Today we had a very early start from the Barcelona Sports Hostel. We were off to explore Montserrat and to visit the coastal towns of Lloret De Mar and Tossa de Mar.
First stop on the journey was Montserrat. Montserrat is a mountain located in Cataolina, Spain. At the very top of the mountain sits the world famous Montserrat Basicilia. This is a monastery built in the early 12 century with the most amazingly beautiful interior. Every day the world famous choir L’Escolania perform the Salva and Virolai every day at 13:00 hrs and thousands of people from across the world come and watch.
After a quick explore of the area surrounding the Basilica, we headed down the mountain towards Lloret De Mar. Lloret de Mar is a vibrant tourist area thanks to its array of fantastic hotel resorts, a variety of attractions and its beautiful beach. We were able to see some of the venues we use in this town including a beachside stage (which has the backdrop of the ocean) and the bustling town square.
Tossa de Mar is where we base most of our groups travelling to Costa Brava and I couldn’t think of anywhere better! The town is split into two parts, the historic old town and the bustling new town. The hotels that we use are perfectly suited to our groups – I can now see why we receive such good feedback!
We spent the first half of today exploring old town Tossa de Mar. Our first stop was Passeig Mossen Cinto Verdaguer, which is a beautiful church located in the heart of Old Town Tossa de Mar. The church is a firm favourite with our groups and I can see why! This church’s acoustics are sublime and the décor is gorgeous! We then took a stroll down to the beach and took some time to familiarise ourselves with the area (and have an ice-cream!). We got to see two of the beachside performance areas and also where the glass bottom boats depart from.
Then we set off for Figueres. Figueres is the birthplace of Salvador Dali and is home to ab wonderful museum dedicated to artist. Unfortunately we didn’t get time to pop in (too much to see and do!) but we got to visit the Sant Pere Church which is next door. This church’s great location is just one of the wonderful things it can offer our groups. Again, the acoustics are wonderful and the church has a very active concert programme.
After that, we set off to Girona. Girona is a Roman city located in North East Catania. First we set off to Girona Cathedral and climbed the 89 steps up to the front door. Once at the top, the climb was definitely worth it – the view was marvellous! We then had time to explore the winding alleys and streets of this historic city.
To finish of our very busy day, we headed to Platja d’Aro to visit a venue which is very popular with the bands that have toured to this region recently. Plaça Major is a town square with a stage area that regularly attracts large audiences.
We started today heading to Malgrat to see some of the new hotels that we had recently started using. Both hotels are perfect for both adult and youth groups and they are very excited for our groups to arrive later this year. We then returned to Barcelona to spend some time visiting the most popular excursions in the city.
First stop of was Barcelona Cathedral. This is a gothic cathedral built in the 13th century and is home to the Arch-Bishop of Barcelona. The cathedral is one of the most beautiful cathedrals I have ever seen. The architecture and design is breath-taking! We then walked down the famous shopping street, the Ramblas and caught the metro to Poble Espanyol. This is a large scale museum (there are 117 separate buildings) which was put together for the Barcelona International Exposition in 1929. It’s a great excursion and the views are beautiful.
Early start again today, with an early afternoon flight booked, we needed to see two more excursions before I could head back to the UK. First point of call for today was the Sagrada Familia. This is one of the most breathtaking buildings I have ever seen – the photos do not do it justice! After a quick photo opportunity, we were off to Park Guell. A quick metro ride, found us at the base of the hill with Park Guell at the top. Thankfully they have escalators to take you from the bottom of the hill to the top, so the journey up was a lot more pleasant than I anticipated! Once we got to the top, we discovered the journey up have been very worthwhile, it is beautiful! We spent some time exploring the park before we started to get ready to return back to the UK.
All in all, this trip was great! Before my trip to the region, I knew it was lovely, but I didn’t know quite how amazing it was. The venues, the excursions, the accommodation, the culture – incredible!