Barcelona

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Top Sights Near Barcelona

Barcelona is not a town you want to leave, unless only for a day. From the capital of Catalonia you can make a number of one day trips for example to Costa Brava – a trendy beach resort close to the French border, or you can climb the Muntanya de Montserrat – a mountain with a 16th-century abbey housing a statue of La Maroneta – a dark-skinned Madonna from the 12th Century. In the neighbouring province of Tarragona, there are still some remains of Roman structures to be found, as well as a Medieval cathedral and a cloister. If you're looking for some entertainment, you can either go to the Salou amusement park, 100 kilometres away from Barcelona or to the town of Stiges, only 40 kilometres away and famous for its film festival and the carnival, not to mention its magnificent beaches.


Llobregat
Address: Catalonia

The Llobregat is known as the second biggest river in the area of Catalonia, Spain. It originates in Castellar de n’hug in the Serra del Cadi and ends in the Mediterranean Sea, near Barcelona. The river is heavily managed in its lower course and water, that was previously lost to the sea, is now pumped upstream to increase the natural flow, recharges the delta wetlands and controls the seawater incursion. Around the river’s bed there are picturesque surroundings that are wonderful for nature lovers.
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Mataro
Address: Catalonia

Mataro is the biggest city and the capital of the region of Maresme, in Catalonia, Spain. The city has a very interesting history. It dates back to Roman times when it was a village called "Iluro" or "Illuro." There are ruins of a Roman bath house which dates back to the 1st Century BC. There is a coastal N-II highway which follows the original Roman road exactly. The first railway in Spain was built here. Today it is part of the RENFE R1 suburban service between L’Hospitalet de Llobregat and Macenet-Massanes.
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Muntanya de Montserrat
Address: Monistrol de Montserrat
Phone: +34 93 877 7777
Website: http://www.muntanyamontserrat.ne

Muntanya de Montserrat is a magnificent mountain, situated to the north of Barcelona, in the area of Catalonia. The peaks are gorgeous, pointing to the sky like fingers. One of the most famous attractions in the mountain is the Abbey, built there in the 16th Century. The monastery keeps the 12th Century Romanesque statue of the Virgin. According to legend, a shepherd found the statue of the Virgin in a cave there and that was why the church and monastery on the mountain were built. The Virgin was black, and that was why it was called La Moreneta (the dark one). There is a special religious service held in her honour on April 27. The statue is believed to have powerful energy and people come from all over Catalonia to have their religious wishes fulfilled. The monastery has a museum with some wonderful Renaissance and Baroque paintings by Italian, Spanish and Flemish masters. There is also a Museum of Modern Painting with works of Catalan artists. Very impressive is the Montserrat Boys Choir singing the Salve Montserratina and the Virolai - daily at 1:00pm and 7:20pm. The mountain is a great destination for a day trip outside Barcelona.
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Penedès
Address: Catalonia

Penedes is a famous wine-making region situated in Catalonia, Spain to the south-west of the city of Barcelona. It is surrounded by the coastal hills of the Garraf , the higher inland mountains which skirt the Central Depression. Penedes is known as one of the best wine-producing regions in Spain, but it is also one of the most ancient viticultural areas in Europe. The most popular is the production of Cava, a sparkling wine; that is why the growing of white grape dominates in the area. The region also produces some highly-regarded, oak-aged reds. There is some archaeological evidence showing that the producing of wine in Penedes has ancient origins. It dates back to the Phoenician introduction of Chardonnay vines during the 6th Century BC. The town was known as a large export market even through Moorish occupation in the Middle Ages. Later, Penedes was devestated by the phylloxera plague. As a result, a large-scale change in the predominant grape types happened, from red to almost exclusively white, which in turn led to the first Cava production in 1870s. The capital of the Penedes Wine and Sparkling wine region is Vilafranca del Penedés. It is situated not more than 15 minutes further, south of Sant Sadurni d’Anois. In the historic city centre stands a basilica built in 1285 and the Palau Reial which today hosts the Wine museum of Vilafranca. There are numerous wine cellars which offer tours. Visitors can enjoy delicious meals in the lovely restaurants.
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Real Club de Golf El Prat
Address: Apdo 10
Phone: +34 93 379 0278
Website: http://www.rcgep.com/

Situated just 15 km south of Barcelona, the Real Club de Golf El Prat is a wonderful place for all golf lovers. Designed by the golfer Greg Norman, the club has 45 holes and is located in the marvelous area Costa Brava. Here, visitors will find modern facilities including a gourmet restaurant, driving range, pro shop, a swimming pool, sauna, and Turkish bath, ensuring a relaxing time outside the city. The club also provides a public golf school with its own 9-hole course to help to improve a skilled player's game and maybe even discover young, new talent.
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Riu Ripoll
Address: Catalonia

Riu Ripoll is a river in the area of Valles Occidental, Catalonia, in Spain. It flows into the river Besos, near Barcelona. The source of the river is in the Serra de Granera. It passes through the picturesque municipalities of Sant Llorenc Savall, Castellar del Valles, Sabadell, Barbera del Valles, Ripollet and Montcada I Reixac. It is a typical Mediterranean river and has an irregular regime of floods, which occur from time to time but are usually very sudden and quite considerable. In the past, the river was used for irrigation of agriculture. In the 10th Century an irrigation system was built, which is still used today. There were mills near the river which produce flour. Later, most of the mills were reconverted to produce paper. In the 19th Century the mills of the riverside were reconverted again, this time into textile factories. This resulted in a steep decline of the quality of the river water. In the late 20th Century, because of the Catalonian textile crisis, lots of factories closed for good or were refurbished for other uses, and the river suffered once again. Today, a priority of the people living in the area is to recover the Ripoll for their enjoyment and recreation, building water purifiers and cleaning the river banks..
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Sabadell
Address: Catalonia

Sabadell is one of the biggest cities in the area of the Valles Occidental in Catalonia, Spain. It lies on the River Ripoll, 20 km north-west of Barcelona. It is well known as an industrial city. It is a very important communication point with the tow motorways that run beside the city: C-58 and A-7. There is also a railroad line. Sabadell has some impressive historic and artistic buildings. There is a beautiful little church, Sant Nicolau, built in the 11th Century, which reminds one of the town of Arraona. An excellent example for a traditional house is Casa Duran, which was built in the 16th century in the middle of the city. Hotel Suís (Swiss Hotel, 1902), the Caixa d'Estalvis (1915), the Torre de l'Aigua (a nice water tower, 1918) and the Mercat Central (Central Market, 1930) are very impressive modernist buildings. Sabadell hosts the Institut Palaeontologic Dr Miquel Crusafont which has the largest collection of fossil mammals in Spain and the most complete collection of primate fossils in Europe.
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Salou
Address: Catalonia

Salou is a fabulous amusement park placed just 100 km south of Barcelona. It is a large theme park, owned in part by the Anheuser-Busch Co. Salou is designed with Catalonian Chinese Mexican Polynesian and Wild West elements. It is a must see attraction and guarantees an unforgettable time for its visitors.
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