Planning Your Time

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Planning Your Time

Not far from Barcelona, the beautiful towns of Vic, Ripoll, Girona, and Cadaqués are easily reachable from the city by bus or train in a couple of hours. Figueres is a must if you want to see the Dalí Museum. Girona makes an excellent base from which to explore La Garrotxa; for that, you'll need to rent a car. Tarragona and its environs are definitely worth a few days; it's easily reached from Barcelona via RENFE, or allow 1½ hours to drive, especially on weekends and in summer. If you're driving, a visit to the wineries in the Penedès region en route is well worth the detour. Most of Spain's Cava (sparkling wine) comes from here. Tarragona's important Romanic wonders are best seen on foot at a leisurely pace, broken up with a meal at any of the fine seafood restaurants in the Serallo fishing quarter.

Valencia is 3½ hours by express train from Barcelona; if you have a flexible schedule, you might think about stopping in Tarragona on your way. From Tarragona it's a comfortable one-hour train ride to Valencia; by car, you have the option of stopping for a meal and a walkabout in one of the coastal towns like Peñiscola or Castellon. Historic Valencia and the Santiago Calatrava–designed City of Arts and Sciences buildings can be covered in two days, but you might well want one more to indulge in the city's food and explore the nightlife in the Barrio del Carmen.

A day trip to the nature reserve at Delta de l'Ebre, outside of Valencia, is also highly recommended.

On the Costa Blanca, Alicante's town hall and travel agencies arrange tours of the city and bus and train tours to Guadalest, the Algar waterfalls, the Peñón de Ifach (Calpe), and Elche.

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