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Sant Vicenç de Montalt

Sant Vicenç de Montalt is a charming and warm village between the mountains and the sea. It is a small and quiet place with excellent location and the Mediterranean climate.

It is located just 35 km from Barcelona, and thanks to extensive public and private transport, as well as the rail network, it is possible to reach it from other towns quickly.

Those who enjoy active leisure can play golf at the famous golf club in the town. They can also sail or simply walk, cycle, run in a nearby national park or on the beach.

In a beautiful garden called Germans Gabrielistas, occupying an area of 4 hectares, there is a native flora in the form of many hundreds of trees with undeniably high natural values. A few years ago, thanks to the reconstruction of an old water mine, it became possible to supply water to a small lake in the park attracting numerous flocks of singing birds.

The centuries-old history of the town is confirmed by the presence of the characteristic rural houses preserved in the center of Sant Vicenç de Montalt, as well as the 16th century Chapel of Sant Vicenç. There are also several noteworthy defensive and guard towers, some of which are on private property.

The historic center of the city is also home to the Church of Sant Vicenç, dating from the end of the 16th century. The edifice was built shortly after the separation of the parish of Sant Vicenç from the parish of Sant Andreu de Llavaneres. The laying of the cornerstone for the construction of the new church took place on August 29, 1591.

The neighborhood of Ginesta Street is more modern and one can feel there the spirit of local entrepreneurship. You can find all kinds of shops and services there. From hairdressing salons to shops with fresh fish and seafood, delicatessen, cafes, restaurants. Some are filled with the exclusive products for which the area is famous.

The village of Maresme, at the foot of the Montalt hill which is 595 metres high, provides breathtaking views with contrasting shades of blue and green. It opens to the sea with clear beaches and calm waters, surrounded by the beautiful mountainous landscape of the Serralada Litoral Park, a large protected natural park situated between Maresme and Vallès Oriental.

On the seafront of Sant Vicenç de Montalt, there is the Marqués de Casa Riera promenade. You can admire there the houses of the Catalan bourgeoisie built in the 19th and 20th centuries, creating the best preserved architectural complex in all Maresme built on the coast.

By the beach, there are restaurants famous throughout all of Spain, offering local dishes and organic, healthy and delicious produce from all over the region. They are open all year round.

Sant Vicenç de Montalt has a large beach 1,237 meters long and 70 metres wide, known for its calm blue waters and golden sand. There are free sun loungers on the beach, from which you can admire the scenery of nearby Barcelona.

The Golf de San Vicenç de Montalt club has a beautiful 18-hole course with magnificent views of the sea and the Serralada Litoral Park. During the game, you can admire the authentic Mediterranean landscape.

Every Thursday morning, at the Plaça del Poble (historic city center) and every Saturday morning at the Avinguda Toni Sors (sports arena) there are fairs where you can buy fresh fruit, vegetables, honey and local food and handicrafts.

San Vicenç de Montalt is famous for its two large, colorful festivities: January 22 to celebrate the patron saint of the town and August 15.


Caldes d’Estrac

Caldes d’Estrac, also known as Caldetes, is the smallest town in Spain, with an area of only 0.74 km2.

In the years 1875-1920, Caldes d’Estrac was a fashionable spa town for the bourgeoisie of Barcelona due to its thermal baths and beach atmosphere. The construction of the heavy, suspended road and suburban residences in the 1990s stimulated the rapid development of the town.

Caldes d’Estrac has many tourist attractions which mean that it is visited by thousands of tourists regardless of the season.

You can admire the town in many aspects, both cultural and historical. It is advisable to follow the trail of modernist architecture. The literary trail is also very popular. In the town, you can also admire the Palau Foundation, which houses the Tourist Information Center, architectural centers with watchtowers, beautiful country houses and cottages.

The town also attracts many visitors, who focus on the wonderful landscapes and natural environment associated with spas. In Caldetes there are also famous thermal baths.

The Caldes d’Estrac coast is a huge attraction for those who want to enjoy the good weather and bathe in the sea. Caldetes beaches have won many awards for the quality of their waters and equipment, i.e. the Blue Flag awarded annually by the European Union. Caldetes has two beaches: Three Monkeys and Kalima.


