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Why Catalonia?

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In Catalonia you will always have something more to discover. Choose the landscape to suit your own taste: we are a region full of natural contrasts. You have sea and mountain. You can enjoy hidden coves with crystalline waters, stroll through a green valley bordering a glacial lake or experience nature in the wild. To preserve this rich landscape and ecosystems, more than 30% of the region is protected. The result is 18 natural parks spread throughout the Catalan geography with very different peculiarities among themselves, as much in the flora and the fauna as the orography and the climate. You will find parks with more than 300 different species of birds and 1,400 species and subspecies of both submarine and high mountain plants and ferns. But they do share one trait. Do you know what that is? It is the possibility of finding many proposals to enjoy as a family.


Sea and mountain
In the Pyrenees of Catalonia, time moves more slowly. They still maintain a part of the rural essence, of times gone by, in the villages and in the artistic heritage, which mostly expresses the Romanesque style. Nature maintains a hold on many corners that are practically unexplored, which can only be reached via a hiking route, by crossing thorugh forests, rivers, and alpine meadows, and by heading towards one of the highest peaks in the Catalan geography.

A little more than two hours by car and you will find the sea bathing the Catalan coast. This is a great added value to your visit, because the diversity of landscapes you can see is very large. The Mediterranean, the birthplace of Western civilizations in ancient times, is one of the places with the highest concentration of biodiversity in the world, clearly defined by its colour, fauna and temperature.

The Catalan regions show one of the Mediterraneanís most hidden sides, transforming into tiny and charming coves with fishing boats, kilometres of fine sand beaches, and urban beaches capable of satisfying the need for sunshine of any visitor. Because in Catalonia the climate is your friend: the average temperature is 17ºC and you can enjoy more than 300 days of sunshine every year.


Land of geniuses
These landscapes have served as inspiration for artists from around the world who have contributed to shaping the artistic feel of the twentieth century. These creative geniuses have helped the name of Catalonia to cross borders. The melancholic world of the first piece by Picasso, born in Malaga and created in Barcelona, the luminosity of Miró, the surrealism of Dalí, the painting of Tàpies, and its origins in the group Dau al Set have been inspired by this journey. Catalan culture has managed to unite tradition and roots to result in works that remain in your memory and in time, such as the Sagrada Familia, by the great Antoni Gaudí. The architecture of GaudÌ fascinates people with the structural elements created, the sophisticated constructive techniques, and the use of the materials, the fantasy and the originality of the decorative elements.

Catalonia is a thousand-year old country where you can find all sorts, from dinosaur footprints and traces of Neanderthal man's presence, to a rich Roman heritage and numerous villas and places that have preserved the atmosphere of the Middle Ages. The Romanesque and Gothic style also have a space in the native cultural diversity, as well as the modernism that became the style of the great illustrated civil works of the bourgeoisie that inspired the Industrial Revolution. It left a mark, especially in the field of architecture, with works such as the Casa Batlló, the Pedrera, and the Palau de la M˙sica.


Barcelona
The Catalan capital is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the Mediterranean. Come and visit, and savour its unique personality, which combines design and the avant-garde with the heritage of more than two millennia of history. Whatever your interests may be, Barcelona has something to offer you.


Urban and rural life co-exist together
Other Catalan cities also have their own unique appeal, such as Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. They lead interesting socio-cultural, avant-garde and state-of-the-art movements, but they also know how to look back to their past, building human towers, growing fruit trees, carefully cultivating the vineyards to produce the best wines, and giving shape and colour to pottery.

Urban life coexists with small charming villages with squares and arches that maintain the testimony of thousands of years of rural life. Different sized villages receive the inspiration of visitors and offer creativity, innovation and an open spirit based on centuries and centuries of urban life. This is Catalonia. A contrast between the more rural surroundings and the more urban streets just a few miles away.


Catalan cuisine
Since the time of the first Greek and Roman settlements, Catalonia has been fascinated by gastronomy. It is omnipresent in all corners of the country, both in the form of producers, who are the first link in the gastronomic chain, and restaurants. They have led the revolution of stoves that Catalonia has experienced over the last 25 years that has turned it into a world benchmark. Chefs such as Ferran Adrià, Carme Ruscalleda, and the Roca brothers have placed our cuisine among the most reputed in the world. The 60 Michelin stars of 50 Catalan restaurants recognise the combination of tradition, quality, innovation and effort.

