SPRING 2019 FREE STAYS IN SPANISH VILLAS WITH POOLS

Catalunya Casas (catalunyacasas.com), specialists in villa rentals in Catalonia, North-eastern Spain, are offering free 2 night stays in April, May, and June for selected villas. All villas come with pools and gardens and are located within an hour of Barcelona or Girona.

We Specialise in Memory-Making!

Charming Villa La Juncosa for 8 guests only 20km from the beach!

Enjoy a spacious patio, a cozy home and the wonders of Tarragona in this 5 bedroom, 2 bathroom villa in the Costa Dorada hills. Costa Dorada has a total of 216 kilometers of golden sands with crystal clear aquamarine waters. These lowlands between the coast and the mountains enjoy an extensive natural landscape with villages and quiet farms surrounded by vineyards, olive groves, almonds and orchards.

Joyful Villa with stunning views of the Monserrat National Park!

Enjoy peace, tranquility and stunning views of the Monserrat National park in this 4-bedroom villa for 8 guests. Take advantage of the warm Mediterranean sunshine in your delightful garden with private pool and views of the luscious forests and majestic mountains of Montserrat. Guests of villa Castellbell can take full advantage of the many hiking trails and mountain climbing activities that the region has to offer, yet easy access to the heart of Barcelona.

Villa Gloriosa de Santa Coloma for 8 guests, 30 km from Costa Brava beaches!

Hidden in the forests of Girona, this three-bedroom villa welcomes six guests for a truly relaxing and rejuvenating vacation. Enjoy moments of peace on the porch of your villa while the children play on the playground in the front yard or participate in a game of foosball on the porch. Indoors, treat your family with a home-cooked meal in a fully-equipped kitchen, where you will have access to the same appliances as your own home.

Villa Mas Borras, nestled in the hills of Costa Dorada, only 3km from the beach!

After exploring the nearby beaches of Costa Dorada, take a dip in your own private pool and enjoy home-cooked meals prepared on the outdoor barbecue as you sip rioja under the setting sun. Two bedrooms welcome 5 guests in one double bed and three single beds.

Casa Cunit for 8 guests, just 5 minutes from the glimmering Mediterranean Sea

Enjoy this fantastic getaway in the heart of picturesque Costa Dorada, just a few minutes walk to the beach! Relax with a glass of rioja on the terrace before a late afternoon dip in your private pool and dinner on the barbecue.

*Rules to qualify for a free stay in any one of the above properties:

1) Pick your dates based on the availability – 2 nights between April and June 15 2019 (see property occupancy calendars in the above links).

2) Agree to pay only the cleaning costs (variable dependant on the villa and listed in the above links), taxes (0,90 per night per adult), and any extra services required (see our guest services page)

3) Email this information to our reservations department at myperfectvilla@catalunyacasas.com along with your name, address, and total number of guests.

4) Confirm that if you and your guests enjoy your stay you will leave us a positive testimonial.

5) Enjoy your free stay!

For further inforamtion on any of these villas, contact the team at Catalunya Casas on +34 674 396 872 or visit www.catalunyacasas.com

Catalunya Casas press contact:

Dawn Buckler

Tel: +34 610 476 501

Email: dawn@catalunyacasas.com

About Catalunya Casas:

Catalunya Casas specialises in hand-picked, exclusively managed family villa rentals (with pool and garden!) that are close enough to Barcelona to enjoy all the benefits the city has to offer, yet far enough ‘off the beaten track’ where guests have the opportunity to enjoy and experience the real Catalonia/Spain. Catalunya Casas prides themselves on personalised and unbiased vacation recommendations, unique (gastronomical, adventure, cultural) activities and exceptional service.

About Catalonia:

Catalonia is a region of north-eastern Spain, stretching all the way from the sandy Mediterranean beaches of Costa Dorada in the south, to the historic coastal villages of Costa Brava in the north. Catalonia is also home to regional capital and world-class city, Barcelona.

www.catalunyacasas.com

Telephone: +34 93 002 8742

Email: myperfectvilla@catalunyacasas.com

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Twitter: @CatalunyaCasas

Facebook: @CatalunyaCasasSpain


What is the ‘Magic Fountain’?

