Travel

Discover Catalonia in 2017

catalonia

Catalonia is one of the hottest destinations for 2017 with a number of exciting new openings, attractions, flight routes and hotels.

From riding Europe’s fastest and tallest roller coaster at Ferrari Land to learning how to build a human tower with the Minyons de Terrassa or marvelling at Gaudi’s first work – Casa Vicens – Catalonia has it all for 2017 and beyond.

Here’s a round-up of the hottest new openings and experiences for next year: Test your nerves on Europe’s fastest and tallest roller coaster: Catalonia’s newest attraction, PortAventura World Parks & Resort’s Ferrari Land, is set to open on 7th April 2017. Stretching for over 60,000m2, the park’s main attraction will be its rollercoaster, the Vertical Accelerator – the highest (112m) and fastest (0-180km/h in five seconds) in Europe, sending visitors down the track at over 110mph, including at a 90o angle. The opening of this park, at a cost of €1 million, expects to welcome more than 5 million visitors in 2017.

Get involved in one of Catalonia’s most jaw-dropping pastimes: Visitors to Catalonia can now enjoy the “Minyons Experience”, a new initiative by Terrassa Turisme which provides an opportunity to join the Minyons de Terrasa Human Towers Team during one of their rehearsals. This brand new experience offers visitors a unique opportunity to get involved and fit under a lumbar back strip or faixa and join the tower, or castell. Castells are a quintessential part of Catalan culture and have been declared ‘Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity’ by UNESCO. The Minyons Experience can be enjoyed at Casa Jacint, a modernist building that transports visitors back to Terrassa’s industrial past.

Marvel at Gaudí’s earliest work: Antoni Gaudí’s first major construction – dating back to 1883-1888 – Casa Vicens is set to open as a museum. The UNESCO heritage building, which is located in Barcelona’s Gràcia district, will be transformed into a house museum featuring some of the architect’s best work and has never been opened to the public before. Casa Vicens set the tone for Gaudí’s future artistic direction with its bright colours and references to nature, and is an important part of the architect’s history.

Enjoy a feast for the senses at Barcelona’s new sensory experience, ‘Opera Samfaina’: Launched in September 2016, ‘Opera Samfaina’ is a new multisensory gastronomic experience. Located in the Grand Teatre Liceu, Opera Samfaina is comprised of 950 square meters of different environments and bars, offering various gastronomies, Mediterranean style, unique designs, local produce, and stunning art.

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Go green and make Catalonia your sustainable home: Catalonia has declared 2017 the ‘Year of Sustainable Tourism’. One sustainable tourism initiative in place is WILDSEA Europe, a new programme which connects European coastal destinations that host a rich marine biodiversity to build a pan-European network of tourism operators who actively nurture and protect the ocean through sustainable, responsible tourism. The route explores the stunning marine landscapes and ecotourism experiences in Catalonia and other European coastal destinations. WILDSEA Europe offers visitors a wealth of exciting marine and outdoor activities to try, allowing them to experience and learn about marine wildlife. There are now over 65 different tourism experiences visitors to Catalonia can enjoy including diving, snorkelling, kayaking, bird watching and trekking.

Grab the family and hit the slopes: Home to the magnificent Pyrenees, Catalonia boasts sixteen world-class ski resorts and new for this season, the five new Catalan ski resorts of Valter 2000, Vall de Núria, La Molina, Masella and Port Ainé have all been awarded the coveted Family Holiday Destination (FHD) seal of approval. Catalonia’s FHDs are one of the region’s unique selling points and the accolade is awarded to towns, cities, and resorts that go above and beyond to cater to the family market with accommodation, restaurants, facilities and tourist attractions that provide all the services visitors need when travelling with children.

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Imagine yourself as the next Messi or Bolt at the world’s first theme park for sports: Open Camp Barcelona, the world’s first theme park for sports has just opened in the Olympic Ring area on Montjuïc – the main site of Barcelona’s 1992 Olympics. Open Camp Europe offers a completely new concept which combines entertainment and sports with fun. The project brings together the world of sport with the latest technology and virtual reality. Whether it’s dribbling like Messi or sprinting like Bolt, visitors to the theme park can experience what it is like to be a professional sportsman or sportswoman.

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Enjoy more direct flights to Catalonia: Ryanair has announced 6 new summer routes between the UK and Catalonia for 2017 including: Belfast to Girona; Birmingham to Girona; Edinburgh to Girona; Glasgow Prestwick to Girona; Liverpool to Girona; and Newcastle to Girona. Jet2 Holidays has also announced five new summer routes which include: East Midlands to Girona, Belfast to Girona, Edinburgh to Girona, Leeds to Girona and London Stanstead to Girona.

Stay in one of Catalonia’s newest hotels: There are a number of new hotels expected to open in 2017 including The One Barcelona. Located in one of Barcelona’s most exclusive districts, the One Barcelona will be a new 5* grand luxury hotel with a sophisticated interior design that inspires comfort and tranquility. The hotel will offer spacious and bright rooms, a restaurant and cocktail & wine bar, a spa, an exclusive guest-only plunge pool and solarium, and a magnificent rooftop terrace with panoramic views over the city. It is expected to open in February. Also in Barcelona, The Agbar tower – one of Barcelona’s most iconic buildings – is set to be transformed into a luxury hotel. The hotel will have 400 rooms and a panoramic viewing area at the top.

For further information: www.catalunya.com

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