"Catalan cuisine is the landscape placed in the pan", as writer Josep Pla said. The sea and the mountains are two ingredients that are also mixed in traditional Catalan cuisine in the form of different products. The Catalan pantry is varied, delicious and of the highest quality. Cheese, sausages, wines, cava, meats, fish, vegetables ... Products that vary according to the season, seasonal products that fill the markets of towns and cities.
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Revista #CatalunyaExperience Nª2
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Catalonia. Experience and Discover Art and Culture.
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In Catalonia you will always have something more to discover.

Natural parks
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Lake Ratera, in the Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park  (© Kim Castells)
Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park
The Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park is the only national park in Catalonia. There are five routes on which its 41 square miles can be discovered; highlights include the Els Encantats mountain and the 200-plus lakes.
Flamingos in the Ebro Delta Natural Park (© Ferran Aguilar)
Delta de l'Ebre Natural Park
The Ebro Delta, with a surface area of 123 square miles, plays host to the largest aquatic habitat in Catalonia, as well as a rich variety of atmospheres distinguished by the convergence of marine and mainland environments.
Car in La Fageda d'en Jordà. (© Lluís Carro)
Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park
The volcanic area of La Garrotxa, declared a natural park in 1985, is the Peninsula's best example of volcanic landscape and one of the most significant in Europe.
Ferriola cove in the Montgrí massif  (© Servicios Editorials Georama)
Montgrí, les Illes Medes i el Baix Ter Natural Park
The Montgrí, Medes Islands and Baix Ter Natural Park was created in 2010 with the objective of unifying the regulations that separately governed these three areas, three areas which give the landscape of the Catalan coastline an incomparable uniqueness.
Ravine at the Montseny mountain range. (© J. Moragues)
Massís del Montseny Natural Park.
The Montseny massif is both a natural park and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. It is crowned by peaks such as the Turó de l’Home (1,706 metres) or Matagalls (1,697 metres). It is also home to a wealth of natural and cultural heritage.
Hikers in the Cap de Creus Natural Park.  (© José Luis Rodríguez)
Cap de Creus Natural Park
The Cap de Creus Natural Park lies at the easternmost side of the Iberian Peninsula, it is a space of great biological, geological and scenic importance, comprising two very different elements: land and sea.
Culture
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Aerial view of the central nave and towers of the basilica of the Sagrada Familia (© Imagen M.A.S.)
Sagrada Familia Basilica
Antoni Gaudí accepted the job of continuing a neogothic-style church and giving it a monumental character. When the temple is finished, it will have three façades: the first representing the Birth of Christ, the second the Passion and death and the third the Glory. The four towers on each façade represent the four apostles.
Palace of the Wind room in the Dalí Theatre-Museum.    (© Imagen M.A.S.)
Teatre-Museu Dalí
It was Dalí himself who planned and designed this theatre-museum. Located in Figueres (Costa Brava), his hometown, Dalí has left his mark in the dreamlike and surrealist atmosphere which encompasses the entire building, and in works as emblematic as Galatea of the Spheres or facilities tailor-made by the artist.
Gothic courtyard in Palau Aguilar, now the Picasso Museum.  (© Imagen M.A.S.)
Museu Picasso
Located in an ensemble of Gothic palaces, the Museu Picasso de Barcelona holds a valuable and representative collection of works by Pablo Picasso. Amongst others it is possible to view Ciencia y caridad, El Arlequín or the collection of Las Meninas.
Detail of the stained glass roof, work by Rigalt i Granell, in the Palau de la Música Catalana (Catalan Palace of Music) by Domènech i Montaner.    (© Imagen M.A.S.)
Palau de la Música Catalana
Work of Domènech i Montaner, this is one of the most emblematic modernist pieces, both for its spectacular appearance and for the close synthesis between architecture and applied arts. The building was declared World Heritage by UNESCO in 1987.
Night view of Casa Milà, La Pedrera.  (© Imagen M.A.S.)
Casa Milà. La Pedrera
Casa Milà is a modernist building by Antoni Gaudí dating from 1905-1911, which totally broke the mould. Next to the stone structure, we can highlight the wrought iron balconies. The building is the perfect example of curved lines in Gaudí’s work.
Roman amphitheatre.    (© Imagen M.A.S.)
Tarraco. Roman ensemble of Tarragona
In the year 2000 it was declared World Heritage by UNESCO. It is worth highlighting the spectacular amphitheatre (2nd century), where gladiator fights were held, the forum of the colony (1st century B.C.), the Roman walls and the Early Christian necropolis.
Cities
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Trampolining in the Picornell pools with the city in the background. (© Lluís Carro)
Barcelona
With its Catalan Art Nouveau heritage, crowned by works of Antoni Gaudí (including the Sagrada Família, Park Güell and La Pedrera) that are today points of world reference, and the spectacular seafront that opens the city to the Mediterranean, a benchmark for leisure and fine cuisine, Catalonia's capital enchants all those who visit its squares and streets, who stroll and stare along the Ramblas and Passeig de Gràcia or who climb Montjuïc to gain a bird's-eye view of a city that lives by day and remains awake by night.
Houses next to the Onyar river  (© Servicios Editoriales Georama)
Girona
Girona has the charm and magic of a large city, but also the friendly atmosphere of a small town. It has a wide range of tourist, cultural and historic attractions, and a rich social life, with events and popular festivals of great interest.

