Catalunya & Central Spain
From Gaudi to Dali via noble Don Quixote.
Barcelona is one of Europe’s most addictive cities, with its surrealist Gaudi architecture, wealth of museums and galleries, accessible golden beaches and cutting-edge cuisine. Yet as good as the city is, Barcelona is just a springboard to the rest of Catalunya, whose natural wonders, sun-washed beaches and lesser-known villages put the obvious attractions of the capital in the shade.
In the north, hiking trails weave between Pyrenean peaks that loom above meadows and glittering lakes. Old Romanesque churches crown lonely country villages and open plains are pockmarked with ancient volcanic cones.
It’s the coast, however, that’s the region’s biggest draw. The Costa Brava beckons with a tempting array of restaurants, beach-chic boutiques, dreamy little coves hemmed in by pine trees, sandy beaches and clear, azure seas.
A particular favourite is the village of Cadaques on Catalunya’s most easterly outcrop, the wild Cap de Creus peninsula. Made popular by Dali and other 20th-century luminaries, the village is known for its narrow cobbled streets, beautiful Baroque church and mesmerising views of the Mediterranean.
Turning inland, central Spain is a veritable catalogue of historical sites and UNESCO-listed landmarks, from the capital Madrid to the Roman aqueduct at Segovia and Toledo’s great Gothic cathedral.
To escape the crowds completely, head to the windswept plateaus and undulating plains of Castilla-La Mancha, where Miguel de Cervantes set the fictional journeys of his chivalrous country gentleman, Don Quixote de la Mancha. Ask about the villas we have in this region that we keep in our secret draw.
Sleeps: 8 + 1
Price Guide: From €6,400 to €10,750 per week
Sleeps: 11 + 4 children
Price Guide: From €6,500 to €7,500 per week
Price Guide: From €1,650 to €3,600 per night
Price Guide: From €40,000 to €75,000 per week