Catalonia travel advice

Catalonia travel advice


Tips from our friends in Catalonia

Culture tips


Vivian Campbell, from our supplier Cycle Catalan shares her Catalonia travel advice: “Catalans are very proud of their heritage. Under the Franco regime they were very repressed and a lot of their traditions were banned. So since Spain became a democracy, there’s really been a resurgence of traditions like the sardana dance and the Catalan language. They’re definitely very proud of their heritage which is lovely to see. Under Franco they weren’t allowed to dance the sardana, so every summer, each week in our village we have the sardana. Everyone comes along – children, mums, grannies – and they dance. It’s really nice for people on vacation to see it and participate.”

Language tips


Vivian Campbell, from our supplier Cycle Catalan shares her Catalonia travel advice:
“I always suggest learning one or two phrases in Catalan, as they really appreciate that. It doesn’t have to be much – instead of saying “buenos días” you say “bon día”. They really appreciate that, and if you make an effort to speak a little Spanish as well, that goes a long way."

Authentic travel tips


Fiona Smart, from our supplier Mas Pelegri, shares her Catalonia travel advice:
“Inland Catalonia is not talked about; the guide books always cover the coast. You don’t even have to go very far – it’s 35 minutes from the beach – but it’s much, much more interesting inland. There are more activities, the people are friendlier, prices are cheaper... You’ll meet people in the villages, all our clients are really happy with how friendly people are. I think the Catalans here don’t want to publicise how good it is as they don’t want loads of tourists to spoil it! People haven’t discovered this region. They think of Spain as Benidorm, and then they come here it’s nothing like that at all. It’s much better if people want a more authentic travel experience.”

History tips


Fiona Smart, from our supplier Mas Pelegri, shares her Catalonia travel advice:
"This region is amazing for cycling and hiking – and for outdoorsy people who have other interests. There’s the phallic sculpture park – it’s quite quirky! There are loads of Romanesque churches, Greek and Iberian ruins, then they found remains of prehistoric animals in the ground in Banyoles. Really ancient man was here – there’ s the Neolithic Village Archaeological Park at La Draga where you can see the huts people used to live in. This was pre-cave painting, they had just started working out how to make really simple tools. So people with an interest in archaeology love this are as well."

Accessible travel on the
Camino de Santiago –
the ‘Way of Saint James’


“We are aware of the many obstacles that may be encountered along the Way, which prevent many people from completing the route in its entirety. However, through this initiative we fervently believe that we are offering a viable alternative to people that wish to begin walking, thereby fulfilling the popular saying that there is no single path, but rather every pilgrim makes their own path... There are as many paths as there are pilgrims” – thewayofsaintjamesforall.com

Catalonia tips from our travelers


Recommendations from those who have been there

At Responsible Travel, we think the best people to advise our travelers are often... other travelers. They always return from our tours with packing tips, weather reports, ideas about what to do - and opinions about what not to.

We have selected some of the most useful Catalonia travel tips that our guests have provided over the years to help you make the very most of your vacation - and the space inside your suitcase.
 
 
From a bike you see things you never can from a car - we saw a huge variety of scenery in just a few days.Bennet Summers

We have teenage children and weren't sure if they could cope with a full-on cycling vacation where you go from place to place, so this was perfect because we were based in one place but there were many points to cycle to. - Jane Edwards

Think carefully about how you travel to Catalonia, next time we will try and cut our traveling time down by flying to Girona instead of Barcelona. - Victoria Doody

Losing the bike trail didn't mean you were lost or at risk. No matter how far we strayed from the trail, we always made our way back. - Richard Coughlin

Be in reasonable shape. It says it's easy, and it is if you're able to manage differing terrains and keep at a good pace so you can stop and enjoy the sights. - Beth from Canada

Take lots of food and water. You can be cycling for quite some time before coming across any shops, so take a blanket and find somewhere comfortable to have a picnic. - Claire Hermolle

One disappointment is if you visit art museums, this time of year [winter] you will find them all closed. - Maime Pearcey

Learn a few words of Catalan. Your efforts will be appreciated and you will be made to feel even more welcome. Remember a lot of places are "tancat dilluns" (closed on Mondays!) - Alasdair Kenwright

We needed sun cream and sun hats on first three days and rain hats and waterproofs day five - so be prepared for both! - Alison Firth

Photo credits: [Sardana dance: Alan Mayers ] [Market: Ajuntament de Vilanova i la Geltrú ] [Village fiesta: Ajuntament de Vilanova i la Geltrú ] [Snorkellig: Kai Schreiber ]
Written by Vicki Brown
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