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5 night itinerary outside of Barcelona - suggestions?

5 night itinerary outside of Barcelona - suggestions?

Dec 21st, 2012, 05:50 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 122
5 night itinerary outside of Barcelona - suggestions?

Hello everyone, after 3 nights in Barcelona (we've been before), we have 5 nights with a rental car to see:

Roman Ruins at Tarragona (maybe!)
Tossa del Mar
Dali Museums in Figueres & Port Lligat

Where would you recommend to overnight? We don't mind 1 night stays on the way to/from somewhere, but of course multiple night stays are better.

We need to be at the Barcelona Sants station to catch a morning AVE to Madrid on June 2

Thanks in advance for your insights!
RebeccahS is offline  
Dec 21st, 2012, 06:13 PM
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We just had a wonderful stay in Terragona after a couple nights in Barcelona. I highly recommend it for at least a couple days. There are plenty of Roman sites to visit, plus it's a nice town itself. Highly recommend the Imperial Terraco for a hotel, too. And find the chocolate shop L'abella! We stopped by Montserrat on the way from Barcelona to Tarragona. (The views from Montserrat were great--otherwise not too impressed with the stuff there, but it was worth the drive.)

If you want to glance at my Trip Report, here's link:http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ly-for-him.cfm
texasbookworm is online now  
Dec 21st, 2012, 06:37 PM
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would suggest the Dali home near Cadaques. It's a very cozy litle town...Hotel Playa is quite comfortable with bay views and balconies. Only 8 people at a time are allowed into the house/museum...your hotel will get you a reservation. The Figueres Museum is a tribute to Dali's works, also..but the house in Port Ligat (Cadaques) is special. Anita's restaurant in Cadaques, family style, good food and fun.
tower is offline  
Dec 21st, 2012, 08:54 PM
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I would suggest Girona, which is a lovely city with plenty to see/do. It is half an hour by car from Figueres.
I would not stay in Cadaques for 5 nights if only to avoid driving up and down the very winding road leading to it twice a day.
Pvoyageuse is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2012, 01:59 AM
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I agree with Pvoyageuse about getting in and out of Cadaques. Not worth the tedium. I also was underwhelmed with Montserrat.

If you are a Dali fan (I'm not at all) then of course you want to see the Dali sights. For me, beautiful Catalonian towns with great art, fascinating history and food -- like Vic, Girona, Castello d"Empuries and the Empuries Greek and Roman ruins -- or even just a lovely seaside white town like Calella da Palafrugell in June -- are more enjoyable. Hard to pick for somebody else.
goldenautumn is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2012, 02:35 AM
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If you would like an atmospheric small town experience of Catalonia, consider 5 nights at the Can Gilbert apartments in Castello d'Empuries, which is convenient for day tripping that end of Catalonia, even including Girona and the greek-roman ruins at Empuriabrava, as well as the Dali sites and Cadaques. But then you will be in a great small town for the evening tapas.




Depending on weather and mood see either Tossa del Mar or Montserrat on your way to Castello d'Empuries, and see the other one on the way back. Drop off the car at the Barcelona airport and take the airport train to a hotel near Sants station for the night.

That leaves out Tarragona, but you might consider Tarragona as a day trip from Barcelona.

If you don't want a small town, I second the suggestion for Girona, which has great food. I would find an apartment there for 5 nights. See if you can drop off the car in Girona and take a train back to Barcelona.
goldenautumn is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2012, 05:33 AM
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The greek(roman ruins are located in Empuries near La Escala and not at Empuriabrava which is a souless and huge marina (the largest in Europe?).
Castello d'Empuries is a cute village but I would not spend 5 nights there.
Don't miss the road between Lloret de Mar and Tossa - It is stunning.
Pvoyageuse is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2012, 01:57 PM
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Thanks for all the GREAT suggestions and advice, it really helped with some decisions. Girona seems the right place for us to base for a few days. So, here's how this itinerary is shaping up:

Day 1: Drive to visit Montserrat, overnight at the Parador in Cardona.
Day 2: Driving tour (essentially Karen Brown's) to La Seu d'Urgell, overnight at the Parador.
Day 3: Driving tour to Girona, 3 nights at Hotel Nord 1901 in Girona.
Day 4: Drive to Figueres, Empuries, Cadaques.
Day 5: Drive between Lloret de Mar and Tossa de Mares.
Day 6: Drop off car at Girona station, train to Barcelona Sant station, AVE to Madrid

texasbookworm - read your trip report about Terragona with interest, I certainly would like to do a trip south of Barcelona sometime.

tower - I do plan a visit to the interesting Dali residence in Port Lligat, other Dali museums would be nice but I can decide as time permits later.

goldenautumn - Super tip about dropping the car off in Girona, I'm definitely following up on that!

Pvoyageuse - will definitely do that drive!

Thanks for the help, itinerary criticism welcome!
RebeccahS is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2012, 03:55 PM
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We stayed at the Parador in Cardona..Interesting and well appointed but the views were of 2 mountains with salt mines..Not awesome for scenery. Your itin. lookd pretty good.
amer_can is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2012, 04:15 PM
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We had a very nice stay in the Parador in Tartosa, a castle, not too far south of Barcelona.
iris1745 is online now  
Dec 23rd, 2012, 03:00 AM
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East of Girona, the town of La Bisbal has ceramics stores worth visiting & the tiny stone village of Peratallada - just east again - is seriously cool. As well, you can walk the ancient ruins of Iberian Ullastret a few miles north.

Ian is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2012, 03:29 AM
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Thanks for the correction Pvoyageuse. I do have to add though that I find the tendency to describe Catalonia's few beautifully preserved historic towns as "cute" cringe-inducing. Castello d'Empuries is an important crossroads with a rich history, and glorious art. I can well understand individual preferences for wanting a livelier, larger place for a 5 night stay. But I don't understand terming Castello d'Empuries as 'cute" or even a "village" when it is a substantial town with an ongoing commercial life of its own independent of tourism (which cannot be said for other touristic villages in that area).
goldenautumn is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2012, 04:35 AM
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I call it "cute" because I find it "cute". I call it a big village because I don't consider it to be a proper town.
I suppose it is due to a different point of view : local vs tourist. Apart from the beach resorts, all other places in the area have a life of their own i.e. they do not rely on tourism to live.
Pvoyageuse is offline  

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