Finding that perfect Mallorca vacation rental isn’t difficult. There are so many stunning locations dotted around the island, you are sure to find the perfect base from which to explore. This Mediterranean paradise is known for its amazing scenery, from jagged cliff faces to cosy coves, with both lush green vineyards and winding mountainous roads. Combine this scenery with delicious, local Spanish food and you can create your own perfect picnic. So where is the idea picnic spot that won’t take you too far away from your villa in Mallorca?
Serra de Tramuntana
This mountain range is located in the northwest of Mallorca and has been named by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Recreation areas are in abundance with the provision of picnic tables, camping areas, and toilets. Despite the fact that the island benefits from around 300 days of sunshine a year, in the cooler months it can get slightly chilly up there, so don’t forget a jacket. The stunning views will make the winding drive well worth it.
If you are looking for ocean views and a place for a quick dip after your meal, then this natural setting over the bay of Pollenca and Formentor is ideal. There are a few picnic areas here for you to choose from, one located right by the beach. Many people enjoy snorkelling here thanks to the clear waters.
If you fancy having your lunch on a tiny island overlooking Mallorca, then head over to Sa Dragonera. You can catch a boat from Sant Elm to get there, and make sure to keep an eye out for the wall lizard species that can’t be found anywhere else in the world! There is a great picnic area by the pier which has tables and benches, the ideal place to eat your lunch before catching a boat back to your Mallorca holiday rental.
Mondrago National Park
This national park is located to the east of the island, and here you will find many streams, beaches, gorges, and dune systems, creating a unique environment. Bird watchers and nature lovers will love it here thanks to the huge array of wildlife. Behind the sa Font de n’Alis beach there is a dedicated picnic spot.
Autumn on the Costa Brava is surprisingly bright and clear, a far cry from the conditions in northern Europe! These bright and clear days mean that there are usually excellent views toward the mountains, and as the leaves begin to fall from the trees this view only keeps getting better and better.
A Quiet, Local Feel
Known as the ‘off season’, this time of year sees very few visitors so you’ll find that there’s a very local feel. A big advantage of this is that there tends to be greater availability for restaurants and accommodations. In fact, you may be able to get an amazing deal on a holiday rental on the Costa Brava!
A Natural Environment
Washed up driftwood replaces the crowds of people on the Costa Brava beaches, while the Aiguamolls de l’Empordà is not to be missed at this time of year, with migratory birds stopping off on their way back to Africa for the winter. The Costa Brava loses its resort feel and returns to nature during autumn.
Autumn is a great time for hiking. Not only is it often very dry and comfortable, rather than being overly sunny and warm, but it’s also one of the quietest times of the year in the mountains. The ski season hasn’t yet started, so many people find the mountainous areas to be very peaceful and serene.
Summer is by far the most popular time of the year to take a holiday in Spain, but it’s worth considering the benefits and beauty of travelling at other times of the year. Autumn still brings lovely weather and tends to be a little quieter than mid-summer, making it excellent for those who appreciate the calm.
Located on the border between France and Spain, the Pyrenees mountain range is one of the most stunning sights in all of Europe, and a must-see during any holiday in Spain or southern France. Towns in the Pyrenees offer a completely different experience than many other parts of Catalonia, which can typically be grouped into either coastal resorts filled with luxury Spain holiday rentals or small medieval towns. There’s more of an Alpine feel here, and it can get rather chilly during the winter months!
The Catalan Pyrenees
Also known as ‘Pirineus’ in Catalan, and Pirenèus in Occitan, the Catalan Pyrenees are a spectacular sight. The French side of the mountain range is arguably the more popular side with more towns, more activity, and more things to do, but that’s exactly what makes the Catalan Pyrenees such an attractive option for many people in the area: it’s more natural and more rugged, and you won’t have to deal with as many crowds!
