5 Holy Week Getaways
Holy Week and Easter are the first (well-deserved) holidays in the year for everyone. Whether you just have the four official days off or whether you are lucky enough to have all 10 days, a getaway over Holy Week is always synonymous to switching off and charging your batteries.
Here are some ideas for an Easter getaway in Catalonia, keeping away from the masses and the hustle and bustle of the large cities. Five local, charming suggestions, combining history, tradition and nature.
Manaies and Ecotourism in Girona
Girona has something I love: it is a beautiful city at any time of year, with surrounding areas and charming nooks and crannies just waiting to be explored, such as the Llèmena Valley and Les Gavarres Mountain Range. If the younger members of the family like farm animals, I recommend a guided trip to the Granja La Selvatana, where Anna will show you the whole process of milk production and will teach you how to milk cows. If you would prefer something livelier, I suggest going down the River Ter in a canoe-kayak. The company Kayak Del Ter organises kayak trips and will pick you up at the end to take you back to where you started. The River Ter in this section near Girona is calm and not very deep therefore it is not at all dangerous.
For those of you who enjoy hiking, the trip to the Gorg de la Font de la Torre is really attractive (from Canet d'Adri: 30 min there and back). You could also start the trip at the base of the Puig d'Adri Volcano and lengthen the excursion to 2 hr 30 min. For maps and further guidance, come to the Gironès Visitors Centre.
Holy Week in Girona would not be complete without going to see the parade of the Manaies every Holy Thursday and Good Friday. These Roman soldiers march through the streets of the historic city centre to the sound of drums. It's a really impressive parade! You can see the route at this link (be careful, the calendar applies to 2015). But if you would really like to feel shivers down your back, go to Verges to see the famous Dance of Death on Holy Thursday (Verges is a 30-minute drive from Girona).
Old XV Century farmstead, in the centre of the medieval village of Madremanya. Stones, tiles, original barrel and Bohemian arches have survived and have been combined with present day finishes.149€ from
Enjoy the comfort, elegance and unique personality of any of the 15 rooms in a cosy, warm and magical atmosphere providing an ideal blend of past, present and future. It is situated in the heart of the old town, taking a legendary walk at the feet of the Girona's Cathedral and church Sant Feliu.
Enjoy one of the 15 rooms of the Hotel Museu Llegendes de Girona**** in a magical and warm atmosphere, with the best confort, elegance and its own personality.161€ from
Costa Dorada and Modernist-Style Architecture in Reus
If what you need is the “sunshine vitamin”, a great option to ensure good weather over Holy Week is getting away to the Costa Dorada. If it isn't warm enough to stretch out on the sand in your swimming costume, you could enjoy an active tourism activity. For example, on Miami Platja, there is the Windcat Center: a sailing school where you can rent material and book classes for water activities: stand up paddle boarding, Hobie Cat catamaran and kayak. Near Miami Plat, in Vandellòs, you can try your hand at the Pitch and Putt La Figuerola. Entrance is free and you only have to pay for hiring the golf clubs, if you haven’t brought them with you, and the golf balls. A little further south, along the coast, you will come to Ametlla de Mar. As well as being one of the most beautiful towns on the Costa Dorada, you might be interested to know that tours for swimming with tuna fish can be taken here. A different, original experience only for the most daring people! The Tuna Tour team will take you out into the open sea, to their aquafarming pools, where you will be able to feed and swim with the tuna fish.
You could alternatively stay in Reus or its surrounding area. In my opinion, Reus is a somewhat forgotten city. Tarragona manages to attract a good deal of tourism thanks to its magnificent Roman ruins, but the truth is that Reus also offers a great deal of culture and fantastic gastronomy. Like Barcelona, Reus is one of cradles of the Catalan Modernist-style architecture. Stroll through the Gaudí Centre, an interactive museum dedicated to the great Catalan architect.
