Capitol of Catalonia and, to many a sophisticated traveller, the capitol of Europe, Barcelona is a city of passion where art, culture and beauty combine to create a utopia for those seeking style, excitement and inspiration. Situated on the north east coast of the Iberian Peninsula overlooking the Mediterranean, Spainís second largest city is steeped in history and dates back to the Roman occupation during the second century BC. But donít be fooled, this is a city that has embraced the sands of change through an undying love affair with all things creative. From the unforgettable architecture of Gaudi to the truly enchanting Ramblas, the spectacular, labyrinthine Barri Gotic to the magnificent views from the top of Tibidabo, Barcelona is never anything less than breathtaking.
Today the cityís enthusiasm and progressive energy has dwindled not one iota. In the 1970s Barcelona acquired the reputation for being Ďthe port that turned its back on the seaí. By the mid eighties Port Vell had undergone a complete facelift and now attracts in the region of 16 million visitors a year. The spacious world-class marina boasts superb facilities and abundant mooring space to the ever-growing influx of yachtsmen and pleasure boaters looking for somewhere exciting from which to explore the Med.
But letís face it, for a large proportion of Barcelonaís guests itís the nightlife that makes it destination numero uno! Weíre talking all night every night here. In Barcelona they simply donít do boredom and with literally hundreds of bars, restaurants, cafes and clubs to choose from, every night out is an entirely different experience. And for those who manage to see some daylight hours there are plenty of lifetime experiences to be enjoyed - the spectacular Olympic City and legendary Camp Nou being amongst the modern highlights and Gaudiís truly magnificent La Sagrada Familia and the virtually unspoilt Gothic Quarter amongst the old.
Volumes have been written about this most wonderful of cities and there will be volumes more to come. But nothing written or, drawn or photographed can ever compare to actually being there. Barcelona is so vibrant the city itself seems to be alive. It has spirit and style in spades and a hospitable streak to rival even the most accommodating of Spanish holiday destinations. In short Barcelona is right at the top of those all-important places you really must see before you die.