With unending tourist attractions, well-tended natural surroundings, and unique historical monuments, Barcelona in Spain makes the perfect city for a vacation. There are many activities to engage in, and sometimes, you only need 24 hours to enjoy the time of your life.
In just one day, you can go from visiting a contemporary restaurant to sightseeing at an ancient monastery and maybe even going for a lazy swim by the beach. Despite being the largest metropolis in the Mediterranean, Barcelona has not sacrificed quality for its size. The city is still filled with cute fishing villages, and many towns have maintained the look from medieval times.
There’s a lot you can enjoy in one day, and there are trips specifically designed to help you maximize these 24 hours. To help you narrow things down, we have compiled a list of Barcelona’s seven best day trips.
Best Day Trips from Barcelona
Montserrat Half-Day Guided Tour
Montserrat in English translates to “jagged mountain”, and the dramatic view you set your eyes on when you visit shows that this description isn’t wrong. Known to be the most famous mountain range in Catalonia, Montserrat has a rocky formation.
On the day of the guided tour, you meet your group at a previously decided location in Barcelona. A bus takes you to the range, and you ride up to the top on a cogwheel train on one of the rail tracks. Along the way, your tour guide will take you through the rich ancient history of the mountain range. It is usually a fun moment where they share stories, and you get to learn about the impact of the range and the local monastery on history and religion.
You can also explore the flourishing natural environment surrounding the range with the three hours of free time you get. When you get tired, there’s an abbey restaurant for you to enjoy the meal of your choice. The whole tour lasts six hours, and reserving a slot beforehand is best.
Girona and Costa Brava Full-Day Tour
This tour is a private tour with a small group, usually eight people or less, to the impressive landscapes of the Costa Brava.
Costa Brava is a scenic coastal region in Girona, Spain. The area is filled with quaint villages, jagged rocks, and beaches with crystal-clear water. The streets are lined with colorful houses that will leave you in awe as you stroll through the maze of cobblestone streets. Once you enter Girona, it feels like you have been dropped to a time in the past with the medieval charm that the city holds. The fishing villages of Calella de Palafrugell also make for an interesting attraction. When you finish those, you can explore more natural scenery like the cliffs, green mountains, and ethereal views of Calella itself. To round things off, a dip into the pure water at any magnificent beach will do the trick.
This tour usually lasts about ten hours. The starting time would have been conveyed to you 24 hours prior. What’s more? There’s a pickup service directly from your accommodation with no need for you to converge at any point. The small group makes it easy for you to mix with and learn from other people. Make a reservation now, and it will be worth it.
Girona, Figueres, and Cadaqués Day Trip
Do you believe you can visit one city and two towns in less than twelve hours? Sounds like a dream but one that can easily come true once you sign up for this full-day tour. As you go on to your destination, you will also discover many other beautiful Catalonian cities.
This 12-hour tour teaches you all you need to know about Girona, Figueres, and Cadaqués, from their ancient history to how they acquired their wealth to the design of the streets. From the big picture to the small intricacies, you will be consuming the culture of these towns.
Some of the sights you’ll enjoy on this tour include the Castle of San Fernando and the Dali Theatre/Museum in Figueres, and the Jewish Quarter and Historic Center in Girona. The seaside fishing villages in Cadaqués are the highlights of that town. Cadaqués looks like a town that was brought straight out of a fantasy storybook with its narrow winding streets and cute churches.
Apart from the guided part of the tour, you get some free time to enjoy Catalan delicacies, shop and explore at your own pace. When you are done, an air-conditioned bus transports you back to Barcelona to reminisce on the awe-inspiring events of the day. Doesn’t it sound like the perfect tour for you?
Tarragona and Sitges Full-Day Tour
Sitges is a relaxing coastal town located just Southwest of Barcelona. It is the perfect place to go if you just want some peace; leisure is the best word to describe Sitges. However, the excitement of visiting the ancient Roman city of Tarragona makes up for it.
The 11-hour full-day tour sets out from Barcelona and starts at Tarragona. There, your first stop will be the Roman Aqueduct which is over two millennia old. Sometimes called the Devil’s Bridge (El Pont de Diable), this historical piece from ancient Rome takes you back in time and blows every tourist’s mind with the luxury of setting their eyes on it each time.
There’s a lot more time travelling on this trip, especially when you get to the Amphitheater, where it is so easy to imagine two hefty gladiators battling themselves to death right before you. You can also explore some cathedrals and underground passages along the way.
