La Mercé is the festival of festivals, celebrating Barcelona and Catalan creativity. Artists all work together to turn Barcelona into a great showcase for street art, circus and dance.
The festival takes place in honour of one of the patron-saints of Barcelona: Mercé.
For 5 days there are more than 500 activities happening all around the city, from concerts to street processions, traditional dances, fire runs and human towers. The most traditional activities of the Mercè Festival are, a collection of popular culture from all over Catalonia. Like the "Sardana" dancing, the "Castellers" human towers, the "Correfoc" fire run, and the "Gegants" Giants parade, which is a very popular event for the whole family.
Once the festival has come to end, Barcelona still has plenty more to offer:
1. Action and Adventure
If you’re looking for adventure, Catalunya is the destination for you. Action packed with activities and adventures for enthusiasts or families just looking to holiday in the great outdoors, the region’s natural space and wonders offer the perfect setting for exploration. The area allows visitors to get in touch with nature, whether feeling the sand beneath your feet, swimming through coastal waters or scraping the Pyrenean piste.
Hiking fans can make the most of some of the most beautiful and scenic hiking routes, including, Cavallsdel Vent: a high and medium altitude mountain trail across the Catalunya pre-Pyrenees, CamídelsBons Homes: a linear mountain crossing between Catalunya and Occitan, and GR92 Grand Tour Trail which progresses along entire shoreline and littoral, with great views over the bays of the Costa Brava and the Mediterranean.
Catalunya has a range of terrains for those new to cycling right through to the cycling experts, outstanding cycling routes in the region include; from the Catalan Pyrenees to the sea by bike: a six-stage trail running through the Pyrenean lands of Ripollès and La Garrotxa as far as the plains of Empordà. Another great route is around the Plana de Ponent: trip over six stages through the plains and western mountain range of Catalunya. A firm family favourite cycling route is The Green Ways, a network of reconditioned former railway lines that have been recovered for the use of walkers and cyclists.
4. Horse riding
The breath taking Catalan countryside can also be discovered on horseback. Some of the best horseback routes include: the Way of the Good Men: a long itinerary through the mountains, from Berga through to Montségur, another great horseriding route goes along the Vulture Valley (Vall de Valtors): An excursion through the natural environment of La Terreta Valley, packed with interesting birdlife. A horse ride in La Garrotxa Volcanic Zone gives both horse and rider the chance to discover beautiful volcanic settings, such as the Roccacorba mountain crest.
Catalunya attracts over two million skiers every year. There are 16 ski resorts in the Catalan Pyrenees, offering a variety of different slopes and challenges. The overall skiing area encompasses 600 kilometres of slopes and can accommodate around 165,000 skiers per hour. There are 10 alpine ski resorts and 6 Nordic ski resorts.
The biggest resorts in the region are Baqueira Beret and Alp 2500 and the firm family favourite isVall de Nuria.
Many of Catalunya’s ski resorts have a snow garden, where the little ones and beginners alike can find their feet and get used to the snow and ski lifts. Families can join ski schools or hire a teacher to assist them on the slopes.
6. Water sports
If it’s water that floats your boat, the Mediterranean hidden coves await you. Located just 40 minutes from Girona, the stunning rock formations sit atop pristine sea waters and offer a great starting point for discovering the surrounding beautiful sea beds by kayak.
Catalunya is also home to the Ebro Delta, one of the largest wetland areas in the western Mediterranean region and a fantastic place to discover the active tourism on offer in the region, including canoeing, kayaking and scuba diving.
If it’s an adrenalin pumping experience you’re looking for, then a trip to the Lleida Pyrenees will suit you perfectly. You can take it easy with some windsurfing on the calm waters, or push the boat out with some rafting on the wild waters or canoeing.
If that’s not enough, try parachuting or skydiving with the European leaders in the market, Castelló d'Empúries Empuriabrava, and check out Catalunya’s stunning scenery from the air.
English artist, Rob Whitworth, captures Barcelona at it's finest using a Hyperlapse technique.