Situated in the Montjuïc, one of the most beautiful locations in Barcelona, the Magic Fountain, or Font màgica de Montjuïc, is a beautiful fountain designed by Carles Buïgas. Built for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition, the fountains really became a major tourist attraction in the 1980’s, when musical and lights were added so that the fountains could provide a spectacular entertainment show.

 

Seeing the Fountains

If you’re staying in Barcelona accommodation right in the centre of the city, you can easily travel to Montjuïc on the Metro using the L3 green line or the L1 red line to the Plaça d’Espanya stop. Show times vary depending on the season; the fountains usually erupt between 21:00 and 22:30 during the summer months, and a little earlier during spring and autumn, usually starting around 19:00. It’s always best to check with the Barcelona tourist office to make sure you don’t miss out on this amazing local event.

 

Surrounding Area

The Magic Fountain boasts a great location in Barcelona, and there’s plenty of other sights and attractions nearby to enjoy. Just north of the fountains you’ll find Plaça d’Espanya which is famous for its looming Venetian towers and, of course, for another of the city’s fountains, which was designed by  Josep Maria Jujol. Jujol previously worked with Gaudí, and definite Gaudí influences shine through.

 

To the south you’ll find the sprawling Parc de Montjuïc, which is not only a great area for kids to play, but also for us to learn, too. There’s many museums located throughout the park, including the Museu d’Arqueologia, the Museu Etnològic and the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC). Although the neighbourhood is a little away from the heart of Barcelona, many people do choose to book a Barcelona holiday rental here thanks to the many different things to see and do, the amazing views of Montjuïc, and the slightly wider, airier streets than those in historic Barcelona which are easier for families.


Shopping in Barcelona

Looking for some unique gifts and souvenirs to bring back for friends and family from your Baecelona holiday rental? You’re in luck! Barcelona is one of Spain’s best shopping destinations, with many great stores to check out. Here are just some of the best shopping locations in Barcelona that are perfect for browsing:

 

Barcelona Malls

 

If you like to have everything in one place, then La Maquinista is the ideal solution. One of Catalonia’s biggest malls, La Maquinista is home to more than 230 shops, giving you a fantastic selection. It’s here that you can find big international brands, like Adidas, Calvin Klein, and Foot Locker, interspersed with Spanish brands like Cortefiel, Dormity, and Furest. There’s also some small supermarkets, like Carrefour, which is great for picking up supplies and ingredients to make dinner at your villa in Barcelona.

 

Top Brands

 

For those who love top brands, it’s time to take a stroll along Passeig de Gràcia, which is one of the best locations in Barcelona for high end products. Chanel, Gucci, Boss, Mango, Guess, Burberry, Cartier, and Stella McCartney all have stores along this stretch of road, so there’s lots of places to choose from. Shopping is thirsty work, but don’t worry — there’s plenty of cafes and restaurants here, too! If you make it all the way to the end of this long street, you can relax in the beautiful Salvador Espriu gardens.

 

Small Stores

 

If you much prefer smaller, more local shops, then take a walk down Carrer de Verdi, which has a reputation for being one of Barcelona’s most quirky, unusual, and offbeat streets. You won’t find any high end brands here, but what you will find is a range of stores that allow you to make your own jewellery by selecting different beads and gems, shops selling handmade sweets and treats, all manner of recycled wood furniture, and accessory shops which are ideal for picking up some presents!


Holiday in Spain: What You Need to Know Before You Go to Barcelona!

Most people agree that Spain is one of the best holiday destinations in the world. And they are correct for many reasons. If you are planning to take a vacation and heading to Spain, more specifically Barcelona, you should know a few things. This will not ruin your holiday experience. On the contrary, this will enhance your holiday Spain experience because you will be well informed.

Forget Queuing

Typically, queuing makes everything run smoothly, in an organized manner. However, in Spain, queuing is not common. The only place you will find queues is in tourist attraction sites. Even at these places, someone will jump queue unapologetically. Do not mind pushing and shoving, with a smile on your face. Everyone does it anyway. If you are going to Barcelona during the high season, prepare your elbows.

