April is stirring and the warmer temperatures are tempting us outdoors to enjoy our surroundings. Come and discover some unique and spectacular natural spaces in Catalonia on both land and sea, and visit places steeped in 2,000 years of history. This 2018, why not experience culture in Catalonia and celebrate Cultural Tourism Year with us? See you there!
With the arrival of the good weather it’s time to start thinking about a trip to the seaside to try a new experience: navigating in a sailboat with the whole family and exploring the coast of Barcelona by sea. All you have to do is to keep an eye out for dolphins and enjoy the sea breezes, while an expert skipper handles the tiller.
During the three-hour excursion you can stop for a dip, sunbathe or let the kids enjoy playing at steering the boat while the adults share a glass of cava on the high seas. If you’re a sea-loving family, why not get a view of Barcelona’s beaches from another angle?
A paradise of the plant world
The Marimurtra botanical gardens in Blanes is a plant paradise with views over the Mediterranean and a great place for a leisurely stroll with the kids. In its four hectares you’ll find three different gardens –with a subtropical, temperate and Mediterranean climate– and over 4,000 species from five continents. Some of them are very unusual because of their age and size.
This botanical garden, one of the only two in Catalonia, was created by the German botanist Carl Faust. As you all enjoy the fresh seaside air in this green haven, you’ll become even more aware of the importance of conservation and of the biodiversity that makes these natural paradises possible.
Mussels or oysters? You choose
If you’d like to take a fun boat trip around the Alfacs bay, this is your chance. On the route of the mussel beds you’ll see one of the most unspoilt corners of Catalonia, and a miniature treasure of the Ebro Delta Nature Reserve: its shellfish. After an initiation course, you’ll paddle out by kayak to visit the mussel and oyster beds.
From aboard a mussel bed you’ll see how this shellfish is cultivated. We then invite you to sample them accompanied by a glass of cava, while you enjoy the views over Sant Carles de la Ràpita. Later you can don your goggles and explore the sea bed in the bay, where you’ll be treated to a close-up view of mother-of-pearl, seaweed and species unique in Europe.
The Ebro Delta on two wheels
The sea breeze, the rice fields, different types of birdsong, the smell of salt, and water and greenery everywhere you look. If this sound appealing, climb on your bike and sign up for a route around the Ebro Delta. You’ll cycle to the mouth of the river along farm tracks and bike lanes, and also have a chance to visit the island of Buda with its abundant eucalyptus trees and numerous wild horses, and the islands of Sant Antoni and Garxal.
The towpath, the former route used by the navigators to take the barges up the Ebro River, has now been reconverted into a river promenade. If you’re visiting with the family, this easy route is highly recommended for its tranquility.
A little sea and a little Iberian culture
Culture and the sea come together in this family weekend where you’ll discover two of the great treasures of Catalonia’s Iberian heritage, combined with sports and water activities. The experience begins in Darró (Vilanova i la Geltrú) where you’ll visit the archaeological site of the Cessetani, an Iberian people who lived between the fifth and first century BC. Then it’s time to take to the water: set sail in an open double kayak or on a pedalo.
The next day brings a chance to try out a new type of water sport known as SUP (stand up paddle), which consists of paddling standing up on a board like a surfboard at the Calafell Sailing School, before visiting the Iberian citadel of Calafell, a totally restored Iberian settlement. As you wander through its alleyways and pop into its houses you’ll see how people lived 2000 years ago.