If you are looking for a place to escape, here is a list of three places close to Barcelona that will make you dream.
By J. Ribera | Translated by Leo DAVID
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Refuge and sanctuary of countless artists and intellectuals, with the surrealist Salvador Dalí at its head, Cadaqués is a fishing village and the perfect getaway, whose whitewashed houses face directly over the Mediterranean. Seen from the sea, the village is a white mass because the houses are literally shoulders to shoulders, to the point that it seems that if one fell, all the others would come down as well. In addition, there is not one big hotels or disproportionate buildings that disturb the skyline.
On land, Cadaqués offers magic walks through the narrow streets, a calm (relative in the high season) and the possibility to buy souvenirs in small craft shops, eat in their restaurants that compete in quality, or have a drink on a terrace facing the sea. It is the polar opposite to the concept of resort type Lloret or Platja d’Aro.
Of course, given that Cadaqués is in the most rugged part of the Costa Brava, there is no sand on the beaches or beautiful coves. Only pebbles and rock. But the water always keeps a tempting blue.
Once in Cadaqués, it is almost essential to get close to Port Lligat, where the house of Salvador Dalí is located. Another excursion from the village is the one that leads to the magnificent landscape of the Cap de Creus.
HOW TO GET THERE : Cadaqués is in the province of Girona. For a day trip the most reasonable is to go by car, own or rented, as it lacks a train station and the bus line is slow and scant at times. The drive takes just over two hours.
Montserrat is the magic mountain of Catalonia, and houses the Benedictine monastery where 80 monks look after the Moreneta, the black virgin who is also the patron saint of Catalonia. The spiritual meaning of this mountain is enhanced by its unique profile: an agglomeration of rocks in the form of huge dolmens, as if it were the battlements of a castle inhabited by giants. The abbey is perfectly integrated into the landscape.
In this little getaway we recommend the visit to the monastery, the Church and the Museum and also the funicular ascent to higher mountain areas. There are marked hiking trails, some more difficult, others ideal for a pleasant walk in a unique landscape. You can also go down to visit the cave where the statue of the Virgin was found, in the 9th century; the origin of the construction of the monastery.
In the monastery and around the same there are several restaurants, cafeteria and bars of various categories, for all tastes.
HOW TO GET THERE: Montserrat is only about 35 kms from Barcelona. Two options to get closer are the car and the train. In both cases, when arriving at the village of Monistrol, at the foot of the mountain, you can choose to conclude the climb on a train rack, or funicular. Trains depart from the Plaza de España.
The resort consists of a theme park divided into several areas Mediterranean, Polynesia, Sesame, China, Mexico, Far West and FerrrariLand, a water park and several themed hotels. It also offers shows of different themes for children and adults.
The most popular attractions are Shambhala, the highest roller coaster in Europe, with its 76 meters from the ground to the sky, the Hurakan Condor offers a free fall of more than one hundred meters and guarantees liters of adrenaline. Among the water attractions is Tutuki Splash, a boat ride from which you will laugh and be drenched. In the area of Sesame there is another roller coaster, Tomahawk, suitable for the little ones, who cannot (because of size or because they do not dare) climb to the hardcore roller coasters. They are just a few examples, because the supply is abundant.
Of course, during the summer months, queues to get to the attractions are long and crowded. The only way to mitigate them is by buying the fast pass PortAventura Express Max bracelet, paying an extra 29 euros.
HOW TO GET THERE: By car, train or bus, also with charter offers that include travel and entry.
Price for one day: 47 euros for adults (60 if you want access also to FerrariLand) and 40 for children, from 4 years. It is possible to buy cheaper tickets with access only to specific areas of the park. For example, entry to the Caribe Park water park costs 29 euros and 25 euros for children. The entrance to some shows, like Cirque du Soleil is paid separately.