After all the excitement at Tarragona, the bus takes off and drops you off at Sitges; there’s your chance to unwind. Before getting there, you may briefly stop at the small village of Roc de Sant Gaieta, where you can explore the tiny whitewashed houses and fishing villages.
At Sitges, many interesting sights, eye-catching boutiques, and long stretches of beaches will pique your interest. Whichever one of these attractions calls to you, just make sure you make the most of it. You can enjoy a quiet lunch and do a little sightseeing before reconverging with your tour group. The tour usually ends around six in the evening.
Medieval Villages Day Tour
The tour starts at Besalu, where you drive with your group and your guide from central Barcelona. The meeting point would have been conveyed to you previously. When you get to Besalu, you may feel like someone froze the beautiful village in time since the Middle ages and kept it there just waiting for you. That is how well-preserved this medieval village is. You get to walk down and admire the arcaded streets, explore the remains of an ancient synagogue, and see a mikveh, an old Jewish bath from the High Middle ages.
After leaving Besalu, you head on to the village of Rupit. Rupit is so beautiful that at every stop, there’s always something to marvel at. This is why you get two hours to go off exploring by yourself. You may want to stop at the Church of Saint Miquel, the Castle of Rupit, and the suspended wooden bridge. The bridge and the castle are two of the most iconic sights at Rupit, and your visit isn’t complete without seeing them. Don’t forget to take a picture.
After an enjoyable lunch at a local restaurant, you can then move on to Tavertet. Your trip here begins at the top of the Cingles de Tavertet shale cliffs. In this village, you will find the massive tomb and the Iberian wall before finally going into the main part of Tavertet. Your tour guide will tell you all you need to know about the village, its picturesque buildings, and charming 11th-century churches. Before leaving for Barcelona, you can enjoy a short coffee break with your crew.
3 Countries in 1 Day Small-Group Tour
If three cities sound like a dream, what do you think of travelling through three countries in one day? Well, you’ll have to see for yourself on this small-group tour to Spain, Andorra, and France. Across three borders, you get to do a mix of fun activities, from hiking and shopping to sightseeing picturesque landscapes and touring medieval villages.
The tour group departs from Barcelona and makes its first stop at Baga, a village skirted by the unique rock formations of Cadi-Moixero National Park. You get to explore some of the medieval churches and the central square in this Catalan village before moving on to the country that symbolizes love worldwide – France!
When you enter France, your first stop will be Ax-Les-Thermes, best known for its unbeatable spa treatment. This treatment does not have to be lorded over by an assistant; you can always treat yourself at any restorative water body by the mountainside. Your tour guide will recommend some fountains for you and let you know which ones you can soak your feet in if you wish. After that, you can pop into some of the local shops and come out with souvenirs you’ve had your eyes on. After an hour, you must have had your fill of this French village.
Enjoy a delicious French lunch at a local restaurant and move on to Andorra; you will pass the Pyrenees Alps en route. Your trip here starts at the capital, Andorra la Vella, where you can enjoy tax-free shopping and get even more souvenirs at unbelievable prices. This is where your 12-hour day tour ends. This is totally by choice as you can do a lot more sightseeing on your way back to Barcelona by evening.
Pyrenees Mountain Day Tour
Do you want to be completely consumed by the wonders of nature for a whole day? Then, this Pyrenees Mountain Day tour from Barcelona is the perfect one for you. Known to be one of the most famous mountain ranges in the world, the Pyrenees lives up to its title.
After departing Barcelona and heading north, you will first make a stop at Vic, a beautiful medieval town on the way to the Pyrenees. You and your crew will head first for the market square, where your tour guide will engage you in the town’s history and point you towards places you may want to check out on your own. Don’t worry; there will be enough time to do that. The tour lasts for 11 hours, after all.
When your tour guide is done, you can follow some of their suggestions, but we’ve got you if you’d like some more. The grand cathedral and the town’s square are good places to start. The cathedral is so beautifully carved, and the square is always brimming with activity, especially since the tour days often coincide with the market ones.
After this, you can now move on to your final destination, the Pyrenees. The charming mountain village is located exactly on the side of the alp with little traditional houses dotting the area.
Visit the Church of Sant Sadurní de Fustanyá with the widely talked-about stone structure. You can then hike up the mountain valley of Vall de Núria, which, as you will see, is jaw-dropping, and kind of beautiful. There are other activities you can engage in out there in the wild, including horseback riding, boating, and archery.
There you have it, seven of the best day trips from Barcelona. Which one most catches your fancy? Whichever it is, make your reservation now for an unforgettable trip.