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In the heart of a fiercely independent European province, this towering mountain rises dramatically from the coastal plains. A favorite for local walkers, who love strolling among the monoliths of its serrated ridgeline, it offers panoramic views of the distant Mediterranean and taller inland peaks.

That’s not all that sets this mountain apart: lucky travelers may catch the harmonies of a boys’ choir if they stop by a Benedictine abbey near its peak. This ancient monastery is also notable for its “Black Madonna,” a statue of a dark-skinned virgin Mary that the devout claim dates back to the earliest days of the Christian church (though most art historians believe it’s from the Middle Ages).

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Spain: Barcelona to the Costa Brava

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Dormant Volcanoes

Dormant Volcanoes

In Garrotxa Natural Park, discover a unique geology while strolling through an area where dormant volcanoes shelter lush beech forest.

Seaside Hotels

Seaside Hotels

With an ideal seaside location and renovated facility, the Hotel Playa Sol provides a comfortable escape in Cadaques, one of the Costa Brava’s most dreamy towns.

Catalan Cuisine

Catalan Cuisine

Sparked by the 30-year reign of Ferran Adrià as “the world’s best chef,” Catalonia has experienced a culinary renaissance, with a bevy of new Michelin-starred restaurants.

Dali's Studio

Salvador Dalí’s Studio

After World War II, the celebrated surrealist built his home in the seaside town of Port Lligat—today, you can still visit his studio there.

Empuries Ruins at Costa Brava

Greek Ruins

By the coastal town of L’Escala, the Costa Brava hides the well-preserved ruins of a monumental feat of Greek and Roman engineering: the ancient town of Empúries.

Medieval Cities

Medieval Cities

Ancient towns like Girona, Peratallada, and Pals reveal quaint plazas, Romanesque churches, and stone towers dating back to the 11th century.