Unique local customs with plenty of must see attractions.
Catalonia, a picturesque region distinct from the rest of Spain, has much more to offer than just Barcelona. With an abundance of diverse natural landscapes, rural Catalonia offers meadows, plains, lakes, mountains, coves and vineyards for travellers to explore. Of course, Barcelona itself, along with the equally alluring Girona, never disappoints.
The charming seaside city of Barcelona is packed with interest and excitement. Comprising Roman, Gothic and traditional Catalan architecture, the city’s buildings are a fascinating mosaic, and more art can be found inside in museums dedicated to legendary artists, including Pablo Picasso. Another must-see architectural wonder is the stunning La Sagrada Família, a monumental and ornately decorated Roman Catholic basilica, which is magical to behold. After all the sightseeing, the best way to spend the evening in Barcelona is sipping refreshing drinks at a traditional ‘chiringuito’ beach bar at sunset. A buzzing live music scene keeps the city alive all evening, and anyone with enough energy can enjoy the plentiful bars and clubs open until the sun comes up.
Girona, a labyrinth of cobbled lanes peppered with museums, galleries and churches, is just as worth a visit. A walk on the medieval city walls provides spectacular wide-reaching views, and once you’ve had your fill of history and culture, wandering Girona’s individual shops, bijoux cafes and picturesque streets will while away a blissful afternoon.
While in Catalonia’s cities, sampling traditional Spanish cuisine should be high on the list. From paella to tapas, there are lots of delicious meals to be tried, and in Barcelona especially, wondrously fresh seafood takes pride of place. For dessert, try crema Catalana, Catalonia’s blowtorched, crunchy topped vanilla custard, or Girona’s sweet sugary pastry ‘xuixos’, the most authentic and memorable of which can only be found in the city itself.
The landscapes beyond
Outside the cities, Catalonia boasts a wealth of natural beauty. Perhaps the most tempting are the long sandy beaches of Costa Brava, some with calm turquoise water and some with waves and wind that provide a watersports playground. From Begur, a quaint little town with interesting medieval architecture, roads spiral down to reveal numerous secret coves fringed with pine trees. Here, you can escape the crowds and discover your own slice of paradise.
Inland, the Pyrenean mountains provide plenty of hiking trails with stunning views, passing churches and monasteries that give walkers an insight into the area’s history and culture. Perhaps Catalonia’s best opportunity to get close to nature can be found in Parc Nacional d’Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici. Glittering with lakes and waterfalls among fir and pine forests, grasslands full of wildflowers and dramatic mountains, there’s a vast range of scenery to explore.
In the wetlands of Delta de l’Ebre, sand dunes and beaches meet lagoons and marshes to create a habitat for a whole host of birdlife, including elegant ibises and astonishingly pink flamingos. Cycling, walking and watersports will keep the active traveller entertained, and it’s a fantastic place to watch the sunset reflected in the mirror-like water, dotted with birds.
Your Catalonian experience
To find out more about your personalised luxury trip to Catalonia, simply contact our friendly team by phone or live chat. At Azure, we’re on hand to create a trip to remember.
where to stay
Gran Hotel La FloridaFrom...Just 15 minutes from Barcelona’s stunning city centre, the Gran Hotel La Florida is the perfect place for a sumptuous holiday. With outstanding rooms and superb suites, tantalising restaurants and a luxurious spa, this is sure to become a firm favourite after just one visit.
Hotel Arts Barcelona, BarcelonaFrom...A five star hotel housed in a towering glass building with impeccably designed rooms, Hotel Arts Barcelona, Barcelona, contends with the best of the best in accommodation. Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, with Michelin star restaurants and top quality facilities, you’re guaranteed to be impressed by this luxurious hotel
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We have been using Azure to arrange our holidays for over 12 years. Every year usually twice a year, sometimes more, we rely on the experienced team at Chester to provide expert information on our chosen destinations. Be it a return to our established favorites in Barbados and Dubai or a new and exiting destination chosen from Azures brochure it is always handled in a friendly and competent manner. The small details are not missed such as do we need late check out or early arrival, which can make such a difference after sometimes long hours travelling. For us using Azure takes the uncertainty out of booking holidays.
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My first experience with Azure was when they came to my rescue when my family and I were stranded abroad on holiday without accommodation, their professionalism and ability to make things happen at very very short notice was second to none. They were very knowledgeable and were able to utilise their many relationships within the industry to get things resolved for me within an hour. I can't praise them enough for rescuing my family's holiday and making it a truly memorable time. Since then the team always do their best to make my holidays the best they can possibly be based on their own vast travel knowledge and experiences. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them and wouldn't use anyone else for luxurious travel.
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