Back in the days of the Roman empire, Tarragona was more important than Barna. Today, you can visit a well-preserved Colosseum and explore the extensive Roman ruins that are scattered throughout the city.
These ruins, including an ancient amphitheater, a Roman circus, and the remains of a forum, highlight the city’s rich historical significance during Roman times.
Tarragona also boasts a lovely, smallish town with its own beaches, which are definitely worth a visit.
Even better if you plan your visit in Tarragona during the Tarraco Viva festival. Then you will experience yourself how the Roman life was.
Reaching Tarragona is very simple, you just need to take a train from Estacio de Sants.
Horta de Sant Joan is a tiny village at the edge of Catalonia. It takes you 2-3 hours by car to get here, and you can slide down a river canyon.
When it comes to activities around Catalonia, of course, there are as well lots of cool sports activities to join, no surprise, right? Just drive up to the Pyrenees Mountains, and there are numerous ski resorts you can pick.
Update: We received the question on where you can find a company to book the Canyoning in Horta de Sant Joan. You can directly contact Barranquismo. Send them an email or call them. Our guide spoke English although our tour was in Spanish. But make sure you get an English-Speaking guide if needed.
That is important for the safety instructions.
Here is our video from the canyoning experience in Horta de Sant Joan:
7. Girona (“you know nothing, John Snow”)
Game of Thrones anyone?
Anyway, Gerona is the small hidden pearl up in the north of Barcelona.
It is a medieval town to visit, and absolutely worth it. You can get lost in the old town, visit chic cafés, and eat very, very well!
Whilst we are exploring the coast for excursions from Barcelona, we should say something general here.
Costa Brava is an incredibly beautiful coast line in the North of Catalonia.
The best part: Only a few parts are loaded with tourists, and that only in July and August.
The very firsts town of the magical Costa Brava is only a 1-hour ride from Barcelona. It is the city of Blanes. The Costa Brava has everything from touristic hot-spots, adventurous activities, diving, skydiving, kayaking, cliff jumping…or simply getting a nice color at the beach!
When you arrive with the train in Blanes, you will need to take a bus or taxi to the village itself. You can also walk, which takes around 20 minutes.
It has a beautiful old town and a wonderful beach to hang out. The coastline itself is unique as they have a small peninsula.
For a view all over the town, you can go up all the way to the old castle. It’s quite a way to get up here, but certainly worth it.
11. Lloret de Mar (for Nightlife)
Feel like partying?
Lloret de Mar is famous for being a party town on a budget.
Many schools organize their very last students trip to Lloret de Mar. So if you are looking for organizing a hen party, stag party or simple want to party, go to Lorret de Mar!
But don’t be fooled, there is more than its nightlife.
Although it can get really busy here and quite crazy, the beaches around the city are gorgeous. Just keep walking either south or north – it will be worth it.
Truth the told: Lloret de Mar itself is not really as beautiful as Tossa de Mar or other spots. Seriously, it is not.
If you prefer a scenic, beautiful village on the coast, hop over to Pals or Tossa de Mar.
12. Aquatic Park in Lloret de Mar
The old fisher town of Lloret de Mar also has its own water park.
I went here the first time when I was 12, I had a blast. It is a great day trip fro families, and friends alike.
For a booking, we recommend checking out their website at Water World. There they offer many different types of promotions.
13. Tossa de Mar
A beauty, I already mentioned it.
And many people refer it as the most beautiful town at the Costa Brava. The beach is quite small. So keep walking and climb up the steep way to the tower. There are many small(er) beaches around Tossa de Mar.
People say Tossa de Mar is a very romantic city. I agree here.
Take into account that Tossa de Mar is a small village. In August and high season it feels really packed.
We joined this activity with a bunch of friends. Here is our video from Via Verde:
17. PortAventura in Salou
Portaventura in Salou is the biggest theme park in Spain. Oh oh oh, this is PURE FUN!!!
They have everything from roaler coasters, its own water park, a ferrari world, a big area only for children and families, you name it.
If you want to have an amazing day with the whole family, make it Portaventura.
My best tip would be to come here during the week, if possible. The weekends are usually more packed. If you happen to come here during the weekend or a busy day, you can purchase a so-called VIP Ticket. With this ticket you can skip the lines for roaler coastes and more.
How to get to PortAventura from Barcelona?
You can come here by direct train from Barcelona, or as well with your car. There is many parking places right in front of the park.
The area around Garrotxa and Olot is famous for its Volcano and the stunning Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park.
This area is North of Barcelona, this region is perfect for hikers and nature lovers. The natural park, with its unique volcanic landscape and rich biodiversity, offers a multitude of trails for exploration.
Perfect for hikers, and loves of nature! It is best and easiest to reach by car.
And even better if you go during autumn. This area has so many colors during autumn season!
It is quite tricky to come here by train though. You better rent a car to get to Olot.
19. Mataro (Paella and Beach)
Fancy a less-crowded beach, and a fantastic paella restaurant next to it?