Tossa de Mar

Tossa de Mar is a famous resort in the province of Girona. The venue of ecological congresses of the European Union since the ban on holding the corrida in the town was imposed. The town is best known for its well preserved medieval old town of Vila Vella, one of the most beautiful in Spain, and the fortifications dating back to the 12th century.

In the past, Tossa de Mar was a meeting place for artists from all over the world, which the painter Marc Chagall called the blue paradise – el paraíso azul. Tossa de Mar also charmed the American actress Ava Gardner during the filming of “Pandora and the Flying Dutchman”, whose statue adorns one of the town’s viewpoints. Another memento left by this television personality are the sweets known as the kisses of Ava Gardner – besos de Ava Gardner made on the basis of meringue and coming in various flavors.

You can easily find respite from the Mediterranean climate and summer temperatures exceeding 30ºC by visiting one of the many beautiful coves surrounding it. The town center is full of shops and cafes. It is appreciated mainly by tourists, there are also restaurants offering dishes typical for this region, mostly using fish and local produce.

La Vila Vella is an unusual medieval town complex boasting narrow cobbled streets and beautiful houses typical of Catalonia. Stone walls surround the area known as El Barrio Viejo – Old Quarter or Old Town. If you look closely you will notice a small entrance giving access to a tiny bay where fishermen used to leave their boats after long hours at sea. This entrance is known as “el agujero del demonio” which can be translated as the demon’s hole.

One of the greatest attractions of Tossa de Mar is the impressive medieval wall, built between the 12th and 13th centuries. Be sure to find time to walk along its entire length, especially when the sun is setting in the west because the sunset is spectacular. The wall consists of four towers and three cylindrical watchtowers. The main edifice is Torre d’en Jonas, which towers over the bay.

At the highest point of the wall is el Far de Tossa, the lighthouse of Tossa de Mar. We will find it in a place where once stood a castle with a watchtower. It is worth a visit because right next to it is the Centro de Interpretació dels Fars de la Mediterrània, a museum where we can find full information about the lighthouses that illuminate the Mediterranean waters.

In the eighteenth-century Parish Church of Sant Vicenc there is one of the most faithful copies of the statue of Our Lady of Monserratt.Fiestas and festivals take place throughout the year, including the famous Catalan Rumba International Festiva.


 Figueres

Figueres is a town in the Girona region. The birthplace and the place of death of Salvador Dalí. Figueres is located about 140 km from Barcelona. We find there a fantastic, surreal Salvador Dali Museum. The artist, to whom the entire museum is dedicated, was a famous surrealist painter born in Figueres in 1904. The museum was built on the ruins of a former theater and transformed into the present form – a bizarre but amazing mixture of strange and wonderful works and the creations of the mind of Salvador Dalí. You can see there hundreds of works by Dali, as well as works by other artists (including Duchamp and Picasso) from his private collection. The museum, designed by Dali, is housed in a nineteenth-century building destroyed during the Spanish Civil War and rebuilt by the artist in the surreal style and in a neighbouring tower (formerly known as Torre Gorgot), called Torre Galatea, in memoryo of the deceased artist’s wife. The museum was opened in 1974, the tower (bought by the Figueres authorities when the first building turned out to be too small) – in 1984. Dali lived in Torre Galatea Dalí in the last years of his life (after a fire in the Púbol castle, where he suffered serious injuries) almost to his death (he died in a hospital in Figueres). He is buried in a crypt beneath the museum building. Salvador Dalí Museum is the second most visited museum in Spain, just after the Prado.

It is also worth visiting the gothic parish church of St. Peter (Sant Pere de Figueres), the history of which dates back to the 11th century (later rebuilt many times), seeing the area surrounding the main street in Figueres, known as La Rambla, and paying visit to the Castell de Sant Ferran, an 18th century fort on a hill north-west of the city center. The huge Castell de Sant Ferran fortress, occupying more than 30 hectares,  was built in the middle of the 18th century during the reign of Ferdinand VI, after another important fortress in the region, Fort de Bellegarde in Le Perthus, found itself in the hands of the French following the Treaty of the Pyrenees signed in 1659. In February 1939, the last meeting of the Cortes of the Republic of Spain took place in Castell de Sant Ferran; Shortly after, the fortress was occupied by General Franco’s troops. Until recently, the fortress served as a prison, currently, it is open to visitors.

