Cataluña is spectacular, from the soaring peaks of the Pyrenees to the sparkling blue water of the Mediterranean’s shallow coves. The Costa Brava’s resorts contrast with the stillness of ancient parish churches hidden deep in the countryside. Despite this diversity, Cataluña is relatively compact, so it’s possible to ski in the morning and sunbathe on the beach in the afternoon.
Barcelona may make the biggest splash with visitors, but it’s the rest of Cataluña that defines the region’s distinct identity. In rural areas you’ll hear Catalan spoken more often and find better Catalan food.