However, in Reus, the main protagonist of Modernist-style architecture is, in fact, Lluís Domènech i Montaner - the architect who designed the Palau de la Música in Barcelona. By walking through Reus, you will discover beautiful palaces and stately homes belonging to this architectural style. Make sure you don't miss Casa Navàs, Casa Rull and Casa Gasull. You can visit Casa Navàs by booking in advance on this website. To delight your palate, don't forget to try the authentic "Vermut de Reus” and taste the oil at the Oil Mill - Mas La Boella, where you will also be able to admire one of the most beautiful train sets you have ever seen.
Surrounded by nature and olive groves, in the centre of the small town of Botarell we can found Cal Barber, a hotel where to stay is an experience you’ll never forget. The Hotel Cal Barber is in the middle of this village with only 1050 inhabitants and with a perfect situation to enjoy the mountains, just 200 metres, or Cambrils’ and Salou’s beaches, 6kms. What’s more, Tarragona and Port Aventura are just in 15 minutes and you can arrive to El Priorat in 20 minutes, where you can taste the best wines. The Parc Natural del Delta de l’Ebre is just in 40 minutes. Cal Barber is a renovated house from 1798; it conserves the old structure with the stones’ walls and the wood’s ceiling. The rooms, with a design decoration, create and interesting combination. The hotel has a precious Spa, which can be closed exclusively to couples. It has jacuzzi, biothermique showers, steam baths, swimming pool to swim upstream and a massage or relax zone. Our restaurant, Restaurant Blanc i Negre, is located 40 metres from the Hotel. Wellness and tranquillity in their maximum expression. Cal Barber, the hotel that don’t leave you indifferent.130€ from
Mas Mariassa is a small gastronomic hotel, ideal for relaxing in intimate surroundings and relishing in good food. Hidden amongst the olive groves, in rural Catalonian countryside, relaxation and disconnection are guaranteed thanks to a little secret paradise that breathes only silence and tranquillity. The destiny of emotional well-being, where the time passes but is never wasted. The Hotel has 7 rooms full of calm. It is a starting point for many routes of interest. It hasThe essence of a village, the freshness of nature surroundings as the ingredients of our cooking. Our rooms have been created so one surrenders to absolute rest. Noble materials used such as oak or metal, pale colours cover the walls, white towels, soft white sheets and the comfort of the mattresses. Everything has been carefully considered to guarantee our guests rest. The alarm clock replaced by the morning call of the birds.Each bedroom has air conditioning, television and free wireless connection to internet.132€ from
La Boella boutique hotel and olive oil and tourism complex in Tarragona is set in the heart of a 110-hectare estate of olive trees and gardens. The complex consists of the large convention centre, the La Boella Conventions Resort, the Mas La Boella boutique hotel and restaurant, a winery, a gourmet shop and wine cellar, La Boella Celler Botiga, and an olive oil mill, La Boella Molí d’Oli. The La Boella estate is in the municipality of La Canonja, just ten minutes from the historical city of Tarragona and the beaches and golf courses of the Costa Daurada. The complex offers a wide range of leisure and gastronomy that will make you want to stay and discover the true meaning of pleasure. Lovers of good wine and good food can taste the Mas La Boella Tarragona Designation of Origin wines and the extra virgin olive oils made on the estate.
You will find Mas La Boella, a hotel with charm in Tarragona, at the heart of the estate of the same name in an attractive modern building. Conceived as a boutique hotel, it has 13 exquisitely decorated suites with lacquered wood, carefully chosen designer furniture, picture windows, personalised Bulgari amenities, an i-Pod pre-loaded with thousands of songs for you to personalise, a pillow menu and king size beds (designed more for dreaming than for sleeping). These rooms have an atmosphere in which priority is given, above all, to a feeling of absolute serenity.175€ from
CREATED FOR THE FIVE SENSES. Surrounded by lush greenery, Hotel Villa Retiro stands in a unique environment as the only 5 star hotel in Terres de l’Ebre, in Xerta (Tarragona). Built in 1890 and restored as a hotel in March 2006, we offer 9 unique rooms designed with care in every detail, comfortable rooms and with a romantic touch of the colonial era.
The Villa Retiro Restaurant, run by the chef Francesc Lopez is the only one in Baix Ebre awarded with a Michelin Star and a Repsol Sol. Also we are considered as the best restaurant in Tarragona’s area by Gourmand Guidemand). *The restaurant is closed on Sunday evenings and all day Monday.