Mataro is the place to be.
It is close and easy to reach by direct train. It takes around 30 minutes.
The beach and the recommended restaurant for Paella is just a 5 minutes walk from Mataró train station.
When Barcelonis local say „you can do everything in Barcelona“, they included as well skiing and snowboarding.
Just drive up to the Pyrenees, and there are numerous ski resorts you can pick from. This is just a glimpse of the exciting day trips from Barcelona in winter, offering a variety of snowy adventures and charming winter landscapes to explore.
And your swim shorts/ bikini. We will need all of it! The 7 Waterfalls of Campdevanol are just a 1 1/2 hour car ride away from Barcelona. The water from the waterfalls and the small lakes comes right from the top of the mountain. It is super fresh and cold.
The best part: Once you get out of the water, you will feel reborn. It is best to reach by car! There is private parking nearby which costs something between 5€ and 15€ for the day. There is also limited parking at a farmers house. You will need a buy a cheese or any other product and your parking is free.
Ski Diving in Empuria Brava, and the sky is the limit. There is not really anything to add here, is there?
Jump out of a plane, overlooking Costa Brava!
The guys offer tandem skydiving, beginner’s flights and aerial photography work.
The school offers formation skydiving courses for beginners and advanced students, freefly canopy, wingsuit flying (or wingsuiting), formation skydiving for top competition, training for top competition, and flight instruction for professionals.
28. Kayaking in Las Islas Medas
We love kayaking!
You can join different Kayaking tours around Catalonia as activities. Alternatively, you can get your own kayak and hit the waves.
Either way, it is a great way to get around, and to get a different point of view.
Our recommendation: Prepare yourself a picnic with some food and drinks.
Besalu is quite known, and their photos are used all over Catalonia. I LOVE THAT TOWN!
Their bridge is famous, and quite a few tourists come here. And it is worth it!
So again, you can rent a car on your own and come here or join the organized tour I mention above.
If you come by your own with a car, then also add Castellfollit de la Roca to your list. It is less known and beautiful with no tourists!
It is a tiny village, sitting at the edge of a cliff – BOOYA! I added a photo below. There is small cafés hanging above the cliffs, and you can climb up the church tower as well. It takes around 1-2 hours to walk around.
30. Kitesurfing and meeting Messi
Do you love kitesurfing or wanna try it out?
The long and wide beach in Casteldelfels is the place you can do just that.
Bare in mind, there is usually a time where Kitesurfing is not allowed, most likely from June to September.
This can change from year to year.
And what about meeting Messi?
Messi lives around here, and if you are really, really lucky, you can meet him walking at the beach.
31. Paddle Surfing SUP – everywhere!
Along the coastline, there are plenty of shops offering Paddle Surf.
And actually, you can also do it right at the city beach.
Anyway, always nice to have an excuse for a day trip, right?
The cable ski is one of the longest ones in Europe, and many championship winner love to come here.
Next to the cable ski, there is a cool bar with music, tapas, and drinks.
So when your friends are hitting the waves, you can lean back, take a sip, and watch them flying over the water.
33. Camino de Ronda – Hiking Costa Brava
The Camino de Ronda is the hiking trail from the border of France all the way down to Blanes.
Blanes, this is the first town in the south of Costa Brava.
Our recommendation: Bring some good sports shoes, lots of water and sun cream. There are different trails you can walk along. So different, so beautiful. Have a look at do get an idea of the Camino de Ronda.
What are some popular day trip destinations from Barcelona?
Popular day trip destinations include Montserrat Mountain and Monastery, Sitges, Tarragona, Waikiki Beach (Cala Fonda), Dalí Museum in Figueres, Girona, Besalu, Costa Brava, and the Pyrenees for skiing.
Are there any recommended car rental services for day trips?
What are some activities to do in these destinations?
Activities vary from hiking, beach outings, exploring historical sites, enjoying local cuisine, participating in water sports, and visiting museums.
What are some recommended places for food and dining?
Each destination has its unique culinary offerings, like paella in Mataro, seafood in Costa Brava, and traditional Catalan dishes in Besalu.
Is Barcelona suitable for a week-long visit?
Yes, spending one week in Barcelona is perfect for getting to know the city and its surroundings. Within a week, you can explore the city's rich cultural and architectural heritage, enjoy local cuisine, and take several day trips to nearby attractions. Whether you're interested in history, nature, or adventure, Barcelona and its vicinity offer a diverse range of activities and experiences.
Summary 33 Day Trips from Barcelona
Here you have it.
By now you should have gotten so many awesome ideas for some epic daily excursions and activities from Barcelona.
Pack your friends, and rent a car or take the train.
Last but not least, this article is not just part of our big guide, but also serves as a comprehensive travel guide to spend an awesome One Week In Barcelona, offering extensive insights and tips for your journey.
Do you have any questions? We would love to hear from you! Just leave a comment below.
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