Most visitors to Catalonia head straight to Barcelona when they visit the region - and quite rightly too, as it is Spain's best destination. But that isn't to say there isn't more to do in Catalonia.
Cities and Towns in Catalonia
Major cities and towns in Catalonia, in order of 'importance' to the tourist:
Catalonia in a Week
You could easily spend a week in Barcelona, but if you'd like to see more of the region, try this itinerary:
Start in Figueres - spend half a day at the Dali museum and the rest of the day in Girona, where you should stay the night. Then head to Barcelona and spend five days there. Finish off with a day in Tarragona.
- Barcelona, of course. The Gaudi architecture, vibrant nightlife, Las Ramblas. When you're bored of Barcelona, you're bored of traveling.
- Hike around the ridges of the impressive Montserrat mountain.
- The Salvador Dali Museum in Figueres.
- The beaches of Sitges.
- The Roman ruins in Tarragona.
How to Get to Catalonia
Catalonia is on the border with France, so is a great first stop when visiting Spain over land. Barcelona is also well connected to the rest of Spain by high-speed train and bus. Alternatively, if you want to fly, there are three international airports in Catalonia.
Guided Tours of Catalonia
Barcelona is such a popular city that many people only visit Barcelona when they're in the Catalonia region of Spain.
There is definitely enough to do in Barcelona to keep you entertained for a few days or weeks (read more in this Barcelona Tourist Guide), but it would be a shame to neglect some of the region's other interesting sights. For those in a hurry, or those who don't have access to a car and don't want to try to negotiate the public transport system, an organized tour is a great way to see the area.
Guided Tour of Dali's Figueres and Jewish Girona
Combine a trip to Figueres, the birthplace of Spanish artist Salvador Dalí with a trip to Girona, which has one of the best preserved Jewish quarters in Europe.
The Dalí museum in Figueres is a work of art in itself and has to be seen to be believed - the most surreal sight you will see on your trip to Catalonia - well, apart from the Dalí paintings inside the museum!
After you've taken in Dalí's masterpieces, you'll visit Girona and its well preserved Jewish quarter. You will be free to explore Girona largely by yourself.
Guided Tour of the City of Girona and the Costa Brava
Girona has a long history, believed to be founded around 76 BC. The river Onyar neatly divides the city in two, separating the old town from the new. The tour will then head to the Santuari dels Angels, this spot offers panoramic views of the whole Girona region. From here you will make your way to Pals, a small city that grew from a fortress. From Pals head to the fishing village of Calella de Palafrugell, passing Begur on the way. The clean lines of the whitewashed houses will be evident here and you'll have time to explore the rocky coastline or perhaps even take a dip in the inviting waters.
Guided Tour of Roman Tarragona and the Beaches of Sitges
After Merida in Extremadura, Tarragona has the best Roman ruins in Spain. The capital of Roman Iberia (the Roman name for Spain), Tarragona has a magnificent aqueduct and the remains of a roman amphitheater for you to explore, before your tour goes on to Roc de Sant Gaieta, a tiny Mediterranean-style village with its mix of Ibizan fishermen's houses, Seville-style patios, and Roman-Greco influence.
Finally, a visit to the sandy beaches of Sitges, where you'll have some free time to go and soak up the sun.