Be Polite but Do Not Overdo It

You are used to saying the words ‘thank-you’ and ‘please’ most of the time, which is okay. These words come automatically without giving much thought. In Barcelona, you will have a different experience. Please note that people in Barcelona are not rude. It is only that they do not use these words unless they mean them. Therefore, use your word ‘sorry’ sparingly. When you are looking for your Barcelona accommodation, be polite but do not overdo it.

Stay Alert

There are many pickpockets in Barcelona. Do not drop your guard once you arrive in this beach city because pickpockets will ruin your holiday experience. You can lose your camera, wallet or any other valuable item within a blink of an eye. All you need to do is stay alert because most pickpockets distract you first before stealing from you. Your holiday in Spain will go smoothly if you avoid suspicious characters who engage in vague conversation. They want to confuse you before taking off with your stuff.

Prepare for a Laidback Environment

You will feel like screaming in frustration if you are accustomed to fast services. You are on vacation anyway so slow down. Everything is laidback in Spain. It will take some time before you get seated in a restaurant (even if you have made a reservation). When you rent a villa in Barcelona, you can practice patience and adjust to this laidback lifestyle. Make sure you allocate extra time for everything you do if you do not want to yell in frustration.

No Shopping on Sundays

You will not rest because you want to; circumstances will force you to. Most restaurants and shops do not open on Sundays. It is a Spanish tradition and perhaps the only thing you will accomplish on a Sunday is booking a villa in Barcelona.


5 Restaurants in Barcelona that Offer Local Cuisine!

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Barcelona is not just a beautiful city with hundreds of things to do. When you’re ready to take a break from your beautiful rental villa, why not check out these five restaurants that offer cuisine local to Barcelona, so you can truly get a taste of what this city has to offer?

1. Cera 23

If you’re looking for a place to find amazing tapas or to go on a special occasion, Cera 23 is the place for you. The restaurant is intimate, elegant, and relaxing, and the staff is friendly and inviting. Though the menu is small, each dish is made with care. Delicious flavors, unique presentation, amazing cocktails, and delicious desserts await you at Cera 23.

2. El Xampanyet

El Xampanyet offers a unique dining experience in Barcelona with a delicious food bar. Just go up to the counter and order what looks good to you! They do, of course, also have a drink bar with nice cold beer and cocktails. The restaurant is a bit tight and cozy, but friendly and vibrant. If you want to be around people, this is the place to be.

3. Tosca Palau

A traditional restaurant with plenty to offer, Tosca Palau’s menu is large enough that you are certain to find something for everyone. If you want tapas and wine, you’ll want to head to this restaurant. With friendly staff, large open windows, and a great atmosphere, Tosca Palau’s makes a great stop before you venture on to your nighttime activities.

4. La Cova Fumada

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Looking for an authentic Spanish dining experience? Look no further than La Cova Fumada. You will be seated with other diners, so you can get to know the local people or other tourists. The cuisine is like eating a family recipe passed down from generation to generation. Each dish is amazing and you’ll want to try more than one. They have plenty to offer, including alcoholic beverages, and you definitely will not be disappointed.

5. La Peninsular

Craving seafood? La Peninsular is certain to satisfy your craving! They offer some of the best and most authentic Spanish seafood dishes in Barcelona. Their restaurant is fun, family-friendly, and casual.
We hope you enjoyed the local cuisine that Barcelona has to offer! Now you can return to your amazing vacation rental, or continue on with your night (or afternoon) in this awesome city!


Film Locations in Barcelona & Surrounding Areas

You don’t need to travel to Hollywood to see some famous TV and movie locations with your own eyes. Barcelona is actually one of the most filmed destinations in the world thanks to its sunny weather, great lighting, and, of course, it’s fascinating architecture. Filming in Barcelona is also relatively easy, with a range of permits on offer enabling filming at some of the city’s most notable sights, including thoroughfares, municipal markets, cemeteries, and a number of parks, gardens, and beach locations.

Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona showed off some spectacular Spanish properties (which left many viewers wanting to buy a home in Spain!), but it is, perhaps, most well known for the sightseeing scenes at Sagrada Familia and Casa Mila. These are two top film locations in Barcelona, and are very easy to visit during your trip. Sagrada Familia is famous for its unfinished facade, while Casa Mila is well worth visiting for its highly unusual blend of geometric design and asymmetrical twists: another Gaudi masterpiece!

