Last month, I had my first taste of the summer heat on a three night trip to Barcelona. My flight took a mere one hour thirty minutes to take me from dull and rainy England to a sun bathed Spain. I’ve visited Barcelona once before, in early 2015 on a trip with University and had a wonderful time (blog posts here and here) so couldn’t wait to head back for more exploring. This time round was a blogger trip, and the focus was on showing us all of the sights outside of the city itself.
Bright and early in the morning we headed out for a two hour trek down the side of the mountains. There were so many beautiful photo opportunity spots to take full advantage of along the way, even if it meant half hanging off a rock face, and we didn’t spot another tourist on the entire walk. Seeing parts of a destination completely away from the tourist track really is the key to getting the unspoilt feel of a place.
Early evening we headed to the Pares Balta owned vineyards to hear all about their organic (and vegan!) wines. I seem to have spent the majority of my 20’s convinced that Pinot Grigio is the only wine for me, and that wine isn’t wine unless it’s from Italy or France. Two Cavas, one Rosé, two whites and two reds later, and I felt more than ready to give up my crutch of Pinot Grigio. I fell so in love with a white named Cosmic the I pledged to spend my night reshuffling my suitcase just to get a bottle home. At just €10 a pop it would have been foolish not to.
Mildly tipsy on good wine and slightly hazy from a sunshine filled day, we pulled up to Hotel Mastinell. I’ve stayed in my fair share of swishy hotels over the past few years, but this one really was something special. The food was incredible as was the wine that’s made by the hotel itself. I have it firmly set in my mind to book a longer stay in a few summer’s time.
If you’re planning a trip to Barcelona any time soon, you absolutely must consider leaving the city behind for a day or two and discovering the rest of the region. The trip completely opened my eyes to taking a hop, skip and jump away from city life and embracing the more rural, traditional parts of a destination.