The 11 counties in Barcelona province offer you a whole host of possibilities so that you can enjoy leisure, culture and nature. They include sea and beaches, natural parks, art and cultural heritage, gastronomy, wine tourism, "modernista" trails, rural tourism, spas with thermal springs, sports and family activities.
If you're a fan of Catalonia's home-grown art nouveau, "modernisme", you have to visit the Colònia Güell, with its church crypt designed by Antoni Gaudí, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the industrial buildings and family homes in Terrassa; and the "modernista" villas in Argentona and Canet de Mar in the county of the Maresme.
If you prefer the sea, you can visit Sitges – where you'll also be able to relive the "modernista" and avant-garde ambiance of the late 19th century at its museums – or some of the beaches along the 50km Maresme Coast.
There are all kinds of options for nature lovers, from the Espai Natural de Sant Miquel del Fai, with its spectacular waterfall, which is more than 100 m high, and medieval abbey with the only Romanesque chapel in Catalonia built inside a cave, to the Llobregat Delta, a superb area for bird watching which has been declared a Globally Important Bird area (GIBA). You can also visit the Muntanya de Sal de Cardona – a unique geological phenomenon where you can take a guided 4x4 tour and explore the old salt mine at a depth of 86m – in the village of Cardona, which also has an important medieval ensemble, including the impressive Romanesque- and Gothic-style fortress of Cardona Castle (9th-12th centuries). And, of course, you can discover Montserrat, the Catalans' holy mountain, now a natural park, with its amazing, fantastic shapes and the Benedictine monastery which houses the figure of Catalonia's patron saint, the Virgin of Montserrat, the "Moreneta", or Black Madonna, so named because of the colour of the carving.
And if you're a fan of wine tourism, you can explore the Penedès, a county that produces excellent wines and cavas, where you can visit more than 300 wineries, some of them in the "modernista" style.
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