Salvador Dalí’s Figueres

Renowned artist Salvador Dalí was born in the town of Figueres in Catalonia, Spain. Despite stints in Madrid, Paris, and the United States, he always considered Figueres to be his home, and it’s here where he died in 1989. If you’re on holiday in Spain, it’s still possible to see some of Dalí’s local haunts, and it’s even possible to visit his final resting place at the Dalí Theatre and Museum. Here’s a guide to Dalí’s Figueres.

Birth

Salvador Dalí was born on 11th May 1904, and his childhood home still stands on Monturiol Street. You’ll know you’re at the right place because there is a small plaque on the property, which reads ‘en aquesta casa va neixer salvador dali dia 11 de maig de l’any 1904’, translated from Catalan as ‘in this house Salvador Dalí was born on May 11, 1904’. While Figueres is a quiet town, for Dalí fans this is perhaps even more exciting than any location in Barcelona.

Early Life

Dalí was baptised at the Church of Sant Pere de Figueres (St Peter’s Church, pictured above), which is the main church in town. While it may look impressive from the outside with its large bell tower, it is even more amazing inside, and it’s well worth popping your head in for a look. If you want to rent a house in Spain that’s close to Dalí-related sights and attractions, then this area, which is right in the heart of the town, is ideal because St Peter’s Church is very close to another important place: the Dalí Theatre & Museum (pictured below).

Museum

Whether you’re a fan of Dalí or not, if you’re staying in a Spain holiday rental in or near Figueres then it’s definitely worth taking the time to visit the Dalí Theatre & Museum. The museum houses the world’s biggest collection of Dalí works, including sculptures, collages, and even mechanical devices! There are also some works by other Catalan artists, too, highlighting the importance of visual arts in Catalonia. Dalí himself is buried in a crypt beneath the centre of the museum, which is open for public visits. 


All about the Costa Maresme

The Costa Maresme coastline in Catalonia runs all the way from Barcelona to Blanes, a distance of roughly 31 miles in total. Along the coast, you’ll find a large number of resorts and luxury Spain vacation rentals, as well as many different sights and attractions. This makes the Costa Maresme coastline a top holiday destination for visitors who love the stunning scenery that this part of Catalonia has to offer.

What is the Costa Maresme Like?

Catalonia is famous for its fine beaches and old, cobbled villages, but the Costa Maresme is probably more diverse and varied than you might think! Some locations like Barcelona are very busy and hectic with a definite city vibe, but there are also a lot of beautiful, historic fishing towns, too. Another great thing about the Costa Maresme is that it’s a prominent wine-growing region, so there are plenty of vineyards dotted around the area. One of the best places for wine is Alella, which has its own Denominació d’Origen.

Places of Interest

Where should you rent a villa on the Costa Maresme? There are many places of interest along the coast, including Barcelona (the capital of Catalonia) and Mataró (the capital of the Costa Maresme region). If bustling cities aren’t quite your thing, there are plenty of other options such as the fantastic harbour town of Arenys de Mar, or the relaxing thermal spas of Caldes d’Estrac.

Which Costa?

A Costa Brava vacation rental, a Costa Dorada vacation rental, or a Costa Maresme vacation rental — which is better? While each section of coast has something different offer, the Costa Maresme is considered to be a ‘happy medium’ between the white sand beaches of the Costa Dorada (the Golden Coast), and the rocky landscape of the Costa Brava (the Rough Coast). It really is the best of both worlds!


This autumn, stop by the Platja D’Aro Beer Festival!

If you’re staying in a villa on the Costa Brava in October, there’s one very important cultural festival that you shouldn’t miss. Although it’s officially known as the Autumn Festival, this big Catalan event has become much better known as the ‘Beer Festival’ thanks to the high number of international beers on tap.

Activities 

As well as sampling more than 30 international beers, there are plenty of other activities at the Autumn Festival. One of the biggest draws to the festival is the range of artisanal produce which is available to sample and purchase (and which is great for enjoying back at your Costa Brava vacation rental at the end of the day!). There’s also live music in the form of brass bands and orchestras which you can dance along to. Don’t leave the festival without picking up a Beer Festival commemorative drinking mug!

Where to Stay

The obvious answer is to rent a house in Spain in the Platja D’Aro area, although the region can become quite crowded around the time of the festival. Thus, any villa on the Costa Brava would do, especially in the nearby towns of Palamós to the north and S’Agaró to the south.

Exploring Platja D’Aro 

Even if you’re not a beer fan, Platja D’Aro is still worth exploring. This beautiful seaside town is home to one of Catalonia’s best beaches, offering fantastic swimming opportunities. It’s also home to the Magic Park amusement park with adrenaline-pumping rides! If you’d prefer a calmer, more relaxed holiday in Spain, then strolling the beachside Passeig Maritim is the ideal activity as it is flat enough walk to walk for any age and any activity level.


