Catalonia (in Catalan: Catalunya or in Spanish: Cataluña) is a nationality and autonomous community in the northeast of Spain. It borders France and Andorra to the north along the Pyrenees, the Mediterranean Sea to the east, Valencia to the south and Aragon to the west. Its capital is the famous city of Barcelona.
It is divided in 4 areas or provinces:
- Barcelona: it's worth the whole trip.... has great food too!
- Figueres: home to the Dalí museum
- Girona: nice old town with an impressive Jewish quarter, close to the Costa Brava
- Lleida: door to the west Pyrenees mountains, has a lovely Cathedral
- Lloret de Mar: millions of visitors come to this beach resort each year
- Mataró: the birth place of noucentista architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch, who designed several buildings in the town
- Reus: a centre for rock-climbing and the birthplace of architect Antoni Gaudí
- Salou: another popular beach resort in Catalonia
- Tarragona. Roman age capital, has beaches, close to Costa Daurada
- Tossa de Mar: a lovely seaside resort, the real Costa Brava!! If you come around you must visit this!
- Santa Susanna: this well connected village is in-between the mountains of trees and the sea, the resort offers a variety of touristic.
Catalonia has a great variety of different landscapes very close to each other, mountains on the Pyrenees (at the border with France), green hills on north of the country, agricultural planes on the west and beaches on the east.
- Costa Brava: rocky cliffs and a mix of pebble beaches and sandy beaches
- Costa Daurada: lots of sandy beaches, near Salou and Tarragona. Also, you can visit Port Aventura
- Montserrat: an unusual rock mountain with a sanctuary on top, very popular among Catalans
- Terres de l'Ebre: with two national parks and a river delta, it's a quiet place with traditions and nature
Catalonia is an autonomous community within Spain, and before the XV century was a State of the Crown of Aragon, with an advanced parlamentary system. The country gained its current status first in the Republican era (1930s) and then again after Franco's death in 1975 and continues to press for more political and economic autonomy, mainly in the form of the right to decide on education, culture and healthcare.
Catalonia is usually a safe place. Be aware of pickpockets in crowds, and don't leave your car in the rest areas in motorways. Tourist areas such as Las Ramblas in Barcelona city attract many petty thieves, and you should be vigilant around these areas. As a tourist, you are a target for thieves. They can spot you and you cannot spot them. Do not carry all your money and documentation in the same bag or pocket. If you have been robbed, always go to the police. Here you will find some police advice to take into account if you use public transport.
If you travel try to follow traffic regulations or you may be fined. Notice that you will have to pay in cash immediately otherwise your car will be removed from the road. Therefore have at least 150 EUR with you for that occasion.
You should always wear a shirt. It is very annoying for local people to see tourists who are half-naked. Even if you are on vacation try not to make a lot of noise at night as people will be sleeping.
You have to be aware that people usually have breakfast at 9 o´clock, lunch at 2 pm and dinner at 9 pm. This schedule may seem a little weird but it is like this because of the sun's hours.
Barcelona city tour