Anoia is a land of castles. And it’s always the right moment to visit them. But this time we recommend a getaway to the region in the first week of July, so you can attend the Festival of Legends of Catalonia held in Tous Castle, which is where you’ll start.
IN COLLABORATION WITH BARCELONA ÉS MOLT MÉS AND THE DIPUTACIÓ DE BARCELONA.
Stories in the castle
Sant Martí de Tous, near the region of Conca de Barberà, is an age-old town that grew up around its castle. It is well worth visiting its streets and, of course, the castle. It seems that a few centuries ago its halls were walked by figures such as Wilfred the Hairy and Abbot Oliba and is still occupied today, but it opens its doors to visitors on certain days and also by prior arrangement. And, as we mentioned, a great time to discover the town and its most emblematic building is the first week of July, when the Festival of Legends of Catalonia (FesLleCat) is held. You’ll hear popular stories and legends from the country in different artistic forms.
Later on you’ll go to Òdena to visit Caves Bohigues, dating back to 1542. They make wines and cavas in a magnificent estate, Can Macià, listed as a site of historical and artistic interest, with a central country house surrounded by the winery and the cellars. You’ll discover its long history as well as the process of transforming wine into cava.
For lunch you can go to the Rec neighbourhood in Igualada, the capital of the region. We’ve chosen Somiatruites, a restaurant located in a former tannery and renovated by the architect Xavier Andrés. The chef is David Andrés, the current chef de cuisine of the 3-star Michelin restaurant ABaC in Barcelona. The menu combines quality local products with avant-garde cuisine.
You can stay in Igualada and explore a unique museum, dedicated to the muleteers. Only a few decades ago transporting goods was slow and hard. Muleteers made trade in products and information possible between country houses, villages and towns, and in many areas they played a very important role in the region’s commercial development. At the Museu del Traginer you’ll learn all about this trade and its evolution. Antoni Ros’ collection forms the basis of the museum, which is divided into three floors where, among many exhibits, you’ll see around 40 carriages.
Time is running out but there is still a final visit to the Railhome BCN, also known as the Museu del Tren Miniatura. There you’ll find one of the biggest and most detailed railway models in Europe and reproductions of hundreds of engines from all periods alongside original material from railway companies from around the world. A museum not to be missed if as a child, or perhaps also as an adult, you played with tracks and engines, or simply if you love the world of trains.
Tracing its origins back to 1949 and located in industrial heritage Rec neighbourhood, the Igualada leather museum was first opened in the 1990s in the old 19th century Cal Boyer cotton factory. It offers four circuits: Man and water, From the pit to the pumps, Leather in history and The world of leather. The other centre is set in the old 18th century Cal Granotes tannery, in which you can learn everything about the tanning process in the preindustrial era.
A popular destination for school trips and attracting more than 30,000 people every year, the Capellades Paper Mill Museum is also worth visiting for adults. Inaugurated in 196 in one of the town’s 7th century mills, the museum has a collection illustrating 7 centuries of paper production and culture through visits and workshops. The mill still generates half of its income from the sale of paper made using traditional techniques.
Rather than amenities, castles are monuments, and this is one of 13 castles run by the History Museum of Catalonia. With more than 1,000 years of history, Claramunt Castle is one of the icons of the region, one of the most spectacular forts in the country and the main attraction of the region’s Border Castle Trail. Access is on foot, but the 25 minute walk to the top of the hill will be well rewarded. The trail also includes the castles of Òdena, Tossa, Miralles and Vilademàger.