they produce. Over the course of three days and two nights, you'll visit the Artcava cellar and learn how to make your own cava, take a flight in an ultralight aircraft to see the vineyards from above, and visit the Vinseum, a museum of wine culture, in Vilafranca del Penedès. You'll also enjoy lunch at Cal Birres restaurant.

Price from €450, including all activities.

Costa Brava: sea and vineyards

Costa Brava: sea and vineyards

Empordà is not the most famous of Catalan wines, but the viticulture of this area has a long history, and recently its wines are doing very well on the market – and on the table. And it’s no surprise – just try a good Empordà wine and you will see how it holds its own against other, better-known wines. Empordà is also a spectacular place to spend a few days exploring, and this trip includes a week’s stay, using the time to travel around the area and discover places like Cap de Creus, Peratallada, Pals, L'Escala and Palamós.

Price from €800, including accommodation, various meals and various tickets and guided visits.

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Priorat wine and gastronomic tour

Priorat wine and gastronomic tour

Six whole days are spent discovering the most interesting parts of Priorat, which is packed with attractions, including some of the best wines not only in Catalonia but in the world. From the lofty ruins of the Carthusian Escaladei monastery to the medieval beauty of Siurana; from the impressive Montsant sierra to unique villages living to the beat of their own drum such as Gratallops and La Vilella Baixa, El Priorat will fascinate you, and not only with its stellar food and drink concoctions.

Price from €1,200, including accommodation, various meals, and various tickets and guided visits.

A peek into the history of Les Garrigues

A peek into the history of Les Garrigues

In just two days you'll take full advantage of the history, the heritage and the gastronomy of this interior part of Catalonia. The tours on this trip include the Iberian village of Arbeca, La Floresta Castle, the Viña Vilars cellar – including a wine tasting – and the Espai Macià in Les Borges Blanques, the region's capital. Your nights will also be special, as you’ll be sleeping in the La Floresta Castle.

Price from €85, including accommodation, visits and an evening tapas tasting.

Three temptations: Montserrat, Freixenet and chocolate

Three temptations: Montserrat, Freixenet and chocolate

This well-rounded day combines the three pleasures of nature, cava and chocolate. Your coach leaves Barcelona and heads first for the sacred mountain of Montserrat, where you'll visit the monastery and the Romantic statue of Monserrat’s patron saint, La Moreneta, and gaze in wonder at the incredible views and geological formations of the mountain. With your spirit thoroughly saturated, your next stop will be Sant Sadurní d'Anoia and the Freixenet cellar, where you'll tour the cellar and then have lunch in the same town, the cava capital. The final event of the day is a guided tour of the Chocolate Experience, where you can finish the day on a sweet note.

Price from €89, including transport, visits and lunch.

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Catalonia, land of genius

Catalonia, land of genius

This trip alone makes for a complete holiday, with seven days set aside to discover many of the best areas of Barcelona and El Empordà. Dalí and Gaudí, two incredible Catalan artists, are the link between the activities of the trip, and in El Empordà you'll visit the places that captivated Dalí’s surrealist mind: Cadaqués, Cap de Creus, Port-Lligat, Púbol, and of course Girona. You'll spend your final days of the trip in Barcelona, visiting some of the most famous of Gaudí’s architectrual gems he left to his city.

Price from €1,050, including accommodation, travel, meals and guided tours.

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