Along the Road of Wine
Crowning a high hill, Siurana is invariably included on the list that the Association of the Most Beautiful Villages in Spain compiles each year. The Moorish Castle, now lying in ruins, the stone belfry of the Church of Santa Maria de Siurana against the backdrop of the blue sky, the green mountains and the turquoise water of the reservoir are all waiting to be recreated on a postcard. The settlement lies at the very heart of the famous wine region of Priorat. The grapes that are grown on the shale slopes turn into wine with a vividly saturated taste, which is so valued by experts.
In this ancient Catalan settlement located south of Barcelona, sea swims can be combined with thermal water baths. The golden-sand beaches, which Costa Dorada is particularly famous for, receive the Blue Flag from year to year. The town of Coma Ruga also has a thermal spring, and vacationers come here to bathe in the therapeutic mineral water and take mud baths. Apart from the water procedures it is definitely worth exploring the ruins of the ancient Roman wall, and seeing the impressive art collection of the Deu Museum.
Caldes de Montbui
Under the sign of lion
Ancient Romans also took advantage of the hot springs in Caldes de Montbui. Today, these 2nd-century baths have been turned into a museum. The thermae and the stone pool that was used as a wash-house have been perfectly preserved since those ancient times (the local residents continue washing their clothes in the thermal water, by the way). There is also a museum here that tells the history of the resort. Those who get to the last floor will be surprised to see Pablo Picasso’s works – the artist used to come here back when Caldes de Montbui was only becoming a trendy resort.
Immersion in Nature
La Garriga, a health resort well-known in Catalonia, is located just half an hour away from Barcelona. It is believed that the local springs are useful for both the body and the mental health. Spa procedures will be especially effective when combined with hiking in the Montseny Natural Park. As you climb up the mountain trails, you can see how the coastal vegetation is replaced by oak groves, beech and spruce forests, and closer to the top – by meadows and shrubs.
Tossa de Mar
You can get to this resort town by car or on a holiday cruiser. The second option is better: the wide sandy beach and the towers of the fortress wall look particularly spectacular from the water. One of the first visitors to discover this scenic place was Marc Chagall, who called Tossa de Mar a “blue paradise”. The local museum holds two paintings by the artist. After the release of the film Pandora and the Flying Dutchman, Tossa evolved from initially being a mere fishing village to becoming the prestigious resort it now is. Here, several iconic scenes that saw the participation of famous Hollywood star, Ava Gardner, were filmed.
How do I get to the library?
Located near the French border, Peralada is primarily famous for its summer music festival, which is visited by top international opera stars, and a beautifully-renovated 14th-century castle. The latter deserves special attention at least because of its library with tens of thousands of rare books and an exhibition of antique tapestries, as well as the Museum of Glass and Ceramics, where collections of Roman amphorae and archaic wine porrons are exhibited side by side with tiles and bowls that look very much similar to those sold at any local souvenir shop.
Теxt: Svetlana Troitskaya
Published on: August 24, 2018