The SPA of Hotel Villa Retiro is the space destined for sensations. That’s where the water, silence and nature come together to enable the well-being and restore body, mental and spiritual balance. In the Spa area you can enjoy a thermal circuit making a tour through the various water-related facilities.112€ from
Hiking and Peace and Quiet in Solsonès
The Solsonès region is set in a mountainous area which is not too high. Wherever you look, you will enjoy the beautiful views of the green mountains and the far-reaching fields. It is still a destination that is not full of crowds and this gives it a huge advantage: peace and quiet. This is why Solsona is my recommended destination for Holy Week for those of you who enjoy hiking and nature and for those of you who wish to switch off and enjoy rural life.
I suggest visiting the city of Solsona: the old centre is full of narrow streets and charming pebbled squares. Over Holy Week you will have the chance to discover the city thanks to the Caramelles: popular songs and dances performed in the streets of the city. The Solsona Caramelles take place on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.
The Port del Comte ski resort is just half an hour from Solsona and could be a great option if there is still snow around during Holy Week. As well as ski slopes, it has a leisure-time park which is open all year round, whether or not there is snow, with toboggan slopes, tubing in donuts and an entertaining snake gliss.
If you’d prefer a more cultural getaway, why not visit Sant Llorenç de Morunys, the second largest town in the Solsonès region. It is absolutely charming and is just half an hour by car from Solsona following the mountain road. On the way to Sant Llorenç, why not stop off at the Llosa del Cavall, a highly photogenic reservoir, which has been used on several occasions as a natural backdrop for advertisements and films. Near Sant Llorenç there is also the Lord Valley Sanctuary, which can be reached after climbing up seemingly endless stairs for some 20 minutes!
Casa Albets is a cozy and eco-friendly hotel. It is settled in Lladurs (Solsonès), in a traditional Catalan family house (masia) from the XI century, a patrimonial treasure that has passed for generations from father to son.
The hotel has 7 rooms, of which 4 are doubles, 2 are quadruple, and the Pi Gros room, our Junior Suite with amazing views. All of them preserve the original rustic character of the masia, adding the highest technology in order to combine comfort and sustainability, thus offering the highest quality with the least environmental impact.
In our restaurant, directed by Toni Rodriguez, internationally renowned chef inside the vegan culinary sphere, you will find a cuisine elaborated with preferably organic and local products, and inspired by tradition, but with a modern point of view, melting ancient flavors with exotic tastes and innovative techniques.
In Casa Albets we have massage service with essential natural oils, and you can also practice Yoga.120€ from
Placed in an emblematic pre-Pyrenean valley, Lord’s valley, only 1 km. away from Sant Llorenç de Morunys, lays El Monegal, a refurbished Catalan farmhouse turned into a 10-room hotel where to give pleasure to the senses. The hotel offers a familiar treatment and extreme attention to detail, as well as an exquisite cuisine for the more demanding gourmets.86€ from
Small great hotel boutique, modern and comfortable, situated in the medieval centre of the hospitable, quiet city of Solsona, the doorway to the Pyrenees from Lleida. Its charm lies in the tranquillity that pervades the stone walls, the wooden beams, the fireplace, the garden room and so on... There are ten spacious rooms with natural daylight and fully equipped with all kind of conveniences. The breakfasts we serve only contain local, traditionally-prepared products.99€ from
A charming hotel located in the Solsonès, Lérida, in the middle of Catalonia, the Hotel La Vella Farga, is a luxurios charming establishment in a large farmhouse originally built in 1036. It has been refurbished but still preserves the charm of large rooms to favour comfort and relaxation in the heart of nature.
It has 13 rooms, a magnificent large outdoor heated swimming pool, a massage room in which body treatments are offered and a restaurant that serves signature prepared using local products.120€ from
Cultural Hiking in the Núria and Camprodon Valleys
Vall de Núria is a comprehensive destination, able to attract families with children, hikers and skiers. It is a valley at a height of almost two thousand metres, surrounded by rocky mountains of up to three thousand metres all of which add up to a highly impressive, beautiful landscape. To get to Núria, you should take the rack railway which departs from Ribes de Freser. The views from the rack railway are truly spectacular!
