Located on the Costa Brava coast in the North East of Spain, Barcelona is one of Europe’s most diverse and interesting cities. A short break here is the perfect way to experience the very best of the Spanish way of life. It has something for everyone: rich cultural history, architecture, art, museums, bustling market places, excellent cuisine, beaches and an energetic nightlife. And for good measure, it has some of Europe’s best golf courses surrounding the city.[subscribelocker]
Golf in Spain has never been so popular. With great players such as Seve Ballesteros, Sergio Garcia, Olazabal and Jimenez, there is so much inspiration for fellow countrymen. Hence there are hundreds of top quality golf courses to play and the weather makes it possible all year round.
One such golf resort and host of this year’s Spanish Open, is the PGA Golf Catalunya Resort. Less than an hours drive from Barcelona, the two championship courses here provide an excellent opportunity to combine a golf trip with a city break. Both courses have just recently hosted the European Tour Qualifying school and with several other European PGA events held here, the courses are always in great condition. They were designed by European Tour veterans Angel Gallardo and Neil Coles.
The Stadium Course opened in 1999 and is consistently ranked in Europe’s top 10 courses (most recently voted no.3 by the UK’s “Golf Monthly” magazine). At 6588 yds and a par 72 it is a stern test of golf. With water on 7 holes, fairways lined with evergreens, oak trees and heather, along with strategically placed bunkers, means careful thought and respect for the course has to be paid ahead of every shot. Elevation changes and a well thought out routing make each hole unique and memorable. The Pyrenee Mountain range and Montseny Massif National Park create a dramatic backdrop.
A slightly easier test of golf is the Tour Course. At 6030 off the white tees, it is shorter and has wider fairways and larger greens than its neighbor. This makes it the perfect course for all levels of golfer. The fairways are lined with pine trees and lakes, and well placed bunkers can catch you out. The large greens are undulating and contribute to a challenging and enjoyable round of golf.
Green fees for both courses range between €70 to €100, but specials are to be found such as a twilight round round for €47.5 euros and golf with lunch on Tuesdays for €59. After your round you can enjoy all the facilities the newly refurbished clubhouse has to offer. The bistro restaurant provides exquisite Spanish food and magnificent views of the surrounding natural beauty.
If you choose to stay at the resort, the 4 star Meliá Golf Vichy Catalán hotel is located in the heart of the golf course. A unique design featuring plenty of wood and stone, it is the perfect place to relax in luxury. The hotel comprises 149 rooms with spectacular views, a health spa and a beautiful garden and terrace. You will find everything you need here to unwind and enjoy a wonderful golf resort.
When you are in the city of Barcelona, you must be sure to visit La Boqueria, a huge food market, which can be found at the bottom of the famous Las Ramblas street. If you are a food lover, you will love this market. You can find everything from cured meats (serrano, chorizo) and sea food stalls to fresh fruit and vegetables. Plenty of tapas (small plates) are on offer for a few euros, which can be accompanied with a glass of the local wine.
The Gothic Quarter has the most breathtaking architecture and there you can find the Gaudi designed Sagrada Familia cathedral. If you are visiting during the football season, it is well worth experiencing the excitement of a Barcelona football match at the New Camp, one of the largest football stadiums in Europe. The Spanish have a passion for football like no other and the atmosphere is electrifying.
Whether you go to Barcelona for a golf trip, a cultural visit, or both, it is undoubtedly a place that will appeal to all tastes and leave you wanting more. For advice on accommodation in Barcelona, you can visit Barcelona Hotels[/subscribelocker]