Catalunya is an autonomous community of Spain, situated in the north-east of the Iberian Peninsula, bordering Andorra and France. The stunning Costa Brava runs down one side of Catalunya, culminating at the regional capital of Barcelona. To the north of the region, you can find the beautiful Pyrenean mountain range.
Barcelona is the capital city of Catalunya, and the nearest city to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. With a population of 1.6 million inhabitants, it is also the second most populated city in Spain (after Madrid). The city spreads from the coast out to the surrounding hills, and boasts stunning architecture, great weather and beautiful parks. This active city offers many activities and sights to enjoy, and boasts one of the best gastronomies of the area.
An attractive alternative to the busy metropolis can be found in the beautiful cities along the coast. Combine your Formula 1 adventures with a beach escape, with luxurious hotels at a short walk from the beach front. Lloret de Mar is a popular Formula 1 destination, with the city organising Formula 1 days for the entire week leading up to the race free for all to attend and enjoy.
There are two airports near the Circuit de Catalunya. The closest is Barcelona-El Prat Airport, which is about 40km away from the circuit, in the south of Barcelona. This airport is perfect for accessing the city of Barcelona, and travelling onward to the circuit. Alternatively Girona-Costa Brava Airport is approximately 72km to the North-west of the circuit, and offers ease of access to coastal towns along the Costa Brava.
The famous city of Barcelona is only a short distance away from the circuit, so why not make the most of your trip to the Spanish Formula 1? The party never stops in this lively city, with plenty to do and see every day, and most attractions open to public in the evenings. We've put together some of the most emblematic for you below:
Take a walk down the Gothic Quarter, or Bari Gotic, with its medieval streets filled with trendy bars, clubs and Catalan restaurants where you can try out the exquisite local cuisine. Alternatively, if fresh and diverse foods are to your liking, try dropping by La Boqueria, a famous indoor public market.
If you are still thirsty for more, head over to La Rambla: a tree-lined pedestrian walkway in the heart of the city. Known for its architecture, street performers, and shops, and thanks to its proximity to La Boqueria and Bari Gotic, here something interesting is always happening.
For sightseeing, there are plenty of famous tourist spots to choose from. Start high: Monjuic, a historic site located on a hill, hosting a beautiful castle and museums, and offering a fabulous view of the city from above. Chase it down with a Gaudi-themed tour. This can keep visitors occupied for a few hours, as Barcelona is home to many of the artist's designs. The most emblematic one: The Sacred Family, La Sagrada Familia. Then, Gaudi's houses: Casa Mila and Casa Batllo, both open for visitors on exclusive occasions.
Park Guell is an unmissable spot to visit: a beautiful park designed by Gaudi, hosting his museum, as well as mosaic-covered buildings, steps and sculptures. Nature and architecture seamlessly blending together, you will lose count of all the photo-worthy spots. The most famous one: the dragon (El Drac). Go armed with patience for this beast!
Fans of football will be delighted to find that the home stadium of FC Barcelona is a stone-throw away from the Barcelona Sants train station. Camp Nou hosts football games when the team plays on home field, and otherwise doubles as a museum, offering a variety of guided tours to fans of the sport.
If you're looking to combine a beach escape with your Formula 1 experience, the Costa Brava sprawls far and wide, with plenty of hotels from which to choose.
Lloret de Mar
One of the largest towns on the Costa Brava coastline, this beautiful Mediterranean city boasts sandy beaches that can reach over one kilometer in length, and plenty from which to choose. Lloret de Mar gets busy around the summer, being a preferred tourist location, and the city organises an F1 Week around the Formula 1 race around the race weekend. While here, do not miss the chance to visit the Santa Clotilde Gardens, located on top of a cliff overlooking the sea, designed in the Italian Reinassance style.
A historical city as well, with written references about Lloret dating back to documents from the 10th century. Initially an Iberian settlement, Lloret was later occupied by the Romans as well, which is why is still preserves various archeological sites with historical remains in the settlements at Puig de Castellet and Montbarbat.
When it comes to its beaches, Lloret has been awarded the Blue Flag seal of quality for: Lloret, Fenals, Sa Boadella and Santa Cristina beaches. Worth trying at least one out!
Catalunya boasts a Mediterranean climate, with temperatures up to 22 degree centigrade in the month of May. Rainfall remains relatively low at this time of year, but there is always a chance of showers!
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