Barcelona can be a bit overwhelming. A hub of culture, art and nightlife, the capital of Catalonia is among the ten most visited cities in Europe. Once you’ve walked down the Ramblas alongside rowdy tourists and got caught up in a crowd at every Gaudi masterpiece, you might feel the need to get away from this chaotic city. Thankfully, the closest retreat is only a short bus ride away.
Here’s how you can get out of the city for some fresh air and solitude.
1. Swim, trek and gorge on paella in Tossa de Mar
Situated on the rugged coast of Costa Brava, Tossa de Mar is a quaint seaside town bursting with history, shops and highly-acclaimed seafood restaurants.
The beach is packed at the height of summer, but you can escape the crowds by trekking through the surrounding hills or strolling through the cobble-stoned streets of the Old Town.
2. Have a picnic in Santa Clotilde Gardens
These stylish gardens are simply ideal for some downtime. Designed in the 1920s by Italian landscape artist Nicolás María Rubió i Tudurí, Santa Clotilde Gardens are situated on the picturesque coast of Lloret de Mar.
Walk through secret paths, have a picnic with stunning views or simply lie down in the sun. However, it would be a pity not to admire the lush, Renaissance ambiance of the gardens. The marble structures, exquisite paths and perfectly shaped trees and hedges make Santa Clotilde a joy to explore.
3. Climb the rugged peaks of Montserrat
Thought to be one of the possible resting places of the Holy Grail, the intriguing formations of Montserrat call for an exciting hiking and climbing adventure. The highest summit, Sant Jeroni, stands at 1, 236m above sea level.
If you don’t feel like climbing to the top, you can visit the historical Benedictine Abbey and absorb the breathtaking views of the Catalonian countryside from the basilica.
Recommendation: Pair your trip to Montserrat with a wine tasting session at a local vineyard. Book here
4. Explore the medieval city of Girona
This charming city is a popular day trip with tourists staying in Barcelona and therefore might not be as quiet as the previous retreats, yet it is still worth a visit.
Once you’ve taken enough pictures of the colourful houses overlooking the River Onyar, take a historical walk through Girona’s old quarter, exploring the city’s Roman, Jewish and Arab past through its beautiful architectural and artistic heritage.
5. Treat yourself to a wine tasting session
Spain produces some of the world’s best wine, thanks to the country’s wide array of grapes and varied climate. There are quite a few wineries around Barcelona, so you’re spoilt for choice.
One of the most renowned wine estate in Catalonia is Bodegas Torres
, which was founded in 1870. The Torres winery in Milmanda offers wine tasting sessions in an exclusive location – an ancient castle in a lush green valley.
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Have you been to any of these places?
What other day trips from Barcelona would you recommend?
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