While Barcelona may offer an endless amount of site seeing, fun activities, and hidden gems, no one would blame you for wanting to duck out and explore some of Catalonia’s splendor. Whether you live in Barcelona, or are planning your next trip to Spain, here are a few highly recommended places to consider.
About an hour and a half north of the Catalan Capital, in the heart of Empordà, you’ll find the quaint medieval village of Peratallada. Its name speaks for itself, deriving from the words pedra tallada, meaning ‘carved stone.’ Not hard to see why the moment you arrive. Cobblestone streets, stone buildings, narrow alleyways and a castle make this town feel like it was chiseled right out of a story book.
Peratallada is one of those “tucked away in the countryside” dainty villages with only 26 of it’s 440 inhabitants living in the town. You won’t find an extensive amount of touring to do; you can walk the town in about 20 minutes, but that won’t take away from the magic. This is a great place to experience firsthand what life looked like during the medieval era, get a feel for local life and disconnect from the sounds of the city. You’ll stumble upon small shops, galleries, artisan cheese stands, and lovely views. On a hot summer’s day, it’s perfect for a long terrace lunch beneath the castle tower (the town’s most prominent feature) and to practice the art of doing nothing.
- Best terrace to lunch in the sun—El Pati.
Practically at its doorstep is the picturesque town of Begur, an enchanting hamlet that has maintained a peaceful ambiance while still giving off a lively vibe. Begur’s striking profile is easily recognizable by the crumbling castle that looms on the hilltop above. Here you’ll be able to soak in some of the most breathtaking views of the Mediterranean. Aside from its aesthetic allure, Begur has several restaurants serving up some of Catalonia’s most exquisite cuisine. Shops and boutique hotels add to the town’s natural charm.
- Galena Mas Comangau, located in a hotel just outside town (5 min walking). It was originally a traditional Catalan farm house, and serves only the freshest ingredients.
Lying in the foothills below is a coastline of un-paralleled beauty. Dotted with eye-dazzling coves, one can easily become entranced by the Costa Brava’s glittering sea and spend most of the time gazing unto the crystal clear waters.
Sa Tuna, a hidden cove only seven minutes by car from the center of Begur, is a great choice if you only have time for one stop along the coast. Once a fisherman’s village, it’s a favorite amongst Catalans, and is much less crowded than the more popular Aiguablava. Many of the people who live here have been in the bay for generations, calmly going about their business and appearing unfazed by the recent tourist boom. There are a few restaurants where you can sample the local fare at a very reasonable price, and the snorkeling is said to be excellent.
Some other of Begur’s beaches worth checking out are:
To the north:
- Platja del Racó
- Illa Roja
- Sa Riera
To the south:
- Platja Fonda
Best way to arrive:
There’s a direct bus that leaves daily from the BCN El Prat airport to Begur; however, you’ll benefit more from renting a car as you’ll need one to access the smaller towns and beaches.
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