Five day trips from Barcelona to take during Semana Santa

04 Apr 2017 Maria Di Mario 2 responses

Even if you’re not going away for Semana Santa, you can still spend your week off exploring new places. There are so many great towns and villages within a day’s travel of Barcelona so use your time off to get out there and do some exploring!


Only an hour away from Barcelona, this lovely city is a great day trip destination. Take a walk around the city walls for great views of the town and surrounding countryside. Climb the 86 steps which lead up to the cathedral and visit the gothic interior – it has the widest nave of any church in the world after St. Peter’s Basilica. The old Jewish quarter, El Call, is also an interesting neighbourhood to explore.

Where to have lunch

Head for Can Roca, owned by the parents of the famous Michelin starred Roca brothers. The menu del dia is only 11€ and features hearty Catalan cuisine.

How to get there

There are direct trains from Sants which leave hourly. The 35 minute high speed train is 15€, whereas the slower train is 7€.

Monasterio de Sant Miquel de Fai

This beautiful 11th century Benedictine monastery is at the top of a steep valley. The river Tenes runs down through the valley, creating lots of pools and waterfalls which you’ll pass on your hike up to the monastery. Once you’re there, you can visit the church and the caves next to the church.

Where to have lunch

There’s a stall selling sandwiches but your best bet is to bring a picnic – there are lots of ideal picnicking spots on the way to the monastery and in the grounds.

How to get there

You can take a bus from Barcelona to Riells del Fai, the village at the bottom of the valley. The bus takes an hour and costs around 6€ and the hike should take a couple of hours – maybe less if you’re super fit!



South of Barcelona is the city of Tarragona. The founding date of Tarragona is unknown but it was built up by the Romans around 250BC and they left plenty of evidence, from an amphitheatre overlooking the sea to an aqueduct just outside the city walls. There’s also the Museu Nacional Arqueològic de Tarragona, an enormous archeological museum which is one of the oldest museums in Spain. When you’ve had enough of the archaelogical sights, go for a wander around the old town – narrow, picturesque streets full of boutiques and bars.

Where to have lunch

Racó de l’Abat in the old town is known for its fresh and innovative approach to Catalan cuisine and does a menu del dia for only 15€.

How to get there

You can get the train from Sants to the centre of Tarragona. Trains leave every half hour, and the journey is about an hour and costs around 18€.


This beautiful stone village is one of the most important medieval centres of Catalunya. The name Peratallada means ‘carved stone’, and many of the buildings were constructed with the stone removed when the moat surrounding the town was carved out. You can spend the day wandering through the narrow streets and sunny plaças, visiting the medieval castle and exploring the 13th century Romanesque church. The 5th century BC Iberian settlement of Ullastret is also worth a visit, just a ten minute drive away.

Where to go for lunch

El Borinot is one of the best restaurants in Peratallada and the weekday menu del dia is only 13.50€. Can Nau is another popular spot with a menu at 14.50€.

How to get there

The best way to get to Peratallada is by car. It’s only a 90 minute drive, and if you bring some friends along you can share the price of the car hire and petrol!


In the heart of Baix Empordà, this seaside village is full of character. Its narrow streets, featuring Moorish and Spanish architecture, wind up the central hill to the medieval castle with views along this beautiful part of the Costa Brava. From the old town you can wander down to one of the coves that line the coast of Begur and if the weather is really nice, you might even be tempted to go in for a swim!

How to get there

Again, it’s a tricky one to reach by public transport. If you rent a car it takes about 1hr and 45 minutes, and if it’s a group trip that will bring the cost down!

Where to go for lunch

Situated in an old farmhouse, Galena Mas Comangau is a good choice for lunch, with a terrace for sunny days. It offers very traditional Catalan food made with excellent attention to detail. The menu del día is a little pricier than most at 18€ but worth every penny!

Are there any day trips from Barcelona that you’d recommend?