La Cerdanya, the Pyrenees’ widest, sunniest valley, is where Barcelona urbanites head to get away from it all. While many retire to second homes in the area, there are several lodging options just outside of Puigcerdá, the largest town in the valley, for those just passing through. From the small piece of high ground upon which the town stands, the views down across the meadows and up into the Pyrenees give it a dizzying sense of height. Placa del Cuartel, the long square of the Gothic church of Santa Maria is the town centerpiece comes to life Sunday mornings for the weekly market.
If the very best in dining and lodging is a priority, you could do not better than La Torre del Remei, a luxury inn 3 kilometers (2 miles) west of Puigcerdá. The splendid mansion was built in 1910 and beautifully restored by José María and Loles Boix of the legendary restaurant Boix in Martinet, 26 kilometers (16 miles) to the west.
Everything is superb, from the belle epoque luxury of the manor house to the plush, tasteful suites, heated bathroom floors, huge bathtubs, and the bottle of Moët Chandon on your arrival. The restaurant serves fine international cuisine with an emphasis on local products such as lamb, trout, and game. Reservations are essential.
For those interested in trekking the Route of Cathers (a trail between Spain’s Sanctuary of Queralt and France’s Castle of Montsegur), the hotel is offering a 6 night package for two with guides, transfers, one massage, and most meals. Package prices start at 3300 euros.
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Puigcerdá is 170 kilometers (105 miles) north of Barcelona.
La Torre del Remei. Camí Reial s/n, Bolvir de Cerdanya 17463. Phone: 972/140182. Fax: 972/140449. 5 rooms, 17 suites. C Restaurant, 18-hole golf course, putting green, pool. www.torredelremei.com