With Barcelona as its flagship, Catalonia is known worldwide for its culture and gastronomy, with a rich and varied heritage that is difficult to put into so few words.
The Sagrada Familia, Park Güell and Casa Milà, more commonly known as La Pedrera, are just some of the creations found in Barcelona by the genius, Antoni Gaudí, one of the greatest contributors to Catalan modernism. Next to the Palau de la Música Catalana and the Hospital de Sant Pau, works by his teacher and forerunner, Lluís Domènech i Montaner, they make up an important part of Catalonia’s World Heritage.
Other members of this exclusive club include the Poblet Monastery, the Vall de Boí Romanesque Churches and the city of Tarraco, nowadays known as Tarragona, which is the oldest Roman settlement in the Iberian Peninsula.
Just like the famous Castells, the original human towers and considered one of the oldest traditions in Catalan folklore, they are a main spectacle in public festivals.
As for gastronomy, Catalonia has been a global benchmark for decades. The Catalans are used to being top of the list for world’s best restaurants year after year. Ferran Adrià achieved it with his old restaurant, El Bulli, until the Roca Brothers took over with their renowned Celler. However, Carme Ruscadella is currently the only woman in the world to earn seven Michelin Stars among her 3 restaurants.
The prestigious Cava and the excellent Priorat are just a sample of the eleven Denominations of Origin held by wines in Catalonia, a true paradise for sommeliers and wine enthusiasts from all over the world.
Mother Nature has been especially generous to this region, endowing it with a range of landscapes ranging from the breath-taking peaks of the Aigüestortes National Park and Lake Sant Maurici, at the heart of the Pyrenees, to its river mouth at the Mediterranean Sea.
In the north-easternmost point of Spain is the Cabo de Creus National Park, where the incredible rock formations served as an inspiration for Salvador Dalí himself, who had resided in the picturesque fishing village of Cadaqués.
Thanks to its geography, Catalonia lends itself to all kinds of sports such as skiing in Baqueira Beret, golfing at any of its fantastic courses, or water sports in its extensive coastline, to name a few.
It has even produced some world-class champions such as brothers Marc and Oau Gasol, basketball masters, pilots Dani Pedrosa and Marc Márquez, and swimmers Mireia Belmonte and Gemma Mengual.
And last, but most certainly not least, Barcelona FC, popularly known as Barça, one of the best football clubs in history.