Barcelona is a popular destination for cruise ships and tourists from all over the world. Yet Barcelona province and the region surrounding the Catalan Capital is not as well known. In October 2021 I spent a week exploring the landscapes of Barcelona´s counties.

Osona, Bages Noya and Moyanés are areas that I hadn´t visited before despite living in Catalonia for 9 years.

  • On this map of Barcelona province below, the orange colour area is the region that I cover in this article.
  • The blue area along the coast (Garraf and Maresme) and the metropolitan area is the most visited parts.

Time to put that right. Let´s explore inland Barcelona.​

Barcelona Province

Paisajes Barcelona Mucho Mas

Vic, Osona

First stop is Vic, the Capital of Osona. This city is most known for its Mercadal. A busy outdoor marketplace on Tuesdays and Saturdays, this trading post has been in use since the 9th century (yes that´s 1146 years ago!) The medieval square gets your attention as soon as you arrive. Rather than being paved, its got a sandy surface. Over the years,this space has held livestock auctions, markets and even

Over time Vic has had different names. Called Auso by the Romans and Ausona by the Visigoths. Then in the 1700´s the city was named Vique and then Vich. Finally in 1913 Vic was agreed and is the name today. The meaning stems from the Roman word Vicus meaning Neighbourhood. You may notice the other city names on historic documents or monuments when you visit or read about the city. Nowadays the population of Vic is around 41,000. 

Market Square in Vic Catalonia

Queralt Bridge

I stayed at the Seminari de Vic just a short walk from the city centre. This multipurpose centre is part hotel, part Seminary (School for Priests). The Seminari Accommodation is comfortable, practical and modern. The onsite canteen was fabulous. Lots of local recipes and delicious food to choose from. Good value and plenty of selection. (They serve wine and beer too.)

Walking through Vic on a crisp Autumn morning was a delight. Seeing the old city wall and the Queralt bridge. (Photo below)  This bridge was built in the 11th Century and was an important point on the road from Barcelona. Crossing the Meder River, it´s just off the Calle de San Francisco on the edge of the old town. 

Pont de Queralt Vic Barcelona Province

Historic Vic

Vic Cathedral has a stunning Romanesque bell tower built in 1038. (see in the picture below). The Cathedral square and area alongside the Museu Episcopal Vic really reminded me of Northern Italy. The architectural style is clearly inspired on Italian cities. The Episcopal Museum is home to the large collection of Catalan Romanesque Art. The large museum is home to many Religious Sculptures, antique paintings and textiles. 

The oldest monument in Vic is the magnificent Roman Temple built in the 1st century. It is open for public visits and often has temporary exhibitions. There are only three of these in Spain left today. 

Vic Cathedral Osona

Vic is a Foodie Hotspot

Vic is known for its deli products especially pork sausages. In fact it´s local knowledge that their are more pigs than people in Osona, as pork is a main industry in this area. One of the most traditional places to taste local delicacies is Ca la Teresona trading since 1837. This family business spans six generations. They even have their own on site restaurant where you can enjoy their gastronomic offerings. 

I was lucky enough to be able to make my own butifarra. Then get it cooked in the restaurant kitchen so I could eat it for lunch. Their gourmet store has lots of delicious food beyond cold meats. A selection of local cheese, sauces, homemade local dishes and even artisan pizzas.  

In fact its worth wandering along the Carrer dels Argenters to see the different bakeries and food stores. It really is foodie heaven. 

Vic Gourmet Shop Ca la Teresona

Sant Pere de Casserres

A short drive from Vic (20kms) takes us to the 11th Century Monastery of Sant Pere de Casserres. Located on the edge of the Sau Reservoir, it has beautiful views of the landscape. It´s a quiet location, enjoy a gentle walk from the car park to the monastery, on a path amongst oak trees overlooking the water. Also on site there is a small restaurant if you want to stay longer. You can visit inside the monastery and understand this history of the gorgeous location. (Photo below)

Sant Pere de Casserres

Moianès

After visiting Osona, the next region is Moianés. This unspoilt natural expanse, most known for the picturesque town of Castellterçol. This part of inland Catalonia is a good location for rural tourism to getaway from it all. Large country houses for rent such as Mas Torigues make a great spot to spend a weekend with friends and family.

