Searching for Adventure & Things to do outside Barcelona

things to do outside Barcelona  vineyard a

A basket full of bread, cheese and a bottle of wine. The recipe to make me happy! I never thought I could have so much fun discovering things to do outside Barcelona, Spain. A trip that made me realize that although Barcelona is one of my favorite cities in the world, there are many interesting things to do outside the town.

The picnic was one of the highlights of my trip to the Catalan region. For the first time in one year travelling around the world, Rob and I split and travelled alone. It was an interesting experience, like having a tiny holiday from our relationship. After the TBEX, our first travel blog conference, I let him alone at the Spanish Pyrenees and went to explore great things to do outside Barcelona. 

things to do outside Barcelona  fields 2

This is not the first time we go out of the beaten path in Spain. Last time we wrote a post about how to enjoy Barcelona as a local. Now it’s time to go outside the big city and search for truly Catalan experiences! My mission was to seek adventurous things to do outside Barcelona using the natural elements as inspiration: earth, air, water and fire. And I´m sure I accomplished my task. Welcome to my first solo trip:

Things to do outside Barcelona – 4 Elements Adventure

 

Mapa Barcelona Area ENGLISH

Before we start talking about what to do outside Barcelona, have a look at the map above, there you can see the Province is divided in three big areas:

» Costa Barcelona [crystal clear water, beach hotels, water sports, family resorts and wine tasting]

» Paisatges Barcelona [Landscapes of Barcelona] [historical towns, great architectures, delicious food, and adventure]

» Pirineus Barcelona  [mountains, natural parks and spa]

I had the chance to know a little bit of those three areas and I was surprised by the number of activities and things to do outside Barcelona. Our trip [I say ours because I was travelling with a group of bloggers] started in Lloret de Mar and finished in the heart of Barcelona. Three busy and lovely days!

1º Element » Earth – Time to explore amazing places!

» Architecture Lovers must go to Terrassa

Terrassa city is located in the region of Barcelona Landscapes, and it is an open air museum with building from the Spanish industrial period mixed with stunning Catalan Art Nouveau. The impressive Aymerich, a former textile industry and now the museum of science and technology is a place you should visit. Half a day is enough to walk around Terrassa, you can explore the city by yourself or hire a guide at the tourism center. For lunch go to the rooftop restaurant at the Aymerich building! Stunning view!

things to do outside Barcelona terrasa

things to do outside Barcelona  terrassa roof

 » For Veggies and Medicinal herbs visit Malgrat de Mar

Time to meet some locals and work in a cooperative farm. In El Pla de Grau [the area in Malgrat de Mar where they produce vegetables] the Professor Alberto Tuner taught us about medicinal plants from all around the world, and we could even have a sneak peek in his secret lab.

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After a long walk through his garden, we harvest some parsley and chat with farmers. Josep Turon tried to teach me how to cut the parsley, but I sucked… hahaha… I´m sure the bunch I cut didn´t make to the local shops. 🙁 Definitely not a “traditional” tourist attraction, but a way to meet Catalan people, to understand their passion for the land and culture.

things to do outside Barcelona plants a

things to do outside Barcelona  plants b

» Seeking Adventure outside Barcelona? Mountains and Segway 

It was my first time riding a Segway and I had a blast. The Daema Aventura team took us for a ride at the Natural Park of Montseny [a Biosphere Reserve] and it was great fun. We drove around trees and fields until we reach an artificial lake.

PS: Be really careful driving a Segway. The company gave us all the instructions, helmets and we were with guides all the time, even though one of the girls felt from the Segway and hurt herself badly. Of course the guys gave her all the support after the accident, that´s how a serious tourism company should act. The thing is that accidents might happen during a holiday trip that´s why we always have to have a Travel Insurance.

things to do outside Barcelona  segway copy

Photo Credit: Silvia Arau

things to do outside Barcelona  segway a

» Wine Tasting and Picnic

No doubt this was the highlight of all the things I did outside Barcelona. In a tiny town called Alella, on the top of a mountain, close to the sea, we visited Bouquet D`Alella vineyard and met the lovely people who run the company. We learned about the grapes, walked around the sexagenarian vines and finished the tour with a serious wine tasting.

By this point I was already happy with our visit, the organic white wine was delicious [the owners make sure the wine is produced in the same way as their ancestors]. Suddenly they gave us with some baskets full of food, some wine, and a map. Our lunch was a picnic organized in the middle of the vineyards.

So we played as Red Hood and went through the trees searching for our spot. Few minutes later and we arrived at this beautiful table surrounded by green, with an amazing view [even the sun started shining and the cloudy weather gave us a break]. I was astonished, all the details, everything perfect, they even put an espresso machine there for us. OMG!!!

things to do outside Barcelona  vineyard

things to do outside Barcelona  pic nic 1

All the activities I suggest here can be done in a one or two days trip from Barcelona. The cities can be easily reached by train and bus. Leave the big city for a while and discover amazing things to do outside Barcelona. If you are already inspired, hold on, there are more great tourist attractions to come! 😉

2º Element: Air – Let´s Fly!

