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Barcelona: Hike to the Montserrat monastery

Less than an hour outside the city, via a train from Espanya station, is the Montserrat monastery. Perched fantastically high on a spectacular, rocky mountain, you can get up there either on foot or by cable car. The monastery is impressive and the hiking trails around the mountain massif are numerous. Once the sun sets you’ll be left to enjoy the mountain views only with the deer who live up there. Settle down and watch the city lights come on below.

Level of Difficulty: Medium (if you're going to bivvy, Easy if you're just going for a day hike).

What to pack: Warm clothes (check the weather forecast!), woolly hat, headtorch, raingear, sleeping bag, mat and bivvy bag.

Best time to go: late spring or early summer - the mountains are high and chillier at night than you might anticipate.


If you're looking for a city that's got it all you couldn't do much better than choose the Catalan capital Barcelona, Spain's second city, and one that's bursting with life at every turn. Whether you’re looking for a party town, laid back beach resort, or a cultural oasis in which to lose yourself this city has activities to keep everyone happy. 

Not many European cities steeped in culture can also boast beautiful beaches literally right on their doorsteps, but Barcelona is no average city. Explore out-of-this-world buildings courtesy of famous local architect Gaudi, head down to Las Ramblas to find crazy street performers and market stalls selling everything from fruit and flowers, to birds, bunnies and snakes in cages or join the bikini set at Barceloneta Beach, a 15-minute stroll out of town and finish your day enjoying nightlife to rival Paris or London. This city has it all. 


easyJet holidays to Barcelona

Whether you’re travelling for culture, beaches or a romantic getaway, easyJet holidays can provide everything you need for an unforgettable holiday to Barcelona. Experience one of the jewels of Europe by selecting from a variety of great holiday packages with easyJet holidays. Choose from all-inclusive beach resorts or self-catering city-centre apartments with easyJet holidays' variety of accommodation options. The perfect holiday package is waiting for you, and easyJet holidays will have you soaking up the Spanish sun in no time. The Mediterranean is calling, so get booking - no matter the time of year.



The hipsters of Barcelona love nothing more than a vintage market, especially when it comes with food trucks and a fiesta atmosphere. Taking place on the first Saturday and Sunday of every month Palo Alto Market throws on live music, DJs and a vermouth bar as an aid to arts & clothes shopping. www.paloaltomarket.com


The summer district festival season is still in full swing in mid-September so head over to the Festa Major de Poblenou (8 to 17 September, www.festamajorpoblenou.org) for al fresco concerts and DJ sets day and night. Later in the month Europe's biggest open-air fiesta La Merce (22 to 25 September, lameva.barcelona.cat/merce/ca/) throws on street theatre, parades, art installations and, yes, more parties.

One of BCN's best loved festivals the Festa Major de Gracia (15 -21 August) sees the district's streets decorated in fine style by residents, whilst bands and DJs keep the party rockin' from early evening to the wee hours. Later in the month the Festa Major de Sants kicks off, when Catalan traditions are accompanied by plenty of streetside mojitos. More on all the city's district festivals here: www.barcelona-life.com/barcelona/festes-majors

Diversity lies at the core of Barcelona's increasingly popular Cruilla festival, that snipes its acts from every musical genre known to man. In 2017 prepare to hear performances by Jamiroquai, The Prodigy, Ryan Adams and Pet Shop Boys, all over three days in the Parc del Forum. www.cruillabarcelona.com

Three days of electronica-induced bedlam kicks off on the 15th June, as Sonar raises its hedonistic head once more, by day and by night. Amongst the headliners in 2017 are Justice, Nicolas Jaar, Moderat and De La Soul. www.sonar.es

Key Areas

One of Barcelona's most innovative parks, Diagonal Mar was completed in 2002 and is a potent symbol of the El Poblenou district's regeneration. Different eco-systems are produced by a variety of plant life, which in turn brings diverse wildfowl and other birds to the area. Gaudi-inspired sculptures show an appreciation of heritage.

The former industrial zone of Barcelona, Poblenou, continues to evolve: the latest development is a car-free "superblock" making the zone increasingly attractive. Tourism highlights include Park Diagonal Mar and the buzzing Rambla del Poblenou thoroughfare.

The narrow winding lanes of La Ribera are the perfect place to discover a quiet slice of Barcelona for yourself. The area is full of low key cafes and bars beloved by locals, whilst Lluís Domènech i Montaner's splendid Palau de la Musica Catalana can hold its own versus Gaudi's finest.

Day Trips

With a beach that stretches several kilometres, a pretty string of beachside properties, the ruins of a Roman villa and a grandiose castle, Altafulla is well worth a visit, and can be reached easily by train (around 1 hr from Barcelona Sants). The local Club Maritim offers kayak hire and other water sports. www.altafullaturisme.cat

Not to be mistaken for the bigger and brasher resort town of Calella, Calella de Palafrugell is a picturesque fishing village on the Costa Brava with blue flag beaches, pretty coves and a few high-end restaurants. It's about two hours away by car.

With a medieval castle and several of the Costa Brava's best beaches - think crystal clear turquoise waters surrounded by craggy forested bays - Begur is a worthy day trip, especially during the week when the sands are less busy. It's about 1.5 hours away by car. www.begur.cat

A popular spot for kitesurfing, Castelldefels is a great spot for watersports in general like wake boarding or sailing. There's also the 16th century castle to explore and some fine beachside restaurants. You can arrive within 25 minutes by train from Barcelona. www.castelldefelsturismo.com

Known as Tarraco during Caesar Augustus' reign, the coastal town of Tarragona was the most important in the region and sheltered the Emperor himself during his Cantabria campaign. Well preserved remnants of the Roman forum, amphitheatre, aqueduct and Augustan palace are highlights. www.tarragonaturisme.cat/en

The sacred mountain of Montserrat is one of Barcelona's most popular day trips. Its jagged limestone peaks are home to the Benedictine Santa Maria abbey, which in turn houses the famous 12th-century Black Virgin statue along with one of the oldest printing presses in the world. Take a train, or join an organised tour.

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