10 Must-See Places to Visit in Catalonia

This is a collaborative post

Catalonia has a really special place in my heart – I lived in Barcelona when I was 21 years old for a year and it took days for me to fall in love with the city. From the architecture, to the food, atmosphere, beaches at your doorstep and just being able to walk everywhere – this was my kind of city. After those initial few months of enjoying everything Barcelona has to offer, I ventured further afield and fell in love with Catalonia altogether. I’ve teamed up with Clickstay to have a think about my favourite places to visit in Catalonia.

Exploring Barcelona

Starting with the amazing city of Barcelona itself – you only have to take a walk along Las Ramblas and walk through the Gothic Quarter, towards the seafront. There is no shortage of beautiful cafes to try out and gorgeous food to sample. The people of Barcelona are what makes it though: everyone is so friendly and happy to chat, which really helped me learn to speak Castillian Spanish and Catalan in no time at all!

Sitges

Once you’ve explored Barcelona’s beaches, it’s time to see what is slightly further afield. One of my favourite places to visit was Sitges, a quieter beach that was less than half an hour away by train. It felt like going on a mini holiday and I always had a fantastic time exploring the beautiful old town and enjoying the beaches.

Tarragona

Tarragona is a bit of a hidden gem and when we return to visit, we always make sure we go for one reason – my stepson adores the Portadventura theme park! It’s a fantastic day out and the surrounding area is just beautiful. It’s an easy one to forget but a must-see in my book.

Girona

Girona was the first place I visited when I ventured out of Barcelona and it is simply breathtaking. Its beautiful architecture is so different to Barcelona itself and I love visiting the Jewish Quarter when we visit, traced back to the 12th Century.

La Garrotxa and beyond

Besalú 

La Garrotxa’s region dates back to the medieval age and has some of the most interesting towns and villages I’ve ever seen. The most photographed has to be the Romanesque bridge in Besalú that is breathtaking to walk across and sees visitors travelling from afar to see it for themselves. It is without doubt one of the best preserved villages in Catalonia and I loved going back to visit time and time again.

Pla d’Estany in Banyoles

Banyoles is a town close to Besalú and home to the largest lake in Catalonia, which was used for the 1992 Olympic Games. I used to love coming here to relax and enjoy a bit of peace and quiet away from the busy city life. But be careful what lurks underneath the waters, so they say!

Ripolles

Another beautiful town that is well worth the visit, nestled in the mountains of the Pyrenees. Steeped in Romaneque architecture, almost every view you see is a breathtaking capture. It is also home to the famous monastery of Santa Maria, a beautiful place to visit.

The Pyrenees Mountains

Vall d’Aran

It goes without saying that you have to visit the Pyrenees Mountains when you are visiting Catalonia and Vall d’Aran is the place to visit. It is the only National Park in Catalonia; a big valley with indescribable views at the top. This was one of the best views in Catalonia, but do remember to bring sturdy footwear as the walk is quite rocky but guaranteed to be worth the extra effort!

Beautiful Coastlines

Cadaques

There’s nothing better than visiting idyllic beaches when you’re away from home, and Cadaques is at the top of my list. Although it is over an hour drive from Barcelona, it doesn’t disappoint with its higgeldy piggeldy houses right by the water’s edge. It also has several restaurants by the seafront so you can enjoy the view with a glass of your favourite drink. Visiting Cadaques always made me feel like I was truly on holiday…

Calella Palafrugell

Last on my list is by no means least – one of the most stunning beaches along the Costa Brava. A popular place to visit by tourists, Calella Palafrugell is a beautiful open beach with lots of restaurants and things to do in the town. It was always the perfect place to visit when the sun was shining brightly in the summer. It’s well worth having a look at the villas Clickstay has to offer – gorgeous villas to soak up the sunshine.

So there you have it, my guide to Catalonia all rounded up and I hope you enjoyed it – lots of inspiration for places to visit in the area so you don’t miss a thing!

25 Comments

  1. October 24, 2017 / 4:05 pm

    These all look like amazing places to visit! I’m very jealous and hopefully we can visit some of them real soon!