The city still preserves an old Medieval district that extends up to the impressive cathedral, through the dark, narrow streets of the Old quarter, while more modern and organised part is at the other side of the river. Above the bank of the river Onyar is Girona's most famous image, formed by the pleasant colourful houses.

The Gothic cathedral of Santa Maria (11th-13th centuries) is Girona's most relevant architectural feature, though it is by no means the only one. There are many other examples of religious architecture, such as the monastery of Sant Pere de Galligants (13th century), the convents of Sant Domènec (13th century) and Sant Josep (16th-17th centuries) or the churches of Sant Feliu (12th-16th centuries), Sant Nicolau (12th century) or Sant Daniel (11th century), among other buildings.

There are also examples of civilian architecture from other periods, such as the Turkish baths (12th-13th centuries), the Agullana house (14th-17th centuries), the old palace of Caramany (16th-18th centuries) or the Modernista Teixidor house (1918).

But Girona's attractiveness is not only limited to history or architecture. The Devesa Park is one of the most pleasant green urban spaces in Catalonia. The city's many museums complete a very comprehensive cultural offering.

Roman aqueduct of Les Ferreres or Pont del Diable (Devil's Bridge). (© Lluís Carro)
Tarragona
Strolling through the most Roman of all Catalan cities, visitors might feel nostalgic for times when Tarraco was capital and home to half Hispania. But this sensation does not last long when you discover the rich medieval and modern heritage, the magnificent beaches and the wide range of recreational, cultural, festive and gastro activities in Tarragona city.

The main architectural attractions in the World Heritage Site city are Roman: the walls, the amphitheatre, the theatre, the hippodrome, the Pretorio tower, the pre-Christian necropolis and local and provincial forums, all in the historic town centre. What's more, on the outskirts, it is possible to see the Mèdol quarry, the aqueduct on the Devil's bridge and the Escipiones mausoleum.

On the other hand, don't miss the chance to visit the cathedral of Santa María and the Canals and Castellarnau houses.

The municipality's nineteen kilometres of coastline boast fabulous beaches such as la Llarga, la Rabassada or la Fonda, as well as natural spaces such as the mouth of the Gaià and Tamarit-Punta de la Mora, location of Tamarit castle and the Mora tower.

Sabadell Gas Museum (© Pau Palacios - Fundació Gas Natural Fenosa)
Sabadell
The rich heritage and history of Sabadell, joint regional capital with Terrassa, is extensive and diverse. Prehistoric traces to recent history, the Catalan Art Nouveau and industrialisation all form part of its makeup. Rising from the banks of the River Ripoll, Sabadell is today a dynamic, active city with services and peaceful spaces. The Old Town retains many old façades and is now an important shopping hub.
Night-time view of the walls and bell tower of La Seu Vella  (© Miguel Raurich)
Lleida
Lleida has seen significant development in recent years. It is a modern and lively city in terms of business, culture and heritage. In addition, it is well communicated and located in a singular setting, surrounded by large extensions of fruit trees and with the river Segre running through it.

As corresponds to a city with deep historic roots, Lleida has many interesting buildings. The Hill of la Seu Vella (13th century) or the remains of the old Muslim Suda, offer the best views of the city.

