Spain has been a tourist heavyweight for decades. From skiers taking to the Pyrenees in the winter to families booking low cost and affordable lanzarote holidays during the school holidays, the travel options this beautiful country offers is second to none, with one area in particular always at the top of most people’s to-see list.
Officially, Catalonia is an autonomous community, with the region ruling itself, and Catalonians are treated as a separate nationality. The northwest area of Spain is home to some 7 million people along with thousands of tourists who flood into the region to experience the vast array of heritage sights, stunning beaches, bustling cites and ancient places of interest. Whereas most people when thinking of Spain immediately imagine packed beaches, a visit to Catalonia will prove that there is so much more diversity to the regions attractions. You could relax on the beach, go skiing or explore one of the world’s most famous cities as all this is packed into just thirty thousand square kilometres!
The Cosmopolitan City
Barcelona is without question the most famous city in Catalonia and ranks as one of the world’s leading cities. The city sits between the sea and mountains and as a result is a city which has access to the beach – always a plus as temperatures can reach over thirty degrees in summer. The Sagrada Familia is one of Barcelona’s most popular tourist attractions with La Rambla, Barcelona’s most famous street, always packed to the rafters with tourists and locals too. The city is by far the most cosmopolitan in Spain and therefore you will be able to experience a true worldly city. Cuisines from all over the world are on offer, as are Catalan specialities which just have to be tried.
Costa Brava, or the ‘wild coast’ as it is known, is one of Spain’s most famous coastlines, attracting visitors intent on topping up their tan or spending a few weeks on a budget holiday before returning to work back home. The resorts of Tossa de Mar and Lloret de Mar are neon lighted party havens where the young and carefree head to on nights out. At the other end of the spectrum are the towns of Ullastret, Figueres and Puig de Castellet which are brimming full of history, culture and scenic views. The Costa Brava coast represents the true diversity of Catalonia!
The World Heritage Site
Located in the south of Catalonia is the town of Tarragona, where its ancient Roman remains have been recognised as a world heritage site. An amphitheatre from the 2nd century still has remains left behind and a 4km Roman wall surrounds the old town area. Also worth a visit is the Roman aqueduct located 4 kilometres outside of Tarragona. At 27 meters high it is an impressive structure which up until the late 18th century supplied the town with vital water access.
Forget about the politics surrounding Catalonia. For visitors, travellers and holidaymakers the only thing to know is that the region is rich in everything that is important – whether it is golden sandy beaches or top class city centre restaurants. If you want a perfectly tailored holiday, cheap holidays abroad to Catalonia take some topping.
Written by Ricky Durrance for Beat the Brochure.