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CataloniaSpain

Catalonia

From lively coastal cities to fertile valleys and Pyrenean peaks that hide ancient monasteries, this distinctive Spanish region rewards unhurried travelers.

Catalonia is a vibrant and passionate region of Spain with a proud culture and history. Its landscape ranges from the tall peaks of the Pyrenees to the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Throughout the province you’ll discover medieval and modernist architecture and the fantastic creations of Salvador Dalí.

Many visitors to Catalonia make Barcelona their first port of call. The second-largest city in Spain, and the capital of Catalonia, Barcelona sits between the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains of the Serra de Collserola.

Take a walk along Barcelona’s Las Ramblas, a tree-lined boulevard popular with locals and visitors, to get a feel for the city. The bustling street connects with the Plaça de Catalunya, a large plaza in the center of the city. Explore the city's architecture, including the old buildings of the Gothic Quarter and Antoni Gaudi’s modernist masterpieces, such as his unfinished Sagrada Familia (Church of the Holy Family). Go shopping on the Passeig de Gràcia and at La Boqueria Market before heading to the edge of town to relax on one of the city’s beaches.

For more beach fun, head down the coast to the Costa Brava. This long stretch of coastline has miles of sandy expanses that include horseshoe bays, secluded coves and popular resort towns like Pineda and Tossa de Mar. Swim, sunbathe, scuba dive and windsurf in the warm Mediterranean water before retreating to a traditional restaurant to dine with views of the water.

The Costa Brava is where you will find plenty of art, history and outdoor adventures. Visit the village of Cadaqués to see the former home of Salvador Dalí, now a fascinating museum. Tour the old Roman Ruins of Empuries and the remains of the medieval castle at Begur or hike in the Cap de Creus Natural Park. During the winter, skiers flock to Girona Pyrenees for excellent snow conditions.

Reach Catalonia by flying into the international airports at either Barcelona or Girona. If you want to explore, renting a car is the most convenient way to see the region's coastline, countryside, towns and cities, although it is possible to travel across the province by bus and rail.

Popular cities in Catalonia

Barceloneta Beach which includes street scenes, a city and night scenes
Barcelona
Known for Shopping, Cathedral and Museum
Modernist art and Gothic architecture create a stunning backdrop in the Catalan capital, where sublime food and a sophisticated nightlife scene await.

Reasons to visit

  • La Rambla
  • Passeig de Gracia
  • Placa de Catalunya
Tarragona Cathedral showing a garden and heritage architecture as well as a large group of people
Tarragona
Known for Historical, Ruin and Sightseeing
Explore this Catalonian beach city for the relics and antiques left by the Romans: museums, old city walls and an amphitheater.

Reasons to visit

  • Tarragona Amphitheatre
  • Tarragona Cathedral
  • L'Arrabassada Beach
Cadaques
Cadaques
Known for Beach View, Sea and Port

Reasons to visit

  • Cadaques Beach
  • Cap de Creus
Sitges featuring heritage architecture and rugged coastline
Sitges
Known for Beach View, Dining and Poolside Bars
Visit this eclectic and beautiful resort, one of the most popular beach destinations in southern Europe.

Reasons to visit

  • Castelldefels Beach
Lleida which includes a house, a river or creek and tranquil scenes
Lleida
Known for Cathedral, Museum and UNESCO Site

Reasons to visit

  • Cathedral of St. Mary of La Seu Vella
Girona featuring a coastal town, rugged coastline and a bay or harbour
Girona
Known for Historical, Cheese and Secluded
From medieval architecture and history museums to city rivers and a mountainous backdrop, this Catalonian city appeals to nature lovers and cultural enthusiasts.