    #dreamteam

  2. October 24, 2017 / 4:50 pm

    I used to live in Spain and Catalonia is wonderful to visit. So many memories are coming back reading your post. #dreamteam

  3. October 24, 2017 / 7:40 pm

    Wow. I can see that I’ve missed out quite a bit on our trips to Barcelona. We’ve always stayed so central and hardly ever ventured out at all. Will definitely look harder at whats on offer next time round. Thanks for being a fab #DreamTeam host 🙂 xx

  4. October 24, 2017 / 7:59 pm

    Making me want a holiday!! Gorgeous photos and lovely descriptions. I want to go! #DreamTeam

  5. October 24, 2017 / 8:29 pm

    Have never been, but would absolutely love to. It looks absolutely breath taking. I can see why you fell in love with it #DreamTeam

  6. October 24, 2017 / 8:41 pm

    Lovely pictures! We said no holidays this year. But you’re making me want to change that! #dreamteam

  7. Tracey Abrahams
    October 24, 2017 / 8:45 pm

    The medival village looks beautiful. We have a medieval bridge with a gatehouse very similar to that in the welsh town of Monmouth. #dreamteam

  8. October 24, 2017 / 9:27 pm

    Interesting times in this region so really good to discover a little more about it

  9. October 24, 2017 / 9:48 pm

    I love Barcelona! We’ve been to Sitges too which was lovely, but I haven’t been to any of those other places on your list. #DreamTeam

  10. October 24, 2017 / 10:31 pm

    I love Barcelona, we went for quick break a few years ago now, and I would love to go back with Clem. Although if we went again I would definitely go further and explore some of the places you have mentioned. They all sound great.x #dreamteam

  11. October 25, 2017 / 1:25 am

    I love Catalonia! We stayed in Vilassar de Mar this summer and it was beautiful and of course the food was amazing!

  12. October 25, 2017 / 3:26 am

    Planning a Euro Trip next year with the family and definitely Barcelona is on the list. I will be referring back to this as we get closer and actually start to plan. Thanks for sharing. #dreamteam

  13. October 25, 2017 / 4:00 pm

    Some beautiful photos of beautiful places. I’ll be sure to visit if we are ever there! #DreamTeam

  14. October 25, 2017 / 4:37 pm

    I’ve never made it to Europe, not sure if my back would let me fly that far, but this looks like a fantastic place #dreamteam

  15. mammasschool
    October 25, 2017 / 7:01 pm

    Woah, this looks beautiful. It’s not a part of the world I have ever been to, or remotely near, so I must investigate further 🙂 #dreamteam

  16. October 26, 2017 / 9:53 am

    Wow these places are stunning! I really want to visit now – I’ll certainly be checking out your recommendations #dreamteam

  17. October 26, 2017 / 11:51 am

    Spain is the second on my list of places to visit – the first of course is Croatia. Thanks for sharing.#dreamteam

  18. October 26, 2017 / 1:15 pm

    Those places look amazing! #dreamteam

  19. October 26, 2017 / 9:18 pm

    Argh! Where to go first? I adore Barcelona! It is one of my favourite cities as it has so much to offer. My friend lived there for several years until she has just moved to Sitges. One day we plan to drive around Spain on a road trip; we just have to wait for James to get old enough to not mind the journey! #dreamteam

  20. October 26, 2017 / 10:21 pm

    I love Spain and especially Barcelona. Your pictures are beautiful! I want to go on holiday now……..! #dreamteam

  21. October 26, 2017 / 10:38 pm

    Looks amazing! I was in Barcelona on a hen once. Needless to say I saw very little. I’m hanging around for the Galway post though! 😉

  22. October 29, 2017 / 3:26 pm

    I went to Barcelona on my sisters hen do and nearly got mugged! Thankfully my quick reactions to ‘bring a knee up’ worked in my favour and who knew I could run that fast aswell?! Having said that, Barcelona is beautiful!

  23. October 29, 2017 / 8:26 pm

    Barcelona looks absolutely beautiful! I always wanted to go there, no more so! Thank you! #dreamteam xoxo

  24. October 29, 2017 / 9:34 pm

    lovely places! I was in Spain once and I wish to be there once again and this time see more than Barcelona:) #DreamTeam

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