Guest Author - Rachel L Webb
Huddled in the north-eastern corner of Spain, Catalonia was once an independent kingdom and today it still seems like a different land. Catalonia not only differs in its language and cuisine but also its landscape.
With the fine beaches of the Costa Brava and the Golden Coast - Costa Dorada on the Mediterranean Sea and the inland granite peaks of the Pyranees that rise to over 3000m diverse, different, independent and stunning are the words that spring to mind.
There is excellent walking and good skiing, beautiful villages and superb architecture, weird fiestas and sparkling cava – Catalonia is diverse and unique.
The mighty River Ebro cuts deep ravines through its land the view´s are rugged with lush green valleys fed by the magnificent river famous for some of Europe´s best angling waters.
Discharging into the Med the delta of the Ebro sticks 20km out into the sea near Catalonia´s southern border with Valencia. Around half the delta is used for rice growing, and the rest of the delta is northern Spain´s most important habitiat for water-birds.
Some of Spain’s best diving can be found on the rugged Costa Brava coast, with many diving schools offering tuition for all levels.
Heading inland from Tarragona with the Pyranees to the north the Ebro river is never far away - whitewashed villages, unchanged and undemanding lie as if waiting for time to pass. Many with only a third of their fomer population as the youngest head away from the agricultural life into the larger towns and cities.
Baqueira-Beret is one of the more popular ski resorts in Spain, which caters for all levels, and you may even bump into the Spanish Royal Family on the slopes.
wo of the larger cava producing cellars, Codorniu and Freixenet are open to the public for visits and tastings in the cava producing capital of Sant Sadurni d’Anoia.
The town of Sitges has hosted the SitgesInternational Film Festival for over forty years, it takes place every autumn and is beginning to be a serious attraction in the world of film.
With Barcelona and Girona International airports, this is a great base for escape with cities of culture and beaches not too far away - but far enough for the mass of beach holiday makers not to intrude on your peace. The choice of where to stay is varied there are multitudes of campsites that have bungalows or log cabins to rent either in the country or near the coast. Hostels, hotels casas rurales – self-catering homes abound nearer the towns and of course the Govenrment Paradors offering 4 and 5* luxury.