Barcelona is a city that radiates romantic possibilities, thrilling even to the most weary of travelers. As one of the most popular destinations in Europe, Barcelona’s busy streets can prove to be quite overwhelming. Thus, it is only fitting that a quick natural intermission from the city’s highlights is due. Barcelona and its surroundings are well-equipped with sweeping mountains and gorgeous countryside, perfect for when you are in need of some quiet.
As you take off for your adventure under the sun, you may start to feel finicky about leaving the city center in a foreign country. A quick message to one of our trusted local guides may help reassure you of your qualms. If you decide to book a customizable tour, so much the better to ease your mind. Either way, we believe that a nice, serene saunter through nature is never a bad idea.
The Montserrat mountain is only an hour away from the city, but boasts refreshing nature, interesting architecture, and rewarding views. Its massif, Sant Jeroni, sits at a height of 1,237 m (4,058 ft), and enjoys a panoramic view of the most amazing landscapes and cityscapes.
You will begin your hike at the Montserrat Monastery, where pilgrims of the Black Madonna flock to see the patron saint of Catalonia. If you come at the right time, you might just hear the angelic voices of the Escolania de Montserrat choir boys, already wonderful sights and sounds to behold even before you commence with your trek. If you would like to spend more time on Montserrat, you can ask our guides for the best trip lengths to suit your schedule.
Make your way up the mountain, and you will soon find yourself at Pla dels Ocells where you will be asked to choose your own adventure. There are various trails leading to many amazing destinations such as Sant Benet, the Funicular de Sant Joan, and Sant Jeroni. As one of the most iconic areas on the mountain and the highest peak of Montserrat, we suggest that your first hike lead you to Sant Jeroni. Once you’ve passed the hermitage, keep a lookout for the Catalan Pyrenees, the Agulla de L'Elefante, and of course the expanse of crystalline blue that is the Mediterranean Sea.
Locals call it a town with character, and with sprawling vineyards a mainstay in this Catalonian capital, Vilafranca del Penedès (now Vilafranca), remains a paradise of rolling green unbeknownst to most tourists. Visitors come for the cava, but little do they know that in this quaint countryside lie dozens of amazing nature trails for every level.
For an easy walk, why not try the Hiking Loop around Vilafranca? It takes about an hour to walk the 4.8 km (3 mile) course. The trail is easily accessible and possesses a wonderful view of the vineyards of the Alt Penedès. For a more mature hike, why not go on a wine walk through the countryside? Here you will not only cover 2.4 km (1.5 miles), but also visit various vineyards where you can taste and enjoy Spanish wine fresh from the source.
Vilafranca is blessed with wide expanses of land, making it an ideal spot for nature lovers and adventure seekers. The great thing about the trails is that they aren’t only fit for hiking, but also for other outdoor activities such as running and biking. Another bonus - you probably won’t encounter many people on your nature escapade. Feel free to breathe the fresh air in peace.
On the northern border near France, you will find a world in itself in Costa Brava. The coastal region is colorful, both in land and sea, and is covered with over 220 km (138 miles ) of hiking trails. There is nothing quite as refreshing as the sea breeze, and a coastal hike exploring sea coves and secret beaches will definitely tempt you to take this road less traveled.
The trails of Costa Brava have changed throughout the years, first being made and used by fishermen to travel and police to catch smugglers, and later being restored for nature lovers to enjoy. Cami de Ronda is arguably one of the most scenic routes on the coastline. You will begin your coastal hike at Blanes and find yourself admiring the little fishing villages and historic watchtowers dotted throughout the rugged coastline. If time permits, we suggest you take a break and explore one of the fishing villages, such as Calella de Palafrugell or Llafranc. These areas overflow with longstanding history, amazing people, and delicious cuisine.
For a shorter but just as eventful route, go on and try the 7km trek from Cadaqués to Cap de Creus. Many famous people have come, gone, and lived in this beautiful area, including Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro. Salvador Dali, who spent his childhood here, calls it “a grandiose geological delirium”. He surely wasn’t lying. The bays beguile you for a swim, and the views of the Iberian Peninsula shine with inexplicable beauty. The rocky trail holds scents of olive, thyme, and sage, and as you walk through the area, leagues of orchards will greet you with a smile. Wherever you end up finishing your trek, you are bound to leave the coastal region feeling satisfied. Besides, Costa Brava translates to “rugged coast”. With a name like that, it is highly unlikely you will not have an adventurous holiday.
Whether it is paths tender with lush leaves, or rocky trails leading to panoramic sea views, Barcelona and its countryside pack a huge punch. Visit Barcelona and its green spots with our professional guides and experience a holiday that will be impossible to forget.
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