Summer Adventure: 5 Weeks in Catalonia, Spain

Wow I got to spend just over a month in the south of spain!

I had decided in May that I needed to make a drastic change if I wanted to begin to move towards my dream life. For me that meant moving to Europe. Where in Europe? I don't know yet. I wasn't even sure where to start, so I wrote a bunch of places I would be happy to spend time in down on torn scraps of paper, mixed them around, shut my eyes and picked one. I picked England and I was excited because it was a decision. Though, over the course of a few hours I realized I had wanted to pick Spain, my body had been more excited writing Spain down than when I picked the piece of paper that said England on it. That night I went on Airbnb and put all of Spain in the search zone and a very low maximum spend and I found the most amazing apartment in a town called Miravet. 

Fast forward about two months and it is real. Mum and I drove down and across from Paris (you can read about our time in France here) and our first stop in Spain was in a town called Roses. The hotel we stayed at was in the most breath taking setting, right on the coast a bit elevated from the sea so you looked down over the beach, with beautiful gardens and a giant pool. It's called Almadraba Park Hotel, and it's not as crazy expensive as you might assume because the hotel itself is probably from the 60's and could use a bit of love. It nice and comfortable with great views, and the bathrooms are a bit old and the technology is not super up to date. In my book that is a win because I'm not sure it would be in budget to stay here if it were brand new. Oh, and it is dog friendly. Everywhere I mention on this trip I brought Rambo too. 

Amadraba Park Hotel in Roses, Spain 

roses spain coastlinealmadraba park hotel roses spainalmadraba park hotel roses spainroses spain beach south of spain

From there we made our way up to the town Miravet, where I found the cute and affordable airbnb. Mum and I stayed here for just under a week, and then mum went home to Toronto and my friend Marlene joined me for 4 weeks. The airbnb is in one of the oldest buildings in the town, built second after the castle above it, so shortly after 1153. 

"Miravet is a municipality in the comarca of Ribera d'Ebre in the Province of Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain. The village and the castle was founded by the Moors and rebuilt by the Knights Templar and transformed into a fortress-monastery, after the conquest of 1153" - Wikipedia 

It is set up quite high, you go through the town to get to it and the roads were built a long time before cars so most cars can't get up there. It was quite a journey getting our luggage and groceries up, especially since the daily average temperature was 35 degrees Celsius. It only got slightly easier by the end of 5 weeks, very much a work out every time. The elevation also meant that our view was breathtaking, it felt like we were staying in the sky. 

 If you're looking for a quiet place to stay with a lot of history, maybe as part of a road trip from Barcelona to Madrid, I'd very much recommend this airbnb apartment in Miravet. Just make sure you're up for a bit of a climb and that you pick up water, because you can't drink it from the tap.

Airbnb in Miravet, Spain 

miravet, spain Ribera d'Ebre old townmiravet apartment in the sky near the Castillo de MiravetMiravet Old Renaissance Baroque churchancient key for airbnb door miravetmiravet spainmiravet, spainmiravet spainmiravet spain 

My favourite things to do while we were in Miravet were to go to different beaches (generally an hour away), hang by the river and go for walks and get ice cream. I will list my favourite spots below. 


Miravet as a deep history in ceramics and artisans still are known globally for their work. Two shops we went to and loved are Ceràmic Fantàstic and Ceràmiques Ferran

Mora D'ebre 

Not the most exciting of the list but the most useful place nearby, it is only a 10 minute drive away. There is a Mercadona for groceries, a cute cafe, the best hand made ice cream shop, it was where we charged our electric rental car (*hot tip* don't rent an electric vehicle in rural Spain, even if it's cheaper, there are not enough charging stations) and where we each got three tattoos

Ribera d'Ebre

The river in Miravet is a needed break from the heat. The water moves quickly and is quite shallow for a ways. It is a perfect spot for a dip when you need to cool off. Plus, it makes the village that much more beautiful. You can also sign up to go on a kayaking tour/ adventure down the river. 

river swimming in miravet spainRibera d'Ebre Miravet spain river swimmingRibera d'Ebre Miravet spain river swimmingRibera d'Ebre Miravet spain river swimming

Cala Forn 

A popular little beach set in a cove with a restaurant nestled in the back. It was busy and fun to spend time here. One of our visits was on the night of a Super Moon (a larger than usual full moon) and we had dinner at the restaurant and then played in the water in the moon light. It was one of my favourite nights on the trip.