If you go with children, they will have a wonderful time at the Parc Lúdic de Núria, full of activities designed for them: tubing, zip lining, rock climbing and, of course, toboggans. If the snow is still around, there is a small ski resort in Núria. If you enjoy ski touring, you will discover a genuine paradise! However, the star activity at Núria is walking. Whether you prefer climbing to the top of a summit or going for a simple walk over flat land, there are a whole host of excursions with different levels of difficulty. The most famous and usual excursion is the Old Path from Núria to Queralbs. As it has a steep slope, it is best to go up to Núria in the rack railway and walk down to Queralbs, from where you can get the rack railway back down to Ribes. During the thaw, it is a delightful excursion due to the number of springs and small waterfalls you will find along the way.
If you wish to spend all the days of your getaway carrying out activities and excursions in Núria, the best thing would be to stay in Ribes de Freser. Another good option would be to sleep in Setcases or Camprodon and to make the most of your getaway to visit the Eastern Pyrenees and its villages. Make sure not to miss Setcases, Sant Joan de les Abadesses and Molló. And don't forget that you can also go up to the Vallter 2000 ski resort!
The Caçadors is an ecological mountain hotel located in the Catalan Pyrenees -at the gates of Vall de Núria- which surprises for a combination of tradition and vanguard. Both its charm of family-run hotel and its rooms comfort will captivate the guest, who will also be able to enjoy a restaurant, an exterior hot tub, a terrace and the Moons Room.70€ from
Hotel Les Planes del Grau is a completely refurbished 14th-century farmhouse, which used to belong to Sant Joan de les Abadesses Monastery.
It has 10 bedrooms, all of which have a small sitting area and a bathroom. The hotel also has a dining room, bar and living room, a large garden and an adjoining cattle breeding farm.
Located in the agricultural plain of the Ter, between San Juan and Abadesas Camprodon Plains remains a degree in a field of crops and livestock land, covered by pine forests and meadows of the Sierra Natural Guaitada and the slopes of the Sierra Cavalry. It offers an ideal space for standing, walking and horse riding or cycling in a unique place within the Natura 2000 network.115€ from
The Costa Brava without Rushing: Cycle Tourism and the Coastal Paths
If the weather is on your side, Holy Week is a great time to discover the towns and the beaches of the Costa Brava without the crowds or the heat of the summer. By making the most of temperatures that are still mild, Holy Week is the best time to put on your walking boots and discover the Empordà territory on foot or by bike.
I recommend you to try some of the sections of the Coastal Paths that link up the beaches all along the coast. The Coastal Path from La Fosca to Calella de Palafrugell is one of the most beautiful, spectacular ones. We also highly recommend the section from Sant Antoni de Calonge and the one that goes from S'Agaró to Sa Conca. The Coastal Paths are part of the great network of GR footpaths, they are very well signposted and are easy routes, although it is true that they tend to have climbs and some sections with stairs.
If you prefer cycling, you can explore a section of the Costa Brava by bike (by taking a route that covers several days, for example), stopping off at different villages to sleep or choosing one of them as your base camp. There are 250 km of bicycle lanes, away from the transit of other vehicles. A good area to visit on a bicycle is around La Bisbal d'Empordà, with its charming mediaeval villages. Your route should include stops at Pals, Monells, Cruïlles, Palau-Sator, Peratallada, Ullastret, Púbol, Madremanya and Vulpellac
Casa Calella is an accommodation located in the old centre of Calella de Palafrugell, Baix Emporda’s most beautiful costal town. It is next to the church, a few meters away from the sea.
The 19th century house is restored fully, keeping its original atmosphere, with all the modern comforts. It also has a cheerful 170m2 garden where you can relax, read, or have a drink. On the terrace under the lemon tree we serve our breakfast.
