While Easter weather in Catalonia can be a bit unpredictable with occasional light rain, the rising temperatures make it an ideal time to plan a road trip with your group. Rent a bus with a private driver from Barcelona, and you'll have the freedom to explore any route you desire.
Here are five car or bus routes from Barcelona, specially designed for you and your group during the Easter holidays.
Bus trip -1: Olot and La Garrotxa - land of volcanoes
One of the most picturesque excursions in Catalonia is to the region of La Garrotxa and its capital, Olot. Situated approximately 110 kilometres from Barcelona, if traffic conditions are favourable, your bus can reach the small city in about an hour and a half. The average temperature in the area is a few degrees cooler than in Barcelona, and there's a higher likelihood of rain, so it's advisable to dress accordingly with warmer attire and waterproof clothing and footwear.
Gastronomy and History in Santa Pau
Upon stepping off your minibus, I highly recommend taking a stroll through the charming provincial capital and indulging in a delightful Catalan breakfast featuring ‘pan con tomate’ (bread with tomato) and ‘butifarra’ (typical Catalan sausage), a culinary essential in the region. Your journey begins with a visit to the enchanting medieval village of Santa Pau.
Arriving in Santa Pau and Parking the Bus
One aspect to consider is traffic density: the distance between Olot and the small town is only 8 kilometres, but as it is travelled along a winding, one-way road, peak hours may result in heavy traffic, and parking spaces may be limited. Therefore, a minibus is more convenient, as a 50-seater bus can be more challenging to park and manoeuvre there.
The Enchanting Medieval Core of Santa Pau
In the village, you'll discover a beautiful medieval core surrounded by nature, and you can enjoy a fantastic meal at one of its five restaurants. Can Xel is one of them, offering a great menu for just around 30 euros.
The Santa Margarita Volcano: A Unique Place
Reaching the crater of this extinct volcano, which erupted thousands of years ago, is truly worth it. The site features a hermitage, and if visited in spring, the view is stunning. Keep in mind that a moderate level of fitness and non-slip footwear are essential for this walk. To reach the crater, tell your driver to park the minibus in the designated area and prepare for a 30 to 40-minute uphill walk.
Jordà's Magical Beech Forest
The visit wouldn't be complete without spending some time in this magically atmospheric forest, especially during the autumn season. It only takes five minutes on the bus to reach parking in the Fageda area (beach forest).
Bus trip -2: The charm of the Costa Brava in spring
The beauty of the towns and coves along the Costa Brava is well-known, but it's also common knowledge that during the summer, the overcrowding in this area makes it challenging to fully enjoy them. That's why we suggest this trip to these beautiful villages, which tend to be a bit quieter during the Easter spring break.
Pals: A Medieval Beauty
Located 130 kilometres from Barcelona, approximately an hour and a half by bus, this authentic medieval charm awaits you. In this small town, you can not only wander through its cobblestone streets and perfectly preserved core but also take a stroll along the expansive beach. Swimming the waters during spring in the sea at ‘Platja de Pals’ can be a bit cold. Better savour some of the delightful rice dishes at El Pedró restaurant, priced around 25-30 euros. You can conveniently park the minibus on the outskirts of the centre. Your driver will know the best spot.
Cadaqués and Dalí's imprint
Departing from Pals, our bus reaches Cadaqués in just over an hour, as it's situated 70 kilometres away with some winding roads. This lovely town is often bustling with visitors, but during Easter, if we're fortunate with the weather, we can enjoy its charm and the landscape in a quieter way.
What to do in Cadaqués
As we might be arriving a bit tired, it could be good to spend the night in one of its hotels. Despite being a small town, there's a good range of options. One that's close to the centre and the beach is Hotel Calina. The hotel offers parking, but if you're arriving by minibus, an advance notice to save a space is advisable. Salvador Dalí's house in Portlligat, although for this we must reserve online beforehand. For 15 euros we can enter both the house and the olive grove that surrounds it.
Expected weather during Easter
To enjoy Cadaqués during spring, we be prepared for everything, from drizzle to sunshine and hopefully very pleasant temperatures.
To eat in Cadaqués
When we stop to eat we will find a wide range of highly recommended restaurants. To enjoy Mediterranean cuisine in all its splendor, the restaurant La Roca It is a reasonable option in price and quality, but since you are going in a group it is important to make a reservation in advance.
Bus trip -3: History and nature in Tarragona and the Ebro Delta
After exploring the attractive coastline and volcanic surroundings, we are concluding this Easter tour with a trip into ancient history.
Tarraco: The Roman Heritage
Catalonia boasts only one city declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, and that's Tarragona. Just 100 kilometres from Barcelona, you can reach it within an hour by minibus or bus, giving you the entire day to explore the city. There's much to see, so don't forget to wear comfortable shoes and maybe keep an umbrella handy if the weather forecast is uncertain.
What to see in Tarragona
In addition to a quick admiring of the cathedral, the views on the Balcony of the Mediterranean , and the Devil's Bridge, your visit to Tarragona should include the Roman amphitheatre (entrance fee of 5 euros, purchased on-site) and the circus, also priced at 5 euros. There's a 50% discount for groups of more than 20 people, and a combo ticket for the entire monument circuit is available for 15 euros.
