Things to do
1. Catalan Cooking Class: Visit a local authentic rustic Catalan restaurant where Carman an English speaking cook will show you the delights and secrets of traditional Catalan cooking with local organic vegetables of the season. You get to eat what you cooked for lunch. A truly memorable experience capturing the essence of this wine area culture. €58 per person min of 8 in group to book please mention in your booking .
Hunting: We can organise a local pheasant shooting hunt walking through beautiful the moutain wilderness of the nearby Alt penedes. Ask for details
2. A day out in Barcelona City: What can you say that has not already been said a thousand times about Europe's favourite city. A great day is only 50mins away by car!
3. Wine Tasting and Tours: The house is in the heart of Wine Country. Some of the worlds best white, Rose and Cava is produced just metres from our house. Why not take a day out visiting the some the worlds largest wine makers in the world at Torres, Frexinet, Cordoniu, Pares Balta they have visits most days of the year, just pop in and find out when there next tasting is. Its very cheap from only 2€ pp. A must day out ( See Torres Tour here)
4. Bike Tours: Local Irish Paddy Manion gives excellent Bike Tours discovering the majestic local countryside. Biking and a stop by for lunch at one of the numerous local villages and family run restaurants will make for a wonderful family day out. visit www.Elmolitours.com
5. Paella Party cooked in the Garden! Have your own chief turn up in the garden and cook you a giant paella for all of your guests. In addition we can arrange your own labeled Cava wine with any picture or message you would like on your bottles!! It will be a day you never forget!
6. San Marti Sarrocca! (Local Restaurant): This is the town before you arrive at Torrelles and is on the main road leading to the main town of Vilafranca. Cal Lluis restaurant off the main road to the right as you come from the house. This is a fondue restaurant op evenings only 93 899 1001. These is another good restaurant up this road called Cal Augusti 93 899 1203 and two further ones.
Along the main road is a café with called Punt de Trobaola (Red Chairs Outside). This is a cheap place for a good breakfast – but be aware they only speak Catalan !!!!!
The road opposite the café with red chairs (window shop on corner) leads to a little square where you can stop for coffee or a beer and sit outside. There is also a small grocery store here. On the road from San Marti Sarocca to Vilafranca is a restaurant called Sant Jordi Ca La Kitty they have a great lunch time menu around €11pp which includes three courses and wine/water. It is much more expensive in the evenings!
7. Port Aventura: Just a few kilometers from Reus is one of the largest theme parks in Europe, rivaling Paris’ Disneyland. Port Aventura is a massive park which takes visitors on a journey through several exotic lands from around the world such as Cataluña, Polynesia, China, Mexico and America’s Wild West. Each region features modern rides, restaurants, shops and live entertainment representative of its culture. It’s definitely one of the highlights in Catalonia, especially for kids.
8. Monserrat Mountains (40 mins) Montserrat is a mountain near Barcelona. It is the site of a Benedictine abbey, Santa María de Montserrat, which hosts the Virgin of Montserrat sanctuary. Visit this place nearby to Barcelona. You can see beautiful architecture, take nice walks in the nature, observe the strange shaped mountains and much more. That will be an unforgettable visit for you.
The abbey can be reached by road, by the Aeri de Montserrat cable car, or by the Montserrat Rack Railway. From the abbey, the Funicular de Sant Joan funicular railway goes up to the top of the mountain, where there are various abandoned hovels in the cliff faces that were previously the abodes of reclusive monks, whilst the Funicular de Santa Cova descends to a shrine.
The summit of Montserrat is called Sant Jeroni (Saint Jerome) and stands at 1,236 meters (4,055 feet) above sea-level. It is accessible by hiking trails which connect from the top entrance to the Sant Joan funicular, the monastery, or the base of the mountain. From the summit, one can see in all directions (360 degrees) for many miles.
9. Trip to Tarragona: Location: Tarragona is located on the Mediterranean coast, 60 miles southwest of Barcelona, Spain, in the region of Catalonia. While earlier settlements may have inhabited the area, the first occupation of Tarragona is attributed to Gneus Scipio, who founded a Roman military camp here in 218 B.C. It grew quickly and was named a colony of Rome in 45 B.C. by Julius Ceasar. Tarragona is considered the most important Roman town in Spain.
Tarragona Cuisine: Think seafood, nuts, onions, tomatoes, oil and garlic. Romesco sauce is a product of this area. Tapas are plentiful in the Rambla Nova area, as well as the interesting Placa de la Font, which you'll find loaded with cafes and restaurants, the place to head on your early evening stroll. Tarragona is known for its fine wine as well.
Tarragona Closing Days: Unless quiet is your ultimate goal, don't go for a day trip to Tarragona on Monday--everything is closed.
