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Visiting Catalunya

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COSTA BRAVA Tel. 972 20 84 01


The Costa Brava, spreading from Blanes (60 km north of Barcelona) to the French border, is the most touristic coast of Catalonia and although mainly known for its beaches and tourist resorts, the region has some very important cultural and historical attractions.

If sea, sun, sand and night life entertainment are your cup of tea, do not miss Playa de Aro or Lloret de Mar. If instead of this you dream of small, less touristy coves, we recommend the following places: Tossa de Mar, with its magnificent castle, Calella de Palafrugell, where you can stop and have a "cremat" (a typical beverage), Begur, with its coves, and finally, our favourite, Cadaqués, a small fishing village, with white houses, in the north of Catalonia, that has maintained its charm through the years.

From Cadaqués you can go to see Port Lligat and Dali's house or spend the day in the beautiful and wild Cap de Creus (Creus Cape). If you feel like having some culture and history, besides Dali's museum in Figueres (see page 30), we recommend the following visits: the ancient Greek site of Empúries, founded in 550 BC (( 972 - 77 06 03), Pals, a fully preserved medieval village, and La Bisbal, known for its ceramics.

Further north, close to Rosas and Cadaqués, lies Sant Pere de Rodes, a Benedictine Monastery, with its church, universally recognised to be the precursor of the Catalan Romanesque style, unique in the world.

 

PYRENEES  


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The Pyrenees spread all along the border between Spain and France, thus all along the north of Catalonia. The region offers, all year round, an endless list of activities for nature, mountain or outdoor activity lovers.


The most interesting places from east to west are listed below: the capital of the region of Cerdanya is Puigcerdà (Tel. 972 - 14 06 65), only two kms from France, starting point for a visit of the area and just close by any ski resort of the eastern Pyrenees. From Puigcerdà and through La Seu d'Urgell, with its magnificent cathedral, you reach Andorra, a small country in the Pyrenees, which, besides skiing and other mountain sports, is very well known for being a duty free country (tobacco, liquor, photographic equipment, etc), thus attracting lots of people.

From Andorra and heading to the west, you arrive at the remotest regions of Catalonia, such as Pallars Sobirà, Alta Ribagorça and Val d'Aran with its capital, Vielha. This area, better known for its ski resorts and hihg mountain activities, is also very suitable for resting and visiting architectonic jewels of romanic art (XII and XIII centuries), specially at the Boí valley, where the concentration is very intense and has been recently recognized as humanity heritage for its artistic and cultural value.


Between those three regions we can also find the overwhelming Aïgues Tortes and Sant Maurici Lake National Park
(Tel. 973 62 40 36 /
973 69 61 89; http://catalunya.net/aiguestortes),
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the only one in Catalonia, an excellent place for cross country skiing in winter or trekking in summer. By the meridional entrance, from Espot, flows the river Noguera Pallaresa, well known for its adventure activities, such as rafting, kayaking, canoeing, etc.
   
   
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