Can you find the bunny waiting for Easter in the pinnacles of Montserrat? Hint: I took the Sant Joan funicular to the top of the mountain and walked down via Sant Miquel. Steep but easy stroll on a well paved path. On a clear day look out to Barcelona and the sea beyond. Or in the other direction, all the way to the mountain peaks in France. The trail marker reads 40 minutes.
The best time to troll the candy shops! Over the next two weeks leading up to Easter Monday, the bombonerias outdo themselves. Who will present the best Mona Cake to their favorite child? Irresistible window shopping!
I asked him. That's a whole morning's work in his hand there. Everybody has a secret spot up on the hill overlooking Barcelona. You go early and you don't tell anyone where you've been. Hunt for asparagus after the rain. And with fresh eyes. Because the sneaky devils look like dead greenish brown sticks among the bushes. If you give up empty handed, you can sometimes find them in season at the Boqueria or your barrio's covered market.
Footpaths by the sea. Trails left by the fishermen. Followed by the watchmen. Looking for pirates. Pathways soaring above the sea. Pathways down by the sea. Pathways by villages. Pathways away from everything. I like them all. As long as I can see the water. Full frontal. So of the 260 kilometers of trails that make up the famous Camins de Ronda, here are the ones that take the best advantage of the sea, avoiding view blocking tree cover or wandering too far inland. Pick a sunny spring day and go before the summer crowds arrive!
Best panorama. The walk from Vall de Santa Creu to the Monastery St. Pere and then to the viewpoint, a ruined castle Sant Salvador de Verdera. The whole walk with open views to the sea. On top you can see to France, to the Pyrenees and to the fields of Girona and out to the far reaches of the sea.
Best diversions. A kid friendly short walk that starts in Callela. No guard rails, but lots of fun tunnels along the way to the little hidden beach at the end, great for stone skipping.
Best mix. The walk that starts near Llafranc at the San Sebastian lighthouse, then goes along steep cliffs, then meadows flowering in Spring, then to a tiny rock beach with a tiny bar only open in summer, then over a rocky outcrop with tide pools, ending at beautiful Tamariu beach. Some parts with no guardrails, uneven trail, some scrambling.
Best picnic spot. The walk from Tossa del Mar along the cliffs south of the old town. Four wooden platforms along the way with infinity views and benches. Uneven dirt trail.
Best stroll. The walk along the Promenade from Platja San Pol to Platja Sa Conca in front of the mansions of S'Agaro. Exclusive bay and beach at the end. Cliffs with no guardrails, but wide mostly paved promenade with easy sets of stairs.
Best vision. The deconstruction of Tudela at Cap de Creus. Once a huge vacation resort, the whole area now restored to its natural beauty inside a nature park. Safe trail, lots of fun rock formations. Blooming with flowers in Spring.
For more ideas, review the whole section on the Costa Brava and click on "previous" when you get to the end of the entries on the first page.
By Maia Pay Ozguc
Barcelona Impressions. Be curious. Be present. Be Barcelona!