Words and photography by Adrian Morris (@adrianmowgli)
As fun as the summer months in Barcelona can be there is a point (usually around July/August) when you are not so thrilled on hearing a group of 20 or so English/Americans on a summer pub crawl terrorizing the otherwise beautiful and calm side streets and beaches of the city. So here are a few of my favourite little spots for when you need to get the hell out of there in those moments of need.
COSTA BRAVA (COAST)
This is a pretty obvious one but it is important to find the right part of the Costa Brava to explore because it can get stupidly busy in the little towns during summer time. Regardless of this the Costa Brava is amazing , the towns are beautiful, the water is crystal clear and there is a lot of empty winding coastline paths to explore and it is just under 2 hours drive from Barcelona . There is a special little string of private coves and swimming spots we found close to the town of Calella de Palafrugell on this day, the further you walk the better it gets.
PARC NATURAL DELS PORTS (WATERFALLS AND ROCKPOOLS)
This place is just ridiculously good, I actually can’t even believe a place can be that good and at the same time so empty. My photos really don’t do it justice. It is 2 and a half hours from Barcelona heading south towards Valencia tucked amongst the best kind of mountains, valleys and never ending stretches of windy roads. We chose to explore the top side of the park. After stocking up on deadly cheap Sangria and all your camping, food and water needs in the beautiful little town of Arnes, You need to drive off road style along the dirt roads that lead deep into the wilderness and will take you to waterfalls, rock pools and pine tree forests lined with wild Rosemary and Lavender. I highly recommend not driving a Peugeot 406 station wagon that sits 15cm off the ground because there are some pretty gnarly parts where some unknown objects of your car might be ripped off from underneath along the ride. Yes, that happened.
Andorra is basically some sort of magical Mountain land where you can buy a 6 pack of beer for 2 euros, Tobacco plants grow on the side of the road and you can hike through the most beautiful Mountain Ranges in Europe. This magical mountain land is around 2 and half hour drive from Barcelona and sits in the Pyranees mountain ranges in between France and Spain. I recently spent a good few good days there drinking wine by a fire like a boss in my friends mountain house, hiking up mountains, picking mushrooms and cooking food over a campfire 2500m above sea level. The weather is a lot cooler and the air is a lot cleaner up there and is a pleasant change from the hot and humid cesspool that Barcelona can become in the peak of Summer.