Where To Stay In Catalonia

Catalonia is Spain's northeasternmost autonomous community bordering the South of France and the Mediterranean Sea. Undoubtedly one of the more fascinating corners of Spain, it boasts picture-perfect coves, golden beaches, mountainous nature parks, lively seaside resorts and a plethora of cultural places of interest.
Whether you are looking for peace and quiet, family fun or adrenaline filled activities, you will find it in Catalonia. Let us introduce you to the best places to stay in this unique region, so you can choose where to rent a holiday home in Catalonia and start planning your next trip to sunny Spain!

The Best Places To Stay For Beaches

With a coastline of no less than 580 kilometres long, beachgoers are spoilt for choice in Catalonia. The Catalan coastline can be divided into three parts: the Costa Brava ( ''the Rugged Coast'') in the north, the metropolitan beaches of Barcelona in the centre and the Costa Dorada (''the Golden Coast'') in the south. Along the coast, you will find small picturesque bays as well as long, golden stretches of sand making Catalonia a beach holiday paradise.
To enjoy some the best beaches of the Costa Brava and Catalonia head towards the rugged Cap de Creus Natural Park where you will find intimate coves such as Cala Jugadora, Cala Culleró, Cala S'Alqueria Gran, Cala Portaló, Cala Fredosa and Cala Culip. These beaches are all set in an impressive rocky scenery which beautifully contrasts with the calm crystal clear waters. To stay close to the stunning Cap de Creus coves look for a holiday home in Cadaqués, a beautiful whitewashed coastal town that went down in history as the source of inspiration and the home of Salvador Dalí.
With beaches that are no less than spectacular, the beautiful medieval village of Begur certainly deserves a visit. Relax at Cala Sa Tuna, a picturesque little beach surrounded by quaint houses and lush pine trees, and indulge in local gastronomy in the beach restaurant. Other beaches which you should definitely visit during your stay in Begur are Platja de Aiguablava, Platja Fonda, Cala de Illa Roja, Cala S'Eixugador and Cala Fornells with a natural swimming pool.
For more amazing beaches and coves, look to stay in Tossa de Mar, a unique medieval fortified village. Place your beach towel on Platja Gran and take in the view of the towers of Tossa de Mar and the old part Vila Vella. Or head towards more private coves such as Cala Sa Futadera with a unique seabed, Cala Giverola, the perfect diving spot, Cala Bona or Platja d'es Colodar. 
Head in a southerly direction and you will end up in Lloret de Mar, a lively seaside resort with shimmering coves of the standard of Tossa de Mar. Highly recommended beaches are the spectacular Cala Sao Boadella and Cala Sa Caleta, with a view of Lloret's very own Castell d'en Plaja. Other beautiful Costa Brava towns with dream beaches are Blanes, Platja D'Aro, Calella de Palafrugell, L'Estartit, L'Escala, Calonge, Palamos … Rent a holiday home on the Costa Brava and enjoy the spectacular beaches that this northern Spanish coastline has to offer.
When thinking of the coast of Catalonia you simply cannot overlook the beaches of its metropolitan capital of Barcelona. Located close to the city centre, the local beaches attract visitors from all over the world who are looking to relax or cool off in the Mediterranean Sea. The most famous beach of all is without a doubt Platja de la Barceloneta, where you can take in the vibrant atmosphere and enjoy local food in one of the many chiringuitos. Located close to Barcelona's Olympic Port, Platja de la Nova Icària is perfect for families and has some nice beach bars and restaurants. A more laid-back atmosphere can be found on neighbouring Platja del Bogatell, which attracts older beachgoers and is home to some of the best chiringuitos in the city. Other beaches that are well worth a mention are Platja de la Mar Bella (watersports), Platja de la Nova Mar Bella, Platja del Somorrostro, Platja de Sant Sebastià (lively) and Playa d'Ocata (calm).
Leaving the Costa Brava and Barcelona behind, we shift our attention to that other coastline of Catalonia: the Costa Dorada. While the Costa Brava is known for its small picturesque bays, the Costa Dorada is renowned for its long golden stretches of soft sand.
Platja Capellans, Salou
Salou is without a doubt one of the best places for a beach break in Catalonia with family beaches spread along its coastline of 14 kilometres. Offering a mix of urban beaches and little coves, it is a destination that suits all tastes. Right on the doorstep of your holiday rental in Salou, you will find Platja Levant and Platja Ponent, the main beaches of the municipality. Running parallel to the Jaume I beach promenade, these beaches are packed with amenities such as bars, showers and several rental services (jet skies, sun loungers …). If you prefer smaller coves over large urban beaches then you will love Cala Llenguadets. This 125 metre long beach is only accessible on foot and allows you to enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets of the Costa Dorada. For more beaches head northwards of Salou. Here you will find the coves of Cala Font, Cala Penya Tallada and Cala Crans and the 600 metre semi-urban Platja Larga.
Cambrils beach
South of Salou you will find Cambrils, a place that deservedly features among the best places to stay on the Costa Dorada. Cambrils boasts fabulous family friendly beaches with calm, crystal clear water. Its main beach Platja del Regueral is busy and easily accessible and offers a wide range of entertainment facilities. Platja del Esquirol is a beach similar to Regueral, while Platja del Cavet is a rather calm stretch of sand popular for watersports.