In the old quarter do not miss the palace of la Paería, the Seu Nova or the old hospital of Santa María, in addition to the extensive variety of museums, starting with the Diocesan and Regional Lleida Museum, the Jaume Morera Art Museum, the Water Museum and the La Panera Art Centre.

Terrassa
Terrassa
The city of Terrassa, joint capital of El Vallès Occidental with Sabadell, welcomes visitors with open arms. A rich cultural and artistic heritage adds to the attraction of this modern city ready to welcome you with all its facilities. The offerings range from its prehistoric and mediaeval legacy to the mark left by the Catalan Art Nouveau on its industrial architecture, the jazz festival and the dance, music and theatre season to exhibitions of castellers (human towers) and sports tourism. A commercial and services hub, Terrassa opens its doors to you.
Gastronomy
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See all resources >>
Room of the restaurant the Celler of Can Roca (© El Celler de Can Roca)
El Celler de Can Roca
Fortunately for all gourmets, the Roca brothers followed the family tradition and opened El Cellar de Can Roca, a restaurant that must be visited and which has taken them to the very highest levels. Three Michelin stars endorse a cuisine that covers all areas. The wine list is one of the most highly awarded in Spain, for both its selection and for its presentation.
Suquet de peix (fish stew)    (© Imagen M.A.S.)
Suquet de Peix
How many ways are there of making a suquet? Or should we say suquets? Because there are as many versions of this typical fish stew as there are fishermen.
Vic Llonganissa sausage
Vic Llonganissa sausage
The Vic longaniza sausage is one of Catalonia's most characteristic sausages and, above all, one of the most well-known throughout the world as the result of the International Paris Exhibition in 1857.
DO Catalunya
DO Catalunya
The Catalonia Designation of Origin, approved in 1999, was created to safeguard the tradition of wine production in Catalonia which has been so important for more than 2,000 years.
Calçots  (© Lluís Carro)
Valls green onions
Calçots are a type of tender onion with a milder taste than usual and with a small bulb. They are given this name because during their growing period the plant is covered ("recovered") with earth so that they develop an elongated shaped without shoots.
Where?Ex. Barcelona, Gelida
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W BarcelonaW Barcelona
W Barcelona
Barcelona / Barcelona
W Barcelona was designed by Ricardo Bofill, an architect of international renown. It is located on the beach, next to the famous promenade of Barceloneta.
Where?Ex. Barcelona, Gelida
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Colonia Güell by GaudíColonia Güell by Gaudí
Colonia Güell by Gaudí
Santa Coloma de Cervelló / Costa Barcelona
   