Figueres is one of the three vertices of the so-called. Dali’s triangle. The others are Port Lligat and Pubol. Port Lligat (often spelt as Portlligat) is a village located on one of the bays on the Cap de Creus peninsula, 2 km north-east of Cadaqués, where in 1930 Dalí bought a fishing hut and shortly afterward several more in order to transform the complex into a maze of rooms designed by him, and then for several decades serving as his summer residence. Dalí, with his wife Gala, lived here for several months every year until the death of Gala in 1982. Later he moved to Púbol.

The third ti[ of the “Dal’s triangle” is the village of Púbol, where in 1968 the artist bought, as a gift for Gala, a ruined medieval castle and restored it in the surrealistic style. Gala Dalí, died in 1982 in Port Lligat and is buried in Púbol. Dalí himself lived there for some time after his wife’s death, until the tragic fire in which he had been badly burned, and after that, he had not returned to Púbol even though he had prepared for himself in the basement of the castle a grave beside the tomb of his deceased wife. Since 1996 the Castell de Púbol, Castell Gala Dalí has been open to the public.


Cadaques

Cadaqués is located at the tip of the Cap de Creus peninsula, separated from the mainland by two mountains Puig de Paní and Puig de Bufadors. Practically until the end of the 19th century, it was easiest to get there by sea. But the real charm of Cadaqués lies in its architecture: narrow streets, white fishing huts with red tiles, stony harbor bays, and hills, from which we can watch the landscape of the bay. During the twentieth century, the uniqueness of the town attracted outstanding artists, not only those born in Spain.

Cap d’Aques in Catalan means “Cape of the Rocks”. In fact, the rocks are an inseparable part of the landscape not only at the tip of the Cap de Creus peninsula but also the vast landscape park that is located there. Consequently, the very trip over treacherous serpentines is an attraction in itself.

Driving down a steep road to this little port town, we take the first glimpse of the glistening bay and the thicket of white cottages in the Portlligat fishing quarter.

The heart of Cadaqués is basically a medieval village surrounded by a wall with its remnants of an old fortress. The silhouette of the late Gothic church of Iglesia de St. María de Cadaqués can be seen above the old town situated on a small hill. It is worth taking a stroll to it through the narrow cobbled streets (the sea stones of the local coves were used to build them). Although the exterior of the church is not unique, its value is enhanced by interior elements. These include the 23 meters high baroque, polychrome altar and organs made by Josep Boscà in the years 1689-1691. Interestingly, another church used to stand on its site, but was destroyed in 1543 by the famous Turkish pirate, Barbarossa.

In the early 20th century, Cadaqués became a popular holiday resort for the wealthiest of Barcelona residents and the main agglomerations of Catalonia (Girona, Figueras). Salvador Dalí’s family also had a summer home there. Most likely, the artist fell in love with this charming town in his childhood, since when he was at the top of his fame, after returning from New York in 1948, he settled there permanently with his partner and muse Gala (who died in 1989). His family estate currently serves as a museum (Casa Museo de Salvador Dalí). Visiting the interior of the house we can see how the artist lived and admire his controversial furniture and bizarre sculptures evoking associations with his famous paintings.

The artist’s relationship with the town repeatedly penetrated into his art. Walking along the coast, we reach a quiet, rocky bay with a characteristic rock formation. One look at its shape and we already know that it was used by the master to paint the main motif in the picture entitled The Great Masturbator (El Gran Masturbador). However, the “bohemian” Cadaqués is not only Salvador Dalí. Artists like Picasso, Chagall, Duchamp, Max Ernst, Federico García Lorca, Eugeni d’Ors and Luís Buñuel all sought rest and inspiration here (and rightly so).

Cadaqués is a great place to relax over water. In the town and its wild environs, there are over twenty sandy-pebbled and pebbled beaches. Finally, Cadaqués can charm us with delicious local gastronomy served in cozy pubs and restaurants. Since the Middle Ages fishermen have been famous for their fish and seafood (such as anchovies famous not only in Spain). The specialties of the local cuisine include paella de marisco, red scorpion fish with sauce and potatoes (suc d’escòrpora), sardines, bream, sea urchins (erizos de mar), lobsters (langosta) and mussels (mejillones). In the evening and at night many attractions await the visitors of pubs and bars.