Although the Catalan side is slightly more sparse, there’s still plenty to see and do in the area, enough that you could easily spend a few days of your Barcelona holiday exploring the sights. A few places that are definitely worth visiting are the Mont-Rebei Gorge, which offers an expanse of breathtaking landscape, the wonderful Sant Maurici National Park, and the small village of Llavorsí, where the brave can enjoy a day of wild river rafting through the canyons and along the fast and intense Noguera Pallaresa river.
Where to Stay
While you can rent a house in Girona and make a day trip to the Catalan Pyrenees, it’s much better to stay in the heart of all the action. A good choice is nearby Ripoll, which is considered to be the gateway to the Pyrenees and features plenty of Romanesque-style architecture. Another interesting choice is Vall de Boí, which has UNESCO World Heritage status, and is home to the highest ski resort in the Pyrenees.
Many people dream about swimming with dolphins, but what about swimming with bluefin tuna? Ecotourism is becoming a huge attraction for people who take a holiday in Spain, and the region of Catalonia is ripe with such opportunities.
The idea behind ecotourism is to encourage visitors to look after and care for the environment, teaching them more about the local area, its vulnerabilities, and demonstrating how we can all help to do our part for the environment. Tuna tours take place in the Terres de l’Ebre region of Catalonia, where it’s possible to not only swim with endangered bluefin tuna, but also to learn more about sustainable fishing methods.
The Tuna Tour
The Tuna Tour leaves from Ametlla de Mar for a 30-minute catamaran ride into the depths of the Mediterranean Sea. Sailing away, you’ll get a great view of the coastline, as well as the beautiful villas on the Costa Dorada. The swimming season lasts from June to October, so plan your trip accordingly.
Although this is open-sea swimming in the Mediterranean, the tuna pool is completely enclosed making it safe for both swimmers and the fish. You’ll be provided with a wetsuit so you can keep your swimsuit clean and dry, ready to throw on once you get back to your villa with private pool on the Costa Dorada!
Ametlla de Mar
If a Costa Dorada vacation rentalsounds ideal, then consider staying in Ametlla de Mar, a southern town with gorgeous beaches, plenty of watersports, great museums, a few castles, and truly fantastic views. As one of Catalonia’s primary fishing ports, the local seafood is delicious (and much of it is sustainable, too!). Ametlla de Mar is big enough for couples and families to enjoy a range of activities, while also basking in the small fishing town feel.
Leaving your deluxe Catalonia villa rental might not be high on your list of things to do on holiday (especially if you’ve opted for a luxurious villa with private pool in Spain!), but it really is worth taking some time to get out and enjoy the country’s stunning natural beauty. While many people choose to rent a car, there are much better ways to enjoy the sights and sounds of the region; taking a bike ride in Catalonia, for example, or perhaps even donning the walking boots and heading off on the hiking trails.
Here are some of the best walking routes in Catalonia.
Sant Jeroni Trail, Montserrat
Taking just over one hour in total, this is an excellent hiking route for people of all ability levels. There’s a sharp ascent up to the summit, but it’s worth the effort for the breathtaking views over the Llobregat valley. If you’re staying in a Barcelona accommodation, it’s easy to get to the start of the trail; take a train to Montserrat-Aeri, and then the St. Joan funicular.
GR92, Blanes – Lloret
The GR92 long-distance walking route covers a whopping 362 miles between Portbou and Vilanova, but there’s a very manageable and stunning coastal section for leisure hikers between Blanes and Lloret. At just over three miles one way, it’s even good for kids, and it’s a handy and convenient option for those with a holiday rental in Costa Brava. The beach at Lloret is stunning, so spend some time there if you can!
Footpath 1, Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park
If you fancy heading a little bit inland, there’s nowhere better than the Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park. There are more than 20 different trails in the park, but footpath 1 is arguably one of the best. A loop trail covering just over six miles, this path takes you to the Santa Margarida crater, which is much more lush and green than you may think. It’s a tiring walk, but it will be a highlight of your vacation in Spain.