It’s not easy to choose the most beautiful towns and villages of Barcelona, given the many precious jewels one can find in this province; some of them are hidden, others rest in plain sight. The capital city tends to attract the tourists’ attention more, but the truth is that there are small villages around it which everyone should find captivating.
These places combine both mountainside and coast, even stunning inland territories surrounded by nature. All of them have fascinating stories to tell, a rich heritage and a unique architecture. These are the most charming towns and villages of Barcelona, which everyone should visit at least once in their lives:
If there’s a well-known village in the coast of Catalonia, it certainly is Sitges. This city’s popularity relies, mostly, on its beaches and great nightlife. It used to be a peaceful fishing village, but nowadays Sitges showcases a fascinating modernist heritage. Likewise, this lively city holds cultural activities throughout the year, like the Sitges Carnival or the world-renowned Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival. The wonderful church of Sant Bartolomé stands out in the seafront promenade, altogether with one of Catalonia’s most beautiful beaches: the beach of San Sebastián, which has received multiple awards. This spot is perfect for enjoying the view of a dreamlike sunset.
Rupit i Pruit cannot be left out of this list, since it’s considered by many to be not only one of the most beautiful villages in Barcelona, but also in the whole of Catalonia. Located in the spectacular region of Osona, not far from the Cabrera mountain range, it stands out for being divided into two different areas. This is a clear example of a traditional medieval village, full of cobblestone streets and sixtheenth-century buildings —it even has a castle from the 11th century. It’s also worth paying a visit to the path leading to the waterfall of Sallent.
This medieval village, perhaps one of the most charming ones in the province of Barcelona due to its cobblestone streets and stone houses, looks as if it came straight from a fairytale. Once there, one must definitely wander through the lovely streets and go see the Romanesque bridge just in the entrance of Bagà. There’s also the church of Sant Esteve, with a mixture of both Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles. The village stands out for its spectacular natural surroundings, being next to the Cadí-Moixeró natural park. For all these reasons, Bagà is the perfect place to visit on a weekend trip; when doing so, one might also want to go see the source of river Bastareny or the Millares beech forest.
In the natural park of Sant Llorenç del Munt i l’Obac lies this charming village, a place where most visitors become bewitched by its stunning medieval aesthetic. Talamanca constitutes the perfect combination of nature and architectural beauty. Some of the must-see monuments here are the castle of Talamanca, of Romanesque origin, the memorial of the battle of Talamanca, the captivating church of Santa María and the square of dels Saldoners. Thanks to its great location, Talamanca’s also a key site for those who love hiking.
With slightly more than 100 inhabitants, Tavertet is well-known for offering the best views of Sau’s swamps and the natural park of Montseny. Its top-notch gastronomy and well-preserved buildings make Tavertet an attractive destination. Indeed, it’s been declared a Cultural Heritage site.
Castellar de N’Hug is one of Barcelona’s most prominent locations, not only because of the village’s own charm, but also for the setting that surrounds it. It stands out due to its medieval aesthetic, and it’s located on top of a mountain, where one might enjoy the delightful view of Berguedà’s mountains. The most remarkable aspect of the village is perhaps the combination of architecture and nature, which gifts us a beautiful postcard-like sight. Moreover, thanks to its privileged location, in Berguedà one can visit some great natural landscapes, such as Las Fonts del Llobregat.
Caldes de Montbui, a village in Vallès Oriental which was declared a Cultural Heritage site for its well-preserved monuments, is a must-see for everyone. It dates back to the Roman Empire, which is the time period when it was built over its hot springs. Consequently, the monuments of Caldes de Montbui exhibit the traces of history. Its hot springs reach 74 °C; hence, they are considered the hottest ones in the whole Europe. In addition, Caldes de Montbui’s popularity stems from its lovely historic centre, the excellent restaurants and all the forests crossed by paths we can find there.
Some villages just have a special charm, and Santa Coloma de Cervelló’s peculiar architecture is a good example of that. This place holds a jewel of Gaudi’s legacy: Güell’s colony, with a modernist style and buildings of great historical value. The Güell crypt is especially popular among tourists, with a striking architecture both inside and out. The crypt is so well-preserved that it feels like a journey to the past.
Santa Coloma de Cervelló has other remarkable monuments as well, like the consumers’ co-operative and its wineries, the house of the secretary or the old monastery.
Located between Barcelona and Tarragona, Sant Sadurní d’Anoia is mostly known as the epicentre of Spain’s famous cava wine. Surrounded by a magnificent vineyard landscape, this village is definitely the perfect spot for wine tourism. It’s also popular due to its rich history, which we can discover through the monuments in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia. If we wander through the village, we’ll find its particular modernist architecture, the church and, of course, the craft wine cellars.
Pujalt is a charming village, nestled between fields, where the oldest houses are dressed in stone. A walk through Pujalt’s streets will display its most iconic monuments, like Sant Andreu’s parish church, the bell tower, or the interesting observatory. The Memorial Museum is another key building in Pujalt, where we can learn about the life of the Republican soldiers that settled a military camp there during the Spanish Civil War.
Les Gunyoles, also known as Las Guñolas, is also considered one of the most beautiful villages in Barcelona. With no more than 300 inhabitants, Les Gunyoles offers a calm atmosphere, perfect for escaping the big city’s hustle and bustle. It also stands out for its great historical heritage, which can be seen in the old town. There we’ll find, among other things, the church’s square, the manor of Can Ribals and the Roman tower, declared a Cultural Heritage site. To end with, it’s worth mentioning the breathtaking views encompassing the plain of Penedès, the ocean and the mountain of Montserrat.
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You can read part II of this list here.