Ideas for enjoying nature close to Barcelona
If you’re the sort of person who enjoys combining cultural visits in cities with nature excursions, here are four of the routes favoured by Barcelona locals, who also like to get away from it all and enjoy the outdoors, especially when these beauty spots are so close to home. These routes offer something for everyone and, like almost every other route in the country, can be enjoyed all year round.
Natural Areas of the Llobregat Delta: the best panoramic views in Barcelona
Right next to the airport, at the southern entrance to the city, you’ll find the Natural Areas of the Llobregat Delta, the Llobregat being one of the two rivers that flank Barcelona. The delta is the second largest wetland area in Barcelona. There are lookout points from which to observe all sorts of birds and ducks, long paths for cycling excursions that won’t tire you out, horses pasturing freely, long beaches with hardly a soul on them, typical estuary vegetation… It’s one of the best options if you don’t want to stray too far from Barcelona. The journey on public transport takes about an hour from the city centre.
Sant Llorenç del Munt i l’Obac Natural Park: the reddish mountains
Heading northwards out of the city, you’ll find the distinctive landscape of this natural park, composed of reddish monoliths and cliffs that stand in contrast to the green of the pine and holm oak forests that occupy the lower part of the mountains. You’ll also come across ancient archaeological remains scattered along the valleys, such as those of the Simanya Cave, along with typical farmhouses. If you head to the area, you can visit the Monastery of Sant Llorenç del Munt, which stands at the summit of La Mola. The route to the monastery, the most famous landmark in the massif, is the most popular excursion among locals.
The Montseny area, a biosphere reserve
Heading in the direction of Girona, you can enjoy one of the jewels of Barcelona’s greenbelt. The Montseny area, just a stone’s throw from the metropolis, is a mosaic of Mediterranean and Central European landscapes. Located between the plains of the Vallès, Osona and La Selva regions, its extraordinary biodiversity has a universal appeal that has inspired artists, intellectuals and scientists. In fact, it was declared a biosphere reserve forty years ago. Its lower area boasts holm oak, cork oak and pine forests, while from an altitude of 1,000 metres it is home to vegetation more typical of Central European countries. It is even possible to find trees typical of subalpine environments in the area.
Cadí-Moixeró, one of the largest natural parks in Catalonia
Further north still, Berguedà is one of the favourite regions of Barcelona for hikers, one of the reasons being that it is home to the Cadí-Moixeró Natural Park, one of the largest natural parks in Catalonia. Nature lovers appreciate the large number of flora and fauna species that inhabit this wonderful setting, along with the beauty of its mountains. Indeed, one of the highest mountains in Catalonia, El Vulturó, is located here and the most famous peak of them all, Pedraforca, is situated just a short distance away. The Cadí-Moixeró Natural Park is ideal for hiking, mountain biking and climbing, along with open-water swimming in the Baells Reservoir, among other activities.
Delta del Llobregat
Sant Llorenç del Munt
Parc Natural del Montseny
Parc natural del Cadí-Moixeró,
Embassament de La Baells