How to plan the perfect break outside Barcelona
Beyond the Collserola Mountains that embrace Barcelona, there are plenty of little-known beauty spots through which you can discover the essence of the regions of Barcelona, while enjoying more peace and quiet.
There’s something to suit everyone just a few kilometres from Barcelona: wine-related activities, nature excursions, a long list of historical towns and villages… You can reach most of them by public transport and spend the day there. If you’re visiting Barcelona over several days or you’re keen to discover new places because you’re already familiar with the capital city, it’s worth noting down some of these suggestions.
1. Wine tourism
One of the options for discovering the area around Barcelona is through wine. You can visit one of the many wineries in its regions, do some tastings or go on cycling excursions through vineyards… Look out for the architectural richness of the wineries; many of them are Catalan modernist gems.
There’s a strong wine tradition in the Penedès, Alella and Bages areas. In fact, all three produce distinctive wines bearing their own special DO (designation of origin) label. So, depending on your chosen destination, you can sample DO Penedès, DO Alella or DO Pla de Bages wines.
2. Cultural plans
Over the centuries, this part of the world has acquired a unique identity. You’ll feel like you’re travelling back in time as you travel around the inland regions of Barcelona, taking in the many Romanesque monasteries and churches of the area, not to mention the traditional façades of fishing towns and the jewels of Catalan modernist architecture that broke the mould outside the capital city as well. The options for discovering Catalan culture beyond the hustle and bustle of big cities are endless, but here are four suggestions:
- The Gaudí Crypt, one of Antoni Gaudí’s most important religious works, is located in the Colònia Güell, an industrial model village in Santa Coloma de Cervelló.
- Montserrat Monastery, the great 11th-century monastery devoted to Our Lady of Montserrat, the patron saint of Catalonia, was built at the top of Montserrat Mountain and has become a symbol of Catalonia.
- Mataró, a Catalan city boasting an architectural heritage stretching over several periods: from the Can Llauder Roman villa to the Catalan modernist Casa Coll i Regàs, not to mention the 17th-century Basilica of Santa Maria.
- Sitges, a fishing town that was also home to several artists in the 20th century.
3. Beauty spots
Planning an outing equipped with a backpack and sandwich is always a good idea, especially if you’re travelling with children! What’s more, in the regions of Barcelona, any time of year is good for exploring the local nature, delving into forests and breathing in the fresh air of beauty spots. Many of them are just a stone’s throw from Barcelona, and there are signposted excursions suitable for all ages. If you’re keen on the idea, close to the capital city you can explore the Natural Areas of the Llobregat Delta and the Sant Llorenç de Munt i l’Obac Natural Park.
DO Pla de Bages
Natural Areas of the Llobregat Delta
Sant Llorenç de Munt i l’Obac Natural Park