D.O Pla de Bagés

In Santa Maria d’Oló we visited the Celler de Sant Miquel a relatively new vineyard that has been working since 2013. On the site of a Romanesque Hermitage, the land had previously grown grapevines until 1913. The production now follows the D.O Pla de Bagés guidelines, producing with local grape varieties such as Picapoll. While the first harvests were limited, the winery are now scaling up and producing more bottles as they become more established. 

Currently in the D.O Pla de Bagés wine region, there are 15 associated producers. Authorised grape varieties in the region are:

  • Chardonnay
  • Sauvignon Blanco
  • Gewürztraminer
  • Picapoll
  • Macabeu
  • Tempranillo.
  • Merlot
  • Cabernet Franc. 
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Syrah.
  • Garnatxa negra.
  • Sumoll

Oller del Mas Catalan Winery

The Toll Caves (les Coves del Toll)

One of the main attraction in the area are the prehistoric caves of Toll. Located close to Moiá the main town. It is one of the best places in Europe in fauna from the Quaternary period. The guided visit is 158 metres although the actual size of the caves is 1148 metres. They are open daily from 10.30h to 2pm. Check ahead of your visit the availability as it is popular with schools. 

Also in Moía we had a fabulous lunch at Restaurante Les Voltes de Sant Sebastiá. This cosy smart restaurant has its own wine cellar (inside an historic stone water cistern). They pride themselves on creating dishes with local produce and traditional recipes. I had the best cannellones I´ve ever eaten.  Too delicious for me to even stop to get a photo. Les Voltes in Moía have been in business for over 20 years and have a loyal local clientele. 
If you intend to go there book ahead and make sure you have time in your schedule for a long leisurely meal. Thank me later. 

L’Estany

Visit to the Monastery and Water Mine

Caminos de la Sequia.

Accommodation at the Rural hotel Mas de la Sala in Sallent.

La Cova Sant Ignasi Manresa

Bages

Next up on the itinerary is Bages region with it´s Capital Manresa.  (A 55 min drive from Barcelona) 

My highlight of visiting Manresa was seeing the Cueva de Sant Ignasi. (photo above) This monument is a baroque church with one side set into a natural cave. This cave has particular significance, it´s part of the story of Saint Ignatius of Loyola  (Spanish Catholic priest  1491- 1556) In the early 1900´s the church nave was decorated by stunning and intricate mosaic tiles. At the top of the Old town is La Seu. You can see the Collegiate Basilica on the hill on the left of the photo above. 

Cova Saint Ignasi Manresa Barcelona Province

Dining at the Ateneu in Manresa

Another gastronomic highlight of this trip was a delicious tasting menu at the Cau de l’Ateneu. This restaurant is set in an old theatre. In the decoration there are clues to the buildings past as they have reused lamps and upcycled other elements in the modern interiors.  The kitchen is open plan and you can see them carefully planning the days dishes. 

Vineyard and Castle of Oller del Mas

Montserrat Monastery.

Oller del Mas Catalan Winery

Anoia

Stay at Somiatruites in Igualada. Capital of the Anoia region. 

The Leather Museum and the Rec neighbourhood. 

Cal Granotes. Rec de Igualada
Outdoor dining at the Restaurante Cubs de Odena

 Paisajes Barcelona Province in Catalonia

Barcelona Province Landscapes – What lies beyond the Catalan Capital?

Disclaimer: Please note that I have visited Paisatges Barcelona on a promotional trip. I have experienced all the activities I wrote about in this post complimentary. However, all the opinions in this article are my own. I would not recommend anything that I wouldn’t have enjoyed myself doing or think it was a great place to visit.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click through and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. All thoughts, feelings and opinions shared on this blog and in this post are my own.

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Barcelona Province Landscapes - What lies beyond the Catalan Capital?
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Barcelona Province Landscapes - What lies beyond the Catalan Capital?
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Landscapes of Barcelona Province. Exploring Paisatges Barcelona, the counties of Anoia, Moianès and Bages. Catalan countryside and food tips.
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