First-class beaches. Culture-crammed cities. Sleepy hilltop villages. When it comes to holidays, Catalonia has got it covered.
Up in the north-east corner of Spain, Catalonia’s got summer breaks sorted with its mix of sandy beaches and action-packed resorts. When it comes to picking a place to stay, you’ve got two Costas to choose from.
The Costa Dorada ticks off golden sands, lively towns and Spain’s largest theme park. The big-name resort here is Salou. Lining its beach, you’ll find loads of bars, clubs and restaurants. Further along the coast are laid-back resorts like La Pineda and Cambrils.
Head north and you’ll hit the Costa Brava. This place is a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, you’ve got action-packed resorts – like Lloret de Mar and Tossa de Mar – that line up behind huge stretches of sand. But between the big names, you’ll find button-cute fishing villages that cluster around quiet coves and rocky inlets.
Stylish cities and hilltop hamlets
Catalonia’s got loads on offer away from the beach, too. Cities like Girona and Barcelona line up chic shops, quirky architecture and buzzing after-dark scenes, while inland you’ve got Medieval hamlets and unspoilt countryside to get to grips with.
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This stretch of Spain’s coast does things by the family-friendly book. And it’s a great read. The three biggest resorts sit in a triangle on a chunk of headland – you’ve got La Pineda and Salou by the sea and Spain’s biggest theme park, PortAventura, filling what’s in between. Plus, city slickers Barcelona and Tarragona are easy to reach.
Creeping up to the French border, the Costa Brava takes you to Spain’s less-trodden top corner. When it comes to landscapes, this place likes to go au naturel – think mountain backdrops and forest-tickled coves. It’s probably the reason Salvador Dali liked it so much – you’ll find a couple of museums dedicated to the artist around here. It’s just north of Barcelona, too, so daytrips are easy.
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