The region of Cataluña is located in Spain’s northeast corner, extending along the Mediterranean up to the French border, and has the second highest population in the country. With its amazing history, cities, world renowned restaurants, charming villages, and its beautiful beaches, Cataluña offers visitors an unlimited number of things to see and do.
A great place to start your visit of this beautiful region is in Barcelona, Cataluña’s capital. Once done there you have over 12,000 square miles to explore. Here’s a summary of a few places to visit, along with Michelin’s Guide of restaurants for this region.
Note: The times listed in the parentheses are the drive times from Barcelona.
Capital of Cataluña:
- Barcelona – is one of those cities that you can visit over and over again, and discover something new every time. Whether you are interested in art, architecture, music or food, this captivating city on the Mediterranean offers something for every visitor. For more information, click here
North of Barcelona:
- Besalú – enchanting medieval village with an often-photographed 12th C. Roman bridge, 11th C. Sant Pere Church, and a Jewish Quarter with a restored 12th C. mikveh bathhouse (1 hour 30 min.). For more information, click here.
- Cadaqués – picturesque whitewashed village on the rocky Costa Brava near the French border that has inspired painters, with a historic quarter, art galleries and Dalí House Museum (2 hours 15 min.). For more information, click here.
- Costa Brava – explore the charming towns of Tossa de Mar, Sant Feliu de Guixols, S’Agaró and Empúries (1-2 hours). For more information, click here.
- Figueres – birthplace of surrealist artist Salvador Dalí, with a museum displaying the largest and most diverse collection of his works, and his crypt (1 hour 30 min. drive / 55 min. by high-speed train). For more information, click here.
- Girona – historic town founded by Romans with a charming old quarter, 12th C. cathedral and one of Europe’s best preserved Jewish Quarter (1 hour 15 min. drive / 38 min. by high-speed train). For more information, click here.
South of Barcelona:
- Priorat Wine Region – wine producing region south of Barcelona known for its award-winning wines; read our 6-part series on the history of this region and info on vineyards to visit (1 hour 30 min.). For more information, click here.
- Sitges – lively seaside town south of Barcelona with sandy beaches, a wide promenade with shops, restaurants and bars, and a charming old quarter (40 min.). For more information, click here.
- Tarragona – historic city with some of the best-preserved Roman ruins, including a 2nd C. amphitheater by the sea and the Tarragona National Archaeological Museum (1 hour 15 min.). For more information, click here.
West of Barcelona:
- Cardona – picturesque medieval town with a hilltop castle with a tower dating from the 12th C. and Church of Sant Vicenç dating from the 11th C. (1 hour). For more information, click here.
- Montserrat – mountain top Benedictine monastery famous for the statue of the Virgin of Montserrat (the Black Virgin) (1 hour). For more information, click here.
- Parc de Collserola – escape the city, go hiking and get closer to nature in the largest metropolitan park in the world (15 min.). For more information, click here.
The region is well known for being home to many outstanding restaurants. For Michelin’s Guide to over 200 restaurants in the region, click here.
Photo credit: HansenBCN (CC BY-SA 2.0)
For assistance with your travel plans, including hotel and private tour reservations, click here.