Sunday, August 18, 2019

GET OUT OF THE HEAT- REAL SIGHTSEEING IN BARCELONA

Now in the middle of August, Barcelona regularly sees 30 plus degrees centigrade and humidity of over 70%. While the centre of the city has the majority of classic Barcelona attractions like the world famous, Gaudi creations of La SagradaFamilia, La Casa Batllo, La Pedrera / La Casa Mila and the incredible market of La Boqueria, it also has multitudes of tourists, hoards in fact, and the ensuing chaos that accompanies such numbers. Queueing and sweating and barging in to get the best position for a selfie or the last tickets before close are all too common in Barcelona in summer.

GET OUT OF THE HEAT- REAL SIGHTSEEING IN BARCELONA

Luckily Barcelona has some fantastic areas and points of interest which are sufficiently far from the madding crowd to permit a breath or two of fresh air. Probably the most famous of the extra-central attractions is the iconic Park Güell. This Gaudi inspired and designed city marvel can be found in the barrio of Gracia and forms one of the “tres turons” or three peaks of the hills in upper Barcelona. The city side of the park is a part natural, part surreal experience in itself. Antoni Gaudi’s obsession with natural forms is translated here as a melding of stone, concrete and organics which sometimes can be hard to tell apart. The high points of the park offer some fantastic views of Barcelona city but for the energetically adventurous, the short trek to La Cima de Carmel which rises above the park is well worth the effort. From the peak you really are treated to the best views in urban Barcelona. The highest parts of the park are not busy and although many people visit the lower areas the park’s size allows a welcome, shady get away from the shoulder to shoulder routine of the centre.


Barcelona in summer attractions


Beside Park Güell to the North East is another of the “turons”, the Turó de la Rovira, on which you can find the old military constructions of The Bunkers of Carmel. The bunkers are a throw-back to the Spanish Civil War and housed anit-aircraft guns and support structures. The elevated position of the bunkers provided formidable gun emplacements for the defence of the city during the civil conflict, but today they provide a perfect perch for views, contemplation and of course, photo opportunities with Barcelona as a back-drop. The Bunkers of Carmel have become a popular and trendy must-see for younger visitors to the city.

The third “turon” is the park of La Crueta del Coll. This park can best be reached from the back of Park Güell and featured a large outdoor swimming pool and seasonal bar/café. Again, for those making the effort to climb to the peak of this “turon” the of the park offers some great views of the city.

Miradores or scenic lookouts for views


After all the trekking and sightseeing in the upper part of the city you may think that you’ve “been there, done that” and seen all that this fantastic city has to offer, but you’d be so wrong. The high ground of Gracia de Dalt (upper Gracia) is just the beginning. If you are still looking for things to do in Barcelona which are away from the normal tourist trudge then look no further than a tour with Tourisimo Tours Barcelona. From our base only 50 meters from Park Güell you can escape to the real high ground of the city and breath the cool, fresh air which the shoulder to shoulder routine in the centre will never provide. You’ll drive one of our fleet of electric, eco-friendly, zero-emission, two-seater Renault Twizys cars and follow a guide in another vehicle up and out of the city to the cool hills of Collerola Natural Park. 

Rent Renault Twizys cars Sarria in Barcelona


This huge park overlooks all of Barcelona with truly the best views, sightseeing and photo opportunities of the city. The tour takes you through the natural park, which at over 8,000 acres is one of the largest urban parks in the world, and stops at various “miradores” or scenic lookouts for views, photographs and local knowledge. You’ll progress along the city side of hills and though the historic village of Collserola with its modernist and grand homes and down through the affluent suburb of Sarriá stopping at futher lookouts on the way. On the weekends there is also the chance to ascend 560 meters a.s.l. to the observation deck of the iconic Torre de Collerola (The Collserola Tower). This tower was designed by the celebrated architect Sir Norman Foster and was opened for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, unfortunately, and incredibly, it is only open to the public from 13:00 to 14:00 on Saturdays and Sundays. It is also extremely difficult to get to using public transport, requiring a combination of rail, funicular and bus. If you are lucky enough to have the time free in Barcelona which coincides with the ridiculously restrictive opening hours, a Tourisimo Tour is one of the easiest ways to get to the tower.   

So treat yourself to a tour which combines the fun and novelty of driving the fantastic little electric Twizy over quite mountain-type roads with the chance to see Barcelona from a perspective which few get to witness. The best vistas, photo opportunities and local insights and a fun drive which kids from eight to eighty just love, all this and more with Tourisimo Tours Barcelona.  www.tourisimo.es
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