Catalonia is a region located in the northeast of Spain, but the Catalan linguistic boundary extends to the French Languedoc-Roussillon region, the little state of Andorra, some districts in the east of Aragon, the northern part of Valencia and the Balearic Islands. Catalonia has been inhabited by Iberians, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Gauls and Arabs. From this mixture emerges the modern Catalan: cheerful, friendly, with a feeling for art and music in every class of the society. Catalonia, at one time, was the most important part of the medieval kingdom of Aragon.
Very different in character is the old kingdom of Aragon, as may be observed in the course of the railway journey from Barcelona to Zaragoza. The luxuriant vegetation and the prosperous harbours make way for dry uplands which are thinly populated. Aragon descends gradually from the Pyrenees, the highest points of which form its northern frontier. The region was less affected than Catalonia by infiltrations of foreign influence.
Barcelona, the most modern and creative city of Spain, is a city that dazzles and captivates those who visit it. Offering a wide variety of atmospheres, a large cultural offer, leisure, art, gastronomy and innovation, Barcelona is an essential destination to anyone who visits Spain.
Dedicate a full day to discover the legacy of the father of Modernism, Antonio Gaudí, through landmarks such as Sagrada Familia or Park Güell; discover the contribution of another Catalonian architect, Lluís Domènech i Montaner, with the Palau de la Música, or the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, all UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The elegance of the architecture can also be found in the Eixample Quarter, the Gothic Quarter, in Plaza Catalunya, the park of Montjuïc, or in the Boquería market, all of which hold genuine secrets waiting for you to discover them.
Marvellous beaches and secluded coves in the Costa Brava will round off a visit during which tasting the renowned Mediterranean diet is a must. Based on fruit, vegetables, fish and shellfish, olive oil and nuts, this cuisine will not disappoint you and is suitable for all budgets. And when night falls, Barcelona becomes powerfully alive. Be prepared, for you will have to choose between hundreds of bars, pubs and discotheques to enjoy the rhythm of the world’s best DJs!
Barcelona > Lleida
After a short night in Barcelona, take the train to Lleida (1h trip), located on the banks of the river Segre and overlooked by the hills of Seu Vella and Gardeny. Lleida is a culturally active and modern city surrounded by a unique natural environment. Its most valuable asset is the genuineness of the people of Lleida. You simply cannot leave Lleida without mingling with its people who will show you the most important tangible wealth of the Seu Vella hill. Perched on its summit is the Cathedral of St. Mary of La Seu Vella.
If your aim is to disconnect from the hassle of the modern society, take a walk by the nature reserve of La Mitjana, the park of the river Segre or the Camps Elisis. If you want to enjoy the nightlife, there is a wide selection of discotheques, pubs, bars and sidewalk cafés, with all types of atmospheres in the Zona Alta (high zone), at the foot of Seu Vella, or on the Gardeny hill.
Lleida > Tarragona
Having reached Tarragona by train (25 min trip), you will discover a city bathed in light and warmed by its climate, and its preserved historical quarter built on a hill. Tarragona is a UNESCO World Heritage site thanks to the extraordinary legacy of the Roman Empire. It offers a great variety of options for leisure: an underwater park, a theatre, an auditorium and a casino.
When night falls, the old quarter as well as the establishments near the port become its main attractions. For diner unveil the secret of Tarragona’s, which specialises in combining the high quality sea products with those of the land.
Tarragona > Zaragoza
Take the AVE train to reach Zaragoza (1h10 trip), the capital of Aragon. Zaragoza is a city which is symbolised by its majestic Plaza del Pilar, which houses two of the most important monuments: the solemn Basilica del Pilar and the majestic Cathedral of San Salvador.
In addition to these icons which are must-sees, roam around the streets and squares of its old quarter to discover the archaeological remains of its Roman theatre, magnificent buildings from the 15th and 16th centuries, majestic Baroque churches, or the Mudejar remains of the Palace of the Aljaferia. But the magic of this area does not only originate from this great wealth of monuments: the open and welcoming nature of its people makes its streets, squares and traditional shops blend easily with the city’s lively and happy atmosphere.
Don’t miss a detour to the Central Market, a feast for the senses!
Zaragoza > Calatayud
On your last day, hop on board the AVE train to Calatayud (25 min trip), a city which is waiting for you to discover its historical, cultural and specially the Mudejar architecture, which is a UNESCO world heritage site.
Have a look at the Collegiate Church of Santa María. Its tall eight-sided Mudejar style tower dominates the urban scenery. In addition, the Castle of Ayud is the ideal place from where to observe the encirclement and the city. It is also the best preserved part of the ancient fortress, with its two towers and the parapet that connects them.
History also leaves room for delicacies, and in Calatayud it is essential to carry out the traditional route of its tapas bars. Meat, sausages, sweets and pastries are the main culinary attractions, not leaving aside the region’s wines, with their own denomination of origin.