 Cala Forn Beach South of Spain near TarragonaCala Forn Beach South of Spain near TarragonaCala Forn Beach South of Spain near TarragonaCala Forn Beach South of Spain near Tarragona

Cala de la Roca Plana

A nude beach we absolutely loved. I've learned that nude beaches are usually more remote for privacy. This beach is about a 40 min walk from town through the forest and it is worth it. It is so beautiful. I wouldn't have thought that the beach we'd go to the most would be a nude one but the location was out of this world. 

roca planaCala de la Roca Plana tarragona spainCala de la Roca Plana tarragona spainCala de la Roca Plana tarragona spain

Playa Del Trabucador 

We only went here on our last night. I wish we had gone earlier it is epic. Its a long sandbar with a restaurant and beach on both sides of the peninsula it makes so you can either have calmer waters facing the mountains or bigger waves facing the open sea. 

Playa Del TrabucadorPlaya Del Trabucador

La Fontcalda 

A hot spring in a valley between mountains. The Sanctuary of la Fontcalda was created after monks in the 14th century discovered the hot spring in the narrow canyon, with 25 degree medicinal mineral water, though the water in most of the spring is not very hot, it is a small section that comes through a crack in the canyon wall. The valley is completely isolated, and you have to go up and over a large mountain to get there. It is a beautiful place to spend the day, with areas to lay out, swim, and a restaurant to eat at near the church. 

La Fontcalda hotspring and river swimming spainLa Fontcalda hotspring and river swimming spainLa Fontcalda hotspring and river swimming spainLa Fontcalda hotspring and river swimming spain

Toll Blau

A river from a spring that comes down the mountains. It is crystal clear. It isn't particularly easy to get to, you have to drive on some very bumpy dirt "roads" more like a slight break in vegetation. So pack some food and lots of water and be prepared to pee in the bushes. Its very quiet and the hiking trail is very safe and relatively flat. 

Toll Blau Spain Tarragona Swimming Spring CreekToll Blau Spain Tarragona Swimming Spring CreekToll Blau Spain Tarragona Swimming Spring CreekToll Blau Spain Tarragona Swimming Spring Creek

As well as staying in Miravet we also went to Madrid and Barcelona for a couple of nights each. 


We stayed at an amazing airbnb. I loved the neighbourhood it was in and the spiral staircase up to the roof top deck was so cool. Two restaurants we went to that I loved were: Ouh... Babbo (incredible pasta) and Viva Madrid. We spent most of our time walking around and hanging out in El Retiro Park. I had never had Madrid on the top of my list of cities to visit, and I think I was wrong. It is a super lively city with great energy, nice people and beautiful architecture. 

Madrid, SpainMadrid, SpainMadrid, SpainMadrid, Spain

Madrid, SpainMadrid, SpainMadrid, SpainMadrid, Spain


I must admit I didn't book Barcelona until the last minute so I didn't really get to live up to the standard I had set for the rest of the trip. We stayed at a hotel called Pol and Grace and it was okay. The staff were super lovely and there is a pool on the roof. The hotel itself is kind of odd, it feels like a work space kind of and the rooms are minimal. That being said it was available, dog friendly and not super expensive. It isn't in the city centre, about a 30 minute walk to the Gothic District. Barcelona was the last couple days of our time in Spain and we were sleepy. We didn't do many touristy things. I had been to the city on a trip a few years ago and loved doing them though. We just hadn't booked tickets for anything in advance. Rambo got groomed which was very exciting for me and we went shopping in the Gothic District at a store called Oliver Decoracion - very cool spot with great dresses. clothes and home goods.   

Barcelona SpainBarcelona SpainBarcelona SpainBarcelona Spain


Thats it, thats all, had fun, had a ball. If you want to see more of the places I went to in Spain, check out my profile on the app Step.

Heather Mollenhauer human design
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