Off the beaten track
Barcelona is the most visited city in Spain, this is mainly because of the nice places that we have already mentioned before. Nevertheless in Barcelona there are places very popular among locals that foreigners never get to see, to know those places is a way to go deeper in the knowledge of the city and people living here. Here are some examples that will give you another dimension of the city:
Gracia neighborhood: Very popular district among very young people and young couples with children, in a way, thanks to their pedestrian squares, their bars and coffee shops, their echological and last tendency shops, its market, retains the at mosphere of a village. Visiting Gracia is a way to really getting to know and understand what locals do and like. Poble Sec and Sant Antoni neigbourhood:
This is a district that has become in fashion very recently as a meeting point for young, modern people. Many artists of all kind moved to live here a few years ago (as flats and studios were cheaper there than in other parts of the city) and now young and modern people go there for drinking beer and have tapas in the new bars and taverns open recently..
Torre Baró Castle– In the outskirts of the city, already in the mountain that limits the city from the North, in one of the poorest areas of the city but with some spectacular views of the city and the mountains, farther to the North.
Catalonia is the region where Barcelona is located. Catalonia has it all: High mountains with ski resorts: The Pyreenees; nice beaches: Costa Brava; attractive villages: Sitges, Tossa de Mar, Besalú, etc.; old Sanctuaries: Montserrat, Poblet, Scala Dei; wine and cava cellars: Freixenet, Torres, Codorniu.
We recommend you go to those places if you have not been yet, but for those who already know them or those who prefer unexplored territory by tourists here are 2 options, one very close to Barcelona and other kind of far away.
The closer one is the delta of Llobregat River, it is a peculiar area because it combines a bird sanctuary, the delta of a river, spectacular views of airplanes landing to Barcelona airport and a very long and wide beach. It is an excursion to be done on foot or by bike.
The farther one is 120 kms (75 miles) from Barcelona is one of the 45 little geographic regions of Catalonia, called La Segarra, this was a frontier land disputed for centuries between the Arab empire (Al-andalus) and the Christians in the X , XI and XII centuries. The dry land, the castles and the peculiar villages will get back to other times.
Spain is a country of big variations: in climate, in landscapes, in artistic resources, in customs and ways of living live. It is the second most mountainous country in Europe (after Switzerland) but it is also a peninsula, so it has many kilometers of beaches. Maybe you have heard about that and even you may have explored places like Madrid, Toledo, Andalucía or the Basque Country, now if you want to know a place that no so many people visit we recommend you go to Cuenca and do a road trip from there to Madrid by a secondary road. Cuenca is a World Heritage Site by Unesco, from there to Madrid you will cross an area which density of population is lower than Siberia or Lapland. Along the way, you can find a number of small villages and big open spaces with sunflowers, wheat crops, other cereals and olive oil trees. In the way to Madrid we recommend to stop by Ercavica, a big roman city, where apart from Roman remains you can appreciate mostly the nice spots where Roman used to fund their cities. Something similar happens with a Cistercian Monastery very few kilometers away from the Roman city, wich is sourrended by a simple but spectacular landscape, not to mention what comes afterwards, driving along and crossing the wall the holds one of the biggest reservoirs of Spain built in Franco’s time.
Another city that we recommend which is not too far from Cuenca and is really out of the trodden path is Teruel, in fact there is even a saying that says “Teruel también existe”, meaning “Teruel also exits”.
In case you have a car and want to go driving from Barcelona to Madrid, the order to visit those places would be: Teruel, Cuenca, Guadalajara, Madrid.