26 April 2019 16:53
We take a look at the Circuit de Catalunya, and the cities and resorts around it that make this an unmissable holiday location!
MotoGP rocks into the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in the height of spring for an always-on frenetic weekend of action. But that's only the tip of the iceberg. With so much to do away from the circuit, Motorsport Live shows you around the local region and beyond.
You won't struggle to find activities in Barcelona, whether you just want to chill out or whether you want to take in everything the city has to offer. Barcelona has something for everyone…
Barcelona is world-renowned for its cultural offerings and its trio of local artists Antoni Gaudi, Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro, whose influence is seen all across the city. Gaudi's architecture at Park Guell, Casa Mila and Casa Batllo are visited by millions of tourists each year while his masterpiece is the Sagrada Familia. The church remains under construction - and will do so through the middle of the next decade - but it has already acquired UNESCO World Heritage status and both its internals and externals are jaw-droppingly off the scale. Perhaps the most eye-catching building is the gothic Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, located close to Placa Catalunya, and which oversees an array of fountains. Its centrepiece, the Fonta Magica, puts on a lights and music display each evening.
Barcelona is also one of Spain's sporting centres and the western suburb of Les Corts is home to a complex of Barcelona stadia, the focal point of which is the 99,000-seater stadium Camp Nou. The home of FC Barcelona is the largest stadium in Europe and only a visit inside gives you a true impression of its size and scale. Inside the stadium, is the club's trophy collection, emphasising the level of success they have amassed over the decades. And there's more than just football. The Montjuic district contains the stadia that hosted the 1992 Summer Olympic games, which was widely credited with rejuvenating Barcelona as one of Europe's main tourist destinations.
For a more relaxed vibe Barcelona has a plethora of shopping, eating and drinking districts, with the kilometre-long tree-lined pedestrian area of La Rambla a must-visit, while La Boqueria market house is a sense overload full of diverse fresh products, and is the go-to place to pick up exquisite fruit and vegetables. As you'd expect there's plenty of places to drop in for some Tapas, with Pa amb Tomaquet, Mato cheese and Crema Catalana among the favoured options, washed down with Cava, some Cervezas or a glass of Sangria.
If you want to prolong your visit beyond Barcelona then there's plenty of pleasant towns and cities to enjoy within a short distance. There are the affluent coastal resorts of Sitges and Castelldefels while further up the Costa Brava is the medieval city of Girona. Around an hour's drive west is the Santa Maria de Montserrat abbey, which on a clear day provides spectacular views of the Catalan countryside, while for any motorcycle fanatic continuing along the road will eventually bring you to Lleida. The quiet town is the home of reigning World Champion Marc Marquez, whose museum in the town is one of its most-visited tourist attractions.
For the more adventurous explorers Andorra is a couple of hours to the North West of Barcelona - and its advantageous economic arrangements mean it's a Duty Free haven - while to the south there's Valencia, accessible either by road or rail, and a mixture of ancient and modern in the country's third-biggest city.
The possibilities are almost endless - a trip to the Catalan MotoGP is your gateway to Barcelona, Catalonia and some of the most iconic areas of the Iberian Peninsula. Book your trip here with Motorsport Live.