While most people stick to Barcelona when visiting Catalonia, I, on the other hand, prefer to get out of the city and explore the most amazing region of Spain. Filled with dramatic landscapes (the Mediterranean meets the Pyrenees type!), amazing food scene and quaint villages, there is SO much to discover in Catalonia. Other than the dogs, obviously.
My favorite spot? The oh-my-God-I-don’t-even-have-words-for-this Cap de Creus, a few minutes east of the village. Probably the most beautiful place I have ever had the chance to see in my travel life. The road that crosses the Pyrenees to get to Cadaques is also very impressive – pictures truly are worth a thousand words.
It’s not a coincidence that Barcelona is so original and artsy – Catalonia is filled with talented artists and has influenced many of the grand names of this world. For example? None else than Salvador Dali! The famous moustache man was born and raised in the region, and lived in his somewhat intriguing seaside home in Cadaquès for a very long time. Another famous name is Antonio Gaudi – even though most of his work is in the capital, he is a major figure of artistic Catalonia.
Catalonia is one of the most colorful places in Spain. A pretty big difference with the whites of Andalusia! Whether it’s the yellow and red nationalist flag, the orange trees, the sunsets, the paella, the architecture… color is definitely going to catch your eye at some point.
Speaking of Cadaquès, if there’s one village you should put on your to-do list in Catalonia, it’s that one! Once you have gone through the traumatic, winding roads through the Pyrenees to get to the village, you will be rewarded with stunning views of Port Llirat, sweet pastries, narrow alleys and colorful flowers everywhere. I have a soft spot for Banyoles and Besalù, too – both small, friendly, welcoming and incredibly relaxing.
The conclusion of my one-week trip was, to put it simply: in Catalonia, food just keeps coming… and coming! I hate SO much while I was there, and everything was SO good. I tasted dozens of different things, anchovies, wine, cheese, tapas, Spanish tortilla, breads, olives, paella, calçots… And everything tasted amazing. I even make a slight detour by the grocery store on my way to the train station so I could take some of the Catalan goodness home!
Have you ever been to Catalonia? What activities did you do while you were there, what was your favorite thing to do?