Today, while resting with a cup of coffee in my parent’s home, I thought that it was time to write a post about my village, Arbúcies (Catalonia). Ten years ago I (Laura) moved to Barcelona to start my university studies but I love going back to my village some weekends to gather a bit of strength for Mondays. 🙂
Now that we are busy planning our wedding, we have visited several bridal exhibitions in the Girona province, what has reminded us of the beauty of this area. Countryside, rivers, mountains, my village is surrounded by all of that.
Just 30 minutes driving from Barcelona, the Bages is an inland region full of history, landmarks like Montserrat and an old tradition of excellent food and wine. We decided to discover a small piece of this land visiting Artium cellar and Món Sant Benet monastery. It was a gastronomic, cultural and historical journey to the heart of Catalonia. In this post we explain all what we learnt, what we ate and what we drank in this one day trip from the well known capital of Catalonia. As always, we try to recommend unknown but valuable sites and experiences out of Barcelona. Hope this post is useful for your next trip to this mediterranean country.
For those people that like walking in the nature, doing trails or climbing, there are two special mountains in Catalonia for this. They are magic for Catalans for different reasons. One of these mountains is Montserrat with its unique features and the astonishing monastery, and the other one is Pedraforca. A little bit further from Barcelona, you can reach Pedraforca base in less than 2h by car. When you approach to the mountain from the east in the morning you get these views.
Living in Barcelona, we are so lucky because we don’t need to travel far to discover amazing places. Catalonia is quite rich from a cultural and gastronomical standspoint and has become a landmark concerning wine tourism in Europe. Thus, last year we could finally enjoy the wine region called Priorat, which is located in the Tarragona province. The capital of Priorat, Falset, can be reached in just 1 hour and 45 minutes driving from Barcelona.
The geography of the Priorat region is pretty mountainous and, therefore, cultivating vines is not easy. Consequently, large-scale production is not possible in this land. But apart from its renowned wine cultivated in the Montsant massif and the beautiful village of Siurana, in Priorat you can also find an old monastery that has survived until our days: La Cartoixa d’Escaladei (Scala Dei Chaterhouse).
In less than 2 hours driving from Barcelona, you can reach one of the most important wetlands in south of Europe: the Ebre delta. You don’t need to travel to Vietnam to see incredible rice fields under a sunset, or a fisherman throwing the net for fishing while thousands of flamingos start flying. You don’t need to go to Thailand to sleep in a wooden roof house surrounded by palm trees in front of a virgin beach. You have all of this in one single place in Europe. The Ebre Delta in Catalonia is still being discovered by travellers from all around the world and it is one of the best places to eat paella and seafood!