If you’re a lover of older cinema, you may be surprised by how much Catalonia has changed in recent years. The Passenger, a Jack Nicholson film released in 1975, shows a much darker side to Barcelona than we’d see if we were to visit today. Gone is the unkempt, sparse, almost seedy Las Ramblas from the film, replaced with a much brighter, airier, and cosmopolitan street that’s fast become one of the city’s top places for shopping, eating, and drinking. Barcelona has evolved significantly within the past 30 years!

Recently, filming in Barcelona has enjoyed a new surge, and Catalonia has hit the headlines for featuring in what is arguably one of the hottest shows of the century: George R.R. Martin’s Games of Thrones. It comes as no surprise, really, as Catalonia is filled with historic castles, stunning nature, and cobbled medieval villages that look just like the fairytale kingdoms of Westeros. If you fancy laying your eyes on a Game of Thrones filming location, head to Girona, where the cast have been spotted hanging out!


48 hours in Barcelona. What to see first?

1. Sagrada Família (Church of the Holy Family).

  • Tips and tricks:

Plan on 15-30 minutes to walk around the basilica, which is free.

Plan to spend 1-2 hours inside – there are long lines all year long, therefore it would be smart to pre-buy skip-the-line tickets.

Best to visit in the morning or afternoon, because of the beautiful natural light shinning through the windows.

Dress accordingly and cover shoulders inside.

  1. Park Güell

Tips and tricks:

The park is on Carmel hill so you will need to walk uphill 900m. Consider your footwear and bottle of water.

  1. Picasso Museum – journey through Picasso’s early years in Barcelona.

  • Picasso (1881–1973) lived in Barcelona from 1895 until 1904;
  • The only one museum created during the artist’s life;
  • Collection includes his first major works, The First Communion and Science and Charity;
  • Established by Picasso’s lifelong friend and secretary, Jaume Sabartés, whom Picasso had gifted many paintings, drawings, and prints since start of a friendship in 1899;
  • At first, Sabartés came with the idea to found the museum in Málaga, Picasso’s birthplace. Picasso himself suggested that Barcelona would be better location.
  1. Sagrat Cor church & Tibidabo amusement park.

  • The park is among the oldest in the world still functioning;
  • At the park is the Museum of Automatons, Walt Disney offered to buy the museum’s entire collection for any price chosen by museum, but it refused;
  • Tibidabo hill can be seen from all over the Barcelona city.
  1. Arc de Triomf & Parc de la Ciutadella

  • There are reliefs on one side symbolising agriculture and industry, and commerce and art on the other.

  1. La Rambla street

  • There you can feel the pulse and atmosphere of the city. There are usually many people, thus taking awalk will best suit those who like to get lost in a crowd;
  • Spanish poet Federico García Lorca once said ‘It is the only street in the world which I wish would never end‘.

Tips and tricks:

Be aware of your belongings when you watch street art performances.

If you want to buy souvenirs, you probably can not find better place for it.

7. Barceloneta Beach

Located in the traditional fishing district, this is one of Barcelona’s oldest and best-loved beaches. It is thought to have inspired Miguel de Cervantes as the setting for the fight between Don Quixote and the Knight of the White Moon. It was here that the knight errant was finally defeated and abandoned his quest. These days, Barceloneta beach as become a symbol of Barcelona’s status as a major tourist destination – a cosmopolitan culture capital and sunny beach town. Barceloneta beach is remarkable for being on the doorstep of the city centre, literally just a few hundred meters from famous sites such as La Rambla, mentioned before. This makes getting to the beach incredibly easy and makes for spending a couple of hours at the beach easy to fit into your day.


4 Beaches to Visit in Costa Dorada

If you want to hang out outdoors in Costa Dorada, there are certainly plenty of places to do it. Of course, if you’ve rented a private villa with a pool, you’ll want to spend time there. But if you want a change of pace, check out these four beaches!

1. Llevant Beach

This gorgeous beach is near Salou and has beautiful sand, gorgeous water, and a stunning view of the city. Go swimming, get a floating device (some look like giant inflatable slides or water rides), or find a place for boating, diving, and snorkeling. There are plenty of restaurants, shops, and nightclubs nearby if you get hungry or want a little more amusement when you’re done with the beach. This beach is perfect for families of all shapes and sizes.