Amfiteatre Romà - The Roman Amphitheatre is located seaside, just off the Rambla Nova. Set in a cliff over the beach, this ancient amphitheatre was the site where gladiators and wild beasts fought until death for the amusement of the crowds, as well as being the site of the grisly death of three Christian martyrs in AD 259. A basilica was erected to honour them in the 6th century.
Cathedral - At Tarragona's apex sits the 12th century cathedral. Inside is the Museu Diocesà, with a collection of Catalán art. The cathedral in the centre of the old city was completed in 1331 and captures the move away from Romanesque architecture to Gothic styling, with arches designed in the latter and doors and a main building that evoke the former.
The Archaeological Museum - At Plaça del Rei 5, overlooking the sea. Free on Tuesdays. The Necropolis Museum outside town that's one of the most important Christian burial sites in Spain, used in the 3-5th centuries. The national archaeology museum contains numerous Roman relics including sculptures, mosaics, ceramics and precious metals and coins as well as popular mosaics depicting the head of Medusa.
Passeig Arquelologic - In the old quarter known as Part Alta, the Passeig Arqueologic is an eight kilometre long promenade that weaves around the original Roman walls of the city. The older ramparts were built in the 2nd century BC and stand 12 metres tall, while on the opposite side, the columns bear evidence of reinforcing done by the British in the 18th century, during the War of Spanish Succession. From the walking path, you can take in sweeping views of the plains and the sea.
Notes: You'll find some interesting bars and seafood restaurants in the Port area near the marina. We also recommend the Placa de la Font area for its lively cafe and tapas scene. Remember that Spaniards eat dinner very late in the evening. Often 9pm is a bit early for eating.
Tarragona, besides being a fine city peppered with Roman ruins and good restaurants, is a relatively inexpensive place to stay while visiting Catalonia. You can get to Barcelona in about an hour and a half, although it's quite a walk from the Barcelona station to the Gothic Quarter--you can take a bus or cab.
10. A Visit to Sitges: See how the landscape and cultural tradition have made Sitges a cosmopolitan town. Between 1892 and 1899, Sitges became a meeting place for modernist artists (writers, musicians, critics, sculptors and painters) and was defined as "The Mecca of Modernism". Sitges is located 30 km south of Barcelona at the end of a picturesque road that passes through the mountains and cliffs. A favorite holiday spot with the locals, take a day tip out to enjoy the town's beach location, elegant nature and pleasing nightlife. If you go in February or March you might even have a chance to witness the city-wide party Carnival Modern Sitges, preserving important references from the Middle Ages and the old farmers’ and fishermen’s town, offers visitors an impressive architectural and cultural heritage, the result of initiatives by artists, cultural energizers and patrons like Santiago Rusiñol, Ramon Casas, Miquel Utrillo or Charles Deering. Thanks to them, Sitges was a reference point for writers, musicians and other intellectuals and became an important centre for disseminating Modernism and the "Americanos", who, after returning with their "fortune" from their American adventure, commissioned large mansions from Modernist and Noucentista (post Art Nouveau) architects.
Sanctuary de Maria de Foix (10 mins)
As you come down the hill from the house on the left hand side is a dirt road leading up to the Sanctuary (it is sign posted). This is a fabulous place for a picnic with incredible views of Alt and Baix Penedès. The monastery is open on the first Sunday of each month for actually going inside and in summer months at night it is illuminated every weekend. You can see the monastery from the main house balcony off the lounge (to the left) and our house is also visible from the sanctuary.
11. Why not have a Massage and pedicure at the house? We have our own in house masseuse. Please ask for rates and an appointment
12. Ski in Andorra: Andorra is only 1hr and 30mins drive from the house you could be on the piste within hours!
13. Visit the beautiful Santa Creus Monastery: Only 40mins drive through untouched countryside is the facinating Monastery of Santa Creus en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santes_Creus
14. Markets of Vilafranca del Penedes: Every Saturday morning there is a market in the centre of Vilafranca, its well worth a visit seeing all the hustle and bustle of Catalan Culture. Here you can find market stalls selling everything from fruit, vegetables, clothes, plants, bags, spices, animals etc.. Also keep an eye on events in town, very often there are festivals going on in town which can be a real bonus to see and visit. http://www.vilafranca.org/html/welcome/index.html
15. Eat Out: There is an abundance of Restaturants dotted around the local countryside. The quality of food and cooking is excellent. One of the great pleasures of this area is eating out and learning to appreciate the local ancient culture, whereby the wine and typical menus have been around for centuries run by familes of many generations. Typically most eateries offer a 'Menu de la Dia' (Menu of the Day) served from 1 - 3pm offering a 3 course meal including wine for around 10€ per person. These meals are normally based on typical basic peasant menus of the main staple diet of meat, poultry, vegetables, salads, bread and wine.
For our list of recommened restaturants please see here Local Restaurants