The autonomous community of Catalonia is located in the northeastern part of the Iberian Peninsula and is a region with a distinct identity and language. This region is one of the most cosmopolitan places of Spain and forged its historical personality in the Middle Ages, when it opened itself to the Mediterranean Sea.
Catalonia is a first order tourist destination that counts on great natural resources. Its complex relief, of which stands out the natural wall of the Pyrenees to the north, gives rise to a great variety of landscapes like the Montserrat mountain or the central plain. The Mediterranean Sea is another fundamental element of the landscape, with warm beaches that bathe the Costa Brava or the Golden Coast. A National Park and other many protected natural lands show the ecological wealth of this Community.
The natural park of Delta del Ebro is the most humid zone in Catalonia. It has more than 7,500 hectares of flatlands crossed by a great river where varied kinds of birds live. And the National Park, the one of Aigüestortes and Lake Sant Maurici, is located in the central Pyrenees, and offers landscapes and impressive natural mountain surroundings, with more than fifty glacier lakes. Another natural wonder is the lake of Bañolas with 1 km square surface and a maximum depth of 60 meters.
The beach tourism exist at all Catalan coasts, from Tortosa to Portboú. Calafell, Salou, Lloret of Sea, Cambrils, Gavà, Calella, Castelldefells and Sitges are some of the most visited coastal towns during the summer.
The Costa Brava is full of cliffs and calm beaches. Medas Islands are an archipelago of six islands that stand out for their natural wealth and its marine deep bottom, which is protected by law, although recreational diving and underwater photography of its rich variety of fishes are allowed.
Ampurdan is a tourist zone but not overcrowded, and its beautiful landscape will catch any traveller’s eyes. Some of its treasures, like the archaeological remains of Ampurias and Rosas, old monasteries of Sant Pere de Roda, medieval populations like Peralada, monuments of Sant Feliu de Guíxols, the artistic vitality of Cadaques (a town famous thanks to Dali), or the enchantment of Figueras, are must-sees for all who want to enjoy this Catalan region.
More inland, in the Pyrenees zone, Aran Valley offers, in addition to its ski resorts, beautiful landscapes and towns that have kept its own culture. In Olot zone it is possible to practice adventure sports like trekking, biking and bungee-jumping, with all types of facilities. On the other hand, if one requires the visit to this region to have a more familiar touch, the best option is Port Aventura Theme Park. Garrotxa region is the best option for rural tourism. It is one of the most attractive destinations for all who seek tranquillity and calmness.
Gerona is a city with a very special historical flavor because its Hebrew district is the best conserved one in Catalonia. In addition to a Jewish presence, there are also Arab remains, like the baths. In contrast to this historical sites, Gerona also offers a wide variety of modern art galleries.
Barcelona is the great centre of the Catalan Autonomy and its importance exceeds regional borders, and holding a world-wide relevance. From the remains from the Roman past or the Gothic legacy, to the modernist explosion and arriving nowadays to vanguard design architecture, Barcelona offers its visitor countless things to do. The Catalan capital is the world-wide center of modernism. The surroundings of Eixample (boulevard zone), mainly Paseo de Gracia, are the core of this architecture, with Gaudi as the grand master, and the Mila House or the Batlló House are must-see buildings. The modernism route takes us to Park Güell, an urban park located in the Pelada Mountain where Gaudi used revolutionary techniques to create a magic and dreamlike atmosphere for those who pass through the gardens.
The tourist axis of the city is Las Ramblas, a street full of life and excitement and where the cosmopolitism and multiculturalism of this city become obvious. A good time to visit Barcelona would be the Fair of Sant Jordi, on April 23th, a day when it is tradition to give roses and books as presents.
Catalan gastronomy is very varied and offers flavorful dishes like partridges with cabbages or beans with butifarra (local sausage). Catalan cream is the most known traditional dessert. And the most famous wines of the region are ‘cavas’, sparkling wines, much appreciated internationally. The ones from Priorato (Tarragona) or Penedes stand out.