As soon as you pass the sign bearing the name of the region, vineyards dominate the whole landscape. This is Alt Penedès, where the earth smells of grapes, wine and cava. We’ll suggest different activities related to this world but you’ll also discover other aspects of the area.
IN COLLABORATION WITH BARCELONA ÉS MOLT MÉS AND THE DIPUTACIÓ DE BARCELONA.
A path to reflect on the passage of time
You’ll feel like walking and at the same time experiencing the essence of Penedès with all five senses. You can do the Camí del Vi or Wine Walk, an easy sensory path of 3.5 km, ideal for the whole family, to help you understand what vineyards and wine culture have meant throughout history for the area from a social, cultural, environmental, tourist and economic point of view. The route begins at Vilafranca del Penedès Tourism Office, and the first stretch until the Camí de la Bleda is urban. Then a path begins that winds through the vineyards and ends at the Torre de les Aigües, inviting you to reflect on the passage of time, for both people and nature: the time needed for vines to grow and to produce grapes, the time in the cellar to make the wine... An interpretation path that was opened two years ago and allows you to trace the story behind every bottle of wine.
Next, you’ll visit the Cava & Hotel Mastinell, a wine tourism complex in an exceptional spot on the outskirts of Vilafranca. It’s a 5-star hotel based on Gaudi’s architecture with only 12 exclusive rooms and offers cava and wine therapy treatments, as well as other wine tourism activities. There is also the Espai Gastronòmic En Rima, serving Mediterranean cuisine, and the winery where the Mastinell wines and cavas are produced. The hotel has been recognised as Best Tourism Establishment of the Wine Routes of Spain and as Best Tourist Experience by the Government of Catalonia.
When it’s time for lunch, you can eat at Cal Blay Vinticinc, a wine and food restaurant in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia. It’s located in a modernista cellar, and the food it serves combines tradition with new culinary trends. And as you’re in Sant Sadurní, don’t forget the cava! In this restaurant you can choose from the more than 120 made there!
Cava and chocolate
And talking about cava, after lunch you can head for the CiC, the Cava Interpretation Centre, in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, of course. It’s located in an early 19th century distillery, the Fassina de Can Guineu, and equipped with high-tech resources that allow you, for example, to experience the Phylloxera Festival in 3D or follow the whole cava production process.
And if after such a packed day you still have time and energy, we suggest a final sweet getaway: a visit to the Espai Xocolata Simón Coll. It opened its doors in 1840. On a guided tour you’ll discover where cocoa comes from and how chocolate is made and you’ll see a reproduction of a traditional workshop. And in the shop you can choose from over 400 different chocolate products!
The mountain of Olèrdola has been a strategic enclave with different degrees of settlement since the Bronze Age (a little over 4,000 years ago). You can visit both the archaeological site and the study centre, which stands in a modern building. The museum offers visitors guided and dramatized visits that allow you to discover, among other things, anthropomorphic tombs and the medieval city, which was when the castle and the walled city were built.
This is actually a group of buildings made up of the former fortified Penyafort manor, a convent and a church. The castle was built around the 11th century. Tradition says it's the birthplace of Sant Raimon of Penyafort (1185–1275), a Dominican monk and canon lawyer and councillor to King Jaume I who was canonized in 1601. Guided tours are conducted on the second Sunday of every month, and you must register in advance for them. The castle is also the start of the visit to the bomb shelters route, which takes place on the fourth Sunday of each month, since this site is also part of a group of exhibition spaces related to aviation and the Spanish Civil War.
Also known as the Conjunt Monumental de la Roca, this complex of buildings includes the Romanesque church of Santa Maria, dating from the 12th century, the Castell de Sant Martí, which was built in the 10th century, and the museum, which houses a number of archeological and ethnographical collections that include an Iberian funerary monument (third to second century BC); a woman’s head in stone (first century BC) known as the Venus of Pendedès; Roman tombstones; and a 15th-century Moorish soup bowl from Manisses, a piece that's considered unique, decorated both on the inside and outside and discovered during the restoration of the church.
Vilafranca’s wine museum has an extraordinary collection of diverse items relating to the history of wine making. These 17,000 items are fundamental to reaching a complete understanding of a territory that has always been marked by wine and vines. The museum’s different exhibitions and audiovisual presentations will help you to understand how wine is made and its historical and economic impact on the territory.
Located in a distillery dating from 1814, the Cava Interpretation Centre consists of 1,200 square metres that allow you to explore the world of cava from its origins and history to the manufacturing process and its role in culture and celebrations. On your visit you’ll enjoy Sant Sadurní d'Anoia in 3D, get to know the town's architectural heritage in an interactive way and experience the phylloxera festival in large format, among other proposals.