The accommodation has 4 bedrooms. Two double rooms and two suites with private lounge. Its elegant rooms are made to enjoy the maximum comfort, space and quietness. They are elegantly furnished and perfectly equipped
Casa Calella is an exclusive place to enjoy a pleasant stay in a unique area.
The Hostal was an old fisherman's house located opposite on beach of Sa Tuna. A small sheltered cove in the town of Begur, surrounded by pine trees and ramparts walks wich lead to the beaches of Sa Riera and Pals. It has an excellent restaurant serving traditional Empordanese cuisine. This small hotel was founded in 1944 as a hostal, and the restaurant was directly on the sand, run by Joan and Paquita, grandparents of the current owners.
It is the only Hotel in the cove of Sa Tuna, corner pampered by nature in the heart of the Costa Brava. We have five double rooms where breakfast on the terrace enjoying the spectacular views will be a pleasure for the senses. Watch the sunrise from the room makes the day to become a bunch of relaxing feelings.
Cal Tet, with exclusive installations and right in the middle of l'Estartit, opened to the public in March 2005. With its own modern style, it's elleven rooms have an innovative technology, with LCD satellite television and Internet connection and it suite room has a terrace with a private Jacuzzi.55€ from
In the emblematic house Vincke of Palamós and a few meters from the beach, it has recently opened Casa Vincke Hotel, managed by the Mas de Torrent group.
The hotel is the result of the rehabilitation of the well-known Vincke house, one of the most emblematic buildings of Palamós and included in the Inventory of the Architectural Heritage of Catalonia.
A total of 9 rooms where original elements of the old palace combine with current elements offering cozy spaces that invite you to feel at home. An environment that combines classic elegance with a modern and comfortable style.
The house has a breakfast room, reading room, meeting room, a large garden and swimming pool.
Cluc Hotel Begur is a charming little hotel located in the historic city center of Begur, at the heart of Empordà, one of the most wonderful place in Costa Brava. Our hotel is an old colonial house first dated at late 1800s and formerly known as Can Pallí. In 2012 we have restored the building respecting the materials and architecture of the original house and we have given it the name of CLUC hotel Begur. We have also enabled spaces like living rooms, terraces and a library. We have 12 cozy and unique rooms to enjoy a peaceful stay and dive into the magic of the Mediterranean. The rooms have been furnished taking care of each and every one of the little details that make a stay enjoyable. To create and intimate and cozy environment, the 12 rooms at CLUC Hotel Begur are exterior, equipped with complete bathroom, hairdryer, heating system with its own regulation, and a balcony or terrace. If the weather allows it, we prepare delicious breakfast outdoors made with local, ecologic and carefully selected products. We want our clients to feel comfortable in a casual and natural way. For this reason, we focus on the personal treatment, the relaxed environment and the quality of our services.115€ from
A hotel located in a typical 18th-century Catalan farmhouse in Regencós, a delightful mediaeval village that has managed to maintain the rural, authentic spirit of the Empordà region. It has seven exclusive bedrooms and you will be given a personalised welcome and service in a unique atmosphere of intimacy and comfort so that your stays are an unforgettable experience. Its restaurant, La Calèndula, directed by the well-known chef Iolanda Bustos, offers cuisine based on the best fresh, local produce.230€ from
Just a few meters from Begur's historical medieval centre, nestled between Indian houses, castles and cobbled, flower-lined streets, you will find this typical rustic house which has been perfectly renovated and beautifully decorated. At this three star hotel, our wish is to look after you and make you feel at home while you breathe in the unmistakeable, welcoming Mediterranean breeze from this rich region of the Empordà. Your stay here will be one of pure indulgence and relaxation under the silent moon and vibrant sun. We invite you to discover some of the finest, most romantic beaches in the Mediterranean such as Aiguafreda, or some of the most beautiful towns on the Costa Brava such as Ullastret, while it will be our pleasure to guide you on a culinary tour of the most exquisite cuisine in the area.
Our charming hotel on the Costa Brava offers ten tastefully renovated rooms for a restorative and comfortable rest. Brightness, practicality, serenity and views of the Indian and historical buildings in the medieval town, as well as the spectacular and wild landscapes of the Empordà.
