Break out of the Barcelona mold and make it your mission to seek out these nearby Catalonian delights.
42 kmReferred to as the "St. Tropez of Spain" or "Barcelona-on-sea," Sitges boasts an impressive 17 sandy beaches; many are a must-see, including Platja de St. Sebastian. Sitges also is renowned for its film festival in October and its annual carnival, which takes place in February.
A former fishing village, Sitges today boasts a laid-back ambiance and is recognised as one of the most charming towns on the Catalan coast. Much of its reputation is owed to its wonderful winding roads and cultural, artistic vibe.
Sant Miquel del Fai
50 kmSituated north of Barcelona, the beautifully serene nature reserve of Sant Miquel del Fai is one of the most breathtaking landscapes in Catalonia. It also is a genuine hidden gem that receives very few tourists.
A hike up the mountain will take you past the awe-inspiring 100-metre waterfalls, and many rock caves are ripe for exploration. Near the top, the picturesque Sant Miquel del Fai monastery awaits.
Sant Sadurni D'Anoia
52 kmAs home to Codorniu, the world’s largest producer of bottle-fermented cava, it's no surprise that this town receives a number of visitors wishing to sample its homegrown tipple.
In a region surrounded by vineyards, selecting a good bottle to take home may be a little tricky. But just 15 minutes south of Sant Sadurni, you will arrive at Vilafranca del Penedès, where you’re guaranteed to walk away with a decent drop of the finest fizz … or two.
100 kmOne of the most important Roman cities outside of Rome, Tarragona boasts some of the most well-preserved ruins. The amphitheatre, now a UNESCO World Heritage site, is the star attraction here, despite no longer playing host to the baying 14,000 capacity crowds.
Now a successful trade town, with a large port and busy university, Tarragona has not forgotten how to play to the people. It hosts the Santa Tecla Festival each year, where the famous human towers, a lasting symbol of entertainment in Catalonia, can be witnessed.
Delta de l'Ebre Nature Reserve
187 kmWith stunning wetland scenery, and approximately 300 different types of wild bird species, this nature reserve is one of the biggest in the Mediterranean region.
A visit to the on-site ecomuseum will add a little education to your trip, while a drive through the rice fields will have you wishing for a longer stay. Do not knock bird watching until you’ve tried it here.