The Best Places To Stay For A City Break

Catalonia is of course synonymous with its vibrant capital, Barcelona, where you can explore its famous cultural heritage, shop til' you drop, sample the local cuisine, relax on its beaches and much, much more. Rent a holiday home in Barcelona and do not miss out on visiting mesmerising landmarks such as the Sagrada Familia, Casa Battló, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Palau de la Música Catalana, the Mercat de la Boqueria, Park Güell and so much more. An enchanting city with unique people and neighbourhoods, Barcelona is a destination which you should visit at least once in your lifetime.
Barcelona is the classic Catalan city break destination, but look further ahead and you will discover that the autonomous community of Catalonia has yet more precious city destinations to offer.
Why not explore Girona, a great alternative city break destination which has remained under the radar of a lot of tourists until now. Being influenced by Iberians, Romans, Arabs, Jews and Carolingians in the past, Girona is rich with cultural and historical landmarks. Wander around its beautifully preserved Jewish quarter, full of narrow alleys, stairs and courtyards and experience life during the Jewish rule in the city.
Also, do not miss the opportunity to climb the stairs of the impressive Cathedral of Santa Maria de Girona, a wonderful example of Catalan Gothic architecture. However, the most iconic image of the city are the houses along the Onyar river - colourful facades which create beautiful reflections on the river. One of the best times to visit Girona is in May when the Temps de Flors festival takes place, transforming the city into a picturesque brightly flowered garden.
Roman amphitheatre, Tarragona
Take a trip to the past by visiting another Catalan pearl: Tarragona. During the Roman empire, ''Tárraco'' was an important mercantile city and this is why you will find so many archaeological remains reminiscent of this time. The undisputed crown jewel is the Roman amphitheatre with a capacity of 14,000 people against a backdrop of the turquoise Mediterranean Sea. Tarragona is not only a place of great historic value, but it is also home to some of the most precious beaches on the Costa Dorada with shallow water and fine sand. Rent a holiday home in Tarragona and discover why the city is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Best Places To Stay For Families

Catalonia is a great region with a lot of options to entertain the whole family. A lot of destinations have been rewarded by the Catalan government with a Family Holiday label acknowledging them as great family destinations with specific facilities and services for families.
Two of those child-friendly destinations in Catalonia are Cambrils and Salou. Both boast safe, child-friendly beaches with shallow water and a lot of amenities and rental services. For adrenaline filled family activities you can go to PortAventura World, a huge amusement park with different theme zones. Water enthusiasts will have the time of their life at Aquópolis Costa Dorada, a waterpark with pools, slides and picnic areas. And if that is not enough you can seek more adventure in BoscAventura (Salou) or Jumpland Aventura Ecológica (Cambrils), hop aboard the Salou tourist train, push your speed limits in Salou Karting, explore tropical Samú park (Cambrils) and much more. Find a holiday rental in Cambrils or Salou to experience the family holiday of a lifetime.
Another destination which was awarded the Family Holiday label is Lloret de Mar. Relax in Lloret on one of the many child-friendly beaches or go to Water World, one of the biggest waterparks in Europe with slides, a wave pool and hot tubs. Apart from that, you can have fun in Gnomo Park, test your mini-golf skills and go-kart all around town. 
Last but not least, Roses is one of the best places to stay in Catalonia for families. Your children will love hopping aboard the Roses Express Train to enjoy spectacular views of the coastline. Moreover, Roses has its own waterpark, Aquabrava, where you can try 19 different attractions. If your family love racing, try competing with each other at Karting Roses. Other great family activities include a boat trip, mini golf and a bike trip. And we did not even get started about the many beautiful family beaches within walking distance of your holiday home in Roses!