Light. Silence. Class. These perfectly equipped rooms with serene décor offer you the true essence our historical listed building, but with all the technology and modern comforts of a contemporary relaxing hotel.67€ from
Within a stone's throw from the enchanting Tamariu beach, it still maintains the seaboard façade of a small fishing village. A peaceful, relaxing spot which becomes very busy at weekends in summer and all through the month of August. Ideal for a restful break and for short excursions by the sea.87€ from
A completely refurbished 16th century farmhouse which preserves its Gothic Renaissance constructive features. Es Portal is a hotel with 8 double bedrooms and one suite with views of the magnificent hotel garden. The restaurant, Portal de Mar, is on the ground floor of the farmohouse and serves local, renewed Empordà cuisine, and specialises in rice cultivated locally in Pals and the products of the area. The hoel is located a short distance of the medieval village of Pals and the beaches of the Costa Brava.95€ from
Hotel Mas Rabiol is a restored 16th-century farmhouse with large stone walls, which still preserves the essence and original structure. Set in a rural environment, it has eight welcoming bedrooms, a dinning room with a spectacular “ampurdanesa” vault, a reading room with fireplace and TV and several salons.
The Mas Rabiol garden, with 50,000 m² and a swimming pool, will delight young and old: a huge area to relax by the large pool to enjoy a nice swim in the summer heat.
Mas Rabiol is an ideal place for relaxing and switching off while enjoying the impressive Empordà countryside. It is the ideal starting point to explore the Empordà and enjoy any time of the year of all the possibilities offered by this very privileged area in the Costa Brava.165€ from
An old XVIII Century Inn located alongside a hermitage and a watchtower on one of the highest headlands in the Mediterranean. It has a central courtyard which separates the hotel from the hermitage, with spectacular terraces and a restaurant. The only one of its kind to enjoy both spectacular views over both the sea and the beaches of Tamariu, Llafranc and Calella de Palafrugell. It is an incomparable balcony overlooking the Costa Brava and the Empordà.160€ from
A 16th century house set in the middle of Sant Feliu de Boada, in the Baix Empordà, between Pals and Peratallada. It has six very comfortable, welcoming rooms, where you can taste the delights of a substantial breakfast, all with a pleasant family atmosphere.80€ from
The HOTEL-SPA CLASSIC BEGUR, located in the pedestrian area of this beautiful town on the Costa Brava. This family hotel has 10 rooms. 6 bedrooms located on the first floor of an Indiano house. Built in 1857 and restored in 2010 the HOTEL-SPA CLASSIC BEGUR has managed to preserve its original paintwork, vaulted ceilings and and stone walls. And 4 new rooms on the second floor, built in 2013 and the modern style. The hotel has no lift. Each elegant room at the HOTEL-SPA CLASSIC BEGUR offers a pillow menu, flat-screen TV, minibar, and tea and coffee making facilities. The private bathrooms come with amenities and a hairdryer.
On the ground floor you will find CLASSIC RESTAURANT, the hotel's restaurant. Their specialities are paella and rice dishes. there is also daily menu and tapas menu. At about 15 meters, in the Plaza de Begur, you can find ES CASTEL CAFETERIA-BAR, where you can eat delicious sandwiches, salads and mixed grill dishes.
From February 2014, the Hotel will offer the services of a SPA area, with heated swimming pool, jacuzzi, hammam, hot marbles and massages.95€ from
Do you enjoy discovering new landscapes and people? You've just found your home on the beach at Llafranc! El Terralet is a fair weather wind, lively and light as the homeland that blows steadfast and full of energy spreading its best kept secrets. Let yourself be guided by the fresh sea breeze to reveal the spectacular sights, magical places, authentic shops, active routes and the good gastronomy of l'Empordà.
Under a white breath of air El Terralet invites you to meet people from here and there whilst you have a bite and refresh yourself. This is a space that allows for all states of mind. We have a bar where you can share your experiences, a lair of explorers from which to plot routes, long tables to sit at with friends and make new ones and a small sitting room near the window to watch the world as it goes by.70€ from
Have a great time!