Green Travel Guide to Catalonia
Words by Paul Bloomfield. Photographs by Christopher Willan.
Artwork for Green Traveller's Guides by Tina Smith and Mark Edwards.
Video produced by Green Traveller
Foreword by the Catalan Tourist Office
Catalonia is a Mediterranean destination in north-eastern Spain with a millenary history, a wealthy natural heritage, its own culture and language, as well as outstanding gastronomy throughout, including more than 65 Michelin stars. Thanks to its scenic variety, Catalonia has become an appealing destination for many travellers.
While the Pyrenees are an ideal place for skiing, winter tourism, hiking and active and adventure tourism, the Catalan coastline combines steep cliffs with hidden coves, long sandy beaches, protected coastal areas and a wide range of water sports... Read More >>
What our writers discovered in Catalonia
The Catalans are a proud people. Proud of their language, history, cuisine, wine, their natural and cultural heritage. It’s no surprise: there’s so much to be proud of in this extraordinarily diverse land. That love of the region translates not just into a warm welcome for visitors, encouraged to explore the sights, smells, tastes and sounds of the cities, mountains and coasts. It’s also reflected in a respect for the environment: Catalonia has been designated the first whole-region Unesco Biosphere Destination, reflecting its dedication to sustainable tourism, along with sites including Barcelona, Sitges and the Terres de l’Ebre. From the Pyrenees in the north to bird-bustling wetlands in the south, dramatic gorges and vine-striped highlands and sandy shores, the range of activities, culture and cuisine is astonishing.
This video shows highlights from our 8-day summer trip to Catalonia.
Video filmed and produced by Green Traveller
This video shows highlights from our 12-day winter trip to Catalonia, from the sandy beaches and coastal towns of Costa Brava to the snowy forests and towering peaks of Val d’Aran. Filmed by Green Traveller.
Stay, Eat, See & Do
Our pick of places across Catalonia
Google Map Key:
Click on the coloured icons for more information about each listing
Green = Places to stay; Blue = Places to eat; Yellow = Attractions; Purple = Activities
Click on the square brackets top right of map to reveal expanded map
How to travel to Catalonia
Catalonia's main hub is its capital Barcelona, whose international airport (Barcelona–El Prat Airport) is about 14 miles southwest of the city - there are metro, bus and train connections to the city centre. There is also Reus airport (close to Tarragona), as well as Girona Airport (also known as Costa Brava airport), about 13 kilometres from Girona city centre - there are bus and train services to both Girona and Barcelona (about 100 kilometres from Girona airport).
By train: It is possible to travel from London to Barcelona by train in a day. Take the Eurostar to Paris, then cross Paris (just two stops on the RER-D line) to Gare de Lyon and board the TGV Duplex to Barcelona Sants railway station in the heart of the city. For example, you could leave London on the 9.24am Eurostar and arrive in to Barcelona at 8.34pm.
You can now buy a 'through-fare' ticket from over 300 UK rail stations to London that connect with Eurostar departures to Europe. These tickets cut the cost of the journey from your local station to London when used in conjunction with a Eurostar ticket.
By coach: Eurolines run coach services to several destinations in Catalonia, including Figueres, Girona, Lloret de Mar and Tarragona.
By ferry: Brittany Ferries run ferry services from Portsmouth and Plymouth to Santander and Bilbao from where you can drive or take the train across to Catalonia.
Map provided by Catalan Tourist Board
Photographic Highlights of our trip to Catalonia
All photos in this Greentraveller's Guide to Catalonia are by Christopher Willan taken on our trip to Catalonia in December 2017.
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