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Discover Gaudi's most hidden treasure, the Gaudi Crypt which is located inside the Colonia Güell
Where?Ex. Barcelona, Gelida
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Sitges Catalonia International Fantastic Film Festival Sitges Catalonia International Fantastic Film Festival
Sitges Catalonia International Fantastic Film Festival
Sitges / Costa Barcelona
More than 300 films are shown and diverse activities are organised during this outstanding film festival.
Where?Ex. Barcelona, Gelida
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Barcelona CathedralBarcelona Cathedral
Barcelona Cathedral
Barcelona / Barcelona
Except for the façade – built at the end of the 19th century in a neogothic style – the rest of the building dates from between the 12th and the 15th century and is in a Gothic style. Inside there are three naves that are worth pointing out for their sheer size and height thanks to the slim pillars that are typical of Catalan Gothic architecture.
Casa AmatllerCasa Amatller
Casa Amatller
Barcelona / Barcelona
Walkde Gràcia41Barcelona08007
Work of the architect Puig i Cadafalch, it was built in 1900. We can highlight the façade, decorated with neogothic and Flemish elements and crowned by a staggered roof. In the vestibule we can see the large number of columns, the bronze lamps, the elegant staircase with its spectacular stained-glass window.
Casa Milà. La PedreraCasa Milà. La Pedrera
Casa Milà. La Pedrera
Barcelona / Barcelona
Casa Milà is a modernist building by Antoni Gaudí dating from 1905-1911, which totally broke the mould. Next to the stone structure, we can highlight the wrought iron balconies. The building is the perfect example of curved lines in Gaudí’s work.
Casa Terrades or dels PunxesCasa Terrades or dels Punxes
Casa Terrades or dels Punxes
Barcelona / Barcelona
It owes its name to the four cylindrical towers that crown it. Designed by Puig i Cadafalch between 1903 and 1905, it brings together three houses in a single building with a central European neogothic style, which is reminiscent of a fairytale castle.
Casa VicensCasa Vicens
Casa Vicens
Barcelona / Barcelona
StreetCarolines24Barcelona08012
This house and garden were the first relevant commission for Antoni Gaudí. It is a very imaginative building in which straight lines and right angles abound. Both inside and outside of the building, it is possible to identify Arabic influences, especially in the colours.
Casa-Museu Pau CasalsCasa-Museu Pau Casals
Casa-Museu Pau Casals
Vendrell, el / Costa Daurada
AvenuePalfuriana67Vendrell, el43880
Museum dedicated to Pau Casals. It is located in the house the construction of which was commissioned by the famous musician and composer in 1909, overlooking the sea on Sant Salvador beach. It is possible to take a journey through his professional and private life.
Fundació Joan MiróFundació Joan Miró
Fundació Joan Miró
Barcelona / Barcelona
Parkde Montjuïcs/nBarcelona08038
The Joan Miró Foundation has a wide and varied collection of areas where private events can be held.
Futbol Club Barcelona-Camp NouFutbol Club Barcelona-Camp Nou
Futbol Club Barcelona-Camp Nou
Barcelona / Barcelona
StreetArístides Mallols/nBarcelona08028
Apart from hosting football matches, the Camp Nou stadium is also open to visitors wanting to tour the facilities and visit the Camp Nou Museum, which houses trophies, photos, football strips and some of the contracts of football players signed to the club in the past. Guided tours of the grounds take in the dressing rooms, stands and pitch.
Gaudí crypt - Colonia GüellGaudí crypt - Colonia Güell
Gaudí crypt - Colonia Güell
Santa Coloma de Cervelló / Costa Barcelona
StreetClaudi Güell6Santa Coloma de Cervelló08690
This is the crypt built in the Colònia Güell by Antoni Gaudí, who initially designed a large church. It is considered one of his most important works for its complexity and because he tried out many of the ideas on it that he later incorporated in the Sagrada Família.
Gran Teatre del LiceuGran Teatre del Liceu
Gran Teatre del Liceu
Barcelona / Barcelona
The Gran Teatre del Liceu was built in 1847 by Miquel Garriga i Roca on La Rambla and immediately became a symbol of the emerging Catalan bourgeoisie.
Muntanya de Sal de CardonaMuntanya de Sal de Cardona
Muntanya de Sal de Cardona
Cardona / Paisatges Barcelona
The Montaña de Sal or "salt mountain" in Cardona is a unique natural phenomenon in the world. The interior contains the Sistine Chapel, so-called because of its beauty and its wide variety of colours and forms...
Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)
Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)
Barcelona / Barcelona
Squaredels Àngels1Barcelona08001
The Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), inaugurated in 1995, is found in the very heart of the Raval district and has different artistic flows which emerged during the second half of the 20th century. It places special emphasis on Catalan artists and on the trends which have exerted most influence on contemporary art in Catalonia.
Museu de la Ciència i de la Tècnica de Catalunya a TerrassaMuseu de la Ciència i de la Tècnica de Catalunya a Terrassa
Museu de la Ciència i de la Tècnica de Catalunya a Terrassa
Terrassa / Costa Barcelona
Boulevardd'Egara270Terrassa08221
The Museu de la Ciència i de la Tècnica de Catalunya is located in the modernist Aymerich, Amat i Jover factory building and holds permanent exhibitions such as the "La Fàbrica Tèxtil", "L'Homo Faber", "Enérgeia" and "El Transport".
Ametllers de Tossa Roman villaAmetllers de Tossa Roman villa
Ametllers de Tossa Roman villa
Tossa de Mar / Costa Brava
Roman villa discovered in 1914. It was built in the 1st century B.C. and was inhabited until the 6th century AD. It preserves numerous mosaics in which we can read inscriptions of the names of the town and one of the people who inhabited it.
Archaeological ensemble of EmpúriesArchaeological ensemble of Empúries
Archaeological ensemble of Empúries
Escala, l' / Costa Brava
StreetPuig i Cadafalchs/nEscala, l'17130
It is made up of four areas: the old town or Palaeopolis, the neapolis, the Roman city and the Indigete settlement. Around the 2nd century AD the complex was progressively abandoned. The Archaeology Museum of Catalonia organises a number of activities.