Wine Tourism, Culture and Gastronomy
CULTURAL TOURISM, GASTRONOMY AND WINE TOURISM WILL BE CRUCIAL SECTORS THIS NEW TOURIST SEASON.
In Catalonia, its world-class gastronomy, and the works of famous artists such as Gaudí and Dalí all make this region one most popular destinations.
You’ll find so many interesting examples of culture. Unique buildings in Barcelona (known as “the capital of Modernism”) such as the Sagrada Familia Cathedral or the Palau de la Música Catalana Auditorium, the outstanding archaeological site at Tarraco, the monastery of Poblet in Tarragona, the churches of the Boí valley in Lleida… all declared World Heritage sites by the UNESCO. What’s more you can opt to enjoy a whole range of events thanks to the programme of world-class museums like the National Art Museum of Catalonia and the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres.
Artists who have earned a place among the list of universal creators, such as Miró, Dalí, Tàpies, Pablo Casals and Gaudí, found inspiration in Catalonia for their artistic creation. Catalonia’s cultural heritage is rich and varied, taking in all disciplines and offering visitors monuments, unique traditional festivities and many music, dance, theatre and circus festivals.
Catalonia’s architectural heritage covers thousands of years of history. Its jewels include Iberian settlements, the remains of the first Greek city in the Iberian Peninsula, the Roman legacy, Romanesque churches, Gothic cathedrals, and Jewish quarters. Regarding artistic movements, Catalan modernism, which was at its height in the early 20th century with Gaudí as its greatest exponent, offers buildings that are unique in the world, such as La Pedrera, the Sagrada Familia and Güell Park.
Catalonia’s museums strive to live up to all this material, and the National Museum of Catalan Art (MNAC), as well as Gothic and Baroque art, exhibits the largest collection of Romanesque art in the world, a must for culture lovers.
Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, is a Mediterranean and cosmopolitan city with Roman remains, medieval quarters and the most beautiful examples of 20th century Modernism and avant-garde. It is no surprise that emblematic constructions by the Catalan architects Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Doménech i Montaner have been also declared World Heritage Sites by the UNESCO.
Things to do in Catalonia
PLACES OF CULTURAL INTEREST – THE CISTERCIAN ROUTE
This route was created on 1989 and it’s one of the most complete in the Catalan cultural offer. The regions: Alt Camp, Conca de Barberà and Urgell are the ones that have Cistercians monasteries, temples that were founded in XII century and they are known because they were the official mausoleum of the kings in Aragon Kingdom for more than 300 years.
In Vimbodí and Poblet (La Concade Barberà) is situated the Poblet Monastery, the biggest of the entire route and the only one that still has a monk community. It was founded in 1150 and it developed his activity without problems until 1853. In Aiguamúrica (Alt Camp) is the Santes Creus Monastery, was founded in 1150 and is the only one that reflexes better a way of construction which follows bernardian manners. Finally, on this same route, you will find the Vallbona Monastery, situated in Vallbona de les Monges (Urgell) is the only feminine monastery in the route and it has conserved the community for more than 850 years without a break.
These cultural proposals are complemented by the essence of the local gastronomy.
Catalonia has all the ingredients for the best gastronomy. It has a territory and landscapes as diverse as the cuisine it preserves, some of the best chefs in the world and a wide variety of quality, seasonal products.
Because of its excellence and personality, Catalonia has many products that deserve the official European distinction of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) or Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). Both are awarded to typical products rooted in a region that gives them a specific character and an inimitable flavour.
Wine Tourism in Catalonia
Catalonia is a land of wine and cava. One of the great attractions of our destination is the “marriage” of wine and cuisine, for Catalonia boasts eleven wine designations of origin as well as the cava “DO”.
The Catalan Tourist Board works to make this stand-out feature a way by which visitors can discover Catalonia through wine tourism experiences. And this the CTB (Catalonian Tourist Board) has created Enoturisme Catalunya (the Wine Tourism Programme), the new programme from the Government of Catalonia to promote and support the marketing of the wine tourism-related activities Catalonia has to offer.
The most outstanding DO is Cava, Spain´s most famous sparkling wine. Catalonia holds 90% of cava production, in an area comprised between Barcelona and Tarragona; The remaining 10% is shared among other regions. In case you do not have much time to do the full route yourselves, 1 Day Wine tours from Barcelona offers a great opportunity to learn about cava production and visit some of the most important cava and wine producers in the region.
Catalonia is a land steeped in winemaking tradition. Dating back to the 7th century BC, the first vines to grow in this north-eastern corner of Spain were planted in the region of Penedès. Less than an hour’s drive from the modern-day metropolis of Barcelona, a tour through Penedès will have you passing through nature preserves, beautiful fishing villages, and a plethora of bodegas all within view of the enigmatic peaks of Montserrat.
Penedès Wine Region
With its proximity to the port of Barcelona, Penedès grew quickly to become a leading exporter of Catalan wine and, to this day, remains the autonomous region’s top producer. The Mediterranean climate, varied landscape, and mixture of soils lend great diversity to the spirits in the area, where you can sample a veritable bouquet of aromas and distinctive flavours. Almost all bottles of Cava hail from this region, so mention of Penedès tends to evoke images of the superb sparkling wine.
Things to do in Catalonia
THEMATIC ROUTES BY BARCELONA
With our themed trails you can trace the evolution of the city, from the time when it was a Roman colony to its present-day modern character, without overlooking the imprints left on the city by some of the foremost geniuses from the world of art and culture.
The style emerged in all its glory at the end of the 19th century to reveal itself in hundreds of extremely beautiful buildings which line the way.
The Gaudí landmarks in Barcelona give a greater understanding of one of the most famous architects who ever worked in the city.
Barcelona is known throughout the world for its architecture. This is why the city didn’t want to fall behind in the race to have some of the world’s finest contemporary buildings.
Barcino, the Roman city founded in the 1st century BC, has left us a valuable legacy, which can be found in the Gothic Quarter, the site of the early walled city.
Gastronomy in Barcelona City stands out precisely because of the wide variety of restaurants and gastronomic proposals on offer.
Culinary tourism is the focus on food as an attraction for exploration and a destination for tourism. Although food has always been a part of hospitality services for tourists, it was not emphasized by the tourism industry until the late 1990s. It now includes a variety of formats and products – culinary trails, cooking classes, restaurants, farm weekends, cookbooks, food guides, and new or adapted recipes, dishes, and even ingredients.
By the hand of products around the Mediterranean, Catalan cuisine has been forged as a true reflection of the people who have grown and have made it possible, becoming an essential part of the cultural fabric of the Catalan people. Edible museum of the skills of its people around the world, the result of this goal is to enjoy a recipe that conveys the values and know-how of the Catalans, which helps to define its own identity and has led Catalonia to be considered one of the cultures of reference par excellence.
Catalan cuisine is also synonymous with tradition and deeply rooted customs of the people. Linking regional fare with celebrations and traditions of culture is very narrow, but it is precisely this feature that distinguishes Catalan identity from many of the major economic reference and social leaders, weak when the time to sit around the table and share a good meal with family and friends, arrives.
After all, all the tourist experiences that help to discover the territory of Catalonia as a tourist destination are always accompanied by a gastronomic experience with local products, an extensive wine list and the typical dishes of each region.