Proudly independent and with its own language and unique customs, Catalonia is distinctive from the rest of Spain. Its four provinces – Barcelona, Lleida, Girona and Tarrangone – make up a triangle in the country’s north-east and is separated by the magnificent Pyrenean mountains from Southern France.
Catalonia had a long and turbulent history to independence. One of the first areas to be conquered by the Romans, the Catalan language and regional power began to take hold. But Catalonia has been under many rulers, from the King of Aragon to Napoleonic troops and the oppressive Franco regime right up until 1975. Since the dictator’s death, however, Catalonia has once again begun to flourish, and it’s now the strongest economy in Spain.
Perhaps it’s Catalonia’s fierce identity that makes is an exciting destination for a Spain holiday. From natural wonders of the Pyreneesto the golden beaches of Costa Brava, vibrant and buzzing historic cities of Barcelona and beyond, we have perfect Catalonia holidays that shows the very best of the region. Here are some of the highlights of what you’ll enjoy in our Little Boats of Catalonia tour.
With glorious sandy beaches lapped by the warm Mediterranean Sea, Roses in Costa Brava is where the mountains meet the sea. From the glorious Bay of Roses to the hidden coves, there’s scenic beauty to be found at every turn. We’ll even sail on Spain’s second largest freshwater Banyoles and soak in the peaceful surroundings of marshes and lush vegetation.
Another hotspot is the Medes Islands Nature reserve – where you will be able to marvel at the flora and fauna on a glass-bottomed boat. The Medes Islands are one of the most important marine reserves in the Mediterranean, and the seabed, having has 20 years of protection, is alive with life and colour.
We’ll head to the fishing town of Cadaques. Flanked by mountains, this is a stunning destination in its own right, however, it’s also the birthplace of surrealist artist Salvador Dali. It’s no wonder that many artists including Picasso and Matisse were heavily influenced by the spectacular scenery here, and aside from learning more about Dali and his work, you’ll also be able to wander the quaint cobble-stoned streets that are now filled with art galleries and workshops.
In Figueres, the Dali Museum is a must see. The artist is buried in a crypt under the museum’s stage and it is here that you will see his exquisite paintings, and journey through his life, learn about his inspiration and ideas and see through the window of his mind. It’s an incredible experience.
Pretty towns and villages
From medieval squares and winding streets, to sparkling harbours and bustling promenades, our Spain tours will really showcase the best of each of destination in Catalonia. In the pretty town of Cadaques, you’re never far from the glistening sea. The 16th-Century church of Santa Maria has a superb baroque altar and the most amazing views across the rooftops out to the coast. In Besalu, you’ll discover a beautiful town that has a fascinating Jewish heritage, where you can wander the cobble-stoned streets and marvel at the old stone facades, as well as the majestic fortified bridge.
Heavily influenced by neighbouring France and Italy, Catalan cuisine utilises the very best of Mediterranean produce, and is very different to the rest of Spain. Specialities include homemade sausage and beans, charred spring onions and salt cod. On this Spain tour, you’ll get to feast on many Catalan dishes – such as suquet de peix, a fish stew filled with hake, clams, mussels and monkfish mixed with saffron. Or perhaps you’d like to try crema catalana? Similar to the French crème brulee, this had a base of milk thickened with eggs, with a crunch sweet top of caramelised sugar.
If you would like to find out more about our Catalonia holiday, why not chat to one of your travel advisors today.
Ting has a serious case of wanderlust. Having travelled to over 40 countries, it’s her mission in life to make her way through her ever-growing list. Her two young sons have also caught the travel bug, and recent trips have seen them making snow angels in Iceland while watching the Northern Lights, as well as walking alongside elephants in South Africa.
Ting | About the author
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