Catalonia invites visitors to experience a range of festivals and events sure to appeal to all travellers throughout the autumn months. Here’s a round-up of the most eagerly anticipated; visit www.experience.catalunya.com/en for further information.
Cycle 300km for charity with the Tour de Pirinexus
27–1 October 2017
The inaugural Tour de Pirinexus takes place between 28 – 30 September in collaboration with ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, raising money for soldiers and veterans of the British Army. The 300km circuit starts on the iconic Pont de Pedra Bridge in Girona’s old town and straddles the Pyrenees mountain range twice, sending participants through Spain and France before dropping down to the beautiful Costa Brava coastline. In between cycles, participants can also look forward to the abundance of local wine and food along the way, making it all the more rewarding and giving those involved a memorable experience both on and off the bike.
New Guillermo del Toro film to kick off 50th Sitges Film Festival
5–15 October 2017
This year, Sitges Film Festival, the number one fantasy film festival in the world, will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a tribute to genre films. As the biggest international film festival focused on horror and fantasy movies, the festival is one of the most famous film festivals on the continent. Famed Mexican director Guillermo del Toro, who opened the 2006 Festival with his acclaimed Pan’s Labyrinth, will be the Festival’s official patron, launching the film competition with his eagerly anticipated ‘The Shape of Water’, a Cold War era fantasy tale he wrote and directed. In celebration of reaching its 50th anniversary, the Festival will be extended by a full day, with a programme that will take attendees on a journey from the Festival’s origins to its present day format. With ticket options to suit all price ranges, attendees will have the option of viewing films across 13 different sections over the ten days of the event.
Enjoy the best of Catalonia’s fizz at Cavatast
6–8 October 2017
95% of the Catalonia’s cava comes from the Penedès region and, in October, cava-lovers can sample the best that the region has to offer at the highly anticipated Cavatast Festival in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia. Almost fifty cava producers, restaurants, butchers, bakers and chocolate makers will display cavas and other products for tasting over the three day event. Visitors can sample cava and local produce, learn about the different makers and purchase local products, as well as take part in the different available activities such as guided tours, specialised workshops and cava pairings at local cellars and cava wineries.
Savour mushroom-themed menus in Alta Ribagorça
6 October–10 November 2017
Catalonia is known for fresh, seasonal produce and its wild mushrooms are one of autumn’s most important ingredients. This Catalan staple can be found in abundance in the Alta Ribagorça district in the Catalan Pyrenees. Throughout October, the region celebrates this local bounty with the Wild Mushroom Gastronomy Event, in which specialty mushroom-themed menus can be enjoyed at local restaurants alongside a full programme of activities, including fairs, wild mushroom picking outings, cooking classes and mushroom tastings.
Catch a new production at the Temporada Alta Festival
11 October–10 December 2017
Temporada Alta is a performing arts festival that takes place across 13 unique venues in the cities of Girona and Salt from October through December. The festival features theatre, dance, circus, contemporary creation, music, cinema and family events from national and international performers. It hosts major international acts as well as providing a springboard for fresh talent, working to promote productions that bring together Catalan and international artists. Attendees will catch innovative dramatisations, first performances and new productions from renowned performers.
See human towers and giants at Girona’s Fires of Sant Narcís
27 October–5 November 2017
The beautiful walled city of Girona is known for its historic centre, excellent food and lively culture. During Girona’s annual festa major, Fires de Sant Narcís, the entire city comes alive with Catalan traditions and culture, including the human towers (castells) and fireworks (correfoc). The ten-day festival is held in honour of the Saints’ Day of Sant Narcís, patron saint of Girona, on 29 October, and draws massive crowds from all over Catalonia. Market stalls are set up across the city and a full programme of concerts, activities, competitions and carnival rides provides entertainment.
Discover a witch festival with a side of chestnuts for a Catalan Halloween
1 November 2017
The Catalan tradition of La Castanyada is a popular All Saints’ Day festival held each year on 1 November. There it welcomes visitors with concerts and stalls filled with seasonal delicacies, including castanyes (chestnuts), sweet potatoes, sweet wine and panellets – small Catalan cakes made of marzipan, almonds and various flavours. For an authentic Halloween tradition, head to the small village of Sant Feliu Sasserra in Bages, where a fascinating two-day Witch Festival is held every year in honour of the 23 women who were sentenced to death during the Inquisition after being accused of witchcraft. Locally known as Fira de les Bruixes, the event begins on the night of 31 October in Plaça de l’Església with a parade that runs through the village’s darkest corners.
For information on events and festivals in Catalonia, visithttps://experience.catalunya.com/en
Catalonia is a Mediterranean destination in north-eastern Spain with a millenary history, its own culture and language as well as a wealthy natural heritage. Its rich gastronomic heritage and 65 Michelin-starred restaurants make it a prime destination for wine and culinary tourism. Covering 32,107km, the region is divided into four provinces; Barcelona, Girona, Lleida and Tarragona. The territory offers visitors stunning scenery, culture, history and cuisine from the towering heights of the Catalan Pyrenees to the spectacular coastline of the Costa Brava, Costa Barcelona, Costa Daurada and Terres de l’Ebre. Its diversity and excellent facilities place it among Europe’s prime tourist areas, welcoming 18 million tourists per year.