» Canoping and Zipline in Santa Susanna Village

First of all, congratulations to me! I did 10 looonnngggg zip lines with almost 800m of wires set at 8 to 10 meters above the ground. I put my fear aside and I went for an amazing canoping adventure, jumping between trees, climbing ropes, and flying around. Like a happy monkey! The guys from Active-Natura  gave us all the instructions, taught us the technique and rescued us in some bad movements. I felt super safe. Teamwork, fun and I`ll definitely going to do it again!

things to do outside Barcelona  canoping high

Photo Credit: www.fivedollartraveller.com & www.inspiringtravellers.com

3º Element : Water – Relax and indulge yourself outside Barcelona

» Sun and Sea at Costa Barcelona

Costa Barcelona has a stunning coastline, 100 kilometers of beaches and cities for all styles of travelling. Lloret de Mar is perfect for young people full of parties, bars and boat trips.

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Malgrat de Mar and Calella are famous as family destination. Among many things to do outside Barcelona, the water sports are the top attractions, that´s why some cities have tourism centers focused on it. The sea lovers can find the water sports advisor centers in Santa Susanna and in Vilanova i la Geltrú. And for those who love the sea view, the coastline paths and trekking routes are open in almost all the seasons.

things to do outside Barcelona  lloret del mar

» Relax in a Spa at Montseny Park

When we talk about water and things to do outside Barcelona most of the people think: Beaches. But I will show you another way to have fun: pools, hot tubs and sauna. Heaven!! Not so often I have the chance to indulge myself in a Spa, so I put my bikini on, I grabbed my towel and run to the Spa at  Hotel El Montanya.

OMG!!! Soft lights, warm pools, sauna and us. Nine exhausted travel bloggers healing our muscles after two long days full of adventures, exploring what to do around Barcelona Province. [at this point we had already done canoping, zipline, Segway, harvesting parsley and wine tasting. The last one a super tiring ;-)]

Sorry, but I have no picture of the Spa! For the first time on the trip I forgot to be a blogger, I left my camera in the room and just chilled out as a normal guest.

4º Element: Fire – Hot things to do outside Barcelona

» Nature and History in Vic city

I´m sure you are curious about our fourth element. It’s not so common to enjoy a trip with fire, or on fire, but with Love and Road unexpected things happen! We went to Vic city, really close to the Pyrenees to fly a hot air balloon. The take off was in the middle of the fields, we flew above the city, admired the Pyrenees mountains [still with some snow caps] and helped our pilot to land and fold the hot air balloon. A really unique and adventurous morning.

The Baló Tour does group and individual flights. As Vic is in a valley, protected from strong winds, they can fly almost everyday and the landscape is stunning. The balloon flight is definitely one of the hottest things to do outside Barcelona. After the flight, we went to explore Vic, a historical town with medieval architecture.

things to do outside Barcelona balloon

» Food for your soul! Lunch at Magda Subirana Restaurant

Still talking about fire, we can´t finish our 4 Elements Adventure without eating a feast. All our meals in Catalunya were delicious, but the last lunch was “oh my God!!”. Eating at Magda Subirana Restaurant  is definitely is one of the top recommendations of things to do outside Barcelona. Magda, the chef,  will surprise you with local ingredients, reinvented recipes and good wine.

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things to do outside Barcelona  food

A curious thing about Spanish cuisine is that most of the awarded restaurants are outside the big cities. So one thing you can be sure, you gonna eat very well while exploring Catalunya and searchings for delicious things to do outside Barcelona.

Where to stay in Barcelona Province




There are many options of accommodation in the city and outside Barcelona. In our three-days trip we slept in two different hotels and I highly recommend both of them. Near the Calella Beach, we stayed at Camping Roca Grossa, in a super cute bungalow with three bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom, living room and even a balcony with BBQ place. Seriously, I could live there! The camping also has spaces for tents and campervans, you can choose the best option for you. I would say that the little houses are perfect for a family holiday or a friends trip. You can fit 6 people in the bungalow with comfort and privacy. 😉



Our second suggestion is the Hotel El Montanya at the Montseny Park. Famous for being a hotel base for soccer teams as Barcelona and Real Madrid, the hotel has spacious rooms, top-notch restaurants and a Spa. Do I need to say anything else?! Book a night there for a romantic trip or a business conference, but stop everything you might be doing around 8 pm and sit on your balcony to enjoy the sunset in the mountains.

things to do outside Barcelona sunset

 

How to get around Barcelona Province?

You can arrive in Catalunya flying to Barcelona or Girona airports. Long haul and local low-cost airlines fly to there. To guarantee the best prices and routes check Skyscanner.com. From the airport you can get trains and buses go to all the cities in the province.

