Beautiful landscapes, classic sea, beaches and small beaches hidden among the rocks. And then, inside, expanses of vines and olive trees, and pine trees with the Pyrenees in the background. Land of contrasts and passions, the Catalonia. With a unique and at the same time multifaceted character. Able to fascinate any type of traveler, from the new metropolitan tribes to lovers of slow tourism, who travel its rutas and carreteras.

An interesting destination awaits them at any time of the year thanks to the combination of ancient history and lush nature, folklore with a taste of yesteryear and ultra-modern nightlife. And spectacular layering of forms, of memories, of architecture: from Roman gigantism to Gothic flourishes, from the sparkling oddity of Baroque to imaginative modernist scribbles.

In short, in Catalonia, there is everything. And for all tastes. And all this, like in a Dalí painting, in an amalgam of bright colors and surreal shapes that captivate the imagination.

Grand Tour Catalonia: a 1500 kilometer road trip

Faced with so much wealth, the best way to discover the region is car trip which, like the Grand Tours of yesteryear, allows you to understand and appreciate all the facets of the territory: culture, gastronomy, sport and nature.

In the special of OR there is the story of a circular route That leaves and arrives in BarcelonaDivided into 5 routes for a total of 1,500 kilometers, which crosses all of Catalonia. Touch its small capitals, explore nature and the villages of the hinterland, the most romantic beaches or those that promise entertainment at any time.

This can be done in its entirety, in a single intense itinerary (which will last approximately 13 days). But you can opt for individual, shorter sections, depending on the time available.

Or choose according to your interests, because no corner of this varied territory is like another. An itinerary that actually contains a lot, open to digressions, variations, thematic deviations, whether art, landscapes, gastronomic and oenological experiences.

Tarragona Cathedral

Barcelona and other cities in Catalonia

Barcelonaundisputed Catalan superstar, is the Alpha and Omega of the Grand Tour, it all begins and ends here, between the sinuous shapes and intricate details of Gaudí's works, the Barri Gòtic, the Ramblas, the markets and the scintillating vision of the Mediterranean as a backdrop.

But Catalonia is much more than its capital. AND Tarragona, for example, with the Roman ruins near the sea and with the Gothic arches of its cathedral. AND Girona, with the ancient walls, winding streets and centuries-old synagogues of the Jewish Quarter, which tell the story of an ancient community. It is always, Lleida (fully included among the towns and villages of Catalonia) with the ancient splendor witnessed by the Castell del Rei and the Seu Vella, the cathedral threatening like a fortress.

Between beaches and the Pyrenees

And then there are the Pyrenees an organic paradise of woods, mountains and meadows, but also a concentration of wild and harsh landscapes, which hide precious and surprising treasures. Valley of Boí, where the artistic ensemble of churches in pure Catalan Romanesque style, among the most valuable in Europe, is preserved.

Finally the ribs, the Costa Brava, that is to say wild, according to the most accepted translation, an uninterrupted succession of coves enclosed between pine forests, bays and granite walls overlooking the sea. And the Costa Doradaa succession of golden sand beaches, large or extra-small, where mainstream tourism has found one of its earthly paradises.

Voluptuously Mediterranean, Catalonia naturally also cultivates the pleasures of life, to be experienced throughout the stages of the journey. Thanks to the prodigy chefs of Catalan nova cuisine, the essentials of local gastronomy are once again offered with new cooking methods, new techniques, new presentations. To accompany famous and appreciated wines already in the time of Imperial Rome.

You will discover them all along the route crossing the hills dotted with rows of Penedès and the surroundings of Tarragona, where the cellars are ready to welcome lovers of good drinks in their sumptuous cathedral-like settings, offering them a glass of Cava , a sparkling wine. harmonious and full-bodied, or even Do Tarragona white or red.

Tossa de Mar, on the Costa Brava. iStock

The five stages of the road trip

Here are the 5 five itineraries to discover the many souls of the region:

From Barcelona to Tarragona: among the enchanted stones

From Tarragona to Lleida: in the footsteps of history

From Lleida to La Seu d'Urgell: a stone's throw from paradise

From La Seu d'Urgell to Figueres: magic of nature

From Figueres to Barcelona in pursuit of Salvador Dalì

How to get to Catalonia

By plane: direct flights to Barcelona-El Prat from various Italian cities they are operated by ITA Airways, Vueling, easyJet, Volotea and Ryanair, which has connections
also with Girona.

By ferry: with towed car you embark for Barcelona from Genoa (Grandi Navi Veloci), Civitavecchia and Porto Torres (Grimaldi Lines).

By car: you enter Catalonia via the Italian (A7) and French (A12) Flower Highway. From the border, we continue on the Mediterranean highway which joins Girona, Barcelona and Tarragona.

For more information on the Grand Tour of Catalonia

To make the most of the journey, you can use technology, a faithful and constant companion throughout each stage. The Catalonia Tourist Office websites grandtour.catalunya.com and catalunyaexperience.it provide constantly updated information on what to do and what experiences to have. Kilometer after kilometer.

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READ ALSO: Barcelona, ​​what to see, hotels, restaurants: how to make the most of the vibrant Catalan city

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