Most people who come to Catalunya do so for its beaches on the Costa Brava and to visit one of the world's most fashionable cities, Barcelona. Those who venture further inland discover an exceptionally beautiful region. A heady mix of lush green countryside, remote valleys, rugged mountains ascending into snow capped peaks of the Pyrenees characterise the region. Stone villages with a medieval air dot the verdant landscape, making a stay in Catalunya a wonderful and memorable experience.
In Catalunya, the sense of difference to the rest of Spain is very marked, not only in the landscape but also in its history, cuisine and the people. The Catalans are fiercely proud of their unique past and traditions and notably, the Catalan language is becoming more and more prevalent throughout the region.
To the west of Barcelona is Catalunya's most emblematic and visited site, Montserrat. The monastery, originally built here in the 11th century, tops the extraordinary rock formations that point up below this fortress-like shrine. The walks and views around here are spectacular.
To the north-east of the region is the city of Girona. Somewhat eclipsed by Barcelona but nevertheless this historic city is a flourishing and vibrant place. Its airport is provides the main gateway to the beaches of the Costa Brava, but it is also handy for those seeking to explore the more northern and alpine areas of Catalunya. Close by to Girona is of course the 'Dalí town' of Figueras.
Masias, are dotted all across the Catalan countryside. Large farmhouses, many of which are still the hub of working farms, but some, such as Can Guilla (see Barcelona accommodation) have been converted into outstanding properties, providing an idyllic place to stay for those planning a week or more in the region.
Cataluña has much to offer - the Costa Dorada features one the world's most fashionable cities, Barcelona while, to the north, the Costa Brava boasts many internationally acclaimed beaches along a largely rugged rocky coastline reaching up to the French border.