Catalonia, nestled in the far northeastern corner of Spain, is a distinctive region with its own ideas. Bordering France and Andorra in the north, the Spanish states of Aragon and Valencia in the south and west and the Mediterranean Sea in the east, it's a region noted for its great ‘national' pride and identity – especially in its passionate and energetic cities.
Catalonia attracts walkers, cyclists, history-buffs, partygoers, foodies, artsy types and many more besides. It's a diverse region whose landscape changes from the plains to the Pyrenees, through sun-drenched rural heartlands, past medieval cities and Roman towns and the bustling beaches of the Costa Brava.
Fortress Vila Vella and Badia de Tossa bay, Tossa de Ma, Costa Brava
Catalonia's largest city is Barcelona, one of Spain's most exciting and cosmopolitan cities, where private yachts moor up, restaurant goers eat very late and Antoni Gaudí's architectural landmarks are so numerous and so extraordinary that they're impossible to miss.
Park Guell, Barcelona
Barcelona is the arrival point and first introduction to the region for most visitors, but beyond are other cities worth including in a tailor-made Catalonia itinerary. Nearby Sitges is a chic party town with a bar-scene to match, while to the north is the beautiful old city of Girona, situated at on the confluence of four rivers and characterised by its colourful houses along the banks of the rivers.