5. From Barcelona: Pyrenees Mountains Day Tour
This is a perfect tour for anybody wanting to truly escape the city and immerse themselves in nature. From Barcelona, take an exciting and picturesque journey into one of the world's most famous mountain ranges.
Depart Barcelona in the morning and head north towards the Pyrenees. Along the way, stop for a short but sweet break in the medieval town of Vic.
In keeping with the philosophy of giving you as much time as possible to explore on your own, head first for the Market Square where the guide will give you an introduction to the town and suggestions of what to see.
You'll have plenty of time to stroll around the town center. See the grand cathedral and some magnificent Renaissance and Baroque buildings, or simply relax while having breakfast in the heart of the town: a beautiful arched square (one of the biggest in the country) where the market and other major events are held.
The visit to Vic coincides with traditional market days, something which has been taking place every week for over a thousand years!
From Vic, continue up to the Pyrenees. Before boarding the train, briefly visit Queralbs, which, at an altitude of 1,236 meters (4,055 feet), is the last vehicle-accessible village on the way up to the mountain valley destination.
This tiny mountain village has a population of only 200 permanent residents living in a rambling collection of traditionally-built stone houses. Perched on the side of the mountain, this impossibly quaint hamlet is one of the most memorable parts of the day.
See the Church of Sant Sadurní de Fustanyá, built from stones so perfectly-hewn that legend says it was built by the fairies and witches said to inhabit the surrounding caves.
From Queralbs, take the last 6 km (4 miles) of the impressive rack railway up to an altitude of 1,964 metres (6,443 feet) and into the stunning mountain valley of Vall de Núria. Thanks to the mountain railway, you’ll be able to get high into the mountains with no effort at all.
If you love hiking, then ask the guide to show you some routes, as there's something for everyone.
In the valley you’ll also find a sanctuary, originally built to house pilgrims to the valley, and which takes its name from the Virgin de Núria. Her image, buried in the earth, was reputedly unearthed by a very persistent ox!
You can even try horseback riding, open-air bowling, archery lessons, crazy golf, or boating on the lake. Another option is to enjoy some of the traditional Catalan dishes available in the valley’s restaurants.
From Queralbs, the return trip to Barcelona begins, and you'll arrive back in the city in the early evening.