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Considering the huge number of tourists, large number of visitor attractions, and bustling city vibes that come with a trip to Barcelona, it’s no wonder that a nature escape is a welcomed reprieve for most. There are a number of activities for lovers of nature to enjoy in Catalonia. We’ve rounded up the best day trips from Barcelona for nature lovers – enjoy!
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Best Day Trips from Barcelona for Nature Lovers
Vall de Núria
One of the wildest, least-tamed day trips from Barcelona for nature lovers is Vall de Núria. Situated amid the peaks of the Pyrenees mountain range, Vall de Núria offers indescribable views of narrow gorges, winding rivers, and evergreen trees.
Adventure travelers will also love this region of Spain for the world-class hiking and winter skiing opportunities. You can discern which hiking routes would best suit you by checking out the different distances, altitudes, walking times, and experience levels before setting out in order to properly choose the best hike for you.
Vall de Núria is only 100 kilometers from Barcelona. The best way to access is the town is by train or by private car. Make your way to Queralbs, a small village, from which you take a rack railway, ascending over 1,000 meters through untouched mountainous nature.
Regardless of what season it is, this quaint mountain valley always has something spectacular to offer if you’re into nature and the outdoors. In the summer and warmer months, hiking and boat activities abound. To stay occupied during the cold winter, skiing and snowboarding as well as tubing and snowmobiling are popular pastimes.
Vall de Núria dates all the way back to the 6th century! Enjoy learning a bit about the local history while you’re here.
Delta de l’Ebre
The most underrated day trip from Barcelona for nature lovers is undoubtedly the Delta de l’Ebre. This natural park boasts an abundance of wildlife and vast expanses of natural beauty as far as the eye can see. Due in part to its ethos of sustainability and conservative management, it was declared a “European Destination of Excellence”.
The Delta de l’Ebre is the most expansive area of wetland in Catalunya. It’s an excellent place to see flamingoes and purple heron, depending on where in the Delta you visit. The Delta de l’Ebre is a birders paradise, so be sure to bring your binoculars.
Situated on the southern perimeter of the natural preserve is the most sizable lagoon in the Delta de l’Ebre, called l’Encanyissada. Here and the Tancada lagoon are where you can see the most biodiverse selection of birds in the Delta.
To reach the Delta de l’Ebre from Barcelona is best accessed by car. Driving, the route takes approximately three hours. If you’re restricted to public transportation, I’d suggest spending the night, as a train or bus ride takes about five hours.
Montserrat is certainly one of the most popular and best-known day trips from Barcelona. It’s a lovely day trip from Barcelona, beloved by tourists and locals alike.
Montserrat is a picture-perfect Benedictine monastery situated in the mountains. It’s close proximity to Barcelona (an hour via train) means that the throngs of tourists to the Catalonian capital flock here in droves.
But for many of the tourists who come to visit, it’s much more than a visit to a monastery. At Montserrat, you enter into one of the most splendid natural parks in Catalonia. The Generalitat de Catalunya declared Montserrat a natural park in 1987.
In addition to visiting the monastery, there are a number of walking or hiking paths that wind through the mountains, offering unobstructed views of the Catalonian landscape. There’s also a funicular that you can take to the top of the mountain, in the event you get too tired or are traveling with someone with mobility restrictions.
From Barcelona, traveling to Montserrat is very easy and straightforward. From Plaça Espanya, take the R5 to get to Montserrat. The journey will take you just under an hour.
Calella is a stunning town on the Maresme Coast of Spain. Often foreshadowed by its big sister, Costa Brava, Costa Maresme is a beautiful (and underrated alternative). Given the fact that it’s much less popular, you can also expect far fewer crowds.
For nature lovers, some of the best things to do in Calella include alllllll of the water sports. And here, there are plenty available. You can go kayaking, snorkeling, diving, paragliding, wind sailing, kite surfing, and more.
Those who prefer to stay on dry land can enjoy quintessential beach sports, such as volleyball and beach football, both of which are popular games on the local beaches.
In addition to outdoor activities, Calella has a few museums that are also worthy of a visit. Check out the Museum of Tourism, El Faro, and the Museum Flak.
To reach Calella from Barcelona, a train ride north takes just over an hour. It’s also very well-connected by highway, so if you have access to your own car, that may be easier.
Cycle through Sant Sadurni d’Anoia
If you’re looking for an exciting, underrated day trip from Barcelona for nature lovers, check out Sant Sadurni d’Anoia. Sant Sadurni d’Anoia is located just an hour away by train from the capital of Catalonia. It is a charming, historical town dating back to the late 11th century.
When you first arrive, check out the ancient architecture, old-world charm, fresh food markets, narrow streets, and historic cathedrals.
For nature lovers, one of the best things to do in Sant Sadurni d’Anoia is to rent a bicycle to tour the region. Cycling in Penedès is a wonderful way to experience the stunning landscape, meet locals, get some physical activity in, as well as fully immerse yourself in the local lifestyle.
The city is also in the cava capital of Spain, home to numerous famed producers such as Codorniu and Freixenet. Check out some of the other small cava vineyards before you make your way back to Barcelona.
Cala Fonda (Waikiki Beach)
Waikiki Beach, as Cala Fonda is affectionately known, is one of the top beaches in Catalonia. Paying homage to the aloha vibes and underlying Hawaiian aesthetic, Cala Fonda is a stunningly scenic span of shoreline.
The bay here boasts crystal clear waters with pale golden sand, amid the rolling hills littered with pine trees.
It’s relatively small in size, though it’s quite cozy and secluded, which make up for the lack of square footage. The strip of coastline is only about 200m long and 25m wide!
This is a beautifully wild beach, with limited comfort amenities and virtually zero development in the neighboring vicinity. If you’re coming here, remember to pack snacks and whatever else you may need. Water, snacks, beach blanket, or umbrella may all come in handy.
If you want to spend the night, you can rent a room in a nearby village and rent a bike. Cala Fonda is the perfect day trip from Barcelona for nature lovers if your idea of fun is unspoiled seaside and coastal waters lapping at your feet.
To get to Cala Fonda requires a small amount of hiking, given its central location in the middle of the nature preserve. You won’t find any boutique shops or beachy bars to visit nearby. Nor will you find the crowds (or development) that come with the beaches of Barcelona. It’s the perfect seaside escape for nature lovers looking to get away from Barcelona.
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