The Best Places To Stay For Culture

Catalonia is a great region for culture lovers. One of the best places, of course, is Barcelona with beautiful architecture, street art and museums on every corner. El Gòtic is the city's oldest district with century-old buildings, Roman monuments, the cathedral of Barcelona and the Museum of the History of Barcelona (MUHBA). Among the best museums in the city are the Picasso Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA), Fundació Joan Miró and many more.
One name that frequently pops up when thinking of architectural art in Barcelona is that of Catalan architect Antoní Gaudí. You can still notice his influence in many landmarks and houses throughout the city: the Sagrada Familia, Casa Battló, Casa Millà-La Pedrera, Park Guëll … For street art shift your attention towards the Tres Ximeneies Urban park (Poble Sec), El Gòtic, Poblenou and El Raval.
Another famous name associated with the city is that of Salvador Dalí, born in Figueres. During your stay in Figueres, you can visit the Dali Theatre-Museum which beautifully reflects the imaginative mind of the artist. It was designed by Dalí himself and is considered one of his greatest works of art. Housing some of his masterpieces and a collection of jewels, the museum is a must visit during your holiday on the Costa Brava. On top of that, Figueres is home to the Catalonia Toy Museum, a charming historical centre and the Sant Ferran Castle. In the whitewashed town of Cadaqués, you will find the Dalí House-Museum, where the artist chose to build his workshop.
If you are into medieval architecture be sure to visit villages such as Tossa de Mar, Pals, Begur, Besalú and Peratallada.

The Best Places To Stay For Nightlife

The best nightlife in Catalonia can be found in Barcelona. In the port area, close to the Olympic village, you can dance the night away in famous venues like Shoko, Opium and Catwalk. El Gòtic is also a hotspot for nightlife with lots of clubs and bars such as Boulevard Barcelona and Jamboree. Fancy some tapas in the evening? Head to El Born and spoil your taste buds in places such as El Xampanyet, Set de Born and Bar del Pla. Later in the evening, you can head towards Magic Club or the Cactus Born Bar. El Raval, on the other hand, is the place to be if you are into jazz or soul (Marseille and Big Bang Bar) or indie music (Bar Manchester). Other venues for an unforgettable night out in Barcelona are Sala Razzmatazz, Pacha Barcelona, Moog and more.
Another town that is known for its vibrant nightlife is Lloret de Mar. Attend sets of world famous DJ's at Disco Colossos and Disco Tropics. Or dance the night away to the latest hits in Disco Londoner, Disco St. Trop, Disco Moef Gaga, Disco Prive Lloret, Revolution Disco and Rockefellers Disco Bar.
Some 40 kilometres south from Barcelona you will find Sitges, a town renowned for its nightlife which is in large part targeted towards the LGBT-community. For LGBT friendly bars, head towards Plaza Industria, Calle Joan Tirada and Calle Bonaire. Parrots, Privilege and Beso Bar are just three of the many bars in Sitges popular among the LGBT-community to get your evening started. After the pre-drinks, you can party all night long in clubs like Pacha, New Ricky's, Organic and Trailer. Rent a holiday home in Sitges and experience its vibrant nightlife.

