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Catalunya

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Highlights from the Catalan region of Spain, both the Pyrenees and Costa Brava -- one of my favorite places in the world. These are tips for things I've done and loved or highlights by others that I've done and was beaten to making tips for.
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Carrer Bonastruc de Porta, 4, 17001 Girona, Spain
Costa Brava has no shortage of great eats, but I kept returning to Txalaka because it not only offered a reasonable 3-course lunch (for 11 euros) but also a sprawling offering of tapas at night, at 1 eur 60 each. With cheerful staff who took great...
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Crta. d'Olot a la Pinya, 17179 La Pinya, Girona, Spain
We arrived at night, when the glow of christmas lights in the trees outside the front door illuminated a structure that looked far too small to house all of the rooms we would need. Morning brought with it clarification and what we found was a...
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Plaça dels Valls, 6-9, 17811 Santa Pau, Girona, Spain
Just off the main square of Santa Pau, which dates to the early fourteenth century, under cover of a deep sapphire sky -- we ducked under a stone arch to walk into Cal Sastre. Immediately I noticed the salmon walls, multitude of awards and faded,...
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Plaça del Roser, 1, 17531 Gombrèn, Girona, Spain
Michelin-star chef, and virtually self-taught man, Francesc Rovira's cafe and restaurant in sleepy Gombrèn is not centrally located for gastronomy enthusiasts to find. Far from Barcelona, but not too far to drive for a day, nestled in the Pyrenees...
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Platja Portlligat, 17488 Cadaqués, Girona, Spain
After falling in love with Salvador Dali at his museum in Figueres, we caught one of three buses out to the cliffside town of Cadaques where you can get to know Dali a bit more intimately by touring his house. Full of odds and ends, including mini...
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Estació de Muntanya Vall de Núria, 17534 Queralbs, Girona, Spain
If nature is a religion then Vall de Núria is mecca. Situated in a small valley with a lake in the heart of the Pyrenees mountains, not far from the border of Spain and France in Catalunya - it is best known as a ski resort but delights visitors...
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Calle Oriente, 23, 17538 Alp, Girona, Spain
In the town of Alps in the valley of La Cerdanya, Casa Patxi serves traditional Catalan food - family style. The friendly woman who owns the restaurant, and her son, will welcome you as if you are her own. Each course will be served with love and...
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Carrer de Querol, 21, 17520 Puigcerdà, Girona, Spain
Oriol, the chef and owner, will welcome you with a beaming smile. Your wallet will thank you because an afternoon of wine and cheese tasting will not break the bank. Close to the border of France, in the small town of Puigcerdà, Tap de Suro is a...
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Carrer Balandau, 24-26, 17534 Ribes de Freser, Girona, Spain
Within Hotel Caçadors, lies a restaurant with a chef renown for inventive Gin & Tonic creation. But the restaurant does not merely delight with drinks. The gastronomy features local ingredients and seafood so fresh it surprises (given the distance...
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Catalonians, particularly near the Pyrenees, love their mushrooms. So much so, hunting them in the forest where they grow wild, has become a beloved pastime. One of the best places to do so in the Pyrenees region is Montgrony. Arrive early in the...
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17534 Queralbs, Girona, Spain
Built in 978, ransacked during the Spanish Civil War and finally restored in the twentieth century -- Església de Sant Jaume de Queralbs is one of the oldest surviving Romanesque churches in Spain. It is worth a visit in and of itself, to the...
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Rabla de las Flores, s/n, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Amble down La Rambla, stopping to admire fresh flowers, original artwork, and Barcelona souvenirs at your leisure. Watch living statues come to life when you drop a euro in their cups—most will pose with passersby, for a price, of course....