Explore Catalonia’s ancient ruins

As you probably already know, Catalonia is famous for its rich history. The region is actually home to some of the best-preserved Medieval towns and villages in the world, making it a truly fascinating place to explore.

If you’re interested in delving back even further in the region’s history and learning more about the Greek and Roman eras on your next holiday in Spain, then be sure to check out some of Catalonia’s ancient ruins. From historic walled remains to first-century racecourses, the Catalonia region has plenty to uncover. Here are three of the region’s best-preserved ancient ruins that are open to the public.

Empúries 

The old town of Empúries was founded in 575 BC by the Greeks, although the town was eventually taken over by the Romans. Excavations on the town began in the 1900s, and today it’s possible to see old homes, temples, walls, and mosaics, and there’s even the Museum of MAC-Empúries which provides a little context for the ruins that you’re seeing.

The highlights are the gardens, where you can learn more about traditional Roman medicine, and the underground crypt, which has only recently opened to the public. Book a Costa Brava vacation rental or stay in L’Escala and take the pedestrianised coastal path right along the water to the town.

Tarragona Amphitheatre

Built in the 2nd century, the Tarragona Amphitheatre is one of the main attractions in this old town, which was once a thriving Roman colony known as Tarraco. Taking on a traditional colosseum appearance, it is believed that the amphitheatre could once hold up to 15,000 spectators at a time, making it one of the largest in Europe.

When Islam took over from Catholicism as the primary religion in Spain, the amphitheatre was abandoned, and over the years it has housed a church and has been used as a prison. Luckily for those taking a vacation in Spain, the theatre was somewhat recovered in recent years and today is a remarkably well-preserved site, one of many ancient ruins dotted around Tarragona.

Circ Roma

Another great location in Tarragona is Circ Roma, or the Roman Circus. Built in the first century, this was the place to see and be seen, and it played a major role in leisurely life during Roman ruling. Somewhat of an ancient alternative to the modern Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the Roman Circus was the best place in Catalonia to watch fast-action chariot races. Perhaps one of Catalonia’s best-preserved ruins, remaining inscriptions have led experts to believe that the racetrack remained in use until the fifth century, when it was abandoned.

A part of the track is still very much intact, making it a truly amazing place to explore. Tarragona is easy to reach from most villas on the Costa Dorada, but it’s also just a one hour drive from Barcelona, making it a top choice for a day trip during your Barcelona holiday.


Celebrate Halloween and All Saints’ Day in Barcelona

If you choose to take a holiday in Barcelona during the week of October 31 and November 1, you’ll have the chance to take part in Barcelona’s yearly Halloween and All Saints’ Day celebrations.

Halloween

On the night of Halloween, people of all ages dress in costumes and decorate their houses and businesses in scary decor. Children go trick-or-treating, or truco o trato in Spanish, while adults choose to party at popular local venues. There are many nightclubs available for Halloween parties like Opium Mar, Sala Razzmatazz, and Sala Apolo.

If you prefer restaurants, the Enigmatium offers an interactive show that promises a night of comedy, mystery, and puzzles. Be beware, this restaurant doesn’t reveal its location. You must find it by following the clues! Alternatively, check out La Posada Maldita, where the waiters dress as scary creatures and the entire theme of the restaurant is horror. You can even check out a horror show while you dine!

There are many other great options to help you celebrate such as the Nocturna Festival, PortAventura, and the Sandemans New Halloween Tour.

All Saints Day

After you spent time recovering in you Barcelona villa from your experiences the night before, make sure to check out the culture and traditions that encompass the solemn celebration of All Saints’ Day.

Many locals go to church to remember the saints or visit the graves of their loved ones to lay flowers.

On the streets of Barcelona, you’ll find vendors, dancers, artists, and food. The most common food is panellet, a Catalan pastry of cinnamon bread with sugar, potatoes, almonds, eggs, pine nuts, and cherries. Also served are boniatos (sweet potatoes), candied fruit, and muscatel wine.

Panellets

Catch a production of the famous “Don Juan Tenorio” which will be performed in many theaters throughout the city as well as in the Poblenou cemetery.

The city also offers its annual Castanyada, which is a festival where everyone gets together over a huge fire in an open space. There they place a pan on the hot coals and cook castañas (chestnuts), which are available for sampling to get into the autumn spirit!

Take a break from your beautiful Barcelona vacation rental and make sure you check out these unique holiday celebrations, great for all ages!

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