The Best Places To Stay For Sports & Nature

Catalonia is much more than the city of Barcelona, beaches and nightlife. It is a region with an impressive nature offering, boasting mountain ranges and forested areas with a plethora of outdoor options to active holidaymakers.
The Costa Brava and Girona, in particular, are popular cycling destinations in Catalonia. The landscape and conditions mean many pro cyclists live and train in Girona. Beautiful mountainous landscapes, a mild climate, excellent calm paved and unpaved roads make it a wonderful cycling location. Test yourself in the amazing foothills of the Pyrenees characterised by winding roads. Famous climbs are Rocacorba, Els Angels and Sant Hilari. In winter, before the high season, the coastal roads with a view of the Mediterranean are a great option. Mountain bikers too will find many excellent routes in Girona. Look for a holiday rental in Girona to start your cycling adventure.
Catalonia's only official national park, Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici, is without a doubt one of the most beautiful landscapes in Spain. With around 200 lakes and high rising peaks (more than 3,000 metres above sea level), it is a haven for hikers, climbers, skiers and outdoor enthusiasts. The park boasts different ecosystems due to its elevation that ranges from 1,600 to 3,000 metres and has a varied flora and fauna offering.
Stay in Lleida and discover Alt Pirineu Natural Park. The largest nature park in Catalonia is home to the highest mountain peaks of the Catalan Pyrenees with the Pica d'Estats being the highest one (3,143 metres above sea level). Alt Pirineu Natural Park is the ideal place for people who love hiking, skiing, trail running, mountain biking and other outdoor activities.
For Catalonia's only UNESCO Biosphere reserve, head towards Montseny Natural Park, some 50 kilometres from holiday homes in Blanes. In this beautiful area full of forests, lakes and mountains you can enjoy a day out in nature with the whole family.
Do you like the sound and the smell of the sea? Then walk the Camí de Ronda, a coastal route that showcases the rocky Costa Brava with its precious little bays and beautiful villages. The route was initially intended to help the Guardia Civil keep an eye on the coastline and tackle the smuggling that took place here. The Camí de Ronda is a fairly easy route to walk which makes it a nice family excursion amongst nature. Along the trajectory, you will discover charming coastal villages such as Calella de Palafrugell - one of the most beautiful towns on this route. Other great natural wonders close to the sea are the Cap de Creus Natural Park (close to Cadaqués) and the Ebro Delta (province of Tarragona). The latter is one of vastest wetland areas in the Mediterranean and the natural habitat of many bird species including pink flamingos.

The Best Places To Stay For Luxury

If you are looking to indulge in luxury, then look for a holiday rental in Empuriabrava, sometimes referred to as ''The Venice of Spain." With more than 20 kilometres of sailable canals, Empuriabrava is the largest residential marina in Europe. In 1968 a group of visionary people saw an opportunity to do something with the then-swampy area and transformed it into the luxurious and modern Empuriabrava that we know today. The city boasts large, luxurious houses with boats in front of every doorstep. No wonder that every summer thousands of visitors flock to the city in search of their own luxurious holiday experience. Apart from its characteristic canals, Empuriabrava offers pleasant beaches and a stunning natural environment.
Wine lovers should take a cava route through Penedès. This region is regarded as the birthplace of cava and is home to the oldest vineyards which also produce and export the largest amount of wine from Catalonia. This area has two DO's (Denominación de Origen or Protected Designation Of Origin): Cava and Penedès.
Penedès is also home to outstanding bodegas such as Freixenet, Gramona and Bodegues Sumarroca which you can visit to enjoy wine tastings which are sometimes paired with food and interesting workshops. Find holiday villas in Garraf or Alt Penedès and enjoy long balmy nights with a bottle of wine from your favourite Catalan bodega.

The Best Places To Stay On A Budget

Holiday rentals for all budgets can be found in L'Estartit, a coastal village with urban beaches as well as charming private coves and a colourful old town centre with beautiful architecture. Lloret de Mar also has a varied offer of budget holiday rentals where you can enjoy the perfect family holiday without breaking the bank.
Budget holiday rentals in Catalonia are not hard to find in places like L'Ampolla, Salou and Cambrils; destinations which are all on the Costa Dorada. L'Ampolla is a calm fishing town close to the amazing Ebro Delta. Relax and disconnect in the lagoons at this nature park and sample local seafood specialties such as mussels and oysters.
Cambrils boulevard
With wonderful beaches, Salou and Cambrils are also great destinations for a holiday on a budget in Catalonia. A great activity that you can enjoy for free is exploring the boulevard which connects Salou and Cambrils, offering unbeatable views of the Costa Dorada. To keep costs down, you can pick up ingredients in shops or at the local markets and cook your own healthy meal in your holiday home instead of going out for dinner every evening.