Girona

Girona, called the most Roman city of Spain, invariably impresses tourists spending there just a few hours on the way to Barcelona as well as those who want to get to know it better. It has one of the best preserved medieval old towns in Spain, with one of the largest historical Jewish districts in Europe.

The city’s history starts with the first Iber settlements, discovered in the plain surrounding Girona. In 77 BC Gnaeus Pompey the Great, a prominent Roman commander and politician, raised a defensive oppidum complex on the main Via Herculea route. This was how the Roman city called Gerunda was created, which since then has not ceased to dynamically develop.

The Old Town of Girona is not only one of the best preserved but also the most recognizable places in Spain. Its oldest parts, including remnants of the ramparts, date back to the 9th century. A stroll through the narrow streets, especially during the temps de flors, a feast of flowers that lasts from May 10th to May 18th, is always an amazing experience.The Arab baths – banys arab, are well worth a visit. They are still in good condition despite being over 800 years old. They are like other buildings of this type that we find throughout Spain, e.g. in Granada or Ronda. The baths consist of three rooms, each offering water of a different temperature.

The Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary dominates the city. Erected from the 11th to the 17th century, it combines Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque styles. This is a true architectural phenomenon – with a nave of 22 meters in width and the connecting arch it is the widest construction of this type in the world. Near the cathedral is probably the most picturesque corner of the city – El Call. It is one of the largest and best-preserved Jewish districts in Europe. Its origins date back to the 9th century and its end came in the 16th century when the persecution of Jews in Spain began. At present we find a lot of cafes and restaurants there, and the tangle of alleyways and steep stairs adds to this unique charm.

The colorful facades of the houses on the River Onyar (Casas de Onyar), built from the 17th century onwards (mostly in the 20th century), on the line of the original city walls from the river are one of the most recognizable hallmarks of the city.


Sitges

Sitges is a small town and sea resort on the Costa del Garraf. About 30,000 inhabitants live there, nearly 35% coming from the Netherlands, France, Great Britain and the Scandinavian countries. The origins date back to Roman times. There was a small fishing port. Since the 14th century, Sitges was owned by the Count of Barcelona.

The town has sandy narrow beaches about 4 km long. There are 17 beaches around Sitges. Many of them are nudist beaches. The multitude of bars and pubs in the picturesque streets of Sitges is the target of escapades not only for the youth from nearby Barcelona. The throbbing nightlife and relaxed atmosphere and the hospitality and tolerance of Sitges have made the town one of the most popular gay tourism centers in Europe.

For over a hundred years, one of the most important events has been the carnival, which starts every year on Fat Thursday.

Sitges is not only a summer destination. A lot of is going on throughout the year.The  International Fantasy Cinema Festival, local carnival, Jazz Antic festival and the Barcelona-Sitges old car rally are popular events. It is also worth visiting during the Corpus Christi, as the streets through which the procession moves are covered with floral carpets.

Recommended sights include the baroque church of St. Bartholomew and St. Tekla, the Art Nouveau town hall and Casa Bacardi.

One should also mention the rich nature and nature reserves such as the Parque Natural del Garraf and the Parque Terramar, which are an interesting proposition for a family picnic spent in nature.


Barcelona

Barcelona, the capital of the Spanish province of Catalonia, is considered one of the most beautiful and friendly cities in the world. You can meet almost all nationalities, skin colors, religions, worldviews.

It is the city of Gaudi, Miro, Picasso, Dale. A crazy city, a city of architects, artists where everything is possible. But also a city of parks, beaches, quiet squares and extraordinary history. Barcelona has had thousands of books and papers written about it. As we are not able to describe our beloved city briefly, we recommend several websites to help you get to know the capital of Catalonia and plan your visit. You will certainly fall in love with it as we have done!


La Roca Village

A paradise for fashion fans, shopping, and food enthusiasts. Within a few minutes of our house, there is this famous village with over 130 shops of the world’s largest designers and fashion houses. Dozens of restaurants, concierge service, tourist information, discounts on flights … It is worth taking a look, even if only out of curiosity.