What to do in Catalonia in August
Music, ice cream, nature trails, and more - here are some of Catalan News' top picks for this slow summer month
August is known for being both the warmest and slowest time of the year - coupled with this year's "new normal" and the ongoing health and safety fears, getting out and about is a bit trickier than usual.
Because of this, here at Catalan News we've put together a guide with ten suggestions of things to do in Catalonia this month:
Head to the great outdoors
After the stress of months of strict lockdown, travel restrictions, and all sorts of pandemic-related anxiety, why not head to the great outdoors to get your nature fix? City dwellers, in particular, will be happy to find that Catalonia has plenty of natural beauty on offer, whether you're looking to go somewhere for a short day trip or longer. Take your pick from the many trails in the Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragonaareas, be sure to wear comfortable gear and bring plenty of water. Oh, and please don't litter!
Barcelona's live music scene
2020, with its enormous human, social and economic toll, has been a year of disappointment, and the arts and culture sector, with event after event either canceled or postponed, has not been spared either. Yes, it's true there will be no Primavera Sound or Sónar this summer, but music lovers in Barcelona can find some respite with smaller gigs held as part of the Nits del Fòrum, the Sala BCN concerts on Montjuïc, or even rooftop shows at Hotel Pulitzer.
Costa Brava and Girona live music
Barcelona, of course, is not the only place for music. Costa Brava's Porta Ferrada festival is still on this year with the likes of the Stay Homas, Amaral or Manel. Tempo de Girona will also be taking place until August 15 with free concerts in the city center.
"I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!" or so the song goes. Indeed, here at Catalan News we are very much in favor of encouraging our readers to take advantage of this hot and slow time of the year to indulge in the best of all summertime guilty pleasures. Some of our favorite parlors include Paral·lelo Gelato and Orxateria Sirvent in Barcelona, Vic's "Xixo" or La Gioconda in Girona.
Festes de Gràcia, Sants
Every Barcelona neighborhood has it's own 'festa major' party once a year, with the summer ones in Gràcia and Sants, famous for their elaborate street decorations, attracting thousands of visitors. This year many of their usual activities have been canceled, but keep an eye out for yet to be announced activities.
Visit the Sant Miquel Fluvià monastery
Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday until August 23, at both 5:30 and 7:30 pm, head on over to Sant Miquel de Fluvià to discover the small Ampurdan town's 11th-century Benedictine monastery as well as its 1st-century roman oven which the local council claims is "the best preserved in Catalonia." Tours are free and no prior booking is required, but you can call (+34) 666 56 17 96 for more information.
Festa de Sant Magí, Tarragona
Tarragona celebrates the Sant Magí, Saint Maginus, 'festes' from August 17 to 19, and while this year there will be no traditional procession or human towers due to health and safety concerns, a number of other activities will be held instead, from guided tours of the Roman amphitheater for children or collective mural painting.
Cinema a la fresca (outdoor cinemas)
One of our favorite summer staples is back this year: 'cinema a la fresca', or outdoor movies all over Catalonia, often for free. Although some film sessions have been canceled, like at Sala Montjuïc, others such as Cinema Lliure at Barcelona, Palamós, and Tossa de Mar beaches are still going ahead.
MUHBA history tours
History nerds rejoice! Want to learn about property speculation and other controversies behind the construction of Ildefons Cerdà's Eixample? Or to what extent the Catalan capital's Gothic Quarter was actually forged in the 20th century? The Barcelona History Museum has walking tours on this and much more planned throughout the month.
Maybe this is the time of the year get back to that book you meant to read a while back but never got around to (no shame, it happens to the best of us). Beyond the classic Cuaderno de vacaciones para adultos - which isn't really reading, is it? - why not pick up 'Canto jo i la muntanya balla' by Irene Solà, who won this year's European Union Prize for Literature, or any of recently deceased Barcelona writer Carlos Ruiz Zafón's works?