Barcelona Hotels Articles

April 3, 2010

Day Tripping From Barcelona

Barcelona is a beautiful city. Colourful, sunny, and breathing with life – there is plenty in the city to keep you busy on your holiday. So why not take advantage of a rental car from and take a spin to one of the many fantastic destinations that can be found just a short distance from the city. Here are five of the most rated day and weekend trips that are available – and easily accessible in your rental car – once you’ve had your fill of Gaudi and city life.

1. Sitges

Situated just a stones throw (if you can throw stones 40km) south of Barcelona, Sitges is a delightful and very popular destination for people looking to escape from the city for a while. Once a sleepy fishing village, Sitges has grown in status as a fantastic beach resort, to the point that in the high season it can become over-crowded (but not to the point that it should be avoided).

You may want to spend a leisurely evening in Sitges eating superb seafood and sipping Spanish wine. If this is the case, you certainly wouldn’t want to be driving back to Barcelona – but be warned, it is necessary to book in advance to be sure of accommodation in Sitges. If you think you’ll want to indulge in a few drinks, get your lodgings sorted before you leave Barcelona.

Sitges has great nightlife, with many places to party, including (in)famous techno club Pacha. It has also become particularly popular among the gay population in recent years and the town’s annual February Carnival is widely acclaimed by both the straight and gay press as one of Spain’s wildest parties.

It should be noted however, that Sitges is also a very family-friendly place with plenty to keep the kids entertained throughout the day. While it is entirely possible to visit Sitges on a budget, the town is not cheap and you may want to ‘shop around’ for low cost wining and dining.

2. Figueres

While you have the opportunity with a rental car, take a drive to the town of Figueres. Another fine Catalan town, Figueres is the birthplace of legendary surrealist artist Salvador Dali. Just a two-hour drive from Barcelona, the town is worth visiting for the Dali museum alone. Designed by the legendary surrealist himself, the museum is a work of art in itself. Of course, there are many more of Dali’s distinctive works inside, and a visit to the museum affords a very real insight into a very surreal mind.

Admission is quite cheap at just €9, certainly not out of range even for the most budget conscious. For a bite to eat, Dali enthusiasts may want to dine in the Duran Hotel in Figueres. The restaurant is not cheap, but the food comes highly recommended. If you prefer to pay less for your lunch, there are more low cost dining options in the town.

3. Girona

If you didn’t fly to Girona Airport on one of low cost budget airline Ryanair’s discount flights, you could easily miss this pretty medieval city that is just over an hour’s drive from Barcelona. A splendid day can be spent wandering through this historically and architecturally muddled city; there are many interesting buildings, sights and museums.

Gastronomes will be interested in Girona for one reason in particular – the fabulous Cellar de Can Roca just north of the city is widely hailed as one of Spain (and the world’s) better restaurants. Ok, it may not suit the budget traveler, and there are plenty of more cheap and cheerful places throughout Girona that will suit people who would prefer to pay less for their dinner, but for an unforgettable evening and some top-class food, this restaurant is un-missable.

4. Besalu and Olot

The town of Olot can be easily reached from Girona, and will take about two hours to reach from Barcelona city centre. Olot is best known for its fascinating volcanic landscape – it has some of the best-preserved volcanic craters in Europe. A church situated in one of the craters is well worth seeing, in particular for the stunning views it provides.

Besalu is a gorgeous village that should be visited on the way to Olot. It is particularly interesting for it’s huge medieval arched bridge, and it has a wonderful open-air market every Tuesday that is a pure pleasure for the senses. A great opportunity to pick up some cheap, fresh local produce.

5. Delta de l’Ebre

Delta de l’Ebre may be a little further in distance from Barcelona than the previous day trips, but it is still easily reached in the comfort of your rental car, and it is definitely a worthwhile journey. It is one of the most important natural aquatic habitats in the western Mediterranean and is home and breeding ground to a huge number of bird species.

The Nature Park here makes a peaceful and interesting excursion, and provides a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the Barcelona streets. The Information Centre and Guide Service will help to orientate you and advise on an ideal itinerary for a day in the area.

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