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Visió submarina de les Illes Medes
05 Jul 2012 1 comment Òscar Marín

Navigating around the Medes islands

Right in the heart of Costa Brava, just one mile off the coast of Estartit, there is an archipelago of seven islands called the Medes that attract thousands of divers each year. The reason is simple: the diversity and beauty of its seabed. To preserve all this, the Medes have been listed as a nature reserve under protection since 1990. However, recreational diving and navigation are permitted. It is not unusual to see a great number of divers to and from the beach when you arrive to l’Estartit. Wetsuits, swimwear and towels hang from balconies and windows. The Nautilus at Meda Petita. According to the people at Estación Náutica de l’Estartit, the local marina getting to the Medes islands is one of the most popular things to do in Costa Brava. It could be because this ride can be done any time of the year. Although you can hire many types of boats, the best known to take you to the Medes are the Nautilus yellow catamarans. Simply, because they have windows under the sea …  More

DCIM101GOPRO
28 Jun 2012 2 comment Òscar Marín

Paragliding through the valley of Àger

It is difficult to describe the feeling of jumping off a cliff. We are told that nothing will happen, that the wide canopy resembling a parachute will lift us and sustain us. No time for second thoughts.  We start running, and we’re lifted off the ground, like magic. We’re flying! At our feet lies the Valley of Àger, a broad depression flanked by towering mountains belonging to the pre-Pyrenean region of Noguera.

Alfacs1_738x246
21 Jun 2012 0 comments Òscar Marín

Sailing through the bay “dels Alfacs”

One of the most elegant ways to enjoy the waters of this bay is on board of a classic sailing ship, letting the wind do all the work.  Allows for an unforgettable panoramic view of the Delta del Ebro.  However, you can choose more economical ways to do that, like renting a kayak or a sailboat.  Whatever you chose, you can make arrangements at Estació Nàutica, in the town of Sant Carles de la Ràpita. If you feel adventurous there is always the kitesurfing, an excellent way to blend in with nature while standing on a board dragged by a kite.  Fun? You bet.  Daring? Only if you crave for some adrenaline-fueled acrobatics.  If you are not into xtreme sports, you probably are a better candidate to practice paddle surf.  You stay close to the beach and it feels like walking on water. Kitesurf The day of my visit I chose a more relaxed approach, focusing on gastronomy, landscape and tradition.  At 11 am, like every Saturday, a boat from company Creuers Delta de l’Ebre, …  More

Vinyes i campanar del Lloar_738x246
14 Jun 2012 0 comments Òscar Marín

Touring the vineyards of Priorat

I arrived at the small village of El Lloar in the morning, ready to lose myself in the vineyards of the region of Priorat, an area of great winemaking tradition. I chose a route that starts at the Plaza de la Iglesia in El Lloar and takes you through the old Camino Real de la Figuera, also known as El de la fuente de Minfami, which crosses through the vineyards belonging to the Torres winery. If you start the itinerary in the morning, like I did, I recommend stopping by the winery later on. It’s actually better to enjoy the walk in the early hours to avoid a blazing sun. It’s a beautiful journey and the signposts are easy to follow. However for those who like to rely on directions, the tourism office of Priorat has published a brochure and also offers to download the itinerary straight to your GPS. This route was once a bridle path, where for centuries peasants walked on with their mules, loaded with grapes from the highest vineyards. It is …  More

L'herència romana de Tarragona
09 Jun 2012 0 comments Òscar Marín

The roman heritage of Tarragona

I arrive in Tarragona by the ancient Roman road called Via Augusta.  It’s late spring and the city shows itself as a bright, refreshing and elegant place despite its ancient origins.  More than two thousand years ago, Tarragona was the capital of a Roman province, which covered half of the Iberian Peninsula. I drop the luggage at the Astari Hotel and I head towards the amphitheater, taking the Via Augusta, as did many Romans when entering the old Tarraco.  The amphitheater was where the gladiators fought for their lives.  Nowadays, the locals reenact that gruesome experience during a festival celebrated in mid-May, but without the blood or the killing, obviously.  It’s easy to feel transported back to the old Roman Empire.  Stands full of cheering fans, rejoicing to be part of a very particular form of entertainment.  If you visit the amphitheater any other month, when there isn’t any reenactment, you can still hear a murmur that resembles a cheering crowd.  It’s the waves crashing on the near by Miracle Beach.  Very poetic, indeed.  There …  More

Hotel Grèvol
07 Jun 2012 0 comments Òscar Marín

Quality rural hotels in the valley of Camprodon

We all like to be pampered, to feel like at home when we are away from home. If Catalonia has risen through the ranks of popularity as a rural tourism destination is due, in part, to the attention to detail and the warm welcome that many generations of owners have offered to visitors. In the Valley of Camprodon, for example, we find living proof of that. Rosalia Fajulà, 92, ran a guesthouse at the Plaza de Molló when she was just a young woman and then, in 1971, she founded what today is known as Hotel Calitxó. Currently managed by her grandchildren Susanna and Jordi Solé with the same passion and dedication to their customers. Hotel Calitxó achieved notoriety in the region thanks to its quality restaurant. When I got there it was packed. Fortunately I was able to get a table and taste their delicious lamb and a mouth-watering carpaccio of pig’s feet. A tipical dish from the valley of Camprodon Food is also one of the pillars of Hotel La Coma founded more …  More

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