Let's get out and about! 3 excursions to magnificent natural landscapes less than 1 hours from Barcelona

Catalonia is one of Spain's most popular tourist regions. But although its capital is utterly charming, it would be a shame to confine yourself to visiting Barcelona alone. Sometimes there are monuments, natural treasures and unusual, fascinating buildings just a few kilometres away. Let's get off the beaten track and discover together what's hidden around Barcelona.

Vue imprenable sur Calella de Palafrugell

- © Pawel Kazmierczak / Shutterstock

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Sitges, the Spanish Saint-Tropez

There is no shortage of seaside resorts along the Costa Daurada. Sitges, a 30-minute drive from Barcelona, is one of the liveliest and most popular resorts on the coast, offering beaches, water sports, leisure activities and family fun.

You'll love discovering this ancient fishing port with its colonial architecture and South American atmosphere, and you'll be tempted by its year-round party atmosphere.

Practical information

📍 Location: Sitges

🚗 Getting there: 40 minutes by car from Barcelona.

👉 Other info: the Sitges carnival usually takes place in late February/early March. Expect an explosion of colour, feathers and colourful costumes in the streets of the town!

Plage de Sitges au coucher du soleil

- © Boris Stroujko / Shutterstock

Montserrat, a major pilgrimage site in Catalonia

Head for one of the most fascinating places around Barcelona, Montserrat, a small village perched in the mountains. Its uniquely shaped rocky environment is around 50 kilometres from Barcelona.

On its summit is the Benedictine monastery of Montserrat, an abbey dedicated to the Virgin of Montserrat, patron saint of Catalonia, which attracts many tourists and pilgrims alike. A cable car takes visitors from the bottom of the mountain to the monastery.

Practical information

📍 Location: Montserrat

🚗 Getting there: 1 hour by car from Barcelona.

👉 Other info: the Montserrat viewpoint and its incredible view over the valley is a must-see, as is the Montserrat cave and its 500 metres of underground galleries hidden beneath the mountain.

Le joli village de Montserrat, niché dans la montagne

- © A_Mikhail / Shutterstock

The beach at Calella de Palafrugell, a marvel of the Costa Brava

Why not take advantage of being in Barcelona to make a diversion to the Costa Brava? This long stretch of coastline stretches from the French border to the north of Barcelona and is home to some very popular tourist beaches, as well as a number of more intimate coves such as Calella de Palafrugell.

In the shade of the pine trees, this former fishing village with its pretty traditional white houses offers coves of all sizes and crystal-clear waters. It's an all-year-round holiday destination, where you can unwind in winter and summer alike.

Practical information

📍 Location: Calella de Palafrugell

🚞 Getting there: 1? hours by train from Barcelona.

👉 Other info: take the coastal path and its pleasant walk that leads to Llafranc and the Cap de Sant Sebastià lighthouse to reach the most beautiful viewpoint on the Costa Brava.

Plage de Calella de Palafrugell sous le soleil de la Costa Brava
© Pawel Kazmierczak / Shutterstock

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by Faustine PEREZ
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