However, if you really want to discover the amazing landscape and things to do outside Barcelona I recommend you to go there by train. That is what we did, and it was a unique experience!! With our Eurail Pass we could choose any train we wanted and do all the connections we could imagine. From Barcelona to tiny cities or to busy beaches, there is no easier [and better] way to travel around. Eurail has several options of passes , I´m sure you will find one that suits you perfectly.

things to do outside Barcelona  train

Earth, Air , Water & Fire… Four different ways to explore Barcelona Province. I had the opportunity to discover incredible things to do outside Barcelona and get in touch with Catalan people. It’s not every day that we can explore places outside the traditional tourist route, that´s why I want to say Thanks to Deputació Barcelona, the tourism office, our guides and TBEX for putting together such a great trip. After this trip I realized that I love Barcelona and  all the region much more, I discovered te Province is more beautiful, warmer and hospitable than I imagined.

It was a pleasure to discover that Barcelona is much more. And doesn´t matter who paid the travel bill my opinion and feelings are always true. I had a blast during my 4 Elements Trip, and I recommend to you to do the same! Go, discover the city and the unique things to do outside Barcelona, I´m sure you will love it!

60 Comments

    1. We should make a wine trip to Barcelona Province, they have two regions that produce fine wine…. And again that will be just a few of the amazing tings to do around there!
      Cheers,
      Nat

    1. Hey Anne!!
      The Segway was great fun, especially because we went off-road and I didn’t expect we could ride it for so many hours and in different terrains…
      I’m glad you liked the article.
      Happy travels,
      Nat

    1. I totally agree with you Betsy, Catalunya has so many things to offer to that I could stay there for a year just enjoying the nature, the culture and the people…. And I´m not even talking about the food and wine 😀

      I´m glad you liked the recommendations.
      All the best,
      Nat

      1. Hello Natalie,
        I am from catalonia and I really enjoyed reading your article, I totally agree there is much more to discover in Catalonia.
        I encourage you all to come back soon!! thanks!

    1. Catalunya is much more than Barcelona and Montserrat, the region is full of stunning places.
      The 2nd picture was taken outside Vic city, where the hot air balloon took off!

      All the best,
      Nat

    1. I manage to stay safe even using the huge knife 😀
      As you said if any accident might happened I was covered by a good travel insurance!
      Cheers and thanks for stopping by!

      Nat

    1. Madrid and the south are amazing too. But What I love about Catalunya is the culture and how things are lively there!
      Go and check it for yourself, I´m sure you will love it!

      Cheers,
      Nat

  1. Cheese, bread and wine!

    You could have sold me on that alone!

    The balloon ride also looks divine (I love how peaceful it feels when you’re floating in one)!

    I hope your little break from Rob was great for you both 🙂
    Chris recently posted…Fossils and footstepsMy Profile

    1. The break was an interesting experience!!
      But to be honest, I missed him a lot, especially in the end of the day, missing the talks about the activities and reflection about how the day was…
      In other hand, I had so much fun with friends and that a great experience too!!!
      Cheers,

      Nat

  2. Such an amazing post Natalie! I’m Portuguese and I just love Spain and everything about it. You should come visit Portugal. I bet you would love it! E agora é que me lembrei que posso comentar em português também. Haha. Tenho seguido o vosso blog no Facebook e estou a adorar as fotografias. Continuem!
    Marta Grilo recently posted…ALBANIAMy Profile

    1. Que bom que você está curtindo o Blog e o Facebook, fico feliz demais!!
      A ideia é voltar para Europa ano que vem no verão, quem sabe damos uma psaadinha em Portugal!!
      Abraços, 😀

      Nat

    1. Hey Vicky!
      3 super busy days, but I loved every minute. Catalunya and Barcelona is such an amazing place to be.

      Enjoy every minute of you flight. It´s so smooth, you feel nothing while flying. Great experience! Enjoy!
      😀
      Nat

  3. Thanks Gabby!!
    So glad that you liked the post, I had an amazing time in Catalunya and really want to inspire people to visit this part of Spain.
    All the best and let’s keep travelling
    😀

    Nat

  4. I’ve been to Barcelona a couple times and last time I did something I would probably NOT recommend. In an attempt to cross off another country, my husband and I rented a car for a day and drove to Andorra. It’s about 2 hours. Frankly, not worth it. Unless you’re looking for off-market ski equipment. I’d stick to your recos 🙂
    Julie recently posted…The Great American Road Trip: NowhereMy Profile

  5. Great post! I love the exploring you did. Most people move up and down the coast but they rarely ever venture away from the coast to explore Terrassa, etc. What would you say was your favorite part of your visit?

  6. Hey Sheena!!
    What a cool experience, thanks for sharing it!! Eating with locals, yummy!!
    I love Barcelona too, and every time I look to the photos I just want to go back…. But maybe next year 😉

    Thanks for stopping by,
    Nat

  7. Hello, I found your post on FaceBook, Urban Travel. So many useful information and links, just perfect for one, like me, who’s never been to Barcelona or around. That is for sure an interesting area to visit, especially for the wine, 🙂 Thanx for sharing.

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