The heart of the Ebro Delta
The landscape of the Delta of the Ebro River is one of the most unique and fascinating in Catalonia. From Tarragona, you'll reach it in just under an hour, as it's about 75 KMs away.
Try rice in Deltebre
Deltebre is the small village situated right in the heart of the delta, and it's essential to try the rice dishes, an authentic specialty of the region. At the the restaurant Lo mas de Nuri , you can treat yourself to their tasting menu for around 30 euros. Make sure to make a reservation and check that it's open, as they may close for the winter season.
Bus trip -4: Girona and its Unique Charm
Barcelona is the most visited city in Catalonia, while Tarragona has been declared a World Heritage site, we think Girona is perhaps the city with the most charm and unique personality of these three.
Parking the bus near the city centre of Girona
Located 100 kilometres from Barcelona, you'll reach Girona in just over an hour by bus. Once there, your bus can be parked in one of the four designated parking areas provided by the city. All of them are conveniently situated near the points of tourist interest.
Bridges, Jewish Quarter, and Cinema Museum
In this way, you will be able to walk through the historic center, and see the essential Gothic cathedral, the various bridges over the Onyar River and its characteristic houses, and the Call or Jewish quarter.
After parking your minibus, you can stroll through the historic centre, taking in the essential Gothic cathedral, the various bridges over the Onyar River with their characteristic houses, and the Call or Jewish Quarter. You can also enjoy a walk in the beautiful Dehesa, a charming grove, and don't forget to visit the Cinema Museum or the Tomàs Mallol collection. Purchase your tickets online. They cost 7 euros, and for a private collection, it's genuinely interesting and quite comprehensive.
Game of Thrones
Speaking of cinema, if you're fans of TV series, some of you likely enjoy Game of Thrones. If so, in Girona, you can explore some of the locations where the series was filmed. The staircase of the cathedral is one such location, the Arab baths were also used, but there are more streets and settings that you'll recognize from the show.
Gastronomy and bookstores
Girona offers a diverse gastronomic scene, including restaurants with Michelin stars. For those on a tighter budget , Alquería is an excellent choice to savour Mediterranean cuisine. You can end the day with some shopping around the city, and don't miss the opportunity to explore the numerous bookstores in the downtown area.
Bus trip -5: Boí-Taüll or the heart of Catalan Gothic
The diversity of landscapes in Catalonia allows us to transition from picturesque beaches to volcanoes and high mountain villages, as you can explore on this bus tour.
History and nature in its purest form
The Boí Valley is a unique natural setting, blending history, architecture, and scenic beauty. The villages of Taüll and Sant Joan de Boí boast some of Catalonia's most significant examples of Romanesque architecture. Moreover, they are located in a privileged environment that has captivated mountain enthusiasts for decades. Notably, some of the churches in the region have been declared UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Arrival in Taüll
This beautiful valley is about 300 kilometres from Barcelona, but due to the type of roads, the bus journey will take around four hours. Upon reaching Taüll and also Sant Joan de Boí, the neighbouring village, the bus will be parked at the entrance of the village since all distances are easily covered on foot.
The Churches of Sant Climent and Santa Maria
A must-visit is the Church of Sant Climent in the village of Taüll, with an entrance fee of 3 euros for groups. Tickets can be purchased on-site only as online sales are not available. A three-minute walk away is the Church of Santa Maria, another Romanesque beauty, with free admission. The surroundings and the village itself are really a must do stroll.
Stop in Mallador and then to Boí
After the stroll and the visits, it's time to explore some of the delights that the Catalan Pyrenees have to offer. You'll need less than five minutes to reach the Mallador restaurant . Here, you can enjoy a good meal for around 25 euros, including a starter, main course, dessert, and a drink. If available, don't miss trying the ‘butifarra with secas’, a typical local dish with beans and a typical Catalan sausage. If the weather is OK and the sun is shining, then the terrace with great views of the mountains and the church is where to be seated. Afterward, you shouldn't miss a visit to the village of Boí, a 5-minute bus ride away (3.5 kilometers). The church there is also interesting, and the entrance fee is only 2 euros.
Back to Barcelona
Before heading back to Barcelona, as these new views, the fresh mountain air and new tastes may have triggered some tiredness, it might be a good idea to sleep over in a nearby hotel. Near the village of Pla de l'Ermita de Taüll, just 2 kilometres from the Church of Santa Maria de Taüll, you can relax in the midst of nature at the Aparthotel Siente Boí & Spa. This aparthotel offers private parking and spa services, so there's no excuse not to completely relax. The next morning, both your group and the driver will be ready to return to Barcelona with refreshed minds.
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I am a passionate traveler with an innate desire to discover the world. To date, I have had the privilege of visiting 31 countries and most of them have left an indelible mark.
During my travels, I have gained valuable knowledge on how to travel efficiently. I have perfected itinerary planning, accommodation selection, and making the most of each experience. I am proud to share my tips and tricks with you so that you can enjoy hassle-free and unforgettable trips.
On this blog, you'll find a carefully curated selection of destinations, practical tips, and honest reviews of hotels and tourist attractions. My goal is to inspire you and provide you with useful resources so that you can plan your own adventures with confidence and peace of mind.
May travel fill you with joy and open you up to new possibilities!