Adventure and things to do outside Barcelona

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things to do outside Barcelona  vineyard a
Wine tasting is the ultimate adventure! 😉

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 traveling around the world, Rob and I split and traveled alone. It was an interesting experience, like having a tiny holiday from our relationship. After the TBEX, our first travel blog conference, I left him alone at the Spanish Pyrenees and went to explore great things to do outside Barcelona. 

things to do outside Barcelona  fields 2
Look at those fields down there!

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 like 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
Three areas in three days.

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 into three big areas:

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

» Paisatges Barcelona or 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 about 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 traveling with a group of bloggers] started in Lloret de Mar and finished in the heart of Barcelona. Three busy and lovely days!


1st 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 buildings from the Spanish industrial period mixed with stunning Catalan Art Nouveau. The impressive Aymerich, 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
What a piece of architecture!


things to do outside Barcelona  terrassa roof
The Vapor Aymerich.

» For veggies and medicinal herbs visit Malgrat de Mar

Time to meet some locals and work on 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.

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 it 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
Real-life potions!


things to do outside Barcelona  plants b
A bit scary maybe? lol

» 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 fell 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 travel insurance.

We use and recommend World Nomads and SafetyWing, click on the name of the company and book your insurance now.

Segway tours are a great way to explore a place in a fast pace.
Photo credit: Silvia Arau


Offroad Segway tour, that was something new for me.
Our Segway team \o/

» 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 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 Red Hood and went through the trees searching for our spot. A 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
Oh, the vineyard fields…

Not to mention all the wine, wish I had space in my luggage to bring some bottles to fill up my wine fridge at home. 

if you travel to Spain you must do a wine tasting activity.
Imagine you and your friends/family filling these seats!

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! 😉


2nd Element: Air – let’s fly!

» Canopy 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 canopying 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 be going to do it again!

Zipline is one of the many adventures you can have near Barcelona
Photo credits: &


3rd 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 travel. Lloret de Mar is perfect for young people full of parties, bars and boat trips.

Malgrat de Mar and Calella are famous as family destinations. Among many things to do outside Barcelona, 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 seasons.

Lloret del mar is one of the beaches cities you can visit in Catalonia
Lloret de 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, 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 canopying, zipline, Segway, harvesting parsley and wine tasting. The last one a super tiring activity ;-)]

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


4th 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 every day 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.

You can fly on a hot air ballon near Barcelona


» 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.

Catalan food is amazing.
Such mouth-watering 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 of, 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 for accommodation in the city and outside Barcelona. On our three-days trip, we slept in two different hotels and I highly recommend both of them. Near 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 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.

Traveling to Spain on a budget? Check out some backpacker accommodation in Barcelona and around. 

How to get around Barcelona Province?

You can arrive in Catalunya by flying to Barcelona or Girona airports (read our guide to reasons to visit Girona here). Long haul and local low-cost airlines fly there. To guarantee the best prices and routes check Skyscanner. From the airport, you can get trains and buses to 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.

traveling in Spain by train is easy
When you travel with good companies, peace of mind follows.

Earth, Air, Water and 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 the 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 you do the same! Go, discover the city and the unique things to do outside Barcelona, I’m sure you will love it!

To make the best of your time in Barcelona we handpicked the best of the best tours, have a look:

Looking for more travel tips to Spain? Read our guides to Spain here!

62 thoughts on “Adventure and things to do outside Barcelona”

  1. I could also make due with a glass of wine and a basket of bread! I bet there are so many amazing things to do outside of Barcelona. Thanks for introducing us to a few of the best ones!

    • 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!

  2. Natalie, thank you for sharing your recommendations for great options around Barcelona – I love the look of the Segway tour – I have previously done a Segway tour in the USA and it was a great way to get around!

    • 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,

  3. Have only been to Barcelona. Would have loved to spend more time there and take trips outside the city. Was only thinking about Montserrat before but now I have plenty more places to consider, thanks to you. Where was the 2nd photo taken in, by the way? Would love to take photos of landscapes like that too.

    • 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,

  4. amazing food, gorgeous views and exciting adventures. This looks amazing, I would love to explore Barcelona and beyond:)

    • 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!


  5. 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 🙂

    • 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!!!


  6. 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!

    • 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, 😀


  7. Hey Nat! I love how much you were able to do in 3 days!! I was able to spend a few days in Costa Brava many years ago and absolutely loved it. Oh! And next week I’m going on a hot air balloon ride, I’m so excited!

    • 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!

  8. 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


    • Next time you visit Barcelona, put some days aside to explore the whole Province. I´m sure you will love it, great food, wine and beautiful landscape! 😀

      Happy Travels Doreen!


  9. 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 🙂

    • Ohh Julie, sad to know that you road trip didn´t go well! 🙁

      I assure you that the Barcelone Province you would have tons of fun
      All the best and thanks for stopping by!

  10. Wow, every photo was spectacular and represented another reason to go visit these sites. thanks for doing your research and finding some fun and beautiful things to do!

  11. 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?

    • Hi Duren!!
      Glad that you liked the post 😀

      It´s hard to say which one was my favourite part, but definitely the food was one of the highlights. From the breakfast to the dinner we eat great food and amazing wine all the time.
      Also, I really had fun doing the canopying, it was my first time and I had a blast!
      All the best,


  12. Wine, ziplining, Segways and more. Looks like a jolly good adventure this! I’ve been tempted by Barcelona for a while now. About time I made it happen 🙂

    Great post Natalie – there’s so much detail in it!

  13. 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,

  14. 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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