Catalonia – cities and beautiful coastlines
Barcelona, Tossa de Mar and Figueres
24th July 2015
Life in Catalonia
Thinking of making the move to Spain?
On the East coast of Spain, bordering France, you’ll find Catalonia, a triangle shaped Spanish district that, according to history, has its own nationality and identity away from Spain. Catalonians, the people who live there, have been working/fighting for independence from Spain since Franco’s rule in the early to mid 1900s and have since gone on to identify themselves as their own nationality with their own language. Not only is Catalonia an incredibly fascinating place to live, it’s really rather beautiful too!
Catalonia is beautiful part of the country and is home to the beautiful Mediterranean sea, it’s split into four provinces including the aforementioned Barcelona and Tarragona, Girona and Lleida. These metropolitan, hubs of activity are what make this part of Spain such a desirable place to live and for those looking for a life on the quieter side, there are plenty of sleepy fishing villages to explore too…
Much like the rest of Europe, Spain’s vibrant art scene attracts visitors from all over the world. Barcelona, in the eyes of many, is the art capital of Spain because of one man… Gaudi, whose architecture continues to shape much of the city’s beautiful aesthetics. Famous (must see) Gaudi buildings include the incredible La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo, La Pedrera and Parc Guell. Parc Guell, is an entire park designed by the famous architect and is one thing you seriously must not miss during your stay in the city. Parc Guell is the embodiment of Gaudi’s artistic style, every inch of the park a tribute to the artist’s inner workings – plus! What better way to enjoy the very best of his work, than by getting amongst it and enjoying it from within?
Las Ramblas, the bustling hub of the city, is set right in the heart of the city centre. Much like London’s Covent Garden and West End, you’ll find thousands of tourists flocking to the Las Ramblas boulevard, at all times of day, for a taste of Spain at its very best. You’ll find street performers, theatres, plenty of restaurants and bars and lots of other exciting things to see and do, but again, much like Central London, Las Ramblas has its good and bad parts. Ensure you do your research before you visit as a duff move could end you up in a not so Spanish situation!
If you want to know more about what you need to know before you move to Barcelona you can check the blog Expats in Barcelona there’s lots of useful information.
Tossa de Mar
Located on the Costa Brava, Tossa de Mar is a small fishing village that, over the past 50 years, has been transformed into a beautiful tourist location, sandwiched just north of Barcelona and the french coast. Tossa de Mar is famous for its historic value and plays host to an endless list of important buildings, sites and artefacts that all reflect on the village’s rich history. Dating back to the Roman’s, up through the Medieval era and Franco’s rule, Tossa de Mar has seen it all and picture all that history alongside pretty sandy beaches, crystal blue water and fishing boats and you’ve got yourself a real taste of Spain.
If you’re looking for a new home on-sea with a little more going on then head to nearby Lloret de Mar, since its humble beginnings as a fishing village, has developed into a hot spot for visitors from all over Europe.
Further north and a little more inland you’ll find the stunning capital of the comarca of Alt Empordà – Figueres. Figueres is in the province of Girona and much like Barcelona, if you’re a fan of art, you simply must go. Figueres is the birthplace of Salvador Dali and is home to one of Spain’s most visited museums – The Dali Museum. Close to the French border, Figueres offers visitors the very best of fine spanish wine, food and art, as well as only being a short drive from the Mediterranean beaches of the Costa Brava. Figueres is the perfect mix of everything you’d need from a residency in Spain.
If you’re thinking of making the move to Spain then you must visit Catalonia. From the cultural cities to sleepy fishing villages and the excitement of the Costa Brava, whatever your taste, be it for fresh seafood Paella or a little bit of home in the sun, Catalonia has something to suit everyone. Enjoy!