2. Llarga Beach

At the top of Salou is another amazing beach, this one a little more isolated and not as crowded because it is further from the city. They have a beach bar, a banana boat, plenty of sun loungers, and beautiful surf and sand. You can admire the view of both the ocean, the tropical vegetation, and the rock formations around you as you relax in the sun.

3. Playa de la Pineda

A quiet resort beach, Playa de la Pineda is most well-known for the giant plastic plant sculptures nearby. This area is great if you want to get away from the crowds and sunbathe in peace and quiet. The area is surrounded by trees, the water is warm and wonderful, the sand is perfect, and the view is stunning. There are still plenty of restaurants and shops around if you get peckish or just want to get out of the sun.

4. Capellans Beach

Busy yet clean, the Capellans Beach is surrounded by resorts and hotels, so you’re certain to have company at all times. The view is amazing though, part tropical island, part city, all beautiful. You’ll find plenty of sun loungers, some in the sun, some under umbrellas, and some under awnings. There are several restaurants, shops, and nightclubs nearby if you want some extra fun. And, of course, this beach offers a lot of watersports that you can check out if you’re tired of sunbathing or just swimming in the gorgeous waters.
Did you get a sunburn? Hopefully not! Either way, we’re certain you had a great time! Now you can head back to your vacation rental in Costa Dorada to think about what an awesome time you had and maybe plan what you’re going to do tomorrow.


June events in Barcelona

June is the month when Barcelona really starts to come alive for the summer with a huge range of events and celebrations to kick off the season. Booking a family villa in Barcelona just before the mass of summer tourists flock in is a wise move as the city exudes a festive atmosphere and gorgeous weather.

Sant Joan

On the June 23, Barcelona residents celebrate the festival of Sant Joan. On the night itself the street lights up with a huge display of fireworks and bonfires all over the city, but especially on the beaches. It is not unusual for these displays to last until the early hours of the following morning. You can enjoy the spectacle from the comfort of your Barcelona accommodation while sampling a glass of cava and piles of coca, a type of seasonal bread that is topped with candied fruits.

Pride Barcelona

One of the most colorful events on the Barcelona events calendar is the Pride Festival, a 10-day festival where Barcelona shows its gay pride. You can find parties, concerts, and more, all topped off with a spectacular parade.

Sonar

This three-day international music festival is a must-see for anyone who loves electronic music and contemporary arts. The festival is celebrating its 25th year and the days include record fairs, art displays, exhibitions, and conferences, while at night concerts and DJs perform at multiple venues just outside the city.

Musica als Parcs

Another great reason to have a Barcelona vacation rental in June is the free al-fresco concerts that run throughout the summer in some of the city’s main parks. There’s jazz, various classical music, and bands, so pack a picnic and enjoy a few blissful hours under the sun.


The importance of Menorca’s El Toro

Standing at 357 metres tall, the mountain of El Toro is Menorca’s highest point and can be seen from miles around. Regardless of the town in which your Menorca vacation rental is located, you are likely to be able to spot its towering silhouette somewhere on the horizon.

The view from the top brings tourists and locals alike to its summit. From the top, the whole island unfolds before your eyes, and if the weather is very clear, you may even be able to see the Tramuntana mountain range of Mallorca.

Many locals claim that the mountain is the spiritual centre of the island, and it has been a place of
pilgrimage since the 13th century. They also claim that it earned its name from a bull (el toro) that led a group of monks to a statue of the Virgin Mary, which was in the rock face. Others claim that the name’s origin stems from the time the Moors inhabited the island, coming from the Arabic ‘al tor’ which means mountain.

Although a relatively small mountain, a range of buildings cluster at its peak. In the 15th century, a
watchtower was constructed there, with a defence tower later added. There are also the remains of a monastery that was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War, a convent, and an army station. Today,
masts, transmitters, and satellites that are used by the people of Menorca.

The easiest way by far to reach the mountain’s summit is by car, and the journey
itself is quite an adventure! If you don’t have a hired car, another option is requesting a taxi to
pick you up from your villa in Menorca, and then taking the winding roads down by foot. There are also organised